K8 I understand the concerns about pesticides..............I still stick flowers dirrectly into the cake in a situation like the photo shows. In a heavy casade, the front area that has all the flowers stuck into it isn't edible due to how ruined it is from the holes. I give more servings to account for that.
Another Price Question, but this one I have no idea where to start - Page 3
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It's a choice and I wanted to speak a word for safety sake. We are all used to seeing fresh flowers and odd things on cakes like feathers and plastic toys. If however we placed those items on our baked potato or on our steak that would be weird and we might get more of a sense of how food-wise it might not be the best choice. Everyone decides for themselves.
There are pesticide issues, use of formaldehyde, some flowers themselves are poisonous--poinsettias for example as well as calla lillies, lily of the valley, hydrangea etc.
Because there are so many new people hungry for cake knowledge I just wanted to present this side of the flower usage conundrum. So we can know some options and make the choices we want.
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I was using the cake serving chart from Wilton. I used the Party size for every order, wedding or not. It would only be 163 or something by the party standard, but 208 by the wedding one. I told her that she could cut it by the wedding standard and have enough, but I totally didn't think about the number of flowers poking into the cake ruining it. Would she need a whole other tier then?
Thank you so much for all of the insight regarding the flowers. I have actually never worked with real flowers on a cake, so I am so thankful for all of the help.
Yes, I would totally take a deposit to hold the date. To clarify, I find people change their minds about their design over a long time period. There's too many factors that can change in that long of a time span, that it's not fair to be locked into a price quote. Perhaps the bride really loves your work and is just concerned that you'll be available for her.
The cake in the photo appears t have real ribbon borders, not fondant. Yes, fondant borders are far more difficult then real ribbon. Real ribbon is a breeze to use!
I've started a thread here before talking about servings.............it is a extremely subjective topic. I've been instructed by one Chef I sell to, that he gets 140 servings out of a 14" & 10" cake, he sends home the top 6" layer so it's not counted into the servings. I don't follow any-ones elses chart religiously............
I peeked at Costumeczar's blog where she shows a photograph of a mass plating of cake servings. That's what I've seen cut 99% of the time by Chefs. They cut thin to be certain there is enough, they don't care if there is extra or if people get a slightly smaller portion, their motto is "cover thy butt". Left over cake isn't a problem ever, not enough is their worry.
Yeah, that picture is what I see around here most of the time. I always use 80% of the guest count for cake servings because my goal is to have all of the cake gone, not a whole tier left over. That just makes the bride mad and she'll blame you for selling her too much cake.
k8memphis brings up a valid point and I would encourage all the novice bakers and cake decorators to take note.
Sticking any non-edible objects, organic or inorganic (eg, flower and leaf stems, plastic decorations, feathers, wires - both covered and uncovered), creates a vector for introducing pathogens and allergens into your product.
We have had too many threads to count where members have said "its only cake", "it's not a high risk food", "its only affecting the outer part of one bit of the cake which can get cut off", but the facts remain:
1. You are producing a food product, and you alone are responsible for making it to food safety standards. It doesn't matter if you personally would take the chance eating something that had a wire or stem in it, if YOU are producing it, it is YOUR responsibility to make sure it is safe. "I didn't know" is no excuse. Learn what you should and shouldn't do before you start selling food to the public.
2, The elderly, children, pregnant women and people who are chronically immunosuppressed (eg, having cancer treatment, organ recipients, or those with auto-immune diseases) are at HIGH risk of being adversely affected by food-borne pathogens.
3. Your liability insurance (assuming you have it) may NOT cover you if you are shown to be negligent and not following food safety standards.
4. It is only an extra couple minutes and a few extra cents per cake to ensure you are NOT tainting your products by introducing inedible, non-food-safe objects directly into it. If in doubt, ask. If still in doubt - DON'T stick it in your cake!
This post is slightly off-topic, however I feel it warrants repeating especially when we have relatively inexperienced cakers contemplating making a 5-tier cake and asking for help on how to handle the significant amount of flower placement on the cake.
Re: cake servings - another tortuous topic, to be sure...I always show my clients the sizes of the serving portions (actual models) AND with each cake I supply to every single venue I will have a plastic sleeve with an ingredients list on one side (for guests concerned about allergies) and a disassembly and cutting guide for the kitchen staff on the other. My brides and grooms know I will be supplying this to each venue.
I figure if I am educating the bride and groom, they are making an informed decision. I am giving each venue instructions on how to cut the cake including how many slices are in each cake. So if someone stuffs up, its not for want of education. I also advise the venue to place any excess cake in a box, which I also provide, so at least the couple and/or their families get the cake they paid for.
Give your clients all the information, and let them tell you how much cake they want.
It's much safer, definitely!
I was going to mention too - in my photos from around 2010 I have a 7-tier wedding cake with over 100 sugar roses cascading down the side. As it was a fondant-covered cake, I stuck every single rose on the side of that cake at the venue using melted white chocolate, after removing the wires of course. The servers were able to easily remove each rose from the side of the cake. I still use this method for most (but not all) of my sugar flowers on fondant cakes.
Another hint is to make your roses on ****tail sticks instead of wires. These can then be stuck directly into a cake (after wiping the stick) as, you guessed it, ****tail sticks are food-safe!
I have NEVER put a real-flower cascade down the side of a cake, only half-sphere toppers for the top tier of a cake, and then they are arranged on a circle of silicon paper with nothing stuck into the top of the cake at all.
LOL...c o c k t a i l sticks. I promise it was nothing worse than that, that I wrote above :-)
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