Do you ever feel like the universe talks to you?
For a week I’ve been trying to develop a cake flavored with spruce tips and orange. I started with 2 Tbsp. spruce tips, orange peel, and orange juice. It was a delicious orange cake, with no flavor of spruce tips.
I upped the spruce tips to 1/4 cup. No dice; it was another great tasting orange cake. I increased the spruce tips to 1/2 cup and halved the amount of orange peel. No spruce tip flavor, but the orange cake was still delicious.
Sometimes one needs to slow down and listen when the universe speaks. Developing an easy and delicious orange cake is a great feat. Why was I ignoring this marvelous accomplishment just because I wanted a spruce tip cake?
The universe has spoken. Orange cake rules! Why would anyone want spruce tip cake if they could instead have orange, especially when the orange cake in question is moist, tender, and addictively good?
I can’t write about cake without mentioning one of my favorite kitchen tools, the BeaterBlade by NewMetro Design. I’ll warn you ahead of time – I can’t talk about the BeaterBlade without gushing. It’s just that good.
The BeaterBlade is similar to an electric mixer’s paddle attachment, except it has rubber edges that continuously scrape the sides of the bowl. (Actually it’s not rubber, the edges are made with a proprietary thermoplastic elastomer that handles heat and the dishwasher.) With a BeaterBlade, it’s unnecessary to repeatedly stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl’s sides.
I received a BeaterBlade for Christmas in 2009. A gear-freak friend heard about it on National Public Radio and generously bought one for all the cooks in his life. I was hooked the first time I tried it.
Gary Fallowes, BeaterBlade’s inventor, began work on it in 2002, bringing it to market in 2008. Since then, NewMetro Design (Gary’s company) has sold 600,000 BeaterBlades. Gary said, “We’ve only scratched the surface. There are 15 million active home mixer users who [need] a BeaterBlade.” BeaterBlades are available for a wide range of mixers, including 20-quart professional Hobarts.
Explaining where he got the idea for his invention, Gary said, “I make a lot of cheesecakes and banana breads for family gatherings and I just got tired of having to stop and scrape the bowl, stop and scrape the bowl, all…the…time. And I said, there’s got to be a better way.”
Gary isn’t the only inventor in his family; his father created the cardiac stress test. “Inventors need tenacity,” Gary declared. He originally tried selling BeaterBlades to an existing business: “I was rejected by 35 companies; all of the major mixer manufacturers, their subcontractors, and a whole list of independent manufacturers.” Instead, Gary became his own manufacturer and his invention is now sold in 2000 stores in 11 different countries.
Gary continues to invent new products to solve “culinary conundrums.” Most recently, he partnered with “dessert diva” Rose Levy Beranbaum on a line of innovative kitchen tools, including a citrus juicer and easy-to-use citrus zester. He also mentors other inventors, passing on lessons he’s learned over the last decade.
NOTE: I’ve used my BeaterBlade for over three years and have given them as gifts many times. Since first trying the BeaterBlade, I’ve believed every baker/cook needs one. A few weeks ago I began communicating with BeaterBlade’s representative about offering a giveaway to my readers. NewMetro Design’s decision to offer the giveaway has not changed my opinion in any way, and I’ve received no compensation for writing this article. I knew BeaterBlade was a must-have tool the first time I used it.