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post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Just throwing it out there. I'm having a problem with my brother's fiance and her cake she wants me to make. I am not a professional and only bake for fun, I am 23 and also have aspergers and sometime I have trouble communicating. After not being asked to do it but having her tell me she wants me to make it, I;m having trouble with the whole thing.

 

She want a cake made in buttercream to look like fondant and I know that there are recipes for crusting buttercream that you smooth down with a paper towel, that fine, but she doesn't want any shortening in it.

I have so far tried three different recipes, 2 with shortening and 1 with all butter, the shortening really seems to help the crust set up and smooth but the all butter has tasted the best. The all butter was very creamy and delicious but as hard as i tried it wouldn't harden enough to get as smooth as the others.

 

The other problem is I can't get her to talk to me more about it. She travels a lot for her job and when I do get to talk to her it's very difficult. Me and her seem to have this disconnect, she doesn't have any one picture or anything for me to look at, just a bunch of different looking cakes that I'm supposed to pull ideas from. The basic cake is a three layer round that looks like fondant but made of buttercream with nothing on the edges and nothing where the cakes meet, she wants a silhouette of tree going up the front in chocolate. I don't feel comfortable with my frosting skills to do it and have it look nice.

 

The wedding is a couple of months away and there is time, but I am afaid to tell her no. My mother and I feel that we could try and talk her into a cake that I could do easier and with a lot less stress. The problem with tis is that I don't want my mother to tell her for me and I want to sort it out myself but I just can't find the words.

 

I wonder if anybody can help with any of these problems. thanks

post #2 of 8

Just tell her you don't know how to do it. If you don't feel comfortable leaving it at that - show her a picture of a cake you feel comfortable making and say, but I can do this. If you've never stacked a 3 tier cake, I would tell her that you don't know how to do that either.

 

She'd have to be crazy to still want you to do her cake if you tell her you don't know how. People who don't do cakes don't always realize that there's a lot of skill and experience involved. They especially tend to forget that when they want cheap cake or free cake. And I mean that both ways 1) Some people forget accidentally on purpose and 2) others close their eyes and expect a miracle.

 

Good luck :-)


Edited by howsweet - 9/15/13 at 8:19pm
post #3 of 8

I can tell you this from experience. Unless you are 100% confident that you can do the design that she wants, DO NOT DO IT!  If it does not turn out, your guilt about not saying no and her anger about it not turning out will loom over your heads for a very long time. She should understand and respect your decision.

 

Do something you know you are capable of. Doesn't need to be easy; challenge yourself, but stay within your limits.

A compromise is the art of dividing a cake in such a way that everyone believes he has the biggest piece.

 

welldressedcakesbybrett.com

 

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Well-Dressed-Cakes-by-Brett/200852383318927

Reply

A compromise is the art of dividing a cake in such a way that everyone believes he has the biggest piece.

 

welldressedcakesbybrett.com

 

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Well-Dressed-Cakes-by-Brett/200852383318927

Reply
post #4 of 8

Hi Bubba Drew,

 

I feel for you and the situation you find yourself in with your sister-in-law.  A wedding is a high stress situation and to be honest her attitude towards you, her sister-in-law who is doing her a favour, is quite frankly appalling.

 

When a cake is being made as a gift, the bride usually leaves it up to the cake maker to make whatever they are comfortable with, and just suggest the colour scheme.  The fact that she's insisting on a particular type of buttercream that's more difficult for you to work with and a difficult chocolate pattern says to me that she needs to go to a specialist wedding cake bakery.

 

I think for your own wellbeing Bubba Drew you should explain this to your brother and tell him it's causing you too much stress, that it's too challenging a task for you at this stage in your cake decorating experience.

 

They will understand - don't put yourself under too much pressure with cakes or you'll end up hating a hobby that you once loved and were really good at. Stand up for yourself Bubba Drew and good luck!

post #5 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by CakeGeekUk View Post
 

Hi Bubba Drew,

 

I feel for you and the situation you find yourself in with your sister-in-law.  A wedding is a high stress situation and to be honest her attitude towards you, her sister-in-law who is doing her a favour, is quite frankly appalling.

 

When a cake is being made as a gift, the bride usually leaves it up to the cake maker to make whatever they are comfortable with, and just suggest the colour scheme.  The fact that she's insisting on a particular type of buttercream that's more difficult for you to work with and a difficult chocolate pattern says to me that she needs to go to a specialist wedding cake bakery.

 

I think for your own wellbeing Bubba Drew you should explain this to your brother and tell him it's causing you too much stress, that it's too challenging a task for you at this stage in your cake decorating experience.

 

They will understand - don't put yourself under too much pressure with cakes or you'll end up hating a hobby that you once loved and were really good at. Stand up for yourself Bubba Drew and good luck!

I agree with everything that has been posted here and especially CakeGeekUK's (I put it in bold) line above. Do not let yourself get to that point. It is very hard to bounce back from. And do not be afraid to say "No."

post #6 of 8

I just made my first large cake this past weekend and it happened to be for my cousins wedding.  It turned out fine, but it was stressful for me.  The bride gave me a few pictures and said if I could make it great, if not make something else.  I can't imagine being asked to make something so difficult.  You need to sit your future sister - in - law down and tell her that you can't make what she is asking for.  Tell her you would love to make the cake but can't make what she wants.   Offer her what you are comfortable with.  You will be stressed enough making a cake for a wedding, you don't need to feel like you should do the impossible.    If she still insists hand her a piping bag and ask her to show you what she wants :-D Maybe then she will realize how difficult it is. 

 

Idea for smoothing the all butter frosting:   stick it in the freezer and use a bench scraper!   I did that with mine and it looked pretty smooth.  Not sure how it will hold up when it warms up though.  

 

I hope you find a way to convey your feelings to her.   

 

Just had a second thought - you seem to write very well.  Since she travels so much and I assume she knows your not always comfortable face to face, perhaps you could send her an email? 

post #7 of 8

An all butter recipe really won't ever smooth as well with a Viva paper towel as a recipe with at least some shortening because the butter has a lower melting point than shortening and that makes it more vulnerable to the heat of your hands.  It is what it is.

 

Sometimes you just have to force someone's hand:  "I have to use at least 50% shortening in order to do what you want." 

"I have to have a picture of what you want.  Please search the internet for something close enough to your vision so that we can discuss it, alter it, and come to a meeting of the minds.  It's the only way that I can make you what you want." 

"I'm not comfortable trying [that] on your wedding cake.  Would [this] be OK because I know that I can do it."

 

If she can't help you with this, you need to tell her that you just can't do it on your own & she needs to find another baker--for both of your sakes.

post #8 of 8
What about using modeling chocolate for the tree since you don't feel comfortable piping that (I wouldn't either) even if you used tootsie rolls!! Get a bunch and knead them together. I would suggest gloves. It could work! Try finding a few pictures online of something you visioned her cake to look like that you are able to do and ask what she thinks of them and go from there!! Good luck icon_smile.gif
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