I'm not feeling my best as I type this because I went to a Chinese doctor for my sprained knee (partly an old injury because of touch rugby days) few days back when the doctor told me it would recover in 3 days but yesterday I accidentally knocked it again..and this means the one week hiatus from exercising has extended. Oh wells. No more running/swimming for more than a week is going to kill me. To make things worse, the heat these days is unbearable, it made my nights longer than usual because my old air conditioner has died on me (what a time) and I kept waking up in the middle of the nights finding it hard to fall back into deep sleep.
Looking at the bright side I have more time to settle the stuff and details of my internship which is happening in about 1 month's time. Don't ask me how I am feeling, for someone who has never travelled into the States (and has been such a big fan of it), and is going to stay there for 3 months, my heart is jumping out at the thought of it.
I thought too, it would be a good time for me to share about the first 5 tier wedding cake a couple has entrusted me to do. I don't know how it will feel for other wedding cake makers, but this is the first time I'm doing the 'real deal'. I have received a handful of emails, which resonates deeply with how I felt at the start of the year when I started TheCakeIssue from scratch. I haven't been able to answer those emails mainly because everyone's situation is different, I find it hard to give advices on how you guys should do. So instead, I have decided that I will do a post soon, summarising all that I have been through, addressing misunderstandings people have in my industry of work and also the take-aways from Jordan Belfort's seminar which helped me a lot, hopefully it will be of some help to you guys too ;)
Now, back to this 5 tier cake.
Weddings, is probably one of the biggest events in a woman's life and I believe they want it to be the most perfect day; from choice of gown, to dates, to event venue, to photoshoots, to a lot more...and of course what would relate to me most, the wedding cake.
This year marks the first year I (unofficially) graduated from my university and stepped into my own small working world, taking orders from friends and all. Gradually, and unknowingly I started getting exposed to events and weddings (which I never thought I would be able to do so, so soon), interacting with clients and even getting enquiries from companies I never never dare to dream of, everything felt like a dream come true for me. To professionals or expert cake decorators to be exact, this 5 tier cake is nothing or probably the easiest they can think of, staking cakes of the same height, staying on the safe side of similar colour scheme for each tier...it goes on. I'm saying this because I have came across wild designs that awe me. I would love to try those one day.
But at this moment I want to take a chance to pat on my back for my first successfully stacked cake on the wedding venue itself; I think this applies to anyone doing wedding decor, dessert tables & such, it is always a stressful prior stage. Wedding planners, feel the same? I think I am addicted to staking tall cakes now!
Opening an email which stated something like 'I need a wedding cake to feed 200 pax' almost made me fall off the chair. This was when the bride-to-be approached me. One, I have never done a wedding cake that would be placed right smack on the stage where the newly weds would cut & two, I have never done a cake that is going to feed more than 80 pax! But, wanting to challenge myself, discussions went on and the bride was looking at a peachy, victorian theme with specially requested sugar peonies. All these ideas of quilt, pearls, victorian lace and gold magically float through my mind; we had quite a few changes to the cake draft before we settle on the final piece. It would be much easier a job if many people work together for this cake, but I only had me to do it. Plainly rolling out those fondant to cover a 16" cake made me pespire like I ran for a distance. Not to mention those sugar flowers which I painstakingly roll, cut and assemble each petal individually.
Then, onto the flavours. The top tier (6") is my favourite chocolate recipe, frosted with salted caramel meringue buttercream, 2nd top tier (9") is a Nutella hazelnut cake frosted with dark chocolate ganache and a 12" cake as the middle tier; Madagascar vanilla bean cake with lemon meringue buttercream. and yes, the bottom 2 tiers are dummies; perfect for people who wants a tall looking cake but do not have so much to feed;) & if you have noticed, I have stayed very loyally to these flavours, in the midst of exploring and experimenting new flavours, meringue buttercream and chocolate ganache will never change as a frosting. Why not fresh cream? Fondant are very choosy; given its heavy weight that is going to cover the cake, you know fresh cream is never going to work. I started my days of fondant cake decorating using american buttercream but little did i know that, that was the worst decision I have made. They are nothing but sweet, sweet, very sweet bites of sugar bits in it. Worst. Decision. Ever.
After working on it on years, I slowly get to discover meringue buttercream which is perfectly light and the best frosting for fondant cakes. Ganache? Australians love it. They love sharp edges too, other countries usually do not do that. THEY GANACHE ALL THEIR FONDANT CAKES! But I have also come to love using ganache under my marshmallow fondant ;) Lovely texture they will give. Not to mention, lovely taste too, any chocolate haters?
All in all, I'm glad that so much work calls for so much satisfaction when it is all put together. After assembling it, I took a step back and a minute to appreciate the work I have worked so hard for, and my heart swelled. A few days later, the couple's comments on TheCakeIssue's Facebook page moved me.
Thank you Paul & Helen, again, from the bottom of my heart, it is overflowing with gratitude; it doesn't sound cheesy saying it anymore because of how much truth is behind it. Now it excites me to work on taller tier cakes, ready to rock and roll' more wedding cakes in time to come!!! ;) But first, internship.