Nothing a cupcake photo can't fix

Thursday, 15 December 2011

I'm sure you're annoyed that I haven't updated for a while but I know you'll forgive me because who doesn't love a cupcake photo! These were for a fundraising thing for Denny's work where she set up an indoor mini golf course with blocks and office stuff including a blacked out office and a glow-in-the-dark ball which sounded like great fun.

Not My Cake Disaster

Friday, 2 December 2011

So last weekend we went on a whirlwind trip (sans kids) to the Hunter Valley for a wedding (apologies to our Sydney friends we didn't get to visit). The weather was spectacular - torrential rain and thunderstorms until the hour before the ceremony when it cleared up and was a fantastically clear and warm evening. The venue and bride were both beautiful and the groom was dapper - everything in order there.

The wedding cake had been delivered to the (very popular) venue the day before our friends'  wedding which wouldn't have been an issue except that the venue had a wedding on that very night during which time they mistakenly cut and served the our friends'  wedding cake!  Whoops!

How could this happen you ask? Good question.  Just like the 1996 Mt Everest Disaster I believe a chain of small events led to this catastrophic cake incident.

1. The cake was delivered without a note or label (normal) and with apparently no verbal exchange between the delivery person and kitchen people (not normal - I always check I'm in the right place at least - but then I have a track record of being a bit wrong). 

2. The Friday night group didn't have a wedding cake organised at all - so I guess if there is only one cake sitting around, the staff might assume it was for the current function.

3. The cake itself was a truffle cake which looked similar to this: (thank you internet ). So I guess if you were the Friday night wedding party, you might think the venue (or someone else) had supplied this cake as a 'surprise'.

So who is to blame you ask? Well as a long time student of the law (i.e. I watch Judge Judy whenever I am sick) I believe I am well qualified to apportion blame which I do so as follows:

40% venue (really they should have checked before slicing and dicing the first cake they saw come supper-time)

60% delivery person/cake supplier (I'm thinking the delivery person must have been a 3rd party in which case it was up to the supplier to provide written details particularly when the cake was delivered early).

0% Friday night wedding party. The feeling on Saturday night was the Friday people were in the wrong eating someone else's cake but I don't think they would have had any reason to suspect it wasn't a gift or bonus from the venue.  So we're letting them off.

The upshot of the whole affair? The bride and groom took it in their stride, the kitchen staff were horrified at their mistake and supplied a few plates of truffles instead (slightly dodgy ones unfortunately but they would have only had a few hours to source them), and the venue themselves gave the bride and groom free accommodation for their wedding night.  And as for me - I was SO grateful that it had nothing to do with me - to my knowledge, everyone who has ordered a cake from me, has eaten in on their wedding day. Phew.





My Cake Disasters

Friday, 2 December 2011

As I'm about to write a post about a cake disaster that happened to another cake maker & venue I though it was only fair I write a post listing a few of my near misses and tense moments in the last 10 years... 


  • Like the time I made a set of figurines where the groom was lifting the bride above his head. All well and good but when I opened the back of the car at the venue the figurines were no-where to be seen. The top heavy nature of them was too much for the soft mud cake and they'd gone flying off the top and rolled around the back (thankfully no injury was sustained and I could prop them back up)
  • Or the time when a chance phone call reminded me that I had a cake to deliver the very next day (which I hadn't started).  I was at work at the time so I suddenly made my excuses and rushed home for a very late night. Again - it all ended well but it was very close to being a disaster!
  • Or the time(s) I delivered a cake to a venue, and got to the cake table only to see a cake already on the cake table. Luckily a day early is a lot better than a day late!
  • There have been a lot of kitchen mistakes too which get fixed before they go into the car - just last week I managed to burn a fruitcake, make and ice a cake in totally the wrong flavour and then make and ice a cake in totally the wrong size - all for the one wedding cake! This is more reflective of my state of mind when it comes to cakes at the moment I think - i.e. I'm generally trying to avoid them - delivering them on a weekend is far to difficult when there are four of us wanting to do different things - the restriction of an absolute wedding cake delivery time is a real pain.



