Sweet Nothings began seven years ago, fueled by a love of baking and a need to create. For anyone interested in the story of its beginnings please read 'Sweet Nothings, A Story', below. Today Sweet Nothings is an mail-order bakery and confectionary store whose products are carried in several local stores.
Thank you so much for your interest in Sweet Nothings. You are supporting a bakery that uses locally sourced dairy, no corn syrup or preservatives, makes everything from scratch, and donates three percent of profits to the National Brain Tumor Association in honor of Larry Thieben, who we still miss dearly. For more information about the quality behind the scenes, please keep reading......
About six years ago I fell in love with the smells and taste of Indian cuisine and tentatively began cooking it on my own. This was my first foray into the kitchen and I enjoyed the adventure of tracking down items such as tamarind paste, kaffir lime leaves and whole cardamom pods. As word of my new hobby spread, people began giving me cook books as gifts. At the entreaty of my boyfriend (now my husband), I began to half-heartedly explore the world of desserts until the day I found a baking book with three beautiful miniature cakes on its cover, each dripping with pristine white glaze, sugared raspberries nestled on top. They looked perfect and beautiful, and looking back the appeal that I found in them makes perfect sense to anyone who knows me, as they all realized I was more than a little bit of a perfectionist way before I did.
I had not realized that baking was a science and once I did I could not step away from my oven. I started poring over books about pastry theory and technique, and would look for excuses to bake. I initially started by adapting recipes until I got each recipe just so, just right. I am very particular about texture and I kept experimenting until I was satisfied, with all the iterations going into the office for someone else to eat. When I changed jobs one of my old coworkers told my husband, "tell Sarah we miss her." Then they added, "and we really miss her cakes."
Shortly thereafter I married my husband and we honeymooned in Hawaii. I created the toffee originally as an homage to that gorgeous state, as it is the only state that has the correct climate to grow vanilla (although it does not do so commercially); and sugar and macadamias are two of its largest exports. (Someday I will find a use for those heavenly pineapples too). The precision required for sugar work was even more intriguing than the cakes and cookies, although I love them all.
The most fun I have is creating unique products, confections with flair. I think that salt, as an ingredient, is woefully underrated and can successfully pique a flavor without seeming salty at all. I see no reason why truffles should be limited to chocolates and sandwich the ganache between cookies instead. I like bundt cakes that maintain perfect sliceability but fall apart in your mouth with a texture like velvet. My feeling is this: if one is going to indulge the experience should be so exquisite, the ingredients so good, that it eradicates later regret. It should be completely worth it. To that end all products are made from scratch, to order, with the best ingredients possible. I do not ever use corn syrup, I use no additives or preservatives; instead I have built a selection with ingredients such as sweet cream butter, real cream, honey, sea salt, whole vanilla beans, Penzey's spices, and fresh nuts. One customer told me, “You do not realize how the cake is going to taste by looking at it. I put it in my mouth and could taste the purity of the ingredients.”
So, welcome to Sweet Nothings. Take a moment, look around, email us with any questions. I sincerely hope you enjoy your stay!
PS: So many people have helped Sweet Nothings on the way, and I look forward to continuing to spread some of that sweetness around. Beginning December, 2008, Sweet Nothings will donate three percent of its profits to the National Brain Tumor Foundation, in memory of my father-in-law Larry Thieben. I continue to look for opportunities to donate, if you know of any please email me with the details!
"Confectionery is arguably the most demanding of the culinary arts, requiring a decree of precision and accuracy unequaled in other areas of the kitchen. A batch of confectionary centers is not as forgiving as a batch of bread or cake. When scaling and handling small quantities, slight errors translate as sizeable percentages of the total. In addition to this basic requirement of precision in the amounts of ingredients, confectionery art demands precise handling techniques."
Peter P. Greweling, CMB
"Chocolates & Confections."
"This is heaven."
Owner, Sweet Nothings