Stumped...need Advice

Decorating By saberger Updated 6 Jun 2011 , 9:59pm by peetz

saberger Posted 3 Feb 2011 , 5:58pm
post #1 of 51

I got a request for cake flavors and fillings that I have never made. A couple of them, I wouldn't even know where to start! I am feeling extremely inadequate at the moment. Now I have never shyed away from new recipes to add to my rep, but I am stumped. I don't even think that these are flavors that a person can come up with on their own!

So, what do I do...tell her I am booked? Tried that, since I really was...but since she hasn't set the date yet, she was willing to change it so I can do her cake! Do I admit I can't make those flavors? How do I even find out how to make them?

I am willing to turn the biz down if I can't produce the best result. I am open to suggestions!

TIA

50 replies
saberger Posted 3 Feb 2011 , 6:32pm
post #2 of 51

anyone?

MissLisa Posted 3 Feb 2011 , 6:38pm
post #3 of 51

What flavors did the customer ask for????

Sparklekat6 Posted 3 Feb 2011 , 6:40pm
post #4 of 51

It might be helpful to know what flavors and fillings she asked you to make?

imagenthatnj Posted 3 Feb 2011 , 6:41pm
post #5 of 51

What flavors could they be that you can't find a recipe and a way to make them from somewhere?

Why wouldn't you start searching for a recipe for all of them?

There's a list of gourmet flavors in this thread. I think there's a recipe for anything you would want to make somewhere. It's just a matter of finding it.

http://cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=614554&postdays=0&postorder=asc&&start=0

brensmom12 Posted 3 Feb 2011 , 6:48pm
post #6 of 51

Need to know the flavors she requested. Are you doing a cake tasting? I would try out the link posted above and the other sticky about the gourmet WASC flavors before you get scared. Don't be afraid to go out side of the (DH) box icon_lol.gif

zespri Posted 3 Feb 2011 , 6:57pm
post #7 of 51

What's wrong with honesty? Say to her with confidence in your voice "I've never made those flavours before, but I've had some good recipes recommended to me, and I'm sure they'll come out beautifully".

That way she is aware it's your first time, and has the chance to back out if she wants to. But by saying it with confidence (which you SHOULD do, as you are in business after all) you will reassure her that it will be tasty.

Then just whip up a small practice cake of each. You said she hasn't booked a date yet, you have plenty of time.

As for strange flavours, I've seen people on TV request beer flavoured cake before. No problem, she just replaced some of the liquid in the cake for beer. What flavours has she asked you for that are intimidating you so much? Ask on here, people will help you!

Chasey Posted 3 Feb 2011 , 7:03pm
post #8 of 51

OR ask the bride if she has a family or treasured recipe she would like you to replicate for her special day.

If the answer is no, then you go with the advice above to be confident and find something that works!

saberger Posted 3 Feb 2011 , 9:28pm
post #9 of 51

these are the flavors I don't have. I have looked for recipes and can figure out the belgian truffle one and the cassata. But I don't know what the Cassata is supposed to taste like icon_sad.gif.

I do have the gourmet flavors doc...thank you icon_smile.gif It could just be that the wording is psyching me out and it is just something really simple. :0


Belgian Chocolate Truffle with walnuts
frangelico espresso buttercream filling

fresh strawberry puree infused vodka cake
fresh strawberry in peach vodka mousse


cassata cake (never made it but have found recipes)
frangipane filling


Thanks everyone! (hug)

imagenthatnj Posted 3 Feb 2011 , 9:36pm
post #10 of 51

Those recipes do exist. I've never had cassata but have seen it a lot on my italian cookbooks.

The "Belgian Chocolate Truffle with Walnuts" is just a chocolate cake, very rich, with walnuts.

The "Belgian" is just a kind of chocolate, but it is more expensive than regular chocolate. Most ingredients seem to be on the expensive side. I hope she can afford them.

Are all of these going on the same cake?

