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Mega Baking

December 26, 2007

I did it! 34 cakes baked, decorated and delivered for Christmas – baked Saturday (mostly), decorated Sunday and through to Monday morning (sleep is for sissies, after all), and delivered (or picked up) Monday. 🙂

The baking was reasonably straightforward – I had everything lined up, and had convinced my parents to let me use their kitchen, plus used my grandmother’s oven (my grandparents live next door to my parents). I had four large and two small cake tins, which exactly filled the number of oven shelves I had, and I brought my Kenwood mixer (which was my Mum’s until last year) and used Mum’s shiny new one as well. I had all the ingredients, and basically it was a continual process of plonk ingredients into mixers, pour into cake tins, shove in oven, bake, turn onto rack, repeat. Only one failed – I iced it and drizzled some white chocolate onto it and left it for Mum and Dad.

Then I loaded all the cakes into boxes (stacked two into each box, as the boxes are so high and the uniced cakes are stackable) and into Dad’s van, and then back home. I had already prepared one large batch of ganache, so that night I ganached all the small cakes, and made two more big batches to cool for the morning.

Sunday was a looong day – after rearranging some of our living area to give me more working space, I began to make the bits to go on the cakes and assemble them. Lots of white chocolate tiles for walls, and many many strawberries!

It was quite warm, and I had a lot of difficulty with chocolate curls. I ended up not putting them on some of the cakes that were supposed to have them (people had requested various things from a list – chocolate curls, chocolate strawberries, chocolate holly leaves and so on) and substituting other things. Noone seemed very worried though, thankfully. 🙂

One of the biggest hassles was predicting how much to make of each adornment – I ended up underestimating many times, meaning I would then have to go back and make another batch of whatever I needed. If I ever do anything on this scale again, I’ll offer maybe 3 set options, and people can choose from those, instead of pick-and-mixing from so many different toppings. The strawberries were also a bit of a hassle, as finding good ones over the weekend proved very difficult, and I found that most of the punnets I used contained at least a couple that were too ripe or overripe to use.

Eventually, things began to come together. You can see above just a few of the cake boxes… And below are a couple of the completed cakes, cake twins.

There will be more photos of cakes themselves tomorrow, so stay tuned.

Once I’d completed them all I had to deliver them – most were to my old work, to two different sites, and then there were a few random deliveries. Things were quite frantic, and there were a couple of points during the day when I thought I might not make it – but everything worked out in the end. Christmas Eve traffic was surprisingly forgiving, and the only incident I had was when one cake (which I foolishly left in the car while delivering a bunch of cakes to my old colleagues) had some melting issues – fortunately the recipient was very forgiving, and we were able to salvage some and the rest was to be fixed with strawberries on top. Oops – lesson learnt there. The other lesson from deliveries was that I need to put limits on where I can deliver to (I really only intended to be delivering to work, but didn’t specify) and build delivery time and petrol into the cost of the cakes – or perhaps offer delivery for a fee, which would make more sense (since I’m happy for people to pick up their cakes).

On top of each cakebox I put a business card, with my contact details on it. I think it looks pretty cool – it was designed by my friend Matthew, who definitely deserves a cake for his efforts – although (sorry Matthew) it might have to wait for a few days, till I recover!

Overall it was a success – everyone seemed very happy with their cakes, I had lots of people commenting that they’ll probably be in touch for birthday cakes and the like, and it wasn’t too deadly – despite the fact that I was running on two and a half hours sleep yesterday, and didn’t eat anything until about 5pm (just kinda forgot, oops!) I was fine, and didn’t drop any cakes, or forget anyone, or anything like that. 🙂 I might even do it again!

If you bought one of my cakes, I hope you enjoyed it (please do give me feedback!), and thanks very much for supporting me. Merry Christmas, everyone!

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3 comments

  1. Wow, I am so impressed!


  2. wow this is lovely, i will love yo see more.


  3. Thank you! 🙂



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