Saturday, June 15, 2013

Never Have I Ever

About once a week, someone will call, e-mail, or message me with this question:

"Have you ever made a _____ cake?"
Fill in the blank with some idea or theme like a penguin eating a burrito on the beach.

My first reaction is always, "Oh no! I've never made a penguin eating a burrito on the beach cake! I have nothing like that to show them! What kind of cake decorator am I?" Pretty soon, though, I'll remember that no cake decorator has made every kind of cake. And I'm lucky that there are so many fun cakes that I've not made yet. If I'd already made every kind of cake, what would there be to look forward to?

So, about once a week, I'll reply, "No, I haven't made a ______ cake, but I would love to try!"
Then, usually, the person will start sharing details about their event and I'll start looking for places to buy burrito fondant molds.

I was thinking about this common conversation last night while I made this cake:

Now, the mom who ordered this one did not ask me if I'd ever made an octopus cake before. If she had, the answer would have been, "No, but I'd love to try!"

There were actually a few things on this cake that I'd never done before. I'd never covered a spherical cake in fondant- that part actually worried me about this one, but I did it on the first try! I'd never made eyes like this: five pieces of fondant per eye! I'd never swirled the batter in cupcakes before. I'd never baked polka dots into the batter of a spherical cake before. But it all came out well- better than expected, even.

All that to say, just because I've never made a _______ cake before doesn't mean I can't. I will always tell you if I think I won't be able to make the cake that you want. But I love, love, love trying new things. I've made hundreds of cakes, and I can name every single one that was a repeat of a previous design. There just aren't that many- 99% of my cakes are designs or techniques that I'm doing for the first time:

The first time I made anything three dimensional out of fondant: the ruby slippers:

 The first time I carved a cake into a dome shape:

 The first time I made sugar paper stand up vertically:

 The first time I tie dye swirled the icing:

I ended up doing a few of these, as I recall
 The first time I covered an irregularly shaped cake in fondant:

 The first time one of my cakes was manhandled by a tiger:

I'm ready for my next first time!

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