Here's an e-mail I received from today for a cake I did this weekend.
"The cake was beautiful, but unfortunately the taste was not. It took quite the effort to cut through it, it was that hard! The flavor was not right and it was too hard to eat. Out of 20 people only 2 ate more than one bite. I was quite embarrassed. I saved a slice for you so you could check it out, if you'd like. I wanted to give you the chance to make this right. I need a baker and someone to recommend to my friends. I know we all make mistakes, and that pound cake is denser, but something was not right. Let me know how you would like to proceed."
I've made this cake many times for people and it's always gotten rave reviews. It is a very dense cake and it is little harder to cut, but it certainly isn't hard like she explained unless she left in the fridge right up until cake cutting. I also tried the cake scraps before I delivered it and it was yummy as usual. I'm really not sure what to do.
Hmmm, is there any possibility that it really was too dry? I make cream cheese pound cake all the time and it is definitely not hard to cut. What is the recipe? I would definitely take a scrap from her and let her taste it. I think we all have our criticisms, but try and use it for the better. If it were me, I would meet her to get the cake to taste, and bring her a small 6" to replace, if you are confident with it. I think she will need this to order again. I would really love to hear the ingredients. So sorry this happened.
Ask to check out the slice she saved for you & go from there
It was the cream cheese pound cake off this site. I've made it several times and it's never been too dry. I think she prob tried to cut it right out of the fridge. I think I prob will ask to taste the slice she saved, but what do I do if I think it taste fine? I'm sure it's fine cause the scraps I ate off of her cake was very good.
I wouldn't be tasting a piece that came back to me from a customer's house. I'd inquire about the right out of the fridge possibility. Definitely do whatever it takes to make things right with her if her (and her friends) business is expected/desired in the future.
From your letter, your customer seems very reasonable, which (unfortunately) isn't always the case. Whether the cake was dry or not, if she's willing to talk to you about it and if your response could generate more referrals and business, I'd offer her a replacement/refund/credit of some sort. Word of mouth really is the best advertising, especially if it includes how easy you are to work with...