Not Quite First Blog Post

Off to a cracking start by posting my first post where the second should go, and the second one where the first should go! Yip, that’s how we do things in our house.

There are so many good things out there today in terms of cakes etc… that you will probably look at mine and wonder why I’m doing this. Well to answer that very briefly cause I can and I will?! Not only that, I will actually make a success of it because that is who I am by nature.

What separates me from the rest of the bunch is that I am starting now, a few weeks shy of my 40th birthday and I am doing it with the help and backing of my wife alone! We used to bake all the time together and she actually taught me pretty much everything I know and then we continued to learn together. Now we find ourselves on opposite ends of the spectrum…meaning she is out in the corporate world and I’m a stay at home Dad. Our roles have literally swapped!

Challenging as they may be at times, we both relish this opportunity! So now I decided to complicate my role even further by starting my own cake business. And no, I do not really have the time but I am learning very very fast about effective time management.

So now considering the above and the fact that I make everything by hand (oven is the only electrical appliance) and by myself, maybe then you will see why I think I have a chance of actually making this a modicum of success. May still not be your cup of tea mind you but stick around, I may still surprise you yet!!

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One of my first forays into specialist cakes over a year ago.

 

Devil is in the Detail

The title of this post rings so true for me at the moment. Just when I think I’ve done a brilliant job with a cake & I look at the photographs I took, all the imperfections jump out…and throttle me! My sense of humour and accomplishment quickly evaporates and the Detail Devil prances around like its nobodies business.

I did two birthday cakes recently with the first one being a Princess Sofia cake. Doing the cake was a fiasco with me pretty much having to do everything twice over for whatever reason. The finished product wasn’t terrible, but all the little imperfections were just that too obvious and many for my liking. The worst thing is I know I can do better and even know where I went wrong, it’s just applying those simple principle that seem to be problematic. I set the bar extremely high for myself only because I know what I am capable of so needless to say I’m often furious with myself when things don’t pan out the way they should.

All in all the clients were very happy with the little birthday girl being ecstatic. I must thank my wife however who went out of her way to get the Princess Sofia crown for the top of the cake. She did even better by ensuring the crown didn’t cost as much as the cake!! Thanks Babe!

The second birthday cake was a Spider man cake which went fairly smoothly considering I did it from start to finish in one day. Let me assure you, in my little world that is impressive considering I’m up at 06:25 feeding, dressing, getting lunch ready for the kids; dropping them at school & my wife at work; then invariably stopping at the shops on my way home with our 4 year old; ensuring he is as settled as any 4 year old can be; then its the odds & ends of laundry, cleaning, preparing the supper & entertaining the 4 year old; then hopefully I can do some work on the cake & in the blink of an eye its off to fetch the kids from school; then homework ensues along with all the required chaos & bedlam; will try work on the cake a bit then my wife is home & we’ll eat together & catch up before its the bedtime anarchy; finally, round 08:30 pm I’m able to focus on the cake & bish bash bosh its 02:00 am & the cake is boxed & sealed. Four hours sleep & repeat & repeat & repeat! THIS is my life…and I love it!

So yes, doing the cake in one day is very pleasing to me. The plus of it coming out the way it did was even more pleasing!! The birthday boy was hugely impressed & took it to school so he got to show it off & share it with his mates!

Well its onward & hopefully upwards from here with a potentially enticing cricket (sport) cake looming on the horizon. It’s going to be a huge one!!

Ups and Downs…

I have no issue with perseverance at all, its awesome actually because in the end it makes the victory that much sweeter knowing that you toiled to get there.

A point of consternation for me is when you put in the hard yards and at the end of it you still feel most dissatisfied with the final result. This is exactly what happened with my last cake. For some reason or other I just couldn’t get my head into it! My planning was sound, preparation good, had plenty of time and yet the end result was just not according to my standard or even what I wanted. I didn’t quite have all the information I would’ve liked but its still no excuse.

The client is a big player in the property sector so I decided to do a Table Mountain backdrop in conjunction with the city skyline, company name, initials etc… and as they are actually originally from Cameroon and proud of it, I did two Cameroonian flags.

My wife, bless her, ranted and raved about it and the client was more than happy but I still felt I hadn’t done a good enough job. Even now as I type this I’m getting frustrated thinking about it. Ultimately the client has the final say and she was happy and her husband who was celebrating his birthday and his success as a businessman plus his staff were suitably impressed, so guess I shouldn’t complain too much!

Onward to the next project which promises to be interesting….

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Forchutec

Supa Strikas

Well, what a chaotic week this was indeed. In our house we hit the ground sprinting, then we fall flat on our face but we pick ourselves up and soldier on!

The kids were home this week so trying to do the artwork for a cake proved to be…challenging! Playing referee, head cook, doctor, psychiatrist, butler, well DAD and do my work was a tall order but it gone done and the results were very pleasing.

I did a very cool cake for a group of people in Cape Town called Strikas Entertainment. They do comic style books for kids under a variety of titles and distribute to over 20 countries worldwide and are also involved in television as well. They are probably most famous for their comic called Supa Strikas which is about soccer. They’re in the same building as my wife and we both met a couple of the chaps who graciously invited our kids up to get some comics so I figured it will be a good project for me to do them a branded cake.

Obviously it seemed like a really super idea at the time but proved to be very demanding. One of the biggest hurdles was baring in mind that these guys actually DRAW for a living and my skills are somewhat patchy, at best!! My wife kindly delivered the cake to them on Thursday and the reception and surprise was great. The feedback was positive and they commented on the exact things I wanted them to namely the logos, sponsors logos, detail and obviously the taste! So I was actually super chuffed! I kind of realized it will be okay because my wife is my yardstick and she said it was great, but when you doing something like that for people like that it

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Super Strikas

is very daunting.

A big thank you again to Leon for the Supa Strika Annuals he gave to our boys. They absolutely love them and truly think you are THE MAN!

Do yourselves a favour and check them out at http://www.strika.com

CBC’S First Cake

Yesterday was a very auspicious day for my wife and I as we both delivered the first cake to officially come out under the CBC brand.

My wife works for SS-Visa which is an immigration company in Woodstock, Cape Town and through her work she liaises with one of the local police stations and a particular lady who goes out of her way to help. Her son turned 10 years old yesterday so as a token of appreciation from my wife, SS-Visa and a way for me to sort of launch myself we decided to do this cake. Again, a very happy birthday to you and may you have a year ahead filled with good health, good school reports, good fortune, great sport results and loads of fun!

We did a karate themed cake set on the backdrop of a Japanese flag. It was a simple vanilla sponge cake sandwiched with rich chocolate butter icing and layered on the top with vanilla butter icing then obviously decorated with fondant. Now you may not be overly impressed by the elements used and individually they are pretty boring. When you combine them in a particular way however, they transform superbly and the end result is delicious. I put all the artwork together myself and considering I’m self / wife taught and still on a steep learning curve I think the end result came out pretty well.

 

I’m not much of a social butterfly when it comes to social media so I think the only time I’ll be posting things is when I’ve done a new cake. So lets hope my posts are consistent because then that means I’m busy and I didn’t ruin any cakes!

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