Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Special cake for a a special one year old

A very close friends of mine is having a birthday party for their beloved one year old. Zio along with their parents are some people I hold dear to my heart. I have always been there since this baby was brought to this world, a tiny 600grams premmie to the chubby boy that he is now. So, when the mother asked me to make the cake, it's a task I take very seriously. This will be my first baby cake and since this will be a big party, I can go all out. I'm planning to make a baby blocks cake as the centerpiece and also cupcakes. What's more perfect than cupcakes for a kid's party. For the flavour combination, I decided to make chocolate mud cake for the block cake, and chocolate cupcake with cookies and cream cheese frosting. You can never go wrong with chocolate.

If you can think of things that can go wrong in baking and decorating a cake, I have just experienced it all at once when making this cake.
If you think that I didn't think it through enough or plan it enough, you were wrong. I planned the whole thing more than a week in advance starting from getting all the ingredients, the decorating tools also the reference pictures to help me in creating the decoration. I even scheduled the whole thing to the last second. Create the figurines on Monday - Wednesday, bake the cake on Thursday, make the chocolate ganache on Friday night, colour the icing on Saturday morning, decorate the cake on Saturday night and make the cookies and cream frosting for the cupcakes and finally, bake and decorate the cupcakes on Sunday morning just before the party so everything will be nice and fresh. Up until Friday night, everything was on schedule and went according to plan. Even my essay was on schedule I even felt proud of myself for creating the figurines (the first time I ever made one I might add). Not until Saturday morning when the series of disaster began. One, I found out that the essay was 3000 words, not 2000 words as I thought it was. Panic mode: on. And this is not due to my ignorance to the brief, the lecturer have been saying it's 2000 words in class all the time, so I just take her word for it, but the official brief states 3000 words, so to be safe (and it's too late to write an angry email to her asking which is the right one), I decided to aim for 3000. So I have to put my essay first over the cake. Assuring that everything is in place, if I just wake up really early on Sunday, I can finish decorating the cake and the cupcakes. Or so I thought...

Starts off with the ganache not sticking to the cake.. I have worked with chocolate ganache before, but this is the first time this ever happen to me. Have any of you experience the same thing? The ganache is just very oily and paste-y. It's really hard to get it to stick to the cake, and when it's cold, it set hard like a chocolate block, not soft as it should be. So, it's impossible to get that sharp edges on the block cakes. Pressed for time, I just have to live with it. It looked more like a blob than a baby block. Of course, without the ganache having sharp edges, it would be impossible to get it from the fondant. While waiting for the cake to set, I decided to move on to the cupcakes. Another disaster! The cupcake paper I bought yesterday was too big for my cupcake pan. I have moved beyond panic mode to nearly hyper-ventilating. M tried to calm me down by driving me to the homeware store to get some. We stopped to get some coffee in the hope of it calms my nerve a little bit.

When I got home, it only have gotten worst. the blue fondant was too soft to work with, so I tried to fix it by adding some CMC to it. It helped a bit, but it's still very tricky to work with. By this time, M has moved to become my sous chef. Poor him, I was actually turning into Gordon Ramsay in the kitchen. I have seen my version of a mad woman.

Eventhough we were an hour late to the party (hey, we're Indonesian, being on time is not in our blood), we manage to get the cake there in one piece. It still looked cute on display. The proud parents still very impressed. Thank God for the figurines, it manages to make the block cake still cute. I ended up not putting the block cake on top of the cupcake tower, because it was too heavy.
I need a lot more practice with fondant decorating. Hopefully I can be a lot better at it. Just glad it's all over, and I manage to finish my essay on time. This essay has been a wake up call for me. The very reason why I was done with being a student. Only 3 more months to go till I graduate. I think I'm going to take 2 days off after easter. I really need to unwind after a very stressful week.

1 comment:

  1. I have had similar disaster experiences when school and baking dramas collide! It's so upsetting and I totally understand. :)