The frangelico espresso buttercream would be just an espresso buttercream (buttercream with coffee) with frangelico liquor added to it.

I think these brides pick up names/flavors from bakeries/patisseries and get too creative.


http://notsohumblepie.blogspot.com/2010/01/frangelico-dark-chocolate-mousse.html

http://www.recipes4cakes.com/frostings/espresso_frosting.htm

http://the-cupcakery-blog.blogspot.com/2008/02/kahlua-cupcakes-with-coffee-cream_03.html

cheatize Posted 3 Feb 2011 , 10:02pm
post #11 of 51

What would be the point of putting vodka in a cake if the alcohol burns off and has no flavor? Heck yeah, I can add an invisible ingredient! LOL

saberger Posted 3 Feb 2011 , 10:06pm
post #12 of 51

This is the exact request she sent me:

yellow butter cake
Belgian Chocolate Truffle with walnuts
frangelico espresso buttercream filling

fresh strawberry puree infused vodka cake
fresh straberry in peach vodka mousse


cassata cake

almond cake
frangipane filling
apricot preserves

vanilla buttercream

Dayti Posted 3 Feb 2011 , 10:06pm
post #13 of 51

Yes, make sure she pays for top shelf invisible vodka!
What is frangipane? Is it almond?

imagenthatnj Posted 3 Feb 2011 , 10:09pm
post #14 of 51

Yes. A filling made of almonds.

Bride needs to have a lot of money for the Belgian chocolate, for the frangelico, the fresh strawberries, all the almond, a good bottle of vodka, peaches, etc.

Waiting for the answer to see if they all go on the same cake! Or if she wants to taste all of this!

BlakesCakes Posted 3 Feb 2011 , 10:11pm
post #15 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by saberger

these are the flavors I don't have. I have looked for recipes and can figure out the belgian truffle one and the cassata. But I don't know what the Cassata is supposed to taste like icon_sad.gif.

I do have the gourmet flavors doc...thank you icon_smile.gif It could just be that the wording is psyching me out and it is just something really simple. :0


Belgian Chocolate Truffle with walnuts
frangelico espresso buttercream filling

fresh strawberry puree infused vodka cake
fresh strawberry in peach vodka mousse


cassata cake (never made it but have found recipes)
frangipane filling


Thanks everyone! (hug)




Wow! Those are some primo premium flavors! I don't know what your basic pricing is, but for those speciality ingredients in each, and every, cake, I'd DOUBLE my regular pricing! So much pricey booze & seasonal stuff............

Maybe it's just me, but I don't want vodka anywhere near my cake, either....

Google cassatta and read the Wiki entry. It'll tell you a lot. In and around the city of Cleveland the term "cassata cake" refers to a syrup soaked,some times rum,sponge cake filled with strawberries and custard and covered with sweetened whipped cream. I live in the Cleveland area, and that's what a cassatta is to me (I will NOT stack a cassatta cake......too mushy & supports actually slip & slide). If you're elsewhere, it can be very different.

Good luck!
Rae

saberger Posted 3 Feb 2011 , 10:14pm
post #16 of 51

Thanks imagenthatnj...I know about Belgian chocolate and I believe that the truffle is for the filling, not the cake. And I was able to find the espresso BC as well.

What really stumps me is the: fresh strawberry puree infused vodka cake, fresh strawberry in peach vodka mousse. I think the Frangipane is almond and I found a recipe for that.

If I don't know how this stuff tastes, then how do I know if I made it well?!

saberger Posted 3 Feb 2011 , 10:18pm
post #17 of 51

Wow! Those are some primo premium flavors! I don't know what your basic pricing is, but for those speciality ingredients in each, and every, cake, I'd DOUBLE my regular pricing! So much pricey booze & seasonal stuff............

Maybe it's just me, but I don't want vodka anywhere near my cake, either....

