Sunday, July 27, 2008

Lessons Learned from the Vanity Project

Dan, having lived through me while making that cake wanted to be sure that I assess and record all the lessons learned about this cake - so it doesn't happen again!

He's so awesome. The cake I had planned was actually larger than the finished project by 2 more cakes - but at the last hour, we decided that the cake stand just wouldn't be sturdy enough to hold it all. He was my voice of reason as I started freaking out, claiming that the cake was a huge disaster and mistake (about 11 pm night before cake delivery).

So anyway... here are some points to consider while making a large cake with a specialty cake stand.

  • Even if you have months to plan, everything will still fall apart at the final hour, and usually end up OK

  • Test and verify the integrity of your cake stand BEFORE putting the cake on it

  • Assemble on site if at all possible

  • If your favorite piece of the whole thing breaks, it's OK because no one will notice the gluing except you

  • Royal icing is an awesome glue

  • I need to practice laying fondant. Like - a lot

  • Poured sugar is mysterious and devious, perhaps learning more in depth the science behind it all would help. Who knows, man I hate working with sugar.

  • Storing poured sugar: wrap well in plastic wrap. Make sure any gum paste or fondant pieces with it are totally dry first. Use silica gel - be sure to check and dry out the silica if needed often.

  • When cooking poured sugar, once you reach clarity, turn the burner way up.

  • Leveling a cake is a two person job.

  • A Dremel is not just a garage tool.

  • Husbands are amazing and quite indispensable. Listen to the husband, he's sane while on the last night before the cake is due - you are not.

  • Measure the fridge and your cake stand before anything begins

  • Figure out and plan how you will transport the cake ahead of time. measure the car and your cake stand before anything begins.

  • Clean as you work. clean clean clean. leaving it all for after is a bad idea because you'll be exhausted

  • Yey Rockstar!

  • If you have a cake in multiple pieces that will end up being under one sheet of fondant, be sure that you have a board big enough to hold the whole thing, 'cause you're going to have to *move* it all as one piece.

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