Disclosing Ingredients?

Decorating By BellaBabyCakes Updated 12 May 2008 , 4:42am by melysa

BellaBabyCakes Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
BellaBabyCakes Posted 10 May 2008 , 11:11pm
post #1 of 12

Hi everyone,

I'm a newbie cake decorator and have already treated my coworkers to some decorated cupcakes. Since I've gotten into this my husband has become more aware of cakes around him, the decorating, the taste, etc. He's a good partner icon_biggrin.gif We both work together at an organic dairy cooperative so he's been keeping his eye out for other's cake talents.

Let me start this off my saying that my husband is a recovering alcoholic with 15 yrs sobriety. This of course, makes me very proud. But one day after work he tells me, "I think I accidentally had some alcohol today". After eating a cake that someone brought into work! She used amaretto in the frosting (not cooked). Part of me believes this should be disclosed when people are eating it. Of course, there's some responsibility on his part too to ask, just as you would if you suffered a food allergy. The only way he knew was because people were talking about the flavor after the fact which led to questions.

At a workplace? Am I wrong?

11 replies
SugarplumStudio Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
SugarplumStudio Posted 10 May 2008 , 11:27pm
post #2 of 12

First, congrats to your husband for 15 years of sobriety!

My DH has been a vegetarian for 20+ years. He has always made it his responsibility to ask if anything being offered to him to eat is meat/animal product free. Many times, he has almost eaten something that has marshmallows or lard because people don't think to disclose those ingredients. It's cake, not a burger, so they don't consider animal products. He wouldn't never wait for the information to be offered.

I make cakes for him to take to work all the time and they often include alcohol, like tiramisu or rum cake. I don't think that the alcohol is inappropriate in a dessert for work since it isn't in an amount that would intoxicate. However, if you had an allergy or aversion, you wouldn't eat a cake first THEN ask if it had traces of tree nuts. As a courtesy, I always make sure that I explicitly name the cake " Italian Rum Cake" or "Chocolate Bourbon Praline", so that people know to expect the alcohol.

Nothing is worse than serving something then finding out that a particular person shouldn't have eaten it. I once gave DH caeser salad dressing when we were dating. He assumed that since I was a chef, I'd be conscience of anchovies being in caeser and figured it was creamy italian. Truth is, I just didn't think about it. I felt so bad when he realized it was caeser and instantly got sick to his stomach! Look at it this way, being proactive and asking, "is there alcohol in this?" will be so much better than finding out you served meat to a vegetarian! LOL

alanahodgson Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
alanahodgson Posted 10 May 2008 , 11:37pm
post #3 of 12

As a person with severe food allergies, if I suspect something I'm going to eat has an allergen in it, I ask. If I eat something and it has an allergen in it, I cannot blame an unknowing provider of the food if I suffer from a reaction. I can only blame myself for not asking. When you bring a dish to a friend's house or to a pot luck, do you disclose every ingredient? Of course not! I think its silly to ask that someone disclose the ingredients of their recipe every time they bring a dish to a function. If someone has a a food issue, it's their responsibilty to find out what thier eating. In reality, the amount alcohol he probably consumed was VERY small and he can chalk it up to a learning experience.

CakeDiva73 Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
CakeDiva73 Posted 10 May 2008 , 11:46pm
post #4 of 12

I think people with food issues (no negative conotation intended) i.e., allergies, alcohol, vegetarian, vegan, kosher, etc. are responsible for asking the questions when eating food prepared by others, whether it be from a restaraunt, potluck, vending machine, etc....

As for it being inappropriate because it was alcohol, I feel that because it was in a baked good (even if not 'baked') it's not like bringing shots to work or anything. icon_smile.gif And most of those kinds of alcohol treats have a sort of boozy aroma that would probably be noticed by the super-sensitive-to-alcohol-AA-nose. (this is what I call my husbands' nose - he has about 9 years of sobriety).

He has never eaten a piece of my Grandmothers rum pound cake, despite the fact that the 'rum' is extract rather then true booze. In summary, he asks before he eats and makes certain decisions about what is acceptable and what he feels isn't.

I hope your husband doesn't feel as if he has lost his chip because of the frosting, because I don't think any friend of Bill W. would think that was the case........

BellaBabyCakes Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
BellaBabyCakes Posted 11 May 2008 , 1:41am
post #5 of 12

Thanks everyone icon_smile.gif You just never think about things like this when you don't have an issue with certain food "things" yourself. He knows it was his job to ask but it's also something we don't really think about; I'm not a drinker either and it never crosses my mind! Things can just sneak up without you even knowing it obviously.

My mom has celiac disease so she always asks but I guess it was time to open my eyes as to his obstacles in the world icon_smile.gif And yes, he will be asking from now on thumbs_up.gif

pastryjen Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
pastryjen Posted 11 May 2008 , 2:33am
post #6 of 12

If it's something your DH isn't comfortable mentioning at work...he can always say he is allergic. I had a friend that was allergic to alcohol and she would break out in a rash.

Congrats to him though.

BellaBabyCakes Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
BellaBabyCakes Posted 11 May 2008 , 2:54am
post #7 of 12

I have never heard him mention it all 6 yrs we've been together. He may be uncomfortable or he may just figure it's nobody's business icon_smile.gif But he plays weekly poker at our local bar and when offered a beer he'll always just say "Water's fine" with no explanation.

Maybe I should ask eh? LOL

TexasSugar Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
TexasSugar Posted 11 May 2008 , 3:33am
post #8 of 12

Congrats to your hubby!

But I do have a questions. Don't almost all icings have alcohol in them? Don't all the extracts have alcohol?

BellaBabyCakes Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
BellaBabyCakes Posted 11 May 2008 , 3:59am
post #9 of 12

That's what I mentioned to him..that my pure vanilla had alcohol lol. I sinned myself! icon_biggrin.gif

TexasSugar Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
TexasSugar Posted 12 May 2008 , 1:48am
post #10 of 12

I know a guy that has a breatherlizer on his truck. He said he had to switch toothpaste and couldn't use certain breath mints and things cause they contained sugar alcohols. I'd never thought about that before, but I guess we all consume more 'alcohol' than we really realise.

I have an uncle that is a recovering alcoholic. When I make a dessert that has alcohol in it I will tell him, and give him the option. I also know a cousin's daughter has a nut allergy so if I do something with nuts I will tell her, but I don't make a general anoucement to everyone around about what is or isn't in an item.

HerBoudoir Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
HerBoudoir Posted 12 May 2008 , 4:11am
post #11 of 12

I really do think it's up to the person who has food sensitivities to ask; otherwise you'd have to stick a big warning label on everything you cook that says "WARNING: CONTAINS FOOD PRODUCTS"

I brought in some chocolate meringue cookies to a meeting one day about a year ago. An individual who shall remain nameless let her child scarf a bunch of them down, then later emailed me asking if they contained eggs, because Jr. wasn't feeling well and had an egg allergy.

Well DUH. 1 - they were cookies, and 2 - they were meringues.

But seriously...yes, if it's your food problem...then you have to be responsible for asking.

melysa Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
melysa Posted 12 May 2008 , 4:42am
post #12 of 12
Originally Posted by DivaLori

That's what I mentioned to him..that my pure vanilla had alcohol lol. I sinned myself! icon_biggrin.gif

yup, 35% alcohol!

Quote by @%username% on %date%