1/16/2012

Epic cake collapse!


My dad's retirement party was this past Saturday. I was in charge of the invitations and the cake. I have made plenty of cake in my day. I have been hired to decorate birthday cakes, farewell cakes, wedding cakes, shower cakes...the list goes on. I was getting quite a bit of cake business before I went back to college and then decided I didn't have time for it. I still do the occasional cake for a family member or friends.

I just received this beautiful Kitchen Aid stand mixer for Christmas. (Love it!) This cake stuff should be a breeze with my new handy dandy mixer! I'm excited for an excuse to use it!

Then, a series of events led up to the awfulness that my day turned into. I couldn't find any of my large cake boards. Funny thing, that when you make cake for people and they can't return your boards. It has been so long I don't even know who to blame. So I had a big round board, I thought, no problem I will just make a big round layer cake! Issue solved. I got up bright and early Saturday morning and mixed up my batter. My mixer did not disappoint!

By noon, both layers, each half white and half chocolate were cooling. I mixed up the icing and some vanilla creme filling. Like Twinkies filling! I was so thrilled with myself. First cake comes out of the pan like a dream. I spoon on the filling. It is very yummy. I flip out the second cake and the chocolate breaks apart from the white cake. "NOOO!" I hurriedly put it on the bottom layer as the chocolate also breaks in half. "Crap." Alrighty, no worries. Things like this have happened before. You "glue" it together with icing and no one will know. I hold this cake together with icing and let it dry. I am thinking I am in the clear.

I. Was. Wrong.

As I went to put the final layer of icing on the chocolate began to crumble. The more I tried to fix it the worse it became. I took a deep breath and willed myself not to cry. I had been in the kitchen ALL DAY. I couldn't admit defeat. I decided now is as good as time as any to learn how to make marshmallow fondant. I could roll out some fondant and cover this mess and still be okay. After a trip to the grocery store for three bags of marshmallows and a bag of powdered sugar, I was a kneading machine. Until I about collapsed myself. First batch turned out great but wasn't big enough to cover the 14 inch cake. The second batch turned out crumbly. Too much powdered sugar. We added shortening. We added water. No improvement. The husband took over. The time came and went for when we were supposed to leave. I declared the time of death as 4:02.


The party was at 6pm and over an hour drive away. I did what any girl does when there is a death in the family, you call your mom. Mom, already busy with decorating the venue, tells me to take care of it. A couple phone calls and a 50 minute drive back and forth to Springfield, we are in possession of four Sara Lee sheet cakes. We arrive 50 minutes late to the party. Exhausted. The guests ate less than half the cake we bought. My mom says "We probably didn't even need cake." I could have melted through a crack in the floor. My whole day completely wasted. I was ready to stick a fork in the day and sleep. So we left early and that is what I did.

Unfortunately, this huge cake is still sitting in my kitchen. There is talk of going Office Space on it in the back yard. I just keep pretending it doesn't exist and ignoring it. I'll be like Miss Havisham and have petrified cake in my kitchen when I am an old lady.

I am amazed that I only shed one tiny little tear.

I also announced my official retirement from making any kind of decorated cakes. I will make cupcakes. So if you need cupcakes, I'm your girl. Nice Wilton cake pans for sale!

Love,
B

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