Sunday, January 31, 2010

Cakes on a plane!!

.......or on a train or in a car, no matter how you transport a cake, delivery is always the most stressful part of the job.There's nothing like laboring over a cake for hours or days , even, only to have it damaged in transit.I know there are some cake designers who say they have never had a cake disaster and to that I say either, "congratulations "or,more likely, "bullshit!".Even the most careful driver cannot account for crumbling infrastructure.What you can do though, is try and learn from each experience.Everyone makes mistakes, but the trick is to try to not make the same mistake twice.My first cake delivery disaster was way back in the old days when I was still using buttercream exclusively, a time from here forward I shall refer to as BF (before fondant).I had worked so hard replicating a vintage MG car (wait aren't all MG's vintage? anyhoo....) all systems were go. Then came time for the delivery.If you have not been to San Francisco , likely, you are well aware of the terrain.Long ,90 degree sloping streets make for lovely vistas but are cake delivery nightmares.Creeping along, we inched towards the address , of course situated at the very top of a hill. To make delivering cakes in a big metropolitan area even more exciting, add in the dearth of parking spaces :fun times! So, naturally we had to circle around to find a parking space and had the pleasure of traversing that same geometric nightmare a second time.
Finally, we arrive at the house. Tip: always, always check the cake first before presenting it to your customer! We manage to get the box inside , only to lift the box lid to reveal a nice bit of front end damage. So, it turns out that a cake cannot defy gravity afterall. I must say that my client was so very gracious and told me that the birthday boy had actually crashed the car and damaged that very same front end. Regardless of her, her good nature, I was crestfallen.Even if the cake will be destroyed as a natural part of it's life cycle, it's my responsibility to deliver an intact cake.I returned her money despite her objections and went home to do some serious soul searching.Was I cut out for this job? Did I suck? I let myself wallow in cake induced misery for a while then I set about trying to learn from my mistakes.
1• always refrigerate a cake when possible, it makes the cake more sturdy for transport
2•try to have detailed delivery instructions , keeping in mind the terrain
3•never, ever present a cake without inspecting it first
I now had my own post traumatic stress trigger: car cakes! Now, subjected to such circumstances any cake would have been challenged , but it wasn't any cake it was a car.For the longest time I could not shake this thought.Over time however car cakes have become the cake deliveries I worry about least..Making them is an entirely different story! So, in light of this cake life lesson and because this week happened to be car cake week at DDC here are a few of the many that prove you can successfully get back on the horse (or car whichever the case may be).
Delorean from Back to the future Herbie the Love bug!Smart car.... woulda' had no parking issues with this one, but it would have had to have been a cupcake delivery!Karman Ghia , very similar to the MG, whose pic BTW was deleted from my camera (it was cursed I tell you!)


Swank Cake Design said...

Good advice. We have all been there and it is always nice to know "you're not alone!"

Sugar Mama NYC said...

Amen! I had a huge 3 tiered Jack Daniels cake collapse because the client gave me the wrong address and where she sent me had tons of hills. So while driving this huge cake up and down this steep hill, looking for the address; the cake fell over! I felt so bad I spent 4 hours rebuilding the cake the kitchen in the banquet hall.
I have since required my clients to sign off on the delivery address and have developed sturdier internal structures for cakes.
I was just working on guide for transporting cakes for my blog!