boonenati Posted 11 Feb 2007 , 11:51am
post #1 of

It all began some 6 or so months ago. It seems one of my cakes caught the eye of a customer at the only bridal expo I ever attended. I received a call from the girl about 3 or so weeks after the expo asking for a quote and to request a tasting. I told her no problems, she just needed to tell me what she was looking for, what style, flavours etc. I just wanted to have some idea of what she was after. She said she wanted something with fresh flowers, that she'd just get them from her florist, and I proceeded to tell her that I didnt use fresh flowers on my cakes. I thought that would be the end of it, and she would look for someone else. But she insisted on coming to see me. That she wanted to speak to her mum and her fiancee and get back to me. I didnt hear anything for weeks, i thought i would never hear from her again, but she did get back to me and made an appointment to come for the tasting. She wanted to taste the caramel and the dark chocolate mudcake. So a date was set.

The tasting went icon_evil.gif . She didnt like the dark mud, and said that the caramel was too sweet. I showed her the different sizes of servings, and she said she wanted coffee serves which is half of the Wilton Wedding serve. It is common here to have dessert served by the reception, and the cake served after dessert with coffee/tea, so it's only a finger serve. Most of the time it's plenty because most people are stuffed full, i think she said they were going to have 4 or 5 courses. She turns to her fiancee and says "Do we really need a cake?" icon_surprised.gificon_eek.gif

Then she tells me how her friend had *one of those fake cakes* at her wedding and the three top tiers were fake and the LARGE base was real cake, and that was what they cut, could she get that cake from her friend and then i'd use it to put it on top of a real cake I would make icon_mad.gif
I was thinking "YEAH SURE. right, no worries NOT", but i said, sure show me the design and then i can give you a quote.

I also told her there was a place that did dummy cakes, if all she wanted was a cake for the photos. But no, she didnt like that idea.

At this point im trying to smile as nicely as i can, and thinking, "Please leave my house and STOP wasting my time"
They go through magazine upon magazine to look for a design, finally they find 4 they want quotes for.

I put together the quotes, they ranged between $450-$1200. I thought i'd never hear back, but i did, and she booked in a time to come and pay a deposit.

She agrees to come over on a Friday night at 7.00pm. At 7.30pm im starting to think something is up, then by 8.45pm, i decide to call her and see what's going on, she replies with "OH I decided to come tomorrow instead" icon_evil.gif My blood started to boil, and i said as politely as I could, "Oh im not home tomorrow or Sunday", there was no way i was going to spend the weekend waiting around for her, that's for sure.
So she makes a time to come over on Monday at 7.00pm. She turns up at around 7.30pm. I make sure i have a contract that states she has to pay for the cake in full 2 weeks before the wedding date. She tells me that i *must* ring her up to remind her, or she'll forget. Ok, no problem.

She wants a cake with choc cigarellos on it. They are the thin type. I can't make them, i can fake the fatter type but not the thin ones. I decide to go on a hunt to buy them. A local store has them at $90 for a 2 pound box icon_eek.gificon_eek.gificon_eek.gif
Im told im going to need 3, i decide to find a wholesaler. I found one, that only has dark ones. In the end i realise im just going to have to make them. I decide to do them the same way i did them for this cake
http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-photo-13457.html

which was with chocolate paste. I make the paste this past Thursday night and started working on it on Friday, it seemed to be too hard, but it soon softened and i started making them with my sugarcraft gun. YIPPEEE!@!!!! something is finally going right. All of a sudden for some reason, the sticks start to come out all horrible and mangled. I realise i have to roll them by hand. I make a few rows, enough to go around the whole base cake.

