Monday, December 30, 2013

The one that got away...

I debated whether to write about this cake that I did back in August for my niece's first birthday because the outcome was less than optimal. The purpose of my blog is to write and share my hobby with others and that includes projects or situations that may be a challenge or that may not be a success. This is one such project.  
One may look at the picture above and wonder what the challenges might have been. Overall it's a pretty cake. My sister-in-law wanted something pink and girly and suggested an ombré cake. She doesn't like fondant very much so I did a frosting-covered layer on the bottom and a fondant-covered layer for the top.  
The ruffled flower was made by cutting about 1-inch wide strips of thinly rolled modelling paste and rolling a modelling stick back and forth along the edges to create a ruffled effect. I was a bit short on time to make this cake as I had been working late and getting ready for a trip overseas. The flower ended up being a tad off-centre. In retrospect I should have been taking a step back to look at the cake after each flower layer to ensure that it was straight or in addition to marking the cake for the outer edge of the flower I could have also marked the centre of the flower. This would have not required a significant amount of extra time and would have ensured a straighter flower. Alas, that wasn't the suboptimal part of this cake project. 
For the ombré rosettes, I used a fairly large star tip. I portioned out just under a third of my batch of frosting and tinted it dark pink. For the next shade of pink, I just added white frosting to the leftover dark pink to get a lighter shade and then repeated for the lightest colour pink. This part was decently problem-free with the exception of some of the edges not being very neat. 
I placed the cake on a fondant-covered board as I usually do, and was annoyed that I managed to get a fingerprint on one side of the board near the front. The cake was placed off-centre to allow room for my niece's name. 

Like many of my other cakes, I placed the board on a cake stand to photograph it. Sometimes to get a good angle, I move the cake around on the table, sometimes I stand on my tiptoes, sometimes I stand on a chair. I had really gotten all of the photos that I needed and then I thought, 'ah, just one more'. I moved the cake stand back to get a better angle. Since I had placed the cake off-centre on the board, the centre of gravity was toward the back. As I pushed the cake stand back, the cake slipped off of the cake stand, and I'm not sure if I froze but everything really did feel like slow motion. The cake slipped onto the table, then slid off of the table and onto the floor. Surprisingly the cake landed upright however the impact of the fall caused the cake to collapse. It was not salvageable. This was not a reality tv show or a bakery where there might be extra staff, buttercream/frosting lying around, extra fondant, extra sponge cake. I had nothing. My husband held me while I sobbed. And then I went into panic mode. There was an hour until the party started but it would take an hour to get there. I thought that maybe I could make another cake and get it there by the time people had finished eating. I sent my husband to the grocery store to get more butter. I called my sister for reinforcements. I turned on the oven to preheat. As I watched the oven climb slowly in temperature, I came to the realization that it would be impossible. I called my husband and told him to forget the butter. I called my sister to tell her not to bother coming over. My husband called his sister to tell her what had happened. I felt awful on the way to the party. I felt awful when I arrived at the party and my niece was wearing a dress that matched the destroyed cake perfectly. It didn't take too long for me to be able to laugh a little about it and thankfully the cake was for family and they were very understanding.

I don't really have a moral to this story. As I am just a hobbyist, it is unrealistic for me to have extra cakes on hand in case something like this happens. Perhaps don't place cakes off-centre on cake boards or be extra careful while taking photos. In the grand scheme of things, it's just a cake. Although if you've ever watched Kings of Pastry, don't tell the MOF hopefuls that it's just sugar. In the end, I was there to celebrate the first year of a wonderful, beautiful, healthy little girl. 


  1. It is a wonderful cake and it shows your article skills. I loved the way you have used fondant. I too do not like much of fondant. You have done a great job. Thank you for the post. let more such post be pouring in.

  2. thanks for sharing this awesome cake ideas I had a culinary project for my final year paper I must admit this web article offered me the best customedwriting writing service

  3. cake is all time my favorite..nice one and color is too good ..

  4. Nice post the shape of this cake is very beautiful , I will also get it for my birthday , thanks for sharing it to buy dissertation online