So, I got my first REAL order for a cake after taking all 4 Wilton Cake Courses. Mind you, I have been offering my practice cakes and cupcakes and making treats for my daughter to share at her place of work. Everyone always raged about them and told me I should be selling this stuff. So, I decided to start off baking from home, but I'm not really an official licensed company, yet. I wanted to see if there was even enough interest to put the money in to making the investment.
I was so excited to do this first order and glad that, with the exception of the flavors of the cake, the type of frosting and the colors, I had artistic license to decorate the cake how I wanted. I am making my cakes and frostings from scratch. I decided to use Wilton recipes for the white and the chocolate cakes, since they have a good reputation for cakes. Everything came out fine and I was proud that my cake turned out so well and on time. I delivered the cake and I believe that I exceeded the customer's expectations with the presentation. In fact, she likes buttercream frosting so well, that she requested that if I had any leftover frosting, I send it along because she loves it. She said she tried the frosting right away, and said I nailed the frosting (meaning is was perfect) and that I should sell the stuff. Two days later, I get a text from her that the top tier, which was chocolate was fine, but the bottom, white layer tasted and smelled like gas and that 9 people could eat no more than 2 bites out of their piece because it tasted so bad. She said I could call her after she was done at work and I did. I tried to figure out how it could possibly have such a bad odor and taste, as there was nothing but good smells in the kitchen and the batter tasted yummy.
I used Wilton everything: Cake boards and dowels, so I know they were food grade and there should have been no chemicals that leached into the cake. I thought about the food coloring. I used Ameri-color purple, except when I got to the darkest purple flowers and then I added a little Wilton black and a little Wilton violet and a little Wilton no taste red and royal blue, trying to get a darker color. I thought maybe the taste was coming from too much food coloring, but I tasted some of the leftover flowers and it melted in my mouth with no bad taste. There was no cake for me to have to see what was wrong. I did, however, remember that I still have the tops of the cakes in the freezer that was left over from leveling the cake. I tasted it and it was really good. (I wanted to eat more than a taste, but told myself "No". )
I have no reason to believe that this cake should have tasted and smelled of gasoline, as one guest described. "It was like I just syphoned gas, got some in my mouth and then took a bite of cake." I can't believe how this could have happened. So, from the time I delivered the cake, until they cut it is the only time that this could have happened. I delivered it to the customer at her work. She apparently was going to put it in the break room until she left from work. Then, she was going to go to her grand daughter's birthday party from work at a restaurant. That's where she cut the cake and when they smelled this gas smell. She said they were serving the cake on paper plates and thought the taste was coming from them. So, they asked the restaurant for regular plates, but it still tasted bad.
The customer was so nice. She didn't want her money back. In fact, she didn't want to tell me and upset me. She told my daughter and my daughter told her to tell me because I would want to know so it doesn't happen to someone else. She is right! Even after offering her money back, and she said she didn't want it, she DID say that I could make her another cake, because she knew what a good cook I was. So, I will make her another cake and not charge her. But, I don't understand how 9 people tasted and smelled gas on this cake. Anyone have any ideas?