Mercury Surf Safari

Monday, 21 November 2011

Also on the weekend I did the 43rd Mercury Surf Safari - an event I never would have imagined I would do.  It was pretty long race from Sandy Bay to Cornelian Bay on the other side of the bridge and back  (15.5km).  Most of the competitors were surf-club types - i.e 15-25yr olds on their multi coloured surf skis and paddling in minimal clothing i.e. the girls/women (and there were heaps of them) just wore bikinis or tank tops. (When I mentioned this to Jonno he resolved to watch the race more attentively next year).  The ocean-ski/multi sport crew that I normally paddle with is definitely an older age group, in predominately all-white boats, and we all had to wear life jackets (as we're not surf club members) making us look even more daggy out there with the cool kids.  Never mind.  I was happy with my paddle and the result which could have been 6th female overall and I'm pretty sure I won my age category (over 35) but I don't know for sure as I couldn't stick around for the prize giving unfortunately as I had to deliver a cake (more on that later).

before & after #23

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Regular readers will know that we normally go to the Huon Show - which is a country show where you park in a paddock and watch the dog high jump while sitting on the grass eating Olle bollens (if you are Jon) or a dagwood dog (if you are me).  This year due to a clash of dates we are going to miss the Huon Show so we decided to brave the Royal Hobart Show instead. We're not completely crazy though, we decided to go early on the quietest day to avoid the chaos and crowds.  In fact we may have gone a bit too early, as it was actually so quiet I'm sure there was tumbleweed rolling through Showbag Hall.   

The day picked up though and we survived and as you can see from our photos we had a good time (well I had to make a comeback as I foolishly went on a ride with Jett and felt horrendously nauseous for the next hour. urk)

Out of interest, the entry was roughly double what it is for the Huon Show ($48 for the family) and the rides are $7 or $8 each nowadays.  The Royal Hobart Show is definitely bigger in terms of stalls and displays than the Huon Show but we still prefer the Huon Show by a mile - we'll look forward to going back next year where Jon will attempt to recapture his 'best cake baked by a male' title that he won last year.

Bear Grylls Cake

Sunday, 24 July 2011

In return for a favour, I whipped up a Bear Grylls cake for an 8 year old last week.  I don't watch 'Man vs Wild' as it's all a bit gross for me but I did my google research and had a look at the top 10 Bear Grylls 'moments'.  Most involved eating things so I attempted to replicate a few of them on the cake such as the skinned frog,and the bloody zebra leg.  yuck.

Happy Birthday Jamie

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Jamie turned 3 this week and asked for a Fire Engine cake.  I try to avoid doing automobile cakes as they are a pain but this one was quite fun.

Forgive me?

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

It's been a while between posts I know - but hopefully this Llama cake for a keen mountain hiker will smooth thing over between us..  I must declare that I didn't do the figurines as the cake was a co-production between me and a guy from work for our boss - he did the figurines.


Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Most people know that I run cake decorating courses . It's a hard market as Hobart is small - so the number of potential people is small.  Marketing them is difficult (I put a $300 colour ad the The Mercury and got zero responses, I put an ad in the Sandy Bay Infants school newsletter and got zero responses. I put an ad in the Kingborough Times and got about 4 responses) - those that do seem to find me do it via google so they are the ones with a real interest I guess as they are out there searching for cake decorating lessons in the first place.

Anyway - these lessons have a huge preparation cost both in time and ingredients (I supply everything) -  I've made a profit on about 3 of the 5 I've run and that's definitely not counting  my time as I spend at least a day preparing for each.

This current block of lessons starting tomorrow actually had pretty good enrollments right off the bat - in fact I was really happy with the numbers - but as the time got closer I noticed hardly anyone had paid. So I reminded them.   But still people don't pay - and by the time it is the day before I'm still chasing people only to find they can't make it for whatever reason.    This is really really really frustrating.  Especially as the enrollments are now so marginal that in this particular case I would have cancelled the course rather than make a loss after venue hire etc etc. aargh!