Google cassatta and read the Wiki entry. It'll tell you a lot. In and around the city of Cleveland the term "cassata cake" refers to a syrup soaked,some times rum,sponge cake filled with strawberries and custard and covered with sweetened whipped cream. I live in the Cleveland area, and that's what a cassatta is to me (I will NOT stack a cassatta cake......too mushy & supports actually slip & slide). If you're elsewhere, it can be very different.

Good luck!
Rae[/quote]

I remember reading that about cassata cake and I am nervous about it. I haven't priced it out enough, but I am thinking of a minimum of $7 or $8/pp just for the flavors she has (not including fondant or decor). I spoke to her briefly when I told her I was booked and asked her if she wanted buttercream or fondant and she said "which ever is cheaper". I quickly informed her that price of her cake flavors and the amount of gumpaste orchids (over 30) was what was going to cost a lot of money - not enough of a difference in price between the BC and fondant. That is the LEAST of her $$.

imagenthatnj Posted 3 Feb 2011 , 10:21pm
post #18 of 51

I think she might have made a few mistakes in typing.

Maybe she means "fresh-strawberry-puree, vodka-infused cake"? meaning a regular strawberry cake made with fresh strawberries, pureed and infused with vodka?

Or maybe the strawberries need to be infused with vodka, then pureed and used in the cake?

The name for her mouse might be fresh strawberry AND peach vodka mousse.

She might have been typing from her phone...sometimes words just get in there and that's not what you mean.

saberger Posted 3 Feb 2011 , 10:25pm
post #19 of 51

Do you think it is professional to ask her how/where she even came up with these flavors? I almost think that she went somewhere fancy and expensive, got a quote, took the same flavor combos and is now asking me to see if she can get it cheaper. But them why be willing to move the date before I even give her a $?

And to answer previous question...she has NOT asked for a tasting.

BlakesCakes Posted 3 Feb 2011 , 10:25pm
post #20 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by imaginethatnj


I spoke to her briefly when I told her I was booked and asked her if she wanted buttercream or fondant and she said "which ever is cheaper". I quickly informed her that price of her cake flavors and the amount of gumpaste orchids (over 30) was what was going to cost a lot of money - not enough of a difference in price between the BC and fondant. That is the LEAST of her $$.




OMG! Run, Forrest, Run!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

imagenthatnj Posted 3 Feb 2011 , 10:30pm
post #21 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlakesCakes

Quote:
Originally Posted by imaginethatnj


I spoke to her briefly when I told her I was booked and asked her if she wanted buttercream or fondant and she said "which ever is cheaper". I quickly informed her that price of her cake flavors and the amount of gumpaste orchids (over 30) was what was going to cost a lot of money - not enough of a difference in price between the BC and fondant. That is the LEAST of her $$.



OMG! Run, Forrest, Run!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!




Agreed. She probably has no idea of anything and just copied the names of the flavors from somewhere. She probably doesn't even know what all this tastes like. Maybe you should triple your prices and let HER run away from you. And, yes, cassata is a cake of just one tier. Anything more and it will just slide down. I never heard of it being stacked.

Dayti Posted 3 Feb 2011 , 10:31pm
post #22 of 51

A quick google search came up with a few sites with "vodka cake" recipes...it looks to have been around for years. So when she says "fresh strawberry puree infused vodka cake", I would take that to mean she wants a vodka cake, with pureed strawberries in it to replace other flavors I just saw (lemon, kahlua etc).
I think if you infuse the strawberries with vodka, either for the cake or mousse filling, you are just going to get a fermented strawberry flavour, which is not going to taste good at all.

saberger Posted 3 Feb 2011 , 10:38pm
post #23 of 51

Well, I don't mind pricing her high - it is a lot of work, a lot of expensive ingredients, a lot of orchids, etc for a 4 tier PLUS I would have 1 1/2 hour delivery. My problem is if she ACCEPTS!!! Then I have to be sure I can deliver the goods - not suddenly scramble.

