Saturday, June 21, 2008

The great cake debacle

I've made many, many cakes over the past 10 or so years, and never have I had what happened last weekend happen. I've had other problems, so I guess they should be expected every once in a while, but what happened last weekend just stumped me.

Mary had originally asked months before to make a cake for Matt's graduation party only to discover that her mom planned to buy the cake from a local bakery. Since Matt doesn't really care for cake anyway, she changed to order to a decorated cookie.

A few days before the graduation party, she discovered that her mom wasn't getting the cake so she asked if I could do the cake instead. Shouldn't be a problem, I told her. I just needed to go to the supply store to get cake decorations and a box. Then I discovered that the supply store I have used for years closed down. Since these stores are only open during my work hours I had to go during my lunch break and I didn't have time to go to the one I used to use. So, I had to do it on Friday - which is no big deal.

Well, Friday turned into one thing after another. On my way to work it was a nice day so I had all my windows down. Something flew into my eye (even though I had sun glasses on) and so of course my eye closed. I could not open it back up. So I ran off the road just a little - nothing major don't freak out mom - and recovered. I got to work by holding my left eye shut. I went to the bathroom and rinsed it out. It was a bit red and swollen, and watering, but it was open.

During the morning severe thundershowers moved into the area, so it was storming outside when I went to lunch. The supply store I had to go to was in Beavercreek (about 25 miles north) so I got on the highway and the rain started pouring down. People were pulling to the side of the road to wait it out because it was so hard to see the car in front of you. I went slowly along at 15 miles per hour and finally made it there. Their graduation stuff was picked over so I got what I could and got back to work. It had quit raining by the time I started back.

After work I had to go Father's day shopping and get some cake ingredients. By the time I got home, we ate dinner and I just figured I'd relax for a little bit before starting on the cake. It would be easy enough to decorate, the most time consuming thing would be baking them and making the icing. So I asked Allie if she wanted to bake them for me and she did. She made one chocolate and one white. When they were done, I went out to make the icing to discover that the cakes were flat. They had not risen at all. Maybe 1/2 inch thick. I thought it was something Allie did, so I questioned her on it, but she swore she did it right. So I made another one myself. It did the same thing. By that time I was out of cakes to make and it was 2am. I thought about going to the grocery, but I was so tired I couldn't. I figured I could go to GFS the next day and get one of their sheet cakes (without icing) and put my icing on it and decorate it. That was about the only option I had as baking two more cakes was not an option, I would not have time.

I got to GFS and found their cakes. But none of them were sheet cakes without icing. They only had Sara Lee chocolate cakes with chocolate icing. I was desperate. I bought it. I got home and called Mary - gave her the two options that were available. 1. I put white icing over the chocolate icing on the cake I bought and decorate that or 2. I put the yellow and white cakes I made on top of each other to make one cake and decorate that, and bring the chocolate one as is. She choose option #2.

So, I put the yellow cake on top of the white one, and decorated it. I put both cakes in my car and drove them over to her house. When I parked in her driveway, I opened my door and locked the doors (habit) and then didn't know what to do with the keys, so I figured I would just leave them in the car and I put them back in the ignition and got out with the decorated cake. I put it on the hood of my car and went to get the chocolate cake out of the back to find that I had locked myself out of the car. I had, thank goodness, cracked all my windows and we were able to force it down enough for Mary to reach in and unlock the back door.

We opened the chocolate one (which was frozen when I bought it so I left it out to thaw) to find that you were supposed to open it immediately and take the parchment paper off before letting it thaw. We got it off anyway and smoothed the icing down and put some extra decorating stuff on it.

Good thing she choose option 2 because had I opened the chocolate one I would have found that it was impossible to remove it from the cardboard box it was in to decorate it with white icing.

So I left the cakes and went to get ready for the party. I forgot to take any pictures of the cake before leaving it though. It was a simply decorated cake - mostly the things put on it were the decorations. I took a picture when I went back to the party, though. It had already been cut and the diploma and other things had been taken off.

So, here it is. The final cake. Not even close to the best I've done, but it was edible and it tasted good anyway. The chocolate one is in the background. I didn't bother taking a picture of it by itself.



I think I should just retire from making cakes. :)

1 comment:

Barb said...

NOOO!! Don't retire yet!!! I love your cakes, they are always cute and taste great!!! And stories of the mishaps are good for giggles!