OMG one of my partners through facebook got into contact with a lady in our town that is putting together an annuall Heart Ball that is a $125 per ticket money raising event that always sells out held at the country club.
Long story short we went to a meeting thinking we may be doing one large titanic themed cake (Titanic is the theme Our Heart Will Go On) when we got there we realized they want at least 250 individually plated servings already on the table when people arrive, a dummie cake with a gift cert to be auctioned off and maybe a huge 3D dummie of the titanic for show. The main person for the event did Julia Roberts (Yes the Julia Roberts) wedding in 2 days time.
They started talking about presentation, texture, height all of this fancy sounding stuff remember we do this part time mostly self taught none of us have been to a culinary school or anything.
All of this will be donated either free or maybe at cost. My question is any ideas, thoughts how to pull this off. What to serve how to serve (how to get that many servings looking really pretty to event) any recipies we've only ever done custom cakes we haven't really done fancy flavors or ganache (sp) or anything before. We do fudges brittles pralines and dipped strawberries. ANY IDEAS HELP btw it is toward the end of Jan. 2010 so we have a little time to play but menu due in a week.
If you want honesty, since this is the big girl forum, I would say you should decline. Looking through your post where you said you haven't done deserts like this, as well as though your photos etc, you aren't ready for something this big.
I'm sure I will get some unhappy feedback by saying that, but I think it's better to be honest with you than to say everything will be great when it seems like a bit much.
Officer Morgan, thank you for your honesty. HOWEVER the few cakes i have had time to post on this site are no where near what we can do you should check out our website www.EdibleEleganceTex.com. With that said I did not post this forum to get the "you can do it" posts back it was to get ideas as to what we can offer instead of just a large piece of cake. Or maybe fillings that people love that might be an option. No I have never made flan but that doesnt mean we can't learn like I said we have more than 2 months to perfect our ideas. This is not an event we can pass up. This is the type of clientel we want as repeat bus.
P.S. Just FYI we have had our shop open for 1 yr last month with NO LOANS and only being open for 2 hrs a day 5 days a week and still NO LOANS so we must be doing something right. Have a nice night.
I have a question. When you say repeat clintel, do you mean the potential customers you may get who come to the event or the people that actually put on the event? So, here is what I hear a lot of times about "donated" cakes. They NEVER get any business from these charity events. EVERYONE on here has taken losses on charities. One person on here works for a charity and she even said no busness comes from charities. It's just what they tell people to get donations. NOW, if your willing to take the loss as a tax deduction, and not worry about any "potential" business, you can do just about any dessert in individual serving size. There is tiramisu, bream brulee, oh so many things. Exactly what are you looking for? Can I mention one more thing. You should find out how much money the person who is organizing the event is getting paid, as well as any other vendors. yes, even people that organize these type of events get paid...though they ask others to "donate".
Totally OT but is the 5 tier square cake on the home page (black and white with cascading ribbon) a cake dummy? It's beautiful.
I'd just like to say that I have received business as a result of donating a cake to charity. I recently did a cake for a breast cancer charity raffle (where fewer than 50 people attended) and from that I've already got 4 more orders. I'm just starting up my business and this one event and donation has really boosted my profile. I also got loads more fans on my Facebook page as a result too.
Just something to think about.
As far as flavours go, why don't you look through the recipes on here for some ideas. And doing such a huge quantity of small cakes, I guess my only thought is to keep it simple and elegant and perhaps include an element that you know you're really good at; like maybe a choc strawberry on top of a mini cake that's been covered in poured fondant? Then you can vary the colours of the fondant and chocolate. Make the strawberries beforehand then just pop them on as you plate the cakes up on site. You could also maybe make fondant or gumpaste heart cut-outs (various sizes and colours) ahead of time and put on of those on top as well to keep with the heart theme.
Just some ideas that came to mind.
Labellaflor when I say repeat clientel I mean not only the 250+ people attending but also in hopes the event will contact us next year. This event is pretty big and now that we are providing the desert our names will be on the website as sponsors on the menus in the auction on some advertising etc. We have been blessed that when we have donated things we get bus. from it. once we had left over cupcakes and on a whim we toook them to the junior little league team down the road that was having a fundraising garage sale just for the kids to eat. Do you know we got hugs from every kid and parent there and at least 4 more cakes within weeks just from those people (from a few leftover about to go in trash cupcakes).
We were told that we can do 1 2 or 3 diff options they don't care they must be able to be on table when people arrive, they just want it to look nice and taste delicious I'm wanting ideas for things we can do that fit this that aren't just slices of cake I mean one dessert as cake is ok but would like to offer more. And it need to be something we can pull off and deliver they are giving us a table to be able to do finishing touches on site.
thanks sugarandslice we have tried poured fondant and DID NOT have a good experience with it. I've been trying to thing of how we can use some of our candies maybe as dec. like you said with the strawberries we have choc dipped peanut butter bites (like reeses) and coconut bites ( like almond joys along with brittle and fudges
Have you considered cake truffles dipped in good chocolate(white, milk, dark)? You can mix in different things like candy, nuts, liquors, fruit. Just a thought. You can make them in advance and freeze and serve on individual little plates. I'm just throwing you the idea...as I am only a hobbyist. Good Luck!
My only advice is if you do cake slices remember it will be sitting out UNCOVERED for as much as 1-2 hours and will be VERY DRY I don't think you want that.
Covering the sliced area w/fondant would help keep it fresh. The cutout fondant hearts sounds helpful - anything to cover/protect the cake.
I would think more along the lines of petite cheesecakes, individual tarts (pie), anything that will not dry out quickly.
