Saved by the "Oh $#!+ kit"

This past weekend I had a cake order I really enjoyed working on.

It was for the 75th birthday of a very loved sweet lady who loves knitting and yellow. So together with her daughter we came up with a cake design for her birthday party.

We decided to make a basket with wool thread spools and knitting needles over a knitted pattern covered cake.

I went ahead and worked on the spools of thread first. Made rice crispy treat balls and used a fondant extruder to create modeling chocolate "threads" to cover each ball.

Then covered the 10" round cake with a crumb coat of buttercream and used the treble shaped attachment of the extruder to create the knitted pattern.

For that, I extruded the modeling chocolate and then cut pieces about 5" long. Then twisted the treble shaped pieces in a pattern; clockwise/ counter clockwise and began attaching them vertically around the sides of the cake following that pattern.

THAT DIDN'T TAKE FOREVER AT ALL (feel the sarcasm馃槣) since it was a 10" round... I should've thought about that first, but whatever. It was looking good and that made it worth it.

After that I put in some bubble tea straws and stacked the 6" round on the 10".

Once stacked, I used Wilton piping tips number ___ & ___ to pipe a basket weave pattern around the top tier cake.

After that I placed the 3 spools of yarn thread on the top tier to resemble the knitting basket; used the extruder to make some lose pieces of thread and placed them over the open areas of the cake to cover them and make it look like the basket was hollow.

To make the needles I covered two pieces of flower wire with black modeling chocolate, added two small circles at the top and used gold luster dust to make them look like metal. Once those were finished and hardened I stuck them into the cake behind the balls of thread.

To add a little delicate touch I used white gum paste to make some tiny flowers with a daisy plunger cookie cutter and put a gold sugar pearl in the center of each flower. I let those dry for about 15 minutes and placed them scattered on the knitted pattern of the bottom tier.

Well, after all that work and taking nice pictures on the super awesome tiny photo studio my husband built for me, I was ready to deliver this baby.

Got everything ready. Placed my magnetic sign on the car (which I love cause I feel I can drive being extremely cautious and people are more understanding) and was about to get in the car when my husband asked me: "aren't you going to take the "Oh $#!+ kit"?

I hesitated for a second and thought: "Nothing will go wrong..." but for some weird reason I said: "well, let me take a couple of tools and a little bit of buttercream in a pipping bag, just in case. I went ahead and put about 2 spoonfuls of buttercream in the bag and thought: "might as well bring those tips I used". Grabbed them and went off.

The drive was about an hour long and we drove carefully but there were areas of the highway that were in bad condition but still, I was confident the cake was alright in the back.

Well, we get there and open the back door of our SUV to realize THE WHOLE TOP BUTTERCREAM BORDER OF THE BASKET CAKE HAD FALLEN OFF OF THE CAKE AND WAS LAYING ON THE BOTTOM TIER CAKE!!!

This is the 2nd time something like this happens to me but this time I was ready.

I very confidently went into the venue, spoke to the client, explained the situation and let her know I was ready to repair the damage on the cake. They went ahead and had the table for the cake ready so could fix the cake right there and not have it move any more.

It took me about 15 minutes to fix up the damages and it was back to normal but the ending of this story would have been so much different had I not listened to my husband. Not only because I would not have dared to charge for a damaged cake but I had driven over 50 miles to deliver it so, I would have lost a lot of money and time.

I was so glad and relieved I was able to manage the situation and I was thankful it all turned out fine.

So, morale of the story: ALWAYS CARRY WITH YOU THE "Oh $#!+ Kit". It might save you time, money and tears... Better safe than sorry.

PS. Here are a some ideas of things you might want to have ready in your "Oh $#!+ Kit":

  • set if small spatulas

  • pairing knife or exacto knife

  • sculpting tools

  • bag of buttercream (matching color of the cake)

  • Fondant (matching color of the cake)

  • some kind of edible glue (if you have things that might detach from the cake)

  • brushes

  • toothpicks

  • tweezers

  • piping tips (bring with you the ones you used on the cake)

  • anything you used on the cake and you think might help you

Here's some pictures of my kit;

PS. I want to take a moment and thank one of my favorite Cake Artists and teacher, Kara Andretta from http://www.karascouturecakes.com/ for this idea of the "Oh $#!+ Kit" in her Craftsy class: "Industry Secrets For The Savvy Decorator". I highly recommend this class.


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