Saturday, December 3, 2011

52 Cupcakes and a Leotard.

My last two days have had a small degree of insanity thrown in. A few months ago a running friend asked me to do the cakes for her 30th birthday party. She was flattering about my cake-making ability and my ego ended up getting in the way of common sense and I agreed. Fifty cupcakes and a big cake. All caramel mud. Yep, no worries.

It's no worries when you agree to it six weeks out. But as time gets closer the worries start to happen. What if the cakes flop. What if the weather's really bad and the icing flops? And what the hell am I going to do with the big cake? Decorating cupcakes are a breeze now but big cakes are another story.

Anna was having a disco party theme and really wanted peace signs on the cakes. At times like this I wished I live in the States. I could get some sent over but no one outlet had enough and then their was the time issue - would they get through Customs in time? Anna was on the hunt too and she found some Edible Images that were appropriate. They're little discs of printed rice paper and she picked some with disco balls on them and others with silhouetted disco dancers. A few days ago I decided to have a trial run with them and it was a disaster! The rice paper had been affected by our humidity and they had turned to mush. We needed a plan B.

Plan B was just to colour the icing really bright. But before any decorating could happen I needed to bake some cakes. It took 6 batches of caramel mud cake and my oven blazing for 3 hours to get them all done but I managed it without any disasters. Then the cakes had to survive night-time kitchen raids from hungry boys before I set about decorating them. I was relieved to still count 52 cakes the next morning.

I started early on Friday. Made caramel buttercream and dirty-iced the big cake. Then I rolled out the plastic icing and prayed I would get it over the cake in one piece. Success! I just had to smooth down the sides and trim off the edges and it looked good.

Next was making a double batch of fluffy frosting. I've had some problems with this over the last couple of weeks but again it all went beautifully. But the colouring was actually more challenging than I thought it would be. The violet paste I had was not the pretty purple that I had imagined in my head and I had to use so much yellow colouring that it softened the fluffy frosting so when I piped it I was afraid it would just go limp over the cakes. But I told myself that it would be good enough (I'm such a perfectionist that I worry over every perceived flaw) and it was a good time to go get a coffee.

And that's when the real fun began. Someone (and I'm mentioning no names, Luke) had left my car cabin light on all night and the battery was totally flat. I stomped back upstairs in a coffee rage and hit Luke over the back of his head then realised that Josh's car was there. He let me borrow it (he was half asleep when I asked and probably didn't know what he was agreeing to). I jumped into the car and got half way up the street before his really loud music almost shot me through the roof. If I wasn't already strung out, I was now. I almost got to the shopping centre when I noticed that his empty fuel gauge light was on. Great! How long had it been on? Had he been driving around with it on for a while? Was I going to get home? My personal stress level gauge was flashing red. I finally got my coffee and sat down with a sigh and then the girl in the seat next to me picked up her piano accordion and started playing - badly. Who does this in the food court of a shopping centre?!! And why did she wait until I was in desperate need of some peace?

Happily I made it home without any problems and my piano accordion-playing friend also survived despite my better judgement. The rest of the cake icing went smoothly and my day finished with a visit from my friend Karen, who was picking up the cakes, a chat with Coach Chris and a 2 hour coffee with another friend Natalie. I also got my car battery changed. But I got no sewing work done at all so my leotard count for this week is a measly one.

I'm relieved to have my second big cupcake order done and it's reinforced that I'd never really want to do it as a career. I'm just too much of a stress-head.


  1. Char, you just need to have your cake sink in the middle when you bake it, as mine does, then no one will ask you to make one for them! I have the cake mastered, if you want the recipe. Nevertheless, next time take a picture, I'd love to see what a "real" cake looks like.

    It's probably a good thing our children don't live bear one another, I swear they are the spitting image of each other. My daughter dropped off her car the other day to take mine to work so she could park in the parking lot at work (forbidden during holiday mall hours) and the gas gauge was on empty. And no way you'd ear a firetruck in your rear-end due to the music's high octave level.

    But on a high note, the leotard is gorgeous!!! You are truly gifted!

  2. Ha Ha. I am agreeing with Jill. I made a pie once for a supper in our town and I was never asked again. It was not real pretty!

    You were very nice to do the cupcakes and cake for your friend. I bet they were delicious!

  3. My mid-section thanks you for the lack of sweet indulgence pictures.

  4. Wonderful leotard.
    I am happy I don't have to think about cooking cakes and/or cupcakes.
    Disco Party is a joke here, because the 2 words - with a different split - in italian have a different meaning.

  5. I want pictures!!!! I love cupcakes...they're my favourite thing to make but I 100% agree I'd NEVER want to do it as a career.

  6. I was holding my breath thru the whole post. I was so pleased that the cupcakes worked out. Where are the pictures? The leotard is great.

  7. No cupcake pictures? I get it, just one more detail to stress out about! Glad they turned out well and that you made it home safely from the coffee shop. It's one thing to ride on fumes in your own car when you know exactly how far you can go...I'd be scared too in someone elses!

  8. Those cupcakes sound great, but it also sounds like a lot of work. No wonder you were stressed...

  9. The 52 cakes survived night-time kitchen raids from hungry boys ... you made me laugh :)

    I would certainly ask you those caramel mud cakes if I were in Brisbane :)

    You really were very kind to do the 52 cupcakes and a big cake for your running friend!

  10. The cake sounds amazing. Would have loved to see it! Don't you know by now that young people's cars don't run on fuel, but on loud music? Always plenty of excitement going on in your neck of the woods!

  11. not a chance anyone would ever ask me to bake diddly for them. You are an amazing friend for taking it on and apparently pretty talented!!


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