Well, I finally delivered my first official cake that was actually commissioned by someone not related to me nor is the cake for anyone I know except for the aforementioned person (Sara). It's a big moment for me and I know this because of the incessant worrying and fretting I have done over the last 72 hours and will continue to do until I hear from her later today. It's a baby shower cake and I went pretty traditional as far as having it look baby-ish but not too cutesy and I'm happy with the outcome, especially the duck I made out of fondant.
This is also the first cake I've done in a long while that wasn't covered in fondant and let's just say it's probably going to be my last for a while. You see, a 90 degree July afternoon and a cake covered in buttercream actually made with BUTTER and not sick-ass Crisco are not exactly a match made in heaven and while fondant isn't immune to melting or anything, it's just WAY more stable and doesn't shift and plop around as much. The car ride went okay, I held it while Jeff drove but like I said, it's WARM out and I was anxious to get it inside and into the AC. We made it to Sara's house in one piece and she seemed really happy with the outcome so I felt big sigh of relief. That relief was short lived because as we stood in her kitchen, which was a bit warm, I noticed the cake began to bulge out a bit and I was soon in crisis mode because the warm temp was softening all the icing and it was starting to sink. I don't like to refrigerate fondant because it can get sticky and gooey and I had made some fondant decorations, but we were at a crisis level orange and I didn't want the cake to collapse so in to the fridge it went. I told her to keep an eye on it and I am crossing every finger and toe that it holds up okay. I read a LOT about the difficulty that cake decorators face regarding warm weather but so far this was my first experience with it and now I know what they mean. NOT FUN. The cake was tiered and it was pretty good sized, so I also had my first experience in doweling a cake, which was easier than I thought so do but still nerve wracking in delivery. The only thing making me feel better is remembering the Food Network cake challenge we watched last night (is that all they show anymore?) and watching veteran professional cake decorators with a bajillion years experience having their cakes fall apart or melt like mine did. One dude was left with only a head. BUT, I had to start somewhere right, and while it probably won't be remembered as my finest hour, it was my first professional cake and I did my best. I'll update any carnage or **fingers crossed** happiness that will undoubtedly come later today.
Sara just called and HALLE-frickin-LUJAH! Well, sorta. Apparently there was an issue on the ride over and the bottom layer shifted a bit in transport but Sara was able to make the save and it seemed that it all worked out. She said they all liked the cake and she got many questions as to where she got it (yay!), in fact, I got a pseudo-wedding cake order for THIS SATURDAY out of the deal, which I'm going to squeeze in between work and the George Michael concert in Chicago on Wednesday. This cake will be Texas-themed so get out yer spurs pardner! Thanks Sara!