Friday, November 12, 2010

Saved the Best for Last

I think I have a problem. I go through an endless cycle of getting bored from not having enough things to do, and getting stressed out from having too much things to do. I never seem to be able to find a balance. When I don't have any cake or dessert projects on the side, I would say "I'm so bored!!". Then I went and got myself a cake order or a dessert project. Then I would say "OMG! What was I thinking! This is too much! Why am I doing this to myself??". It's sort of predictable that way that it's just a matter of time before I start getting myself overworked again after being stressed out from an exhausting cake/dessert project.

Nothing stresses me out more than wedding cakes. With desserts, I can kinda take my time in making them. If I mess up in one of them, I can simply go to plan B and do a different dessert. But with wedding cakes, it's all or nothing! The pressure is on since there's no room for failure. There's no plan B since the cake is based on an agreed upon design. Everything has to be perfect, because you know that a wedding cake is the number two most photographed item in a wedding. Number one being the bride herself!

This last wedding cake I made was the biggest cake and the farthest delivery I've ever made. I agreed to do this cake because it's for one of my girlfriends at work. She's such a sweet girl, I could never say no to her ;-). Her wedding was at Paso Robles. When she first told me where the wedding was gonna be, I thought that it would only take about an hour to get to Paso *sigh*. It's actually about three hours long when there's no traffic. And since her wedding was at the labor day weekend, sure enough... there was traffic :-P.

Luckily, the cake was mostly made of dummy. Since we knew the delivery would take forever, we decided to have the real cake as sheet cakes. The only real part on this cake was the bottom tier. It was still quite stressful though, since the flowers were so fragile. The flowers on the cake matched her wedding flowers, which were hydrangea and calla lilies. I've never made either one before... They were fun to make, but very time consuming and oh so fragile. Every bumps we encountered made my heart skipped a To make it even more intense, it was SOO HOT that day and the wedding was out door. I think it was about 95F that day.

Everything went well though. Despite the traffic, I managed to get there about an hour before the wedding, leaving me enough time to set up. We left the cake in an air conditioned room until the weather cools down a bit. Some of the hydrangea broke, but I had enough spare to cover up. And what's most important is that the bride loves the cake!

So there it is. My last wedding cake.

The last one until the next one, that is... Knowing me, I think I'm still gonna do wedding cakes, as long as they're not big (max three tier) and the venue is within 30 minutes from where I live. I think that way I can be creative and still stay within my comfort zone ^_^.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Tea's Birthday Bash

The past few months have been real busy. Soon after my last post, we actually did another Honey & Tea event. It was back in August; a dinner bash to celebrate Tea's birthday.

I was really busy with work at the time. Adjusting to my new responsibilities at work was proven to be quite challenging. Things were a lot busier than before, and having to be the one responsible for the pastry production was really really hard to get used to. It's one thing to organize my own day, but having to organize other people's work day is quite challenging. Especially since it's hard to estimate how much time is needed to accomplish a certain task since it's different from person to person. Anyway, somehow I managed to squeeze in some time to prep for Tea's birthday bash. This one was much bigger than the first one. We had about 70 people coming. Thinking back, I really don't know how we pulled it off.

We made some of the same desserts we made last time and some new ones. The macs are the keeper for sure. Matcha macs got as much love as they did the last time.

Instead of the chocolate raspberry verrines, I decided to make white chocolate mousse with rose dacquoise and raspberry sauce. It didn't work out as well as I hoped as the white chocolate mousse really overpowered the raspberry and rose flavors.

I also got a really great deal for mini ramekins from a local store. I used them to make these mini vanilla creme brulee. They are so cute and so yummy!!

Since it was a birthday, I thought it wouldn't be complete without a birthday cake. So I made this simple two tier cake.

It was the fastest I ever assembled and decorated a cake. The cake inside was vanilla chiffon with passionfruit buttercream. The decoration is super simple. I wanted to match the colour of our logo, which are green for Tea and orange/gold for Honey. Since it's Tea's bday, I used green as the colour scheme. The bubbles represent dreams and ideas... large dreams, small dreams. They're just floating around... maybe waiting to be realized? heheh I dunno... it was just a random idea, and it was easy enuf to execute.

The party went really well. I was dead tired even during the party. I'm glad I wasn't the bday girl!! :-P I wouldn't have enough energy left to socialize!