Good grief, thank fish I’ve gotten into practising yoga as of late cuz what I’m about to share would have broken me to bits if I wasn’t a bit more zen in the head.
Hubby, X-Ray and I had just gotten to Farnham, a beautiful picture perfect Tudor-esque town in Surrey (where we now delivery our cakes), found a cute coffee shop waiting to meet some old friends for a leisurely lunch when our driver called me (he rarely does!) to urgently inform me that he had an accident towards our last delivery of the day when a crazed London driver swerved in front of him.
Luckily he was fine, which is a massive relief, but when he told me our custom three tiered birthday cake heading to Syon Park for a super swish milestone celebration had tipped over and smashed its face beyond recognition I was on the verge of tears.
Our drivers are so very careful and experienced in handling our cakes, and even though minor damage can be unavoidable at times on the roads and are easily fixed, I knew it had to be major for him to ring me. He sent me some photos and upon seeing them I don’t know what came over me, but I was all zen-cake-ninja like going, I don’t know how imma gunna fix this but I’m gunna.
We cancelled on our friends and headed back all the way home with a stop at the supermarket to stock up on emergency supplies. I was literally counting the minutes all the way to see the cake wreck in the flesh.
When we got home I unboxed the behemoth and don’t think I’ve ever held my breath for that long ever. The bottom tiers of marble and cookies & cream sponge were fine and only needed a bit of tweaking (thank fudge for good dowelling!). However, the lemon top tier was proper smashed and needed serious cake surgery.
After feeding X-ray I got down to business with my best game face on. I decapitated the top tier with a serrated knife and then scraped off all the decor and buttercream.
Then ever so steadily I serrated through the sponges, layer by layer, scraping off all the buttercream.
Now with the sponges intact I whipped up buttercream and re-masked the cake in the matching pastel watercolour theme and placed it carefully back on the beheaded tiers and this is where I started feeling the relief...it started looking like it could actually be salvaged.
I made a glossy ganache (I have a tub of Callebaut Belgian chocolate chips at home to sprinkle into my porridge, I’m extra like that) and went about doing ma decorating repair magic and....oh my geez I think I fishin' saved it!
But now we’ve got to drive this thing all the way to Syon Park, and with our hearts in our mouths (me and hubby that is, X-ray was finding all this rather amusing) we made it. And it freakin’ looks amazing.
I cried once I stood back from the cake. Big sloppy tears falling on to X-ray's little head. I’m so so so wrecked as the adrenaline that fuelled me through it all has now poured out of all my piping bags and left me deflated from the day's drama. And of course, the general sleep deprivation. I'm not sure if it was the yoga that's really helped me keep a calm-ish composure through it all but I don't think I would've reacted quite the same way say 3 or 4 week ago.
I shared my disastrous cake wreck situation on Instagram stories throughout the day and received at least a hundred messages of support and lots of lovely kind words - I'm so touched. I know this is so unprofesh, a "proper" business would probably never share such a disaster or play it out the way I did over social media but it really did shake me and having received so many messages from fellow bakers who have had to deal with similar situations, any bakers' worst nightmare, I felt it was only natural to share the lows and how we dig ourselves out of it.
Sharan, if you're reading this...I'm so sorry, this is why the cake was half an hour late. I hope you understand and love the cake as much as I do and Virat, Pirthepal and Paul have a great time tonight!