It's time to cook dinner, cause most of my day is gone (In the middle of it all i got a call from work that stressed me about something gone wrong with a program i'd written, ARGHHH icon_cry.gificon_cry.gif )
I put the cigs in the oven away from the stink that im going to create making a curry for hubby's dinner. I didnt realise the oven was still warm from something or other and my whole day's work ends up in a puddle!! icon_cry.gificon_cry.gif

Ok, nevermind, there is still time to recover i think to myself. I make the darn things again, and put them on the cake, by this time it's 3.00am Saturday, the paste is too soft, and they droop and bend and look atrocious on the cake. Ok, i need to make another batch of paste, but it's time to sleep, im wrecked!!! So i go to bed, and at 7.30am i get a call from work, it's SATURDAY for crying out loud!!! I may have to go in later on. So at this point i decide, i have to CUT my losses and buy those darn $90 cigarellos if they have any. Otherwise i would have to stay up all night in order to get the cake delivered on time on Sunday afternoon.
So i get another call and i get ready to go into work. I am stopped from ruining my chocolate and making it into another batch of useless paste by that call. I ring the cake deco shop and the guy tells me he has HEAPS of cigarellos in white. Yippeeee, my life is SAVED!!! I decide to go past there and buy them on my way to work. I get to the shop, and the moron only has 1 box, he tries to get me to buy dark ones icon_mad.gificon_mad.gif
He tells me that i can use these for a 3 tier cake, that i can cut them in half, fortunately Lisa (spottydog) had given me a great tip about cutting the 8 inch cigarellos in half by using a hot knife. I think ok, this aint' gonna be so bad, this will work. And i walk away with one box, and $70 less in my pocket, i guess the guy overquoted me when i spoke to him months ago.

I go to work and solve nothing, turns out we need to speak to other people who are not in and can't be contacted, doesnt seem like the problem was me after all. I get home with my cigarellos at around 6.00pm, hubby decided to take me somewhere nearby for dinner so that i can concentrate on my cake when i get back. Before going i cut up the cigarellos and find they are not ENOUGH icon_evil.gificon_evil.gificon_evil.gificon_mad.gificon_mad.gif I still have about 8 inch of cake space on the middle tier UNCOVERED icon_cry.gificon_cry.gificon_cry.gificon_cry.gificon_cry.gif

I go out and enjoy my lovely dinner anyway, and decide im going to try to do the curls the way CHEFS intended with the chocolate spread on a marble bench and a sharp knife, c'mon, if other ppl can do it, WHY CAN"T I??? WHY INDEED!!! I coudlnt do it, i decide paste is going to be my saviour (or not) but just before pouring the liquid glucose in, i decide to try the original idea i had out and see how it goes, that was to roll the curls with acetate the same way i did for this cake
http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-photo-58743.html
using rolledup pieces of acetate and make them all the same size, i had tried making thinner ones earlier in the week and it didnt work, but decided to give it another shot anyway, i had lost a lot already, nothing more to lose but a few minutes experimenting ARGH. It was about 9.30pm on Saturday night. I was soooooo tired.
I tried one, and EUREKA!!!! it worked. I did a few more and put them next to the bought ones, and they looked like chalk and cheese, there was no way i could mix them together to cover the rest of the cake, so that was when i realised i had to do the WHOLE LOT icon_cry.gif
I cut heaps of acetate, and had my wonderful beautiful sexy and fantastic husband help me to tape up every single one of those little suckers!!!!
aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah
it's all over
i removed the $70 worth of chocolate and replaced them with the ones i'd just made.

Boone and I got to bed at around 3.00am, he was wrecked, and i was even more so.

Got up this morning put the flowers on and delivered the monster!!!!
But im sooo HAPPY it's all over, and the result was 100% better than what i was expecting seeing all the issues i had icon_razz.gif
Here tis
http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-photo-185483.html

Now im going to bed, and tomorrow i have to face those computer problems. Im just glad i dont have ANY wedding cakes coming up in the forseeable future.
rest, rest, rest : )
Nati

57 replies
franjmc Posted 11 Feb 2007 , 12:04pm
post #2 of

Oh my poor friend! icon_sad.gif
What an awful week you've had and such a stressful weekend, I'm sending all the positive vibes I can gather to you, in the hope that this will be the best week you've ever had. icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif
The cake turned out so beautiful, and much better than that PITA deserved icon_mad.gificon_evil.gificon_mad.gif , I'm sure she was thrilled.
Now, I'm coming over so you can show me how you do those cigarillos, 'cos they are awesome! icon_wink.gif

sweet_as_tisse Posted 11 Feb 2007 , 12:17pm
post #3 of

OMG..Nati, i am tied just reading this. You poor thing...

i'm with Fran, sending you lots of positive vibes for the week ahead...

