Anne Schultz spent some of the sweetest moments of her life watching her grandmother work magic in the kitchen. “Mimi would not put anything into the oven until the recipe was just right,” Schultz recalls. “She taught me that if I took pride in the process, the end result would be delicious.”
Sweeter still were the moments she spent in the kitchen with her mother – a master at breaking down complicated recipes – as she developed her own creations.
They were lessons Anne took to heart and eventually put into practice. For more than 30 years, Anne (wife of Regions Commercial Credit’s George Schultz) has been whipping up prized confections in her Nashville shop, Anne’s Cakes, and selling them to individuals and restaurants around town.
But even with the influence of her grandmother and mother, Anne didn’t intend to become a baker. Shortly after graduating from the University of Tennessee with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and a minor in business, she knocked on a lot of doors in hopes of landing a job as a cost-benefit analyst. The opportunity would come in a rather indirect way.
When her job search turned up no leads, she started baking cakes out of her Hillsboro Village condo. The “hobby” took off and soon she was baking cakes for local restaurants. When a local restauranteur offered her space in his commercial kitchen, her business began to grow.
A few years later, another door opened when she was offered a chance to share a commercial kitchen in the Crieve Hall area on Trousdale Drive in Nashville. Fast-forward 25 years and, “It has become instrumental in growing my business profitability,” Schultz says. “Hence, I must add – I’m now a cost-benefit analyst! Goal achieved!”
Anne’s cakes are served at several iconic Nashville restaurants, from Jimmy Kelly’s Steakhouse to Miss Daisy’s Kitchen.
She bakes a variety of flavors, but she is known for her strawberry cake and coconut crème cake. The strawberry is a particular favorite of hers, having taken her years to perfect. “It has fresh strawberries baked into the cake and in the frosting,” she says. “It’s so creamy, and just melts in your mouth.”
Anne’s grandmother and mother, as well as her college education, laid a strong foundation for her business. But the key ingredient to her success, she says, is the people she works alongside.
“I’m surrounded by a wonderful team of ladies who enjoy baking as much as I do,” she says. “They are the true key to any success!”
Heart Shape Chocolate Ganache Cake
“I bake this every Valentine’s Day for my husband, and unfortunately, it is not offered on our menu.
To be festive, bake your favorite chocolate cake in a heart shape, cool, then drizzle my favorite Chocolate Ganache recipe (below) on top of the cake. Serve with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream.”–Anne Schultz
Chocolate Ganache recipe:
(easy to make)
- 8 ounces Hershey’s semi-sweet chocolate chips or Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips
- ½ cup heavy cream
Note: Most recipes will suggest a double boiler. If you do not have access to one, the microwave will do the trick (with patience).
Double boiler method:
Add chips to cream and slowly simmer the water until the chips melt. Use a wire whisk and whisk until smooth.
Add chips to cream in a 2-cup glass bowl. Slowly microwave to melt the chips in 30-second intervals. Once a knife cuts softly through the chips, remove, and use a wire hand whisk to slowly blend until smooth. If it’s a bit too thick, add a few drops of cream to make it smooth.
Pour the ganache over the cake and refrigerate so the ganache firms up on the cake. Ganache can be made a day in advance and will last several days in the refrigerator. You can also dip dry strawberries into the ganache and lay on parchment paper, then refrigerate to firm the chocolate (if the strawberries are damp, the chocolate will not adhere to them). Enjoy!