I made my first deer mount cake last weekend. I spent SO much time researching the structure and techniques I'd need to use to make this cake. Every part of the deer was working out beautifully! I had everything done-- ears actually made five days in advance so I'd know they were dried well enough to be painted and go on top, construction complete, icing on smoothed, textured, and airbrushed (first time too!)...just was going great. The day before the event I pick up the ears to make sure they'll stand on their own. Nope. The wires pulled right through them. I tried making a meringue powder/water mix and really "gluing" the wires back into them. No dice. I started to really worry, and then I remembered I had white modeling chocolate hidden in my freezer. I pulled it out, let it thaw, and made two new ears. I attached the wires this time with white chocolate. Pulled through. Then I had an "ah ha!" moment and finally pulled out the skewers (I was stuck with a wire mentality from building the antlers). I stuck them on with some chocolate and they seemed to hold really well.
The day before, my a/c quit. Totally went kaput! My house was in the 80's. I spent $1k having it fixed so the day before the wedding it would be cool enough to work on the cakes. Well, then I started to really worry about having them actually stick into the head. I had planned on waiting until I arrived at the event to put the ears in, but with all the trouble I had with them, I decided to give it a shot the morning of. I'm glad I did. Those darn ears fell apart three times on me. It was just too humid for the modeling chocolate. Well, finally my overly tired brain though- well, wire didn't work on the chocolate either, so why not use the skewers that you actually use ALL the time on other cakes on the gumpaste ears!? So, I attached them with chocolate, and ta da! They stood on their own! I painted them, I dipped the ends in melted chocolate, and stuck them in the ears. They stayed, but I was worried, so I put another skewer in on the bottom sort of supporting the ear. It looked really cute, and was very obviously a deer. This took so long though, that when it came time to deliver, I hadn't been able to get a good refrigeration time back on the deer, and that made me VERY nervous.
Just my luck. I have to deliver the cakes and it's raining, and the temperature dropped over 20 degrees from the day before. It was so cold that this wedding in the temp. controlled temp needed the HEAT on. The heat blew out right next to the cake table. Awesome. So, from the drive there, and the heat, the ears just gradually sagged down. I brought my tool kit with me to try and make repairs had anything happen, but nothing was saving them. It was like the holes in the RKT were just getting too big, and I could see little cracks starting elsewhere on the head from all the pulling. I finally made the decision to pull the ears off so they didn't fall off after I left, or worse, make the head break in part and collapse. I felt so bad. I delivered a cake with ears, and left with him not having any. The worst part of it was that since it was raining, many of the early comers were inside the tent (reception and wedding in the same location-- wedding was supposed to be outside). They watched the whole progression, and of course many had to come over and have a good look over at the deer when he first made it to the tent.
I feel disappointed, but at the same time, if I do another one of these I'll know what to do... drill the ears into the pvc the same way the antlers were, and build the RKT head around them. I worried about the cake for the entire day. Did it stay in one piece? Did the bride and groom hate it because it didn't have ears? Was I going to owe them a huge refund? I felt like I was going to be sick the whole day. Finally, I received a call from the bride. She loved the cake. She loved the deer. She was happy as could be, and didn't mention any problems with him staying together. I am so relieved that he made it through the event and they enjoyed him- sad he didn't have ears- but so glad I'll know how to fix it next time around. Pictures in the gallery.
I saw your cake and WOW! You are very talented and I am sorry that happened to you! You are way too hard on yourself. I don't think many people could recover from such drastic weather changes. your cake is great-looking and you have pictures for the portfolio
But in the end: the bride was happy with your work. I don't know anything about deer but I would have been proud to have your work displayed at my event/ ears or no ears!
Great cake and thanks for the additional photos showing the antler construction.
I can see why the bride was very happy even though you were so frustrated. Honestly, it's neat that most of the folks saw him come in with ears, but they were probably all so taken with those antlers and his sweet face that the ears weren't missed as much as you imagine... and anyway, aren't ears sort of over-rated? I mean, it wasn't like he was going to be using them or anything...
Pp's comment made me lol!
I agree, ears or no ears, that cake is fabulous! And the bride loved it, which is all that matters!
Hah...Spuddysmom, your comment made my day. I'm just happy she liked him, and his head didn't end up breaking in half (that would have been a night mare!). It was a panic attach sort of day, but since last weekend, I've had two more 3D animal cake orders come in, so I guess the guests really liked him, even without his cute little ears!
Years ago I had a cat who'd been in a fight with a fanbelt and had to have an ear removed. It always amazed me how many people would look at her and not realize she was missing an ear. It sticks up off her head, for heaven's sake! Some could sense something "off" but just not identify it until I pointed it out. I think the brain just fills in the ears where it expects to see them!
And, as already pointed out, your whole deer was so impressive there was plenty to look at without them!
Seriously your cake is amazing! I couldn't handle the stress!
MJTKNT: I could not find any pictures in your gallery of this deer cake, but I have to make one this week and am anxious to see yours! Could you point me in the right direction to find your pics? Thanks!
N/M just found it :)))
I saw your buck cake, it's awesome! Great Job!
The cake looks great to me!!!Good job!!