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Tales of a Cake Decorator

Dessert

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73 replies to this topic

#61 MissJane

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Posted 27 September 2005 - 04:21 PM

WOW! you are all so talented .:) I thought I would share some of my cakes but I havent done that many yet! ( getting there tho!).


This one is a test cake sent to a local Deli to see if it will sell.
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I am trying to work with chocolate more as I am moving back to Australia and the current trend is chocolate based decorations at the moment. Buttercream is not popular at all.
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First time working with fondant Roses
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My Australia day cake!
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#62 K8memphis

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Posted 27 September 2005 - 04:34 PM

I thought I would share some of my cakes but I havent done that many yet! ( getting there tho!).


Awesome stuff --doesn't appear as if you're just starting. You're using a lot of different techniques. I love the lillie of the valley, your chocolate cake is to die for, your first fondant roses are A+ but I promise, my favorite is the boxing gloved kangaroo--too cool--great stuff!

Edited by K8memphis, 27 September 2005 - 04:36 PM.


#63 K8memphis

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Posted 29 September 2005 - 03:21 PM

But I hate having to constantly refill the bag and worse I don't like to handle slippery bags. But inevitable mine gets frosting on the sides and I start to loose my grip. Anyone have a way of avoiding that??????


Here is an idea. Before it gets out of hand, like after the first coupla fillings lay the bag on the counter with the opening toward you, the tip pointing away from you. Insert your clean spatula into the bag, not quite touching the payload down there, just into the icky top edges there that you want to cleanup. Hold the spatula edge firmly against the table through the bag. With your free hand, cross over the spatula and pinch the bag so you can roll the bag up thus cleaning the insides, repeat to get all the way around the bag. It's a jif to do--rather painstaking to describe. You are just rotating the bag between the table and the spatula edge. Just keep the spatula pressed against the table so it wipes off the inside of the bag, as you pull the bag around it, y'know?

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All I'm saying of course is stick your spatula in the top and using the table as leverage scrape out the top of the bag. While it is all smoothed out you can wipe it down & dry it off too if you need to. I was doing this today, cleaning out the top of the bag, and I realized I had advised here to cross your hand over the bag to do this & that's not necessary. Just pinch the bag to grab hold of it & pull it up so it rolls under the spatula. Allowing the spatula clean off the inside there.
:biggrin: So many words, so little relevance :laugh:

#64 mpshort

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Posted 02 October 2005 - 10:41 AM

My last wedding cake for the year!!! Can you tell I'm excited??? I love doing cakes but between this and the full time pastry chef gig I'm exhausted. Things get really, really busy during "festive" aka Christmas holidays at work so no more cakes until mid January.


Cake details: 15" dummy cake, 12" swiss truffle tortel, 9" lilikoi chiffon w/lilikoi curd and 6" coconut w/caramel all iced in Italian meringue buttercream. All the flowers are gumpaste.


The bride was an absolute PIA to deal with: very little communication and follow through. And even though she was a gazillionaire she refused to take the time to mail me payment. She's the first client I have ever had to threaten with "termination of contract". The reception was at Allen Wong's Club Grille.

The cake table was decorated beautifully: a bed of orchids lit from underneath.


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#65 chefpeon

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Posted 02 October 2005 - 11:31 AM

The bride was an absolute PIA to deal with: very little communication and follow through. And even though she was a gazillionaire she refused to take the time to mail me payment. She's the first client I have ever had to threaten with "termination of contract"


AIN'T THAT THE TRUTH!!! I swear, every bride that I've had problems with regarding ponying up the cash on the due date was quite wealthy. It always seems the ones that were struggling with a budget, always always paid on time.....or early. What's up with that?

This August I almost thought I wasn't going to get paid for one of the cakes I did. I do a lot of long distance consulting because my town is a "destination" wedding type of place....a lot like Hawaii. Most brides don't live here.....they just come to get married in a pretty place. My rule is that the cake must be paid for NO LATER than a week before the wedding.....or no cakey. I sent an email to the bride reminding her of the due date. She say's OK, it's in the mail tomorrow. So I wait three days. No check. So now it's four days before the wedding. Send her an email.......where's the check? OH! she says, I wrote it but didn't mail it. It's in the mail tomorrow. So now it's Friday before the wedding. Still no check. I send her an email....try to call.....no response. I figure it's because she's here now, and can't check her email, and I have no cell number. Don't know where she's staying......try to call her mother....no response. So, if I follow my own rules, I shouldn't deliver the cake on Saturday.....I mean, I have no money. But, man.....I can't DO that....that would be truly awful.......especially if the check actually was in the mail and got held up somehow. So I make the decision to deliver the cake and hope for the best. Made me nervous.

