Monday, October 19, 2009
Ever since the near-disaster of the last cake I made, I've been anxious to pull out the ol' piping bags and re-prove my worth as a cake decorator to myself.
So, I volunteered to make the cake for the baby shower of a friend this past weekend.
The night before the shower I received a call from one of the party-planners informing me that the guest of honor was most-likely not going to be there (due to the fact that she was already in labor) and based on that fact there were a lot of out-of-town family guests that were probably no longer going to attend either.
So, the planner advised, if I hadn't already made the cake I may want to scale it down a little.
Well, the cakes were made--not decorated--but baked. (There's only so much time in a day you know!) So I just carried on with the original plan for my cake that was meant to provide for around 50 guests.
I love the baby-blocks look. I think it turned out very convincingly. And to tell the truth this design is a simplified version of some earlier ideas I had had.
Many friends at the shower were impressed and asking about the time it took to pipe the design on the cake. The crazy thing it--piping the blocks didn't take very much time at all. I mean it did, but that is such a small portion of the whole cake-making project. So for fun I thought I'd try to figure out a break-down of the whole process.
Baking cakes (cutting parchment to line pan, spraying pans/parchment, mixing cakes, pouring cakes baking cakes) 90 minutes
(Cooling cakes doesn't figure into my "work time" but cannot be left out of the whole "project time" 60 minutes)
First batch of frosting and assembling cake (Mixing frosting, juicing strawberries to flavor the filling frosting, cutting of the "domed" tops of the cakes to lay flat, centering first cake on board, spreading the filling frosting evenly over first layer, getting Jeremy's help to flip the second cake centered on top) 40 minutes
Second batch of frosting and icing entire cake (Mixing frosting, testing for consistency, spreading across entire cake without pulling up cake crumbs and leaving a nice smooth surface to work on) 40 minutes
Last batch of frosting and filling piping bags (Mixing frosting, separating out one third, mixing first color, trimming piping bag, fitting with coupler and tip, rubber-banding open end, repeat for two more colors and bags) 40 minutes
Piping design and lettering on cake (repetitive and makes your hand hurt, but not "hard") 60 minutes
So the grand total for the cake is 3 1/2 hours. Not including the hour to cool the cakes and not including the extra time and interruptions that living in a house with two little boys brings on.
I really enjoy doing the cakes and seeing the finished product, it makes me feel good. As I said to a friend of mine there, I really make the cakes for myself. I appreciate the sense of satisfaction and the aesthetically pleasing nature of the finished products. I think nice cakes always add to the ambiance of a good party!