l_rock Posted 31 Jul 2011 , 4:16pm
post #1 of

I have been decorating for nearly 3yrs now...and until now nearly disaster free.But then came the red velvet cake! A client ask me for a red velvet cake,which i don't usually do (its not a big flavour in australia). I said yes figuring between the library of cake books i could figure it out...i was wrong. Unfortunatly i didn't know that when i handed the cake to the client. it was decorated beautifully and the client was happy. then 3hours later i get a text message from the client "the cake looks beautiful,but it tastes bitter and no one can eat it".......i just wanted to cry. I felt like the worst person in the world - i had ruined a childs birthday cake!!!So i imediately called the client,apoligised and apoligised,offered another cake,offered a refund (anything to ease my guilt),but the client didn't want a refund.Infact the client was so nice to me about the whole thing,she said she only let me know as feedback and she didn't blame me.this only made me feel worse.
so now my confidence is shaken and i'm feeling a bit fragile.i just wanted to share my story with cake people who understand what its like and hope that someone can learn from my mistake.

33 replies
texastj Posted 31 Jul 2011 , 4:35pm
post #2 of

icon_sad.gif . I'm so sorry this happened to you. <<<<<BIG HUGS>>>>> sent your way.

molly_36 Posted 31 Jul 2011 , 4:45pm
post #3 of

So sorry this happened to you but at least your client was good about it. Any idea what may have caused the bitter taste? What recipe did you use?

SweetSuzieQ Posted 31 Jul 2011 , 4:50pm
post #4 of

Awww, I'm sorry to hear that! icon_sad.gif Red Velvet was a tough nut for me to crack as well and, took me several attempts before I got one I liked. I know most traditionally use oil but, I just couldn't get something that made me happy till I did it with butter.

MimiFix Posted 31 Jul 2011 , 4:51pm
post #5 of

You must have made a test batch, right? Did it seem bitter to you?

bakingpw Posted 31 Jul 2011 , 4:54pm
post #6 of

Sorry this happened to you . It happened once to me as well - turns out is was the Wilton color red. I never used it again, and never had the problem again. Cheer up, tomorrow's a new day!

Bluehue Posted 31 Jul 2011 , 5:03pm
post #7 of

Might you have used Buttermilk in the recipe - so many Australians are not used to that taste?

Can you list the ingrediants you used - and perhaps we can go from there and find a solution for you.

Bluehue.

MandyCakez Posted 31 Jul 2011 , 5:23pm
post #8 of

I'm sorry this happened to you...at least she was nice about it.

I always make a test batch with ANY new cake flavor.I want to know what my customers cake taste like for this very reason. icon_smile.gif

l_rock Posted 1 Aug 2011 , 10:23am
post #9 of

I used Martha Stewarts red velvet cake recipe.I had made a test batch i thought it tasted fine.I now put the bitter taste down to the red food colouring - i've changed brands since my disaster-and made 4 test batches(my husband is so sick of red velvet cake) no bitter taste!!! luckily the client was nice about everything - it just might take awhile to get all my confidence back.

costumeczar Posted 1 Aug 2011 , 3:13pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by l_rock

I used Martha Stewarts red velvet cake recipe.I had made a test batch i thought it tasted fine.I now put the bitter taste down to the red food colouring - i've changed brands since my disaster-and made 4 test batches(my husband is so sick of red velvet cake) no bitter taste!!! luckily the client was nice about everything - it just might take awhile to get all my confidence back.




Never use a Martha Stewart recipe if you know what's good for you! Her recipes have a well-deserved reputation for stinking.

AnnieCahill Posted 1 Aug 2011 , 10:46pm

Actually, I just made the MS red velvet recipe for a wedding cake over the weekend. It was awesome! I have heard a lot of good things about that specific recipe so I decided to give it a try. The only problem is that when I made it the first time it came out more brown than red. I re-baked and ended up using two teaspoons of Wilton no taste red to get a really deep crimson color.

I think the red velvet is the only one of Martha's recipes that turns out well for people!

Sorelle Posted 1 Aug 2011 , 11:02pm

I did the same thing luckily it was a practice cake. I found out that my mistake was not using the "no taste red" coloring. I used just a regular red because I was out of "no taste red" This could be what went wrong, I will admit my cake went right in the trash even yummy cream cheese frosting couldn't help!

pummy Posted 1 Aug 2011 , 11:07pm

The problem was most likely the red food coloring that you used. Try the no taste red from wilton next time. The first time I made RV it came out bitter too.

scp1127 Posted 1 Aug 2011 , 11:11pm

I have to agree with costumeczar. The majority of her recipes that I have tried have been so off-balance. They are terrible. You may get some hits, but I've found only misses. I'm not wasting my time on her recipes. Luckily, I've gotten to where I can read and predict recipe outcomes, but for those who are just getting started with scratch baking, a bad recipe could be taken as the baker's fault.

