... a cake disaster, that is. I guess if you do cakes long enough, it will happen sooner or later. I was just hoping it would be later... much later. At least I hoped it wouldn't happen with a wedding cake, and especially not a wedding cake for the daughter of one of my best friends.
There's not even a picture of the cake to show you. I was planning to take one after I delivered it. The best I can do is describe it for you: Imagine three tiers of almond cake with chocolate chip cream cheese filling and soft celery-green buttercream icing. The bottom tier and the extra tall top tier were completely covered in soft pink sugar blossoms - more than 600 of them! There were two big Carolina blue fondant bows and an Old Well topper (both bride and groom are UNC grads) and my favorite part of the cake - a pair of sugar blue birds. I was really pleased with the way it turned out.
On my way to deliver the cake (just two hours before the wedding), another driver cut me off and stopped short right in front of me. I slowed as gently as I could, but finally had to hit the brake to avoid hitting him. And that's when I heard it. That tell-tale squishy "splat" that could only mean one thing. I turned around and my worst fears were confirmed: two tiers of cake upside down in the back of my minivan and the third tier ripped in half. Sugar flowers were strewn about like little shards of windshield glass at an accident scene. My daughter and I surveyed the wreckage in disbelief and then went into "emergency mode." The good news was that I had delivered three extra round cakes to the country club the night before to make sure that there was enough cake to go around. What a life saver!
When we got to the club, my daughter started picking sugar flowers out of the buttercream on the ruined cake while I figured out how to stack the extra round cakes and started sticking flowers on the new tiers. The two little sugar birds that I had made survived the ordeal and, fortunately, I brough some extra fondant with me and was able to repair one of the two bows that were on the original cake. We ended up missing the ceremony, but there was a cake in place by the time the reception started. It wasn't as tall or as gorgeous as the original one, but it still looked nice and tasted yummy. We even earned kudos from the chef and manager at the club for staying calm. Apparently this kind of thing happens more often than I realized!
We got so many compliments on the way the cake tasted and there were some wedding guests that didn't even realize that anything had happened. So, like Apollo 13, this cake adventure turned out to be a "successful failure." But, really, it's not an adventure I want to relive anytime soon. As soon as the photographer's proofs come back, I'll post a picture of cake #2.