Sleep well!

kylie

Oops... forgot to tell you how "SUPER GORGEOUS" your cake is!!!

boring Posted 11 Feb 2007 , 12:21pm
post #4 of

Your cake is not a disater Nati, its a credit to you and your will to get it done. Well done Nati. One question though do you have acetate on tap?

fourangelsmommie Posted 11 Feb 2007 , 12:22pm
post #5 of

That cake was beautiful....I can only imagine all of the hard work and time it took for you to make that after reading your post! I hope you charged her $$$$$ for it!

How do you make those rolls with acetate? maybe we need a tutorial on that too. I'm sure lots of people would love to know.

Now that it is all over, make your hubby take you back out to dinner again. Sounds like you both deserve it!

foxymomma521 Posted 11 Feb 2007 , 12:32pm
post #6 of

Your cake is stunning! I'm sure she will appreciate all of your hard work. icon_smile.gif

beany Posted 11 Feb 2007 , 1:10pm
post #7 of

It's a gorgeous cake Nati - I'm sure she adored your creation!
Sorry to hear about the stress it caused! Here's a big hug for you..... SQUISH.

HunBun Posted 11 Feb 2007 , 4:04pm
post #8 of

As a former programmer and current cake hobbiest, reading your post was emotionally draining for me. But when I saw the picture of your cake I stopped worrying about you. Even though it was a FRUSTRATING experience, you didn't cave under the pressure and you didn't settle for a cake that might have been good enough. You are amazing and I'm really excited for you and your future.

It might be worth the $70 to gain the experience and knowledge that you won't ever HAVE to buy cigarellos again!

lilthorner Posted 11 Feb 2007 , 4:07pm
post #9 of

ya i am beat after reading that! Im not sure I could do a wedding cake at all. of course it looks gorgeous and if u had never told us we would have never known

karensjustdessert Posted 11 Feb 2007 , 4:12pm

I think "raving lunatics" (to quote your photo caption) do the best decorating.
Well done is an understatement, Nati!

mkolmar Posted 11 Feb 2007 , 4:17pm

The cake is beautiful! Way more than the picky girl deserves.

JaneK Posted 11 Feb 2007 , 4:20pm

I could feel your frustration.....if you wanted to do anything else, you could probably also have some sort of future writing...it was clear as a picture. I had to laugh in points of the story because I just couldn't believe how bad things were going...

Your hateful cake is absolutely beautiful!

mom2spunkynbug Posted 11 Feb 2007 , 7:35pm

My GOSH Nati!!!! I would have never guessed that you went through all that!! You must be SO exhausted....and yet relieved to be rid of that thing! LOL

Sleep tight!!! thumbs_up.gif You did yet another wonderful job!!

cindy6250 Posted 11 Feb 2007 , 8:10pm

Your cake is Stunning!! You did a fabulous job, even with all of the pitfalls. What a trooper! Go take a nap now and try not to think all that you went thru to get it finished.

Cindy

baker4life Posted 11 Feb 2007 , 8:25pm

WOW!! icon_eek.gif

That cake turned out fantastic!!!
You do such amazing work, you should never have to worry!

You need a spa day after this! icon_biggrin.gif

revel Posted 11 Feb 2007 , 9:09pm

Your cake turned out fabulous! Just think of it as a challenge! At least it wasn't a boring cake to make!
You deserve a sleep in and a dinner out or at least a meal cooked by your DH.
I would really love a tutorial on how you made the choc cigarellos !

Congrats!