LisaPeps Posted 1 Aug 2011 , 11:16pm

I did a rainbow cake using Americolor gel colours in a vanilla cake and I got the bitter taste you are referring to. Luckily I tasted the cake scraps after levelling so I had time to rebake (no rainbow, I explained the taste compromise and they were happy to have the yellow colour of the vanilla cake).

Which gel colours did you try on your 4 test batches? And on your original cake?

AnnieCahill Posted 1 Aug 2011 , 11:58pm

Yeah actually her red velvet is the ONLY one I have tried! I have heard so many bad things about her other recipes that I didn't even waste my time. But it really is a good recipe. I have never made RV before and I thought it was super easy and delicious.

Don't you find it strange that all her recipes blow when she used to be a caterer? Makes you wonder...

scp1127 Posted 2 Aug 2011 , 1:32am

Annie, I think MS puts out books with untested recipes. I truly believe she just doesn't care. Experienced scratch bakers do not look to her recipes. There are too many pastry chefs with excellent books that take us to a higher level. Again, I fault MS and the multitude of terrible recipes on the net for making scratch baking such a bad, time-consuming, money-wasting experience.

I am still learning every day, but it is from Nick Malgieri, Joanne Chang, Gesine Bullock-Prado, David Liebovitz, Dorie Greenspan, Ina Garten, Bobby Flay, Sarabeth Levine, Thomas Keller, John Scharffenberger, Alice Medrich, Meg Ray, and at least 50 more. These people are considered the top of the baking and pastry field. Their success is measured by their peers and their successful businesses. MS is nowhere near this level of baking in her books. She may be able to bake personally, but her lack of attention is evident in her books. I do own two of her books, the cupcake and the pie and tart one. I will never touch a recipe, but her presentation, which has nothing to do with her recipes, can be innovative.

Cakegirl74 Posted 2 Aug 2011 , 1:48am

I recently made my first red velvet cake as well, I'm sorry to hear that your experience didn't go well. I used a recipe I found on the food network website, it was from Alton Brown, who I love. I used the taste free Wilton red and the cake was delicious. I personally wasn't fond of the cream cheese icing recipe that came with it as it was difficult to decorate with but my husband (who requested the cake for his birthday as he had always wanted to try it) loved everything about it. Sorry this happened, big hugs and better luck next time.

l_rock Posted 2 Aug 2011 , 2:23am

Martha Stewarts' bad reputation hasn't made it to Australia....i wish i had known. but now i have a new recipe that works....so i'll consider this a lesson learned.

costumeczar Posted 2 Aug 2011 , 2:24pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnieCahill

Yeah actually her red velvet is the ONLY one I have tried! I have heard so many bad things about her other recipes that I didn't even waste my time. But it really is a good recipe. I have never made RV before and I thought it was super easy and delicious.

Don't you find it strange that all her recipes blow when she used to be a caterer? Makes you wonder...




Don't get me started on her...She was a caterer, but that doesn't mean that you can bake (or cook for that matter. It's called "hiring people who know how to do it then taking credit for their work.")

She has a reputation for stealing other people's recipes and putting them in her cookbooks. If you want to have a good read get "Just Desserts" which is the unauthorized biography. It will open your eyes to how phony she is. The guy who wrote it said that when he does unauthorized bios he'll call people and ask for interviews, and they usually say "well, let me ask them to see if it's okay to talk to you." But for old Martha he had people calling him directly begging to let them tell what she did to them. She's naaaaaasty. My aunt lived near her and said that she was a horrible neighbor, too.

ConfectionsCC Posted 2 Aug 2011 , 2:43pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

Quote:
Originally Posted by l_rock

I used Martha Stewarts red velvet cake recipe.I had made a test batch i thought it tasted fine.I now put the bitter taste down to the red food colouring - i've changed brands since my disaster-and made 4 test batches(my husband is so sick of red velvet cake) no bitter taste!!! luckily the client was nice about everything - it just might take awhile to get all my confidence back.



Never use a Martha Stewart recipe if you know what's good for you! Her recipes have a well-deserved reputation for stinking.

I did a bunch of blog entries about red velvet cake since it's a weird one. This is one where I did some taste testing based on a few different bakers' recipes.

http://acaketorememberva.blogspot.com/2011/04/red-velvet-taste-testing.html




Ahh!! YOU are the one who wrote that!! Thanks for that, I loved reading it icon_biggrin.gif I actually stumbled across it on google!

AnnieCahill Posted 2 Aug 2011 , 10:16pm

Yeah I heard she was a psycho to work for. I remember a while back reading a story about a guy who got screamed at by her on a daily basis.

My mom used to watch her show a while back, and right when Martha got out of the clink she was on the news or a talk show or something chopping lettuce. The host started asking her about her time in jail, and her voice got all low and scary and she was like "I'd really just like to concentrate on my salad right now." And I SWEAR you could see her knuckles turning white as she was holding that knife chopping!

