The Prima Ballerina

Updated: Apr 8

I will never forget this day, and I will never underestimate a Ballerina ever again! I am one person, I have come to accept that I can only accomplish so much in one day; well I have now. I am a hobby baker, I am not a full fledged bakery. I make everything from scratch, the day before or day of pick up (except things that require longer set times). I hand sculpt from fondant, gumpaste etc. I have one oven, one 12 year old stand mixer, one fridge, and one very small kitchen. I have a moderate sized family of 5. 3 growing boys and 2 adults take up a lot of fridge space, and so do cakes. Keeping all that in mind, plus the normal duties of a Homemaker, I have come to accept that I can only take on 1-2 cakes (depending on size) and no more than 6 dozen cupcakes in a weekend. Well for some reason I was feeling froggy because I took on 3 cakes plus a couple dozen cupcakes all due at the same time on the same day.

Okay, so no big deal. I wasn't too worried, the concepts were simple enough. I had been out of commission for a few months after spraining my knee, so I was fresh for a big task. My alarm went off and everything started off smoothly. The Plan; to create a Ballerina cake with coordinating cupcakes, a Transformer cake with coordinating cupcakes, and a half Dinosaur half Unicorn cake. I had made all the decorations for the cupcakes, and the cake toppers the day before. I whipped up the batters and the cakes were in.  Before long the cakes were out, cupcakes were in, and the frosting was started. My mixer Bessy, was humming along (don't judge people name their tools all the time). The day continued on rather uneventful. I had mostly completed the cakes and was calling it a night. The next morning, I got up planning to finish off the 3 orders. I completed 2 cakes and was finishing up the third. I made a cute little music box adorned with pink and purple flowers, swags, and beading. I put my ballerina topper on, and then it happened. I turned to place the cake on its stand, that ballerina whipped around and crash landed right into the unsuspecting transformer causing a catastrophic collision with the stand the unicorn/dinosaur was on, sending the poor creature hurling to the floor..... Just like that, I had dropped a cake, not just dropped but caused a chain of drops, a domino effect of cakes. It should be mentioned that I had never dropped a Clients cake before this day. In one moment, 3 cakes that were ready to be photographed , ready to be presented and boxed, were now in shambles. I stood there staring, trying to process how and what exactly just happened. It didn't make sense, how did one little ballerina cause so much mayhem. I was frozen not knowing if I should cry, scream, or both. This paralyzing moment that took seconds felt like an eternity. I finally made a rather colorful exclamation, looked at the clock, it was 730am, pick up was for 11... I contacted the first person that was picking up both the "you know what" of a ballerina, and the transformer. I simply explained there had been a minor set back, and asked if there was any chance I could get a little extra time before pickup. Thankfully, their gathering was not until 2pm, so a 1pm pickup was doable for them. The third cake, however, that cake there was little wiggle room for.  Luckily the Transformer cake suffered minor damage. I had made a spare topper of both the transformer and the ballerina, I was able to re-cover the cake with fondant, reapply the decals, and replace with the spare transformer topper and it was saved. The Ballerina had suffered a bit more, due to an overly dramatic grand jette, She had broken her legs. The tragic performance ruined her music box, many of the decorations were covered in frosting and not salvageable. I was able to trim down the cake to a round and cover it in a purple ombre buttercream. I had a few leftover flowers that I was able to add on. I placed the spare smaller ballerina on top and put the prima ballerina, what was left of her, on the front. I made a number 5 as fast as possible and while the whole production felt a bit more Black Swan rather than the traditional swan lake I had envisioned, it was ready to go.  The real problem was the unicorn/dinosaur cake, all piping, several colors, and there it was splat on the floor (Thanks to my Husband for cleaning up the battlefield while I worked). I had to re-bake the third cake before addressing the other 2. It would need time to cool, I would need time to center myself, and Bessy needed to kick into turbo if we had any hope to get all the buttercream made. Before long, (what felt faster than the ballet derby) the Prima Ballerina and the Transformer were out the door with their cupcakes. It was 12:30, the third cake was due in 30 minutes and it was just now cool enough to frost (man a blast chiller would have been nice) I lined up my frostings and started piping as fast as I could pleading for nothing to melt.  I finished, I finally finished. The hurricane was over, the curtains were closing, the unicorn and dinosaur cake was ready to be delivered. I was exhausted, but I was proud that I continued on and didn't let a ballerinas tantrum ruin the day.  The important thing is all three cakes made it to their parties (the unicorn/dino was 30 minutes late), the birthday recipients were all happy, the clients were happy. While it ended well, and with a rather large glass of wine, it is a day I'll never forget. and that is why I will never underestimate a ballerina ever again!

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