LisaMS Posted 11 Feb 2007 , 9:26pm

Oh, how I admire people with perserverance! Ya didn't give up! You could have settled for cheese and chalk, but you didn't. LOL

It's just gorgeous. And now ya know...charge a HEAP for this cake next time. icon_smile.gif

Steady2Hands Posted 11 Feb 2007 , 9:57pm

Wow Nati! As I said in my comment on your pic, "If anyone can pull off such challenges you can ~ and did! Outstanding!!!!" I am in awe of your talent and your determination/perseverance!

boonenati Posted 12 Feb 2007 , 9:49am

Thanks to everyone for your comments. Im still recovering from the big weekend, work has not been any better today, but at least the problem was not caused by me (PHEW!!!)

There will be a tutorial on the cigarellos coming up in the next few weeks, when my lovely friend Fran (franjmc) can come and offer her assistance icon_smile.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by boring

One question though do you have acetate on tap?



I actually bought about 10 sheets of it when i did the chocolate course last year, and i haven't really used that many, they're also great to do FBCT. I've only done one, but it made it soooo easy to pick up the whole thing and put it on the cake icon_biggrin.gif

cheers
Nati[/quote]

nazlie Posted 12 Feb 2007 , 11:48am

The cake is stunning. So sorry about your frustrating experience. Just wondering,... why did she settle for the choc mud & caramel, if she did not like it when she came for the testing?

A big hug for you from S.Africa

Naz

boonenati Posted 12 Feb 2007 , 12:17pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by nazlie

The cake is stunning. So sorry about your frustrating experience. Just wondering,... why did she settle for the choc mud & caramel, if she did not like it when she came for the testing?

A big hug for you from S.Africa

Naz




I actually offered her other options, and she said, oh once you eat a bit more it's nice icon_evil.gif
She just decided to go for that one, mind you she took some samples home for her mum as well. So it musnt have been that bad.
I think she just wanted to be an extra big PITA
icon_wink.gif
Nati

cakes47 Posted 12 Feb 2007 , 12:22pm

You are a real, true to life, SUPERWOMAN!!!

KrisD13 Posted 12 Feb 2007 , 12:25pm

Absolutely stunning cake!

I only have one question.......what does PITA stand for?

jillchap Posted 12 Feb 2007 , 12:31pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by KrisD13

Absolutely stunning cake!

I only have one question.......what does PITA stand for?




PITA = Pain In The Arse... icon_biggrin.gif

KrisD13 Posted 12 Feb 2007 , 12:33pm

LOL.......that acronym never even occurred to me.....thank you icon_biggrin.gif

mgdqueen Posted 12 Feb 2007 , 12:39pm

Beautiful cake! I would never have known there was a single problem-I guess that's the way it's supposed to be-just lovely!

nazlie Posted 12 Feb 2007 , 12:41pm

Yes, sounds she just wanted to be extra PITA.

sliceofheaven Posted 12 Feb 2007 , 1:13pm

Wow Nati!!!!!! I can't think of much else to say other than .......WOW!! your cake looks stunning, we could all learn SOOO much from you......thank you for posting all of your "how to's" on the web & CC. I second everyone's advice......go get some rest! icon_wink.gificon_wink.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif

sliceofheaven Posted 12 Feb 2007 , 1:13pm

Wow Nati!!!!!! I can't think of much else to say other than .......WOW!! your cake looks stunning, we could all learn SOOO much from you......thank you for posting all of your "how to's" on the web & CC. I second everyone's advice......go get some rest! icon_wink.gificon_wink.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif

SugaryGoodness Posted 12 Feb 2007 , 2:52pm

Absolutely beautiful cake Nati!!!! I would have never guessed that you had a hard time with it. I'm sure your cigarellos looked much much better than the ones you bought. Looking forward to your tutorial.

I love looking at your cakes and hearing your stories. It's comforting know that even a profession like you has some difficult moments. I just don't think I could have keep my mind focused at 3:00 in the morning. What a great husband to help and support you.

Hope you get some down time to rest up. Thanks for sharing it with us!!!

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