I wouldn't ask that woman a dang thing with her holding a knife! LOL!!!

Quote:
Quote:

"hiring people who know how to do it then taking credit for their work."




This is another thing I noticed. I have her wedding cakes book and most of the cakes in there were created by other pastry chefs. It's awful that she gets all the credit by just compiling everything in a book while everyone else does everything.

OHHHH another funny thing was watching her on Julia Child's Baking with Julia show. They were making a wedding cake and I remember Julia taking little jabs at her here and there, and Martha being clearly irritated. I don't think Martha had anything on her. Julia would have squashed Martha's head like a pumpkin in her bicep. LOL!

pugmama1 Posted 2 Aug 2011 , 10:37pm

Well....Martha Stewart is intense- no argument there, but personally I have tried many of her recipes and they have been amazing and I make them often. Recently I tried her Brown Butter Toffee Blondies which were demonstrated on her show and the recipe is available on her site. They are so good that I have to think twice about making them because I will lose all control and eat too many! I like her household products as well- reasonable prices and good quality. She is a powerful personality, but I like her and am glad she is around!!

scp1127 Posted 2 Aug 2011 , 11:27pm

pugmama, I agree that she has some good recipes. I just have never ever seen so many duds among a few good. An inexperienced baker would have to believe the fault was theirs, not MS. I love seeing people attempt scratch baking. But if they decide to learn by buying one of her books, they may never try again, assuming they just can't do it. That is unfair, especially when she took their money too.

dreamdelights Posted 2 Aug 2011 , 11:37pm

I used her red velvet recipe and it turned out great. I think the food coloring makes a different with the cake. I tried her yellow cake recipe from the book and it was horrid. I used her cupcake book for ideas like the smores cupcake but not her recipe.

giraffe11 Posted 2 Aug 2011 , 11:45pm

Glad you got your problem worked out! And don't cry....things like that happen to everyone at least once! icon_smile.gif
Re: MS recipes........I agree that some are just awful......but the ones that are good are just so amazing that they keep people talking about your fabulous food for years.....quite literally. To me, it is worth it to trog through some losers to get the gems. I just remember to ALWAYS try out the recipe on my immediate family first. Of course, I do that anyway, no matter whose recipe it is. I had a few bad experiences to teach me that lesson. I don't ever want anyone other than my 5 year old to say...."Mom, is this that really bad cake you made?" lol

l_rock Posted 3 Aug 2011 , 12:44am

Thanks everyone for your kind words and insight! i think because this was my first real disater it hit me really hard. I have always thought of what we do (cake decorating) as a way of brightening peoples days and making a dream, an edible reality.when you get it right and the client is happy - there is no greater high! so i when i got this one wrong, it felt like i had not only let the client down,but distroyed the dream. maybe i put too much stock in what we do... maybe your thinking"it just cake"..but don't think i could do this everyday if it didn't mean more to me than that...

cai0311 Posted 4 Aug 2011 , 2:19pm

I_rock, are you opposed to using box mixes? If so, ignore the rest of my post...

There is a recipe that is based of off WASC for a redvelvet cake. It is amazing tasting. Plus, you don't have to add any red coloring because the base of the recipe is a red velvet box cake - which is already red.

I grew up in the Florida and red velvet cake was served at every function. When I moved to Ohio and was served red velvet cake I was like "why is this chocolate cake red?". Instead of a hint of choco the people here load the recipe with so much choco it is basically a chocolate cake with a ton of food coloring. It is awful!

I make my red velvet cake using the WASC recipe and my clients absolutely love it. No one has ever complained.

1 box red velvet cake mix
1 box white chocolate pudding (if I can't find it I use cheesecake pudding instead)
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup sourcream
1 cup milk
4 eggs
1/3 cup oil

l_rock Posted 4 Aug 2011 , 5:47pm

cai0311, i wish a packet mix was an option - but in Australia its nearly impossible to find a red velvet cake mix.Its not a very popular flavour here and most people have never had it. as a general rule i'm a scratch baker,but it would be nice to have a back-up option available

JanetBme Posted 4 Aug 2011 , 5:57pm

I'm so sorry that this has happened to you. There is no need to let it crush you though. Pick yourself up, dust off, and keep going. She didn't want her money back, so I'm thinking they just didn't like the "RED" after taste. It wasn't something horrendous, just different. Saying "nobody" could eat it, probably came from one child not liking it and then from then on, People didn't give it a chance, because the aftertaste was pointed out to them.

Some people are so very sensitive to aftertastes of colors.. I can't stand it- even the no-taste red has a taste when you add that much to it. I'm sure it was a fine recipe, just not something she is used to.

Your husband and family that tasted it before, have probably become "used" to color flavors, and just don't notice them that much. If it is not a "normal" flavor there, then chances are, it was the first time many people tasted it, and honestly the first time I tasted red velvet, I hated it too!

Don't worry, it's gonna be ok!

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%