I feel so stupid that I don't really understand her flavors!

imagenthatnj Posted 3 Feb 2011 , 10:50pm
post #24 of 51

Don't feel stupid. I think you can get all the recipes together if you choose to do it. Make sure you price right. I'm confused about the strawberry tier (fresh strawberry puree infused vodka cake with
fresh strawberry in peach vodka mousse). Maybe Dayti is right and you can pick up any of those recipes and change the main flavor with pureed strawberries. Maybe the mousse is peach/vodka mousse with fresh cut strawberries in it). I hope the cassata cake gets a revised recipe so that it can be layered without it being slippery, and it should probably be the smallest tier on top? (asking the experts). The cassata cake makes me nervous.

BlakesCakes Posted 3 Feb 2011 , 10:54pm
post #25 of 51

Well, if she doesn't want a tasting--giving you the chance to produce what YOU think these flavors are and to then be corrected--then whatever you make that you like and that you thinks fits the bill--in both taste, cost, and design-- is FINE.

I'd make sure that she signs a contract to that effect, too.

No hunting for a buyer's remorse refund after delivery and consumption because she thinks it was more of a "fresh strawberry cake infused with peach vodka and filled with stawberry puree" vs. "fresh strawberry puree infused vodka cake, fresh strawberry in peach vodka mousse".

Rae

Moondance Posted 3 Feb 2011 , 11:07pm
post #26 of 51

I'd have to tell her to take a running jump - I have a bad feeling about this cake and if you're stressed now, think how bad you will feel as time gets closer - so NOT worth the stress icon_smile.gif

saberger Posted 4 Feb 2011 , 12:30am
post #27 of 51

Okay...so get this...I googled her name and her phone #. This is what came up on a site for her phone #:

"This is a Home bakery.I cater and make delicious baked products.All products much be paid in full at time of ordering.If you have any special request please fell free to ask.We do vegan products too.Gluten free products are done on request.We take check money order or cash.We do not except credit cards at this time."

So is she pricing around? Wanting someone else to do the wedding cake or what?

cakesbycathy Posted 4 Feb 2011 , 12:44am
post #28 of 51

I would call her on it. Tell her you googled her and was surprised to find that she was a home bakery. Ask her flat out if she is actually looking for someone to make her a cake or if she's just checking out the competition.

IF she is looking for a cake I would tell her that while you haven't made any of those particular flavors you would be willing to. For 4X your regular price. Sorry, but double is not going to cut it. First those are seriously pricey ingredients. Second, I wouldn't be spending that much out of my own pocket to try out some of those recipes.

ALso, I'm with Rae on the Cassata cake. NOT suitable for stacking.

I would make sure she has a paid tasting before you actually agree to make those flavors. Or if she doesn't want to do the tasting a LARGE clause in the contract that states she declined to do the tasting and no refunds will be given if she is unhappy with the taste.

scp1127 Posted 4 Feb 2011 , 12:46am
post #29 of 51

I offer that type of baked goods and my pricing is very high based on the ingredients. If you can't find a mini in Frangelico alone, I think it's about $25.00.

Frangipane cream needs brandy (I use Hennessey, a cognac, which is an older brandy. It tastes good in desserts because it is sweeter than brandy).

Are you comfortable with pastry creams and purees?

I would tell her that I would be happy to price the cake when her customer who actually wants the cake comes to see you. None of it is hard if you are already an accomplished scratch baker. If you get the real job from a real customer, I, and I am sure others, can give you great recipes.

BlakesCakes Posted 4 Feb 2011 , 12:49am
post #30 of 51

Hmmmmm. Interesting, since, as far as I know, baking from home is generally a no-no in the state of NJ...........

Sounds to me like she got a request for the cake and she's canvasing area bakers to set her own pricing for her potential customer. icon_cool.gif

She obviously has no problem wasting your time and energy allowing you to develop her pricing strategy and response to HER CUSTOMER icon_eek.gif

My suggestion is to block her e-mails, phone #, and texts and go back to running your business, not hers.

Rae

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%