CakeBoss software review

Spousal Unit gave me the CakeBoss software for Christmas 2015, something I’ve been eyeing for a few years. I’ve had 7 months to play around with it, and I love it. CakeBoss software is aimed towards cake bakers who sell from home, and while I’m not a home bakery, I was really interested in learning what was I spending on chocolatiering and baking. The software does a lot, including:

  • ingredient pricing
  • recipe costing
  • inventory management
  • order management
  • vendor management
  • invoicing
  • mileage log

It costs $149 USD for year one, and then $20 per year afterwards. CakeCentral.com users get a 10% discount off the cost of year one. It supports many currencies, and metric and Imperial measurements.

I think the software is great and well worth the price. The developer is responsive to customer suggestions for additions to the software and while I haven’t used their customer service myself for support questions, they get a lot of positive feedback from the Cake Central crowd.

It did exactly what I wanted it to. I was able to get a much more accurate cost of what we were actually spending on the Christmas chocolates. I’ve been using this software to work out the price of all my baked goods too and that’s why on my blog posts after Christmas, the cost per serving has been much more accurate.

ganache cost

You can see from this screen shot that when I make milk chocolate peppermint ganache, the software calculates that the amount of chocolate I’m using costs $4, the amount of cream costs $1.52, and the flavour oil is 2 cents. Neat!

Each year, we make 540 chocolates, which is 60 chocolates of each flavour. Whew!

To produce 540 chocolates and their fillings, I’m going to use:

  • 2.77 kg milk chocolate
  • 2.52 kg semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1 kg white chocolate
  • 840 g dark chocolate
  • 840 g Toblerone chocolate
  • 1.4 L heavy cream
  • 200 g white sugar
  • 100 g almonds
  • 76 g unsalted butter
  • 6 g matcha powder
  • 1 g salt
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 g buttercream flavouring oil
  • 1 g raspberry flavouring oil
  • 1 g orange cream flavouring oil
  • 1 g pepperment flavouring oil
  • 50 boxes and ribbons
  • 50 maps

 

Since I buy chocolate in 5 kg blocks, I already knew the total cost I was spending if I was completely out of ingredients, but CakeBoss breaks it down to what does 2.77 kg of milk chocolate cost me from the 5 kg block which I purchased. It’s a very useful tool.

If I ever make the move to selling at a farmer’s market or something, it’s good to know I already have a handle on what I’m spending on ingredients and supplies thanks to CakeBoss.

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Raspberry cranberry muffins

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I am so glad my friend Mary turned me on to muffins for breakfast. SO DELICIOUS.

This recipe was adapted from Cat Can Cook’s amazing banana muffin recipe.

Time required: 30 min

Yields: 12

Cost per muffin: 45 cents

Total cost if you have none of the ingredients: $46

Ingredients:

  • 25 g Splenda
  • 2 eggs
  • 76 g unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 4 oz water
  • 188 g flour
  • 5 g baking powder
  • 5 g baking soda
  • 0.5 g Half Salt or salt
  • 150 g frozen raspberries
  • 150 g frozen cranberries

Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 176°c / 350°f. Generously grease the muffin tin.
  2. In a mixer, combine all wet ingredients (except the fruit).
  3. In a new bowl, combine all dry ingredients.
  4. Gradually add dry to wet.
  5. Add the fruit. If you want blue muffins like me, beat the batter until it turns bright pink. Spoon into muffin tin.
  6. Bake 24 min and transfer to baking rack.

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Verdict:

I love this muffin recipe!! It’s so versatile, it makes fantastic banana muffins, blueberry muffins, and now these. I am in heaven.

 

Gender parity in video games

Last night I was playing Diablo 3 with my fiancé and a friend, when I was asked a question.

“Why is your barbarian a female?”

The reason is that since the option to pick my gender in a game happens so rarely, when I can, I do. My heart pumps purple blood for Mileena, I adventure with Celes and Terra, I pop heads as a female cyborg, it’s just how I prefer to play.

This morning we continued the discussion, why do I play as a female? Because “it’s 2016” and my gender remains staggeringly under-represented in games. Why is that?

I heard the argument that I could play Lara Croft games, Metroid, Heavenly Sword… and so what? I’m not saying that no female game protagonists exist. I’m saying there are precious few. The proof is on my shelf.

I own 132 video games. I like to play RPGs, tactical games, fighters, dungeon crawling loot bonanzas, solo games, co-op FPS, simulations, all sorts of games. This is my shelf:

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I pulled every game to the edge. Any game with a male protagonist was pushed back in, now 61 games remain.

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Of what’s left, about half are RPGs like Final Fantasy, where you play as a large cast of characters of both genders, and there is nearly always a main male character on a coming of age quest.  The remainder are adventuring games where you can pick your gender, like Oblivion, Dragon Age,or Diablo, and games where you choose a fighter like Mortal Kombat or Street Fighter.

So I pushed back every game that did not have a clear female protagonist.

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4 games remain. Parasite Eve, Final Fantasy X-2, Final Fantasy XIII, and Final Fantasy XIII-2. Since FF games have a large cast that knocks FF XIII and XIII-2 out of the running. Sorry Lightning!

What is left?

2 games.

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Parasite Eve, and Final Fantasy X-2, arguably one of the worst, cheesiest FFs ever made.

Why is this? A mere 2 out of 132.

Hey Nintendo. While I was drooling over the E3 footage of your new Zelda game, I couldn’t help but notice that once again we’re going to play as Link. Where is “The Legend of Zelda: a Link in Chains“?  Where is the Zelda game where you get to play as Zelda?

This is not a problem limited to Nintendo. This is a problem and a responsibility shared by all game manufacturers. Not only is it a poor financial decision to continue making and marketing games mostly towards men (I’m looking at you Ubisoft), it’s a moral failing.

Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft, and the game manufacturers are continuing to perpetuate the myth that women don’t exist, women don’t matter. Why?

Dear video game industry, why don’t my dollars matter to you? Why don’t I matter to you? Where are our games?

I’ve shown you my game shelf. What does your look like?