Updates and Lady Bug Cake

It feels like forever I went MIA. I can't believe I missed the whole month of May! I apologize if it seems like I've abandon you guys but things have finally settle down now. Thanks for the emails asking if I was okay, I really appreciate it *hugs

I had to make wedding favors before I left, it wasn't too fancy or anything just cat's tongue cookies, all 1500 of them! ahahaha... I was up all night for a week trying to bake batch after batch, packaged and tied them up. It was finally done at midnight before my departure :), so thank God. And I was so glad to hear that the bride and groom really enjoyed the cookies, yay! I guess all those long hours and sleepless nights really do paid off when people love the things you made :). I thought I took pictures of it but now I can't seem to find it :(

The day after the wedding favor is done, I went on a vacation for a week on early May to NY (yes, it was a while ago) and work was super hectic before I left and right after I came back (that always happens, doesn't it?). I came back with a severe windburn from NYC, which I got on the first day on my vacation :(. It finally healed up a week after I got back from my vacation, but never again I go out of the house sun or no sun without sunblock everywhere, it was a painful experience :(. But other than that, everything was great, we ate constantly, visited many bakeries, and we certainly walk A LOT. The first 4 days in NY wasn't very nice, it was so cold, rainy, windy, so not a good weather to stroll around, but it got better on the last day we stayed so we took the oppotunity to bike around the Central Park. We also went to DC to visit the National Mall, fortunately it was a good day in DC, warm and sunny and we did bike around the monuments. I will post pictures later after I got to it :)

It was kinda nice having a week off of everything, no work, no baking, no nothing for a week, although I have to confess that I did check my work email for the first three days but then I finally resisted :). After I got back, I was bombarded with super busy workload at work, and event after event, cakes and more cakes. Last weekend was actually the last weekend of this craziness. I said to myself, no more of this! I will share some of those events in a later post and hopefully, I am now back to my "normal" life.

Right now, this post is only for updates, to let you know that I'm still alive and baking and also to share this lady bug cake. This cake is for a little girl Olivia who celebrated her 2nd birthday at the end of May. The theme of the party is lady bug and her mom sent me a picture of the utensils they're using, so I based the decoration off of that. Truth be told, I'm never comfortable making kid's cakes, or buttercream cakes, or large cakes, and this cake is a combination of those three. Mainly because I'm not good at it, kids' cake needs to be colorful and bright with lots of decor, my buttercream skill is poor and I can't make a perfectly smooth buttercream cake, combined with a large surface area, let's just say I don't have as much confidence as I do in any other cakes I made. But why did I say yes anyway? Well first, I suck at saying no to people, second, their family has been asking me to make cakes for Olivia's 1st birthday and another birthday that it would be in appropriate to say no this time, no matter how uncomfortable it is for me to make it, but at least I tried to make the cake taste good :).

The flavor for this cake is raspberry and chocolate, with vanilla and chocolate sponge cake alternating. Making the cake base is not that difficult, just took a lot of time since it's big in size, 1/2 sheet, 12x18" and I only have one cake pan in that size, meaning that I had to make it three different times. That's the easy part, now the filling is raspberry white chocolate and cream cheese frosting with dark chocolate ganache, then it's covered with pink buttercream. Everything went well up until the raspberry cream cheese frosting, but then disasters happened. I blamed it on the long hours at work everyday that week that made me exhausted when I finally had the time at 9pm to start working on the cake. I basically did this cake for a few days every night and early morning, so you can imagine how tired I was :(.

But yeah, when it was the time for me to make the ganache, I calculated everything in my head, although I probably shouldn't do that passed 10pm. That's when my brain just shuts down and refuse to work anymore. I guess the brain and the body demanded its rest when I was calculating the amount of chocolate versus heavy cream to make the ganache. The resulting ganache came out really runny and even after I refrigerated for 30minutes, it didn't improve (it was 1am at that time). So I pour the ganache onto the cake anyway, thinking that the large rectangular cake ring will hold it up, but little did I know that my cake ring failed on me for the first time. The ganache seeped in through every possible way and making its way out from the bottom of the cake ring. It was a nightmare, I tell ya. I almost cried and gave up, but then I would imagine Olivia will have no cake for her birthday, so I manned up (or womanned-up?) and continue. I wiped the ganache off of the table, cleaned up the floor where the ganache dripped, everything in the middle of the night and went to bed. The next day, I bought more ingredients to make ganache from the start, this time I knew what I did wrong the night before, I miscalculated the chocolate needed!

The cake was finally done and what a huge relief! and this cake weighed A TON! seriously, it was so hard for me to lift it up by myself. I told myself not to do kids' cake or probably large sheet cake anymore with the exception of my nieces' and nephew's cake probably, but it wont be sheet cake or buttercream cake for sure :).

ps: sorry for the lousy pictures, it's all I got :(


Kiki said...

Is Max-ie included on your long list of nieces and nephes, Tha? ;)

Bertha said...

LOL! Umm... I guess?