Back in September, we booked tickets to Tulsa, OK to visit Toto, Trav’s great-grandmother, for her 100th birthday. It’s not everyday that ANYONE gets a chance to make a 100th birthday cake for someone, so I was stoked to have the opportunity to make one for Toto. She’s a glamorous lady, and I planned a cake that would match her impeccible style.
I’ve carried baked goods on a plane before and there are really two things that you need to worry about. Number one, it’s gotta fit under the seat in front of you. Number two, you’re carrying it across the country, so all decor needs to be durable.
Because we were expecting, 50+ guests, I planned a 3 tier cake, and Trav, Tyler and I would all carry one tier. I prepped my boards as early as possible, and I started making the centers for my gumpaste roses.
On Christmas Eve, I felt really tired, and super cold. I went to bed right after dinner. On Christmas, I felt ok and we had a great time. Later that night, I felt that same feeling of lethergy and started to get cold once again. I went to bed early, thinking I’d be ok the next morning. On the morning of the 26th, it was time to start baking, but I couldn’t stop coughing. Even if you’ve never worked in a kitchen, everyone knows you can’t bake or cook with a cough or runny nose. And I had both. What was I supposed to do? Show up without a cake? Buy a cake when we got there?
When I wrote my business plan, this was something I had to consider. If a situation ever arose where I couldn’t complete an order, I’d defer to another baker like myself. I had someone in mind, but I couldn’t ask her because there wasn’t enough time.
Trav stepped up to the plate and said he’d do it. He films and helps produce every video tutorial I post. He’s helped a lot on various cakes, but mostly using gumpaste/fondant to make figurines or cut out shapes. He’s never helped with baking, making icing, icing the cake, or covering one in fondant. So we set up a Google Hangout, I camped out on the couch and he got to work. Here he is, dressed for the part:
No, that’s not Chef Boyardee getting ready to make ravioli. That’s Trav with one awesome mustache.
Trav’s mom even offered to come help for a while. I coached him through mixing the batter and while the cakes were in the oven, they made the icing. Here’s a screen shot of them talking to me. You can see me laying on the couch in the small box on the right.
After the cakes were cool, he knew exactly what to do and required less instruction from me. He said smoothing the fondant onto the cake was the hardest part. After covering the 3rd tier, he was practically a pro! The following morning, I felt even worse. I gave him a list of tools to pack (nothing sharp!) so we could finish assembling the cake in Tulsa.
The family headed off to the airport and I went to the doctor with the intention of flying out the next day. Boy, was I wrong. For the first time in my life, I had the flu. The doctor advised me not to leave the house for 3-4 days, and under no circumstances should I be in the same house as someone who is 100 years old.
I called Trav with the sad news and also told him that he’d need to finish the cake by himself. I didn’t really hear from him except text messages asking how I was feeling. The next thing I know, I get this picture via text:
We were already planning on using the silver candle holders. They found the ribbon at the house and Trav piped the border along the bottom tier. I think it turned out wonderful! A simple, elegant design never fails. Fun fact: Tracey had to buy 2 sets of candle holders, just so we could have two zeros.
And the part that everyone loves most…cutting it and eating it!
Thankfully there were some caterers at the party to cut the cake, so Trav’s work was finally done. What do y’all think? Did he knock it out of the park, or what?! I was totally impressed and so grateful that he was able to save the day!