What frustrates me the most is that people don't bother to tell me they aren't planning to come - I have to contact them.  Maybe they confuse me with an Adult Education teacher or school teacher who would get paid whether they show up or not.  One of the clever things about the Adult Ed organisation is they have a system that makes it so you can't enroll unless you pay at the same time - but that's not something I can really do. When people enroll I process them in my accounting system and send them an invoice with the information sheet.   For the course I've got at the end of the month I actually have a waiting list so I can be tougher on people - i.e. 'pay by the end of the week or you're out' - but that's only happened this once.  

Anyway - that's my frustration.  I really like actually being there and the teaching, but the preparation, the financial side of it and these situations when I feel like banging my head against the keyboard I can do without.

I love cooking too..

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Well cake making specifically. It's been a while but last week I made this cake for Zali's teacher's daughter's18th birthday.  

Footy Figurines

Saturday, 19 March 2011

I often wonder how all the marriages for which I made wedding cakes are going.   Hopefully they are all still happy unions although statistically there would have to be a few which have faltered already.

This could be well be one of them...

What I did on the weekend..

Sunday, 20 February 2011

If you're thinking that I robbed a restaurant of its linen supplies you would be wrong.. Nope,  I taught a CakeWoman Cake Basics course on Saturday. It went really well and was over in a flash.  Also it was fully booked which was great.   And as the weekend has been really cold and wet it was a pretty good way to spend it.

This load of washing marks the end of a frantic 6 or so weeks of cake making and course preparation which is nice. I'm not taking any more orders for cakes so I can concentrate on other projects, like the garden, and the tv.   And maybe I can start work on sewing up my favourite trousers!

I'm still here..

Friday, 28 January 2011

I'm just trying to recover from the shock of having someone steal my thongs on Australia day! What has this country come to!  And why would someone want to wear someone else's thongs! really! and before you ask, no they weren't Havanas.

Aside from the outrageous theft, we had a nice Australia day. In the morning we went to Franklin where I went for a paddle around the Huon Challenge kayak course (and knocked off a good 15 minutes from last time - so now I'm 10 minutes ahead of the time Jonno did but still fairly low down in the field time-wise).. Anyways, while I did that the kids cycled around and played in the park and watched some model boats and stuff with Jon. I took some nice photos but I can't find my camera cord so they will have to wait.

Then in the afternoon we picked up Paul, Tiia and Malin from the airport and they've been hanging around (in a good way) ever since.  Unfortunately I'm at work full time and slaving away over cakes in the evening but hopefully I'll get out to have some more fun with them soon..

Job Well Done

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Zali's Spooky Party was held today, and a spooky party needs a spooky cake. I think the fact that most of the kids didn't want to go near the cake or most of the cupcakes demonstrates that I did my job.

Jon and I also set up a 'haunted house' in the green room which involved putting up walls, blackening the windows, putting in lots of creepy props and sounds effects, then putting Denny in there so they were unexpectedly accosted by a creepy guest.  I think it was pretty successful and only a small percentage of the kids will need long term counselling.  The other games we played were a mummy wrap & race (see photo), a brain and spoon race (like an egg and spoon race but with jelly brains and eyeballs),  spooky soup and we also had a bat hunt to kick things off.  It was fun and Zali enjoyed it but given the hours and hours of set-up required we might try something less ambitious next year - maybe Zali will settle for a Library Party.

Nothing a cupcake photo can't fix Thursday, 15 December 2011
Not My Cake Disaster Friday, 2 December 2011
My Cake Disasters Friday, 2 December 2011
Mercury Surf Safari Monday, 21 November 2011
before & after #23 Saturday, 22 October 2011
Bear Grylls Cake Sunday, 24 July 2011
Happy Birthday Jamie Saturday, 18 June 2011
Forgive me? Tuesday, 31 May 2011
Frustration Tuesday, 10 May 2011
I love cooking too.. Sunday, 17 April 2011
Footy Figurines Saturday, 19 March 2011
What I did on the weekend.. Sunday, 20 February 2011
I'm still here.. Friday, 28 January 2011
Job Well Done Saturday, 8 January 2011