Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Meet One of our Bakers, Karen Burnish!

I fell into becoming a Cake Decorator. I did not really plan it.  After becoming a certified chocolatier while living in coastal NC, I began to sell my truffles, bon bons, and other creations to the public and through a couple of local businesses. 
    After several months of referring potential clients to local bakers, I decided to learn baking and decorating for myself, and increase my market.   Living near the beach, of course, most of the cakes were ocean-inspired and bedecked with candy shells, starfish, and sugar sand.  I had taken a couple of local cake courses, and also traveled out-of-state to learn from my favorite decorator ever.  Not only did I learn decorating techniques from Colette Peters, I learned how to run my business, Karen's Just Dessert, with heart and passion.   Colette was and still is very inspirational in her style and personality to me.
    Due to my husband's change in career, we moved to a "military town" in NC, and my business model changed a bit to suit the economy and needs there.   Additionally, due to several personal losses in a short time, I closed my business for a bit.  After several months, I found some solace in decorating again.  I began to provide free cakes for the local Wounded Warriors program, and also began the Happy Birthday Project.  Each month, I would choose local residents or organizations I found extraordinary and provide traditional or over-the-top birthday cakes. 
    When we moved to the Charleston area in 2011, I disbanded my business.  My passion is now volunteering, painting, and making cakes for folks and organizations dear to me.  Not to mention, I really like having my weekends back!

 1. What are your favorite ingredients to use? Chocolate, fresh fruit, and sugar.

 2. Celebrity chef you'd like to work with:  Colette Peters.  I had the amazing opportunity to take one of her cake decorating classes years ago, and she still remains my favorite cake artist.
3. Cupcake you are best known for: Decorated wedding cupcakes, particularly those with handmade chocolate toppers.

4. What was the first thing you've ever baked?  Strata.  It's a family Christmas tradition.

5. What do you look forward to at Cupcake Camp Charleston this year?   I had so much fun at my first Cupcake Camp Summerville this past year. I look forward to seeing what great creations everyone brings!

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