Friend is a really busy mom who I didn't get to talk more about the cake as the due date came closer. Get the ingredients on Monday of Saturday due date. Late Monday, friend tells me her daughter doesn't like buttercream, only the whipped icing that is on cakes at the grocery store (I think it is Rich's Bettercreme, but I am not sure) and could I use that? So I call up the grocery store, which agrees to sell me 4 pounds of it for $3.78 a pound.
Saturday morning, I get up early and start assembling the cake (didn't want to start Friday night, as the filling is whipped cream). My son has a flag football game later in the morning, so I tort, fill, and ice the cake. Never used that kind of icing before, but it is going ok. Plan is to go to the game, come back, work on the cake all afternoon and deliver it later that evening.
Come home to a message on the answering machine saying that my friend is home and was surprised that the cake isn't there yet??? Call her back to find out that her party is today. I has already started, but it is ok because they are eating a meal first. Is there a problem with the cake? Um... no. I'll get it to you in a half an hour.
Now the rest of the disaster... My fondant keeps stretching when I try to put it on the cake. It is just supposed to go on top as a decoration, not covering the cake's sides. The cake's icing does not forgive any fondant repositioning, pulling away from the cake with the fondant. The fondant goes on bumpy, as the icing moves when I try to smooth out the fondant. The red stole tears as I put each side on the cake and doesn't want to smooth together. No time for the pretty white chocolate letters I planned to make for her name and bible verse, so I pipe them with the icing (not horrible, but not as pretty as I'd planned). No time to dust the red carnation and leaves. No time to tape the flowers together with the baby's breath I'd made. Just had to pipe some icing, , cut the wires, and arrange them on the cake.
Time's up. I'm not very happy, but it has to go. Thank goodness I'd at least already iced it and I knew it tastes wonderful (I always sample the cake scraps, icings and fillings to make sure it tastes good - what? somebody has to....) My kind husband had taken the kids out to lunch after putting the no-slip liner in the back of my suburban so that they would be out of my way, but that means no help opening/shutting the tailgate. I get the cake in, drive to the home and have to park 4 houses up the hill and leave my tailgate open to carry this full sized (heavy) filled sheet cake to the home.
My friend was very kind and appreciative, but I felt horrible leaving that cake there. Luckily I knew her guests had seen a cake I had done for her just a month before, but I still was embarrassed. I wanted to cry. I had such high hopes...
Not counting the stuff I had on hand, I spent over $45 dollars on this cake in supplies. I am a hobbyist, not a licensed baker, so I never make money on a cake and had planned on being reimbursed. I probably really spent more like $60, plus time, energy, etc... Do I ask her for the full $45? She's kind of wierd with me now, so I know she is really disappointed and mad (I give her kids a ride home from school certain days when she is at work, so she may feel she has to be nice to me?). On the other hand, she never would answer my question of When/what time do you want the cake. She was too busy and assumed I understood.
What would you do?