Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Adventures of a Cake Decorator

Today I spent the day making icing for a wedding cake I'm doing this weekend. A whole day? Yes, a whole day. It takes that long to make seven (7) batches, get drinks, change diapers, take toddlers to the bathroom, change wet jeans on little boys who play with the water hose, put socks and shoes on (numerous times), read stories, cook meals, grind babyfood, rock fussy babies, well....you get the picture.

To make a very long story short...it was all for naught and seven (7) batches of icing have to be pitched! It hurts. That's 12 lbs of Crisco, 25 lbs of powdered sugar, and a lot of work for nothing. I think even my little mixer cried.

Tomorrow I start baking: the cake has eleven (11) different cakes which means twenty-two (22) different layers and many hours of baking. I should be able to finish baking on Thursday and then remake the icing so that I can decorate Friday. This cake has to travel two hours in my trunk to Shelbyville, IN on Saturday morning. The cake is to be white with pink calla lilies and iridescent butterflies. I've included a picture of the flowers before I "painted" them pink. It's going to be a really nifty cake but right now I don't want to think about it so I'm going to bed.

I love decorating cakes but there are days that I think I'm crazy. Last week I had a birthday cake for Michael Lambeth (dinosaur picture). I went to the store that morning to pick up the last minute ingredients and came home to preheat the oven and get started. The first glitch was...I could find no chocolate cake mix! Nowhere in my stock of cake mixes was there a chocolate one. I was not going to run back to the store so I decided to improvise. There was a 1/2 of a chocolate mix that was left over from graduation cake week (BTW: I forgot to take pictures of my graduation cakes this year except for the Hawaiian themed one), and I had a French vanilla white cake mix that I though could have some baking cocoa added to it and it would be fine. Mixed everything together, reached for the baking cocoa and WHAT!!!! none to be found! Somehow I managed to allow my home to be depleted of its chocolate stash. The only thing I had was...hot chocolate mix. Hey, it worked! Tasted a little odd/different but it did in a pinch.


dorcas said...

You have my sympathies, over and over. I used to think that I would like to decorate cakes. Ha Ha! That dream for sure is out the window now. I will GLADLY pay you or whoever else loves to do it for my cakes. I hope your next 7 batches of icing go much better.

Charity said...

Oh, Marianne- those calla lilies are drop-dead gorgeous! You amaze me! And I hope the little mixer didn't cry alone- sobbing for at least a day or two is perfectly acceptable in those situations. Yuck. And the other cakes look awesome, too, by the way...

~Heather~ said...

WOW! POOR YOU! I hate it that you had to throw out all of that icing! I cannot imagine making wedding cakes, nor hauling them to Indiana. Go Girl! I'm glad you like to do that though, it's a real talent from God.

God bless you, and I hope all turns out well, which I'm sure it will!!!!

Love, Heather =)

Martha C said...

Ouch! My heart really goes out to you. I cannot imagine the frustration.
If I ever live near you again, I will be more than happy to "get rid" of some of your icing again! :-) I still shock people when I tell them how I donwed nine cups of icing from you within several weeks.

Angie said...

Oh Marianne, that's awful!! I would have cried too! Pretty neat how you improvised the hot chocolate for the cocoa! I'll try to say a prayer for you on this wedding cake! I know it will turn out to be GORGEOUS!! Those cake were TOO cute!! Keep up the good work!

Philip Brown said...

Dorcas: You'd love decorating cakes 0 just stay away from wedding cakes - they're stressful.
Charity: sighhh....read my confession of 6/13.
Heather: hmmm... I don't think buttercream icing would hold up very well where you are. I'd have to improvise on the icing a bit.
Martha: I would have gladly donated all of the icing to you and a bag of pretzels to go with it but it was really nasty. Imagine icing with an overtone of gasoline in it.
Angie: Make sure you're praying from 7:00 to 9:00 Saturday morning :o)