So now it's Monday after the wedding. No check. No response to calls or emails because bride is now on her honeymoon. Week passes.......Friday....no check. Ok, now I'm MAD. I fire off an email saying that I delivered the cake in good faith, and I really should have had the check the week before the wedding as we'd discussed CLEARLY. If I didn't receive the check soon....I would have to take "further action"......I was polite but let it be known I was pretty annoyed by being blown off like that.

So Saturday comes. I get the check along with a sweet note saying the cake was everything and more than she expected and thank you so much!!!

Shit.
I felt like crap for sending the annoyed email, but what was I supposed to do? I really thought I wasn't getting paid. So I fired off an email right away thanking her for the payment and the note, but I probably looked like a jackass anyway.

I really hate it when I'm put in that position!!!! :angry:

#66 mpshort

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Posted 02 October 2005 - 11:54 AM

My policy is "paid in full 4 weeks prior to the event". You know how you just get a feeling about a bride? Well, my intuition was definitely waving the red flag. I knew it wasn't an issue of not having the money; it was more an issue of my time not being as valuable as her time. If you have the money to rent out the entire Club Grille for a Saturday night, you certainly have enough money for the cake!

Next time I will listen to my intuition sooner. It's so stressful to do a cake last minute because you didn't get paid when you should have!

#67 chefpeon

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Posted 02 October 2005 - 12:12 PM

You know how you just get a feeling about a bride? Well, my intuition was definitely waving the red flag.


I sure do. I get "feelings" about all of them, and still, to some point I ignore my intuition and
figure I must be wrong.....but I never am. You'd think I'd learn.

I think perhaps requiring the full amount one week before is probably too lenient and not to mention risky. I think I'll take your advice and make it three or four weeks before. Thanks for the tip. :smile:

#68 Wendy DeBord

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Posted 02 October 2005 - 12:50 PM

Mpshort, that's an incredible shot! What a dream cake table......

#69 K8memphis

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Posted 02 October 2005 - 01:40 PM

Yes, mpshort, that table of underlit orchids is crazy beautiful. Your cake is exquisite. And they held off on payment? Dirty bums.

I have a three week paid in full policy on cakes I do from home. I was lucky enough to get to do a cake for a double wedding--really cool. However, one bride paid, one didn't. Heh heh heh heh ($%#&@). So how about just deliver half the cake :biggrin: :angry: they were like intertwined, y'know stacked right next to each other--cascades running hither and yon.


Well, I debated & huffed & puffed and decided it would hurt me more, like blood pressure & upsettedness to screw them than to go ahead and deliver, so I delivered it. There was no complimentary 5" cake, decorated to match all boxed & ready for the freezer - not for either of them. The cake was definitely not pimped out. I mean they got what they ordered but obviously I was not in the mood. No magic for you!

So eventually I got paid. But I was right. I felt so good after I delivered. If I had only delivered half of it, what I had been paid for, I would have felt like sh*t. Probably had a nervous breakdown somewhere waiting for the fallout.

More weeks ahead of time gives you a chance to let the check clear too.

#70 Malawry

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Posted 02 October 2005 - 02:05 PM

With catering, I require a 50% deposit to "reserve the date," 25% a month before, and the remaining 25% with the guarantee. If it's planned less than a month out, it's 75% to reserve the date and the remaining 25% with the guarantee. That way I have some money in hand before I am even obligated to get started on the event. If I don't get a check, I just gently hint that I have other interest in the person's date. But then I'm a one-woman shop and am not yet in a position to book more than one event at the same time.

A week before the wedding for 100% of the cake expense seems extremely risky to me.

#71 chefpeon

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Posted 02 October 2005 - 02:22 PM

A week before the wedding for 100% of the cake expense seems extremely risky to me.


Oh, don't get me wrong, I get a 50% deposit up front. The other 50% is the part that's due the week before the wedding. But like I said, a week before really isn't enough time. I'm going to move
it to four weeks.

#72 K8memphis

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Posted 02 October 2005 - 02:37 PM

A week before the wedding for 100% of the cake expense seems extremely risky to me.


Oh, don't get me wrong, I get a 50% deposit up front. The other 50% is the part that's due the week before the wedding. But like I said, a week before really isn't enough time. I'm going to move
it to four weeks.

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Yeah, me too, I shoulda said the balance paid in full ...

#73 Malawry

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Posted 02 October 2005 - 02:42 PM

Thanks for the clarification. You ladies had me worried for you there!

#74 shaloop

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Posted 02 October 2005 - 03:34 PM

I want to cry because I can't see ANY of the pictures you're posting Ann (Chefpeon). I'm sure they're wonderful. I even tried cutting and pasting the link in a new window and I can't. I went to your website and still can't see the pictures on the site. I just get those darned white boxes with red x's. :sad:

But I'm still enjoying reading your posts and everyone else's. And eveyone else's pictures! I love this place!!!





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