Tuesday, June 29, 2010

mission "almost" impossible

When I decided to switch career, I knew that my life would be different. My work is fast paced, long hours, and very physical. It might sounds undesirable to some, but I actually embrace all that. But after long and exhausting days at work, baking and making cakes on the side doesn't sound so appealing anymore. That's why there's been a lack of updates in this blog, since I haven't been experimenting as much in my kitchen and have been avoiding all cake requests this year. Until this one came along....

This cake was for a very sweet and bubbly couple, T+S. We've talked about this cake since last year, before I even got into this internship. After many discussions, the bride showed me a picture of a building that she really likes in NY. She asked if I can build a cake with a similar offset structure. It's got lots of stuff that I have never done before: square fondant cakes, towering five tier, offset structure, delivery to Napa.... sure, why not! ^_^

Anyway, as the day got closer, things started to get even more hectic. Work's been crazy, and I tried to squeeze in cake decorating any time I could possibly find. Not to my surprise, all my time estimates were wrong. In reality, everything took longer than I predicted. But luckily, I was able to pull it off in the nick of time. It wasn't my best work. As a matter of fact, I was quite disappointed with all the flaws I could see in the cake. But perhaps that's what happen to your eyes after seeing so many strips all night long! ;-)

A few lessons I've learned from this cake:
- Never freeze a cake the day before you decorate it. Especially NOT in the blast freezer. The condensation will cause your cake to sweat. However, if you do put your cake in the blast freezer because you were so dead tired and could not find any space in the fridge and just want to go home and sleep.... you can save the cake by covering it really well with suran wrap, and letting it thaw for a few hours in the fridge.
- Always, always, knead your fondant until it's elastic and pliable no matter how sore and tire your arms are. Otherwise it'll rip on you. However, if it does rip and your cake is white.... some royal icing can come to the rescue :-).
- Only give two options: delivery or pickup. My poor heart can't take having somebody else drive the cake, and finding that the stacked cakes have shifted from one side of the box to the other, and then having to repair it. Luckily no major damage, except for some broken pieces of stripes.
- Know that there is no such thing as perfection :).

All in all, this cake has been a crazy experience. Almost mission impossible. But now I can say "mission accomplished" ... flaws and all ^_^