2 Years of Wendling & Boyd | Vanilla Black Tea Pudding Cakes

Guys! We did it!

It has been two years of Wendling & Boyd. I have no idea where to start. I have a lot to cover today. So let's getting cracking ( I didn't mean for the baking pun )

Two years ago W&B was forged out of a dark time of my life. I was back at home, away from ever single bit of culture that I had when I was in Grand Rapids for my first year of college. It was a self explorative time in a young man's life that needed to happen but I'd never go back to it. This little niche in the blogging world became a place where I could document my coffee visits and to the cities that I traveled to when I had the time. I even remembered doing creative photoshoots that were inspired by music videos. Oh the days of travel and silly photoshoots...

Wendling & Boyd has been many things. From different editing styles, to different photoshoots, it was something to get my creativity out into the world. But now it has evolved into this "THING" that no one would think a small farmer's boy would start. This feeling that I have now about my blog is otherworldly. Sometimes when I get emails, I still think I'm dreaming. Sometimes it's hard to stay humble in a world like this but I never let the that side of blogging phase me because that's not who I am. I love what I do and want to continue making relationships between local people: coffee, craft food, local goods, and you guys who have been following me for these two years. I literally cant thank you guys enough for what this world has shown me. It has helped me in more ways than one. But there are a special few who really need to thanked:

One of the biggest influences was my internship at Damn Handsome. Last summer completely changed my world. Jarrett and Bridget really showed me this world of makers along with learning how to style through actually doing it has really made me love what I do. Damn Handsome is about making a connection with locals and you know how that has become a motif of what the blog is about. Thanks to them, I have a deeper appreciation to the makers world, and hey I came out of it with so many wonderful friends. Cheers to you guys! Thank you for the amazing summer!

The next thank you goes to the Foster Coffee community. Whenever I had to escape the city when things went extremely wrong, I went on long drives and always found myself escaping to the east side of the state. Whenever I would drive, I'd endlessly make my way to Foster. The Foster community has always treated me well and heck! Along with Kristin, Andrea, Sarah, and I started the #MichiganBloggerMixer events. I remember that night ever so vividly, and I can't wait for the next one on October 22nd. Here's to you guys! You guys make a mean cortado, and you're all amazing <3

I want to thank my family, yes this includes my friends. People think there's this barrier between friends and family, but I've always been someone who always thought friends were family because I've had so few when I was young. Now living in Grand Rapids, that number has grown immensely. I know that 12 year old Tyler would never think that I would be here today writing to you guys. Surviving a lot of traumatic experiences, suicide, and a lot of other dark days, I'm here to thank my loving family as a whole. You guys mean the world to me and I would never give you up.

And finally! I want to thank all of you guys. You guys have really helped me realize my dream and I can't thank you guys enough. So, in celebration...I decided to make a cake...uhm...actually they're individual cakes: 

I decided to make something simple that Grandma Wendling would make. She would always be making angel food cake with jello in the middle. With not being a fan of either of those things, I took inspiration and decided to use the flavor notes of angel food along with changing out the jello for pudding. I made all of this from scratch as she would and let me tell you...I'm craving one right now as I'm sitting at school waiting for a meeting. Let's get cracking ( okay I need to stop... )

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:Ingredients for the Vanilla Black Tea Cake :

1 1/2 Cup Flour 

1 1/2 Tsp Baking Powder 

1/4 Tsp Salt

1/2 Cup Butter

1 Cup White Sugar 

2 Eggs 

1 Tsp Vanilla 

1/2 Cup Whole Milk

3 Tbs Loose Leaf Black Tea ( I used " The Queen's Guard" from Bellocq)

: Recipe :

Step 1: Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit 

Step 2: In a large mixing bowl, combine your dry ingredients ( flour, baking powder, and salt)

Step 3: With a mixer, beat in your butter 1/4 tbs at a time until the batter has the consistency of clumpy sand. 

Step 4: Still using your mixer beat in your sugar in 1/4 cup intervals until combined.

Step 5: Then, incorporate the eggs separately until the mixture is combined. 

Step 6: Set aside 

Step 7: Go over to your stove with a small saucepan.

Step 8: Turn to low heat, adding your milk and tea.

Step 9: Let brew for 6 minutes and then take it off of the stove to cool.

Step 10: When cooled strain the tea into a small container.

Step 11: When strained add the milk and vanilla to your cake batter 

Step 12: Grab a 9x9 baking dish. Butter and flour the entire pan so that the cake doesn't stick.

Step 13: Pour batter into pan and bake for 30-35 minutes.

Step 14: When finished baking, let cake cool on a cooling wrack or a cutting board 

: Ingredients for Vanilla Pudding :

3 Cups Whole Milk

1/2 Cup White Sugar 

3 Tbs Flour 

3 Egg Yolks ( Save the whites for your post workout snack)

1 Tbs Vanilla

A Pinch of Salt

: Recipe :

Step 1: Turn your stove to medium to high heat 

Step 2: In a medium sized saucepan, add your milk and sugar 

Step 3: Stir until you cant feel the gritty-ness of the sugar at the bottom of the pan 

Step 4:When it starts to scalled add your egg yolks, flour, and salt.

Step 5: Stir constantly until thick. Make sure you get the bottoms and sides because the pudding will stick to the pan.

Step 6: When fully thick, take off the stove and add your vanilla

Step 7: Let cool in a pipping bag in the refrigerator for an hour

: Assembly :

Step 1: Along with your pudding, take a serated knife over to your cake.

Step 2: Cut medium sized circles into the cake.

Step 3: Pop out the circle cakes and take away the access ( or eat it like I did )

Step 4: With your pudding being in a piping bag, pipe out the pudding onto each cake.

Step 5: Place onto a serving tray and serve to your friends and family 

I'm sitting here on the eve of W & B's birthday, listening to the humming and the noises of the city, letting the peace take my mind over and all I can say is that I'm extremely thankful for everyone who has been on this journey with me. You guys are all amazing and I don't know what I would do without you. Here's to many more years of creating a united community of creatives, artists, chefs, local makers, and who ever wants to be apart of this amazing world. 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY WENDLING & BOYD

Much love

-Ty