Saturday, 26 December 2009

Wedding cake no.2

Only 2 weeks post HK trip and it was back on another plane to the Emerald Isle to make wedding cake number 2, this time, for JD's brother. In hindsight, all I can say now was that I had a shedload amount of beginner's luck when I made my 1st wedding cake for my brother's wedding in September!! Everything that could go wrong with this cake went wrong, starting from the word go......
  • Due to me not checking train times and trains running at less than a snail's pace on a Sunday, I missed my flight back 10 minutes! Luckily, I managed to buy myself a new ticket for the next flight but sod's law, this flight got delayed, which meant losing time on making the actual cakes. 
  • Making the actual physical cakes (my forte on the previous outing) turned out to be my biggest nightmare - instead of making 6 (2 per tier), I ended up making 10.... or was it 12?? Big problem with the cakes collapsing - I think it could have been due to my overzealous opening of the oven to check if everything was OK, but the final cakes still had a slight problem despite me not going anywhere near the oven. Very embarrassing for a pastry chef and something I will need to do more research on.....
  • Making sugarflowers turned out to be more time-consuming than I had anticipated so there was no time to make leaves. I tied all the flowers into a posie and separated with cream ribbon (not enough of the one width so had to make do with whatever I had, another problem when you are making cakes but having to bring materials from abroad)
  • Contrasting ribbon colour and flowers look great but a bit of a problem when you need to colour the flowers and some of the dust colour rubs off on the flowers....eeek! 
  • Found myself under the weather all week and had the full house of viruses/bugs - sore throat, chest infection, tickly cough, runny nose.....oh, and a dental checkup to see if there was anything wrong with a filling resulted in 3 visits to the dentist for further fillings plus the most painful teeth clean I have ever had in my life!!
  • Head must've had a loose screw when I ordered some materials for the cake as I ordered the wrong size cake-box for the largest tier??? Doh!! Luckily, there was a cake shop in town from where I was able to buy the right size cake-box, a close shave. 
  • The cake was made on time and JD then came to collect me and cake to bring over to the wedding venue......out in the sticks of West Ireland, oops....I meant Kerry!! :) As luck would have it, traffic was abominable and roads were full of potholes so I was keeping my fingers crossed that the cakes would remain unscathed. We dropped the cake off to the the hotel where the reception would take place the night before; some of the pearl icing had fallen off on the journey but managed to repair it with a little edible glue.
After the cake had been delivered safely, I then told the hotel staff that I would be back the following day to set up the cake so they didn't need to worry about bringing a 3-tier cake up to the reception room. My "icing on the cake" moment with this cake would come later when I returned to the the hotel after the church ceremony to find that all cakes and sugarflowers had disappeared from the cold room where I had left them the night before. Cue minor panic attack.....I was then brought up to the reception room where, much to my surprise/annoyance/majorly f**cked-offness that some twat, in their infinite/lack of wisdom decided that they would set up the wedding cake themselves?! At this point, I was so angry that I could barely speak and demanded to know who had done this when I had specifically said that I would look after it? After what seemed like a bloody eternity, some numpty came out and admitted that she had set it up.......apparently, nobody had passed on my message last night.....numpty no. 2 appeared and said that she would take full responsibility for what had happened. As I said before, I was so pissed off that I really didn't know what to say but now thinking back, this was what I should've said:
  • WTF? Do you think the cake looks set up the way you've stacked it?? 
  • Why does the cake board look bare? That's because there's no ribbon around it?
  • Do the edges where the cakes have been stacked looked finished? Again, NO RIBBON!!
  • Have you made sure that the cakes are perfectly centred when stacked?
  • Is the "best side" of the cake facing the front?
  • Where have some of the pearls gone? Obviously, you don't know cos you didn't make the cake or particularly cared when it did fall off either cos its now stamped onto the carpet. 
  • Sure, you can take full responsibility but are you going to go off and make me a replica cake now that some of the ivory icing has been stained with red dust colour since your incompetent staff did not know that the colouring of the flowers can rub off?
  • Oh yeah, I can tell you when the cake will be ready for photos but you know would've been ready a long time ago if you hadn't f**cked around with it in the first place??
To some people, it might seem as though I have gone a bit OTT with my rant but this is a reflection of how serious I am when I've been given the responsibility to make a cake for the most important day of my "client's" lives. Nothing short of perfect will cut it, I'm afraid. It took me at least 3-4 hours to "cool off"(!) - the cake did look pretty good in the end and the other important thing was that everyone who tasted it liked it a lot. My only regrets were that there were no leaves in the bouquet and that the colour of the roses were not quite right. I really hope that my 2 efforts in 2009 will be good enough to land me some work experience at a cake decorator next year - fingers crossed!! :)

    No comments: