~09th March 2009 ~
It's already the second week of march and I feel this loss with my time as I remind myself there's so much to do still. Also partially due to my sudden change of plans in February and juggling with time zones and adjusting to some form of normality and my other sometimes procrastinative side..... where has time gone?
Christmas 2008 with cake orders, I was stressed by a relative on the joyful day itself over a 'specific' pre-order as per se to an order I made for a previous function. Non related.
Truth is ( or shall I use the word 'joke' ? ), that former BIG 'order' baked within two days ~ days and late nights.... got me all upset the night before the pick up. We had to slice them into 250 pieces and when the knife sliced through them, I was taken aback by the colour inside. They were not my usual golden beauties but slightly brown easily mistaken for a mild banana cake!!!
My heart plopped out as I heard it splat onto the cold floor doing the ' fish out of water ' flopping sounds. Well, at least that was how I felt. Here I was the night before the order date and there was no way I was gonna be able to bake new batches in time.....
So.......mum had a piece as she cut up the pieces and her reply to my, " How is it? " was a grimace as she pushed a small saucer with a few slices towards me, " You try lah. " in a rather grave tone.
Nope, no time to look for the squishy flapping organ near my feet, time was of essence if I had to start on a back up plan but first....taste these! Not sure if I could trust my taste buds with the lacking O2 rush to my brains to tell me if they were in sync with my palate.....I broke a small piece and tucked it into my mouth like some awful food critic, brows all furrowed for the worse.
As I chewed slowly to bring out the juices and flavours, I was clearly disappointed that it was not my usual flavour but it was not as unpleasant as I had expected. It had its own distinct flavour, not bad actually and it was much more moist to the norm. Overall, it was pretty good in its own defence but unlike my 'usual' one. So mum and I agreed to stick to the plan i.e. no back up plan needed. ;P
As I wracked through my cluttered brains to what went wrong which coincidentally went wrong with all six of the 1.7kg cakes I baked in the space of two days; the cakes were well received and apparently the main one that was iced was admired by many. The feedback was good and they enjoyed it very much. Phew!!
By this time I was at the junction of *only God knows where* as I could not figure out what went wrong apart from the fact I added one extra or similar ingredient to the much used regular recipe. Which I still can't believe made that difference but it was all I could come up with. Oh well, it was a one time thingy so not to wreck myself over it.
Then comes Christmas day and this rather fussy relative placed an order for these particular recipe, stressing more than often they had to be exactly as the above! From six 1kg order, she called later to add another two. Eight! Wo.....
And so began my stress and time spent on trying to replicate the ' what went wrong ' recipe. I had about 3 weeks to get it right and I was actually dreaming of sugar and butter creaming into a light fluffy texture before eggs are cracking open overhead to drop their insides into the mix; the detailed mixing of the ingredients like out of a CSI show as they ran from frame to frame of how the flavours and textures turned and blended, rising vapours in close ups giving colourful hues of white and orange and more; the aromas of essences and other ingredients tickling my nostrils as added one by one.....
Yes. Sad to say I was so eaten up by the 'specifications' constantly repeated into few frequent calls to finalise pick up dates and times. Everyone around was putting on weight from the test cakes but I just could not nail it until a week before, it was a 98% pass!
Suffice to say I was pleased with the 98% but it was not so for the client. She said it was close but would be better with more flavour. If she only knew how much more I had added compared to the norm. BUT..the customer is always right as we have been trained in the service industry. Like it or not, we smile and say thank you. :) Hahaha
So the entirety of how this tale came about started with when something goes wrong and my conclusion to this will be....live with it.
I now have two types of butter cakes for order :
1. Butter cake.
2. Wrong Butter cake.
Enjoy your week........thanks for dropping by. :)