You're going to get lots of expert advice, but as a non-expert hobby baker...what about cupcakes? Or a variety - say 3 - mini-cupcakes on a plate. These can be very nice looking with either a heart topper, their logo in chocolate, or if you have a Crikut or similar cut out fancy wrappers with their logo. Maybe even beautifully frosted, but with their logo as the base on the plate. Suggested because ALL the elements could be prepared in advance. And no cutting, portioning, or serving at the event.
As far as donatiing...I think I would charge them SOMETHING. My DH works at a golf course and they host charity events all the time. The club charges $X per round depending on the budget for meals, prizes etc. then the organizer charges $X++ to make money for the event. The clubs rarely hosts the events for free.
See how much your plated desserts are going to cost you. Will you be supplying the custom cake to the winning bidder? That could get expensive to provide for free also....plus the dummy cakes AND your time..
It's one thing to generate business from the attendees seeing your skills, but why would you want a repeat customer (in this case the charity) who never pays...?
Ok I don't know how you call these mini cakes, but they're the ones that you bake like a cupcake, cut off the dome, layer them like four of course with filling. Then I think what they do is pass a tube through them to cut off the edges, then they are wrapped with fondant put a ribbon around and some type of deco. on top. They looked really simple and elegant.
As far as flavors my preference are citrus flavored cakes, there's a pina colada cake recipe here at CC.
I hope this event goes well for you. For several years before leaving the US I was on the organizing committee for the American Heart Association Heart Gala held in the Twin Cities. (I assume this is the same event, as they are held annually throughout the country.)
May I offer the following:
(1) I wrote this before I saw you other response, but I would still encourage you to consider a dessert covered with a poured fondant. Perhaps a petit-four. If decorated with a sugar flower they look really nice, and add a lot of color to the table, but are a lot less work than many plated desserts. They also travel well! Another experiment might be worth it.
(2) Concentrate on your specialties, perhaps with the addition of cake bites. (So many people love these, and so many other haven't ever seen them and fall in love. But avoid the cream cheese binders due to lack of refrigeration.)
(3) If you donate a GC for an elaborate decorated cake (anything tiered, 3D/carved) make sure that you get a commitment from the organizer that your gc for cake will be auctioned in the LIVE auction, not the silent auction (and have them commit a table for your display in the cocktail area). It is usually the higher ticket items that are auctioned live...and these are the items that get the most visibility and name recognition for the donators. Live auction items also tend to bring in higher bids compared to their retail value than those in the silent auction. However, if your donation is going to be part of the silent auction, make sure that the opening bid at least covers your overhead.
(4) If you do supply all that you wrote about in your post, make sure to negotiate 1-2 tickets for yourself. Even if you can't attend dinner (because of sell out), you should request the ability to attend the cocktail portion of the evening (this is usually when the silent auction occurs). If you do a large Titanic display, make sure to have someone stationed nearby that can knowledgeably talk cake. Although it would be frowned upon to actively "sell", answering questions, making contacts, and being seen are what it's all about. (Think about how everyone want to talk to Duff... of course be prepared for the silly questions. )
(5) Make sure that you are recognized at the correct sponsor level (by value of donation). This can actually effect where your name appears, the size of the font, color etc. Don't forget to place a dollar value on your time. Ask to proof your listing inthe program before it goes to print!
(5) Remember that the goal of the organizers is to get as much as they can for NO cost, or for as little cost as possible. They want to put on the nicest event they can. If you can't or don't want to do all they are asking for, don't feel awkward about telling them what you are willing to do. In most cases they are going to take what you offer. (Don't consider this an all or nothing thing...)
Again, I really hope that this event is successful for you. I'm a huge supporter of the American Heart Association, and a huge fan of anyone who works to help them put these events on.
OMG!!! I've seen those before! I LOVED them! And I think that they seem fairly easy. I would just bake sheet cake, torte it, and take a round cookie cutter to it to get your pieces of cake to stack. Should be fairly idiot-proof. They are VERY cute! I wish that I could find the site, but I can't. You could even wrap them in chocolate with the Heart in the chocolate.
Oh yes, and 3 little cake balls (or truffles with cake balls, or a combination) on one plate looks amazing. Think long and skinny plate with a drizzle of chocolate, and 3 balls. VERY classy! And yummy.
Okay. Well that's good. I just like for people to make sure they are REALLY comfortable, so there are no regrets later on. I wouldn't do sliced cake either. But instead of poured fondant, how about poured ganache? It's thinner, you can scrape it off the bottom of the sheet & remelt.
Thank you all for your input. Especially you miss-sweetstory. We will have to wait to get a unanimous verdict when the 3rd partner gets back monday I will let you know what happens. Im going to print off these suggestions and take them with me when we talk.
BTW miss sweetstory when you say you did this event in the twin cities did you mean here in Texarkana???????
Actually I meant Minneapolis/St. Paul. Sometimes I forget that I speak Minnesotan!
Actually I meant Minneapolis/St. Paul. Sometimes I forget that I speak Minnesotan!
Labellaflor when I say repeat clientel I mean not only the 250+ people attending but also in hopes the event will contact us next year.
I guess my question is why would you want them to contact you next year if they arent even willing to pay you for it this year?? They'll have their "do it all for free" person and certainly won't want to pay for it next year either.
But as for suggestions for plated desserts-- These little pies are just gorgeous. You could do them with seasonal fruits.
Going along with the theme and your talents I might I suggest trying these hearts?
I would omit the wording though and put a chocolate dipped strawberry on top. You can make them ahead of time, they'll fit compact and would easily assemble on site as all you'd have to do is set the cake on the plate and put the strawberry on top.
I can't wait to see what you come up with. There are many other wonderful ideas posted on here!