Tuesday, April 24, 2018

A Cakey Disaster

During an International Women's Day event, I was really inspired by this successful lady's entrepreneurship journey. I was really amazed at her wits at turning crisis into opportunities. Two weeks ago, I had my first major crisis, so here it goes.

This was my finished product of a forcefully decorated 2kg fresh fruit cake for a baby full moon party. Everything seemed all right until...... when I lifted up the whole thing and put it down with my utmost care, most of the grapes on the edge fell and the whipped cream was in a hot mess! That time, I was already exhausted and frustrated cause the whipped cream didn't turn out as stable as I expected. 

Anxiety got the hang of me and my panic attack struck again. So what did I do after that? Just like a balloon, I exploded into tears at one tiny little prick. I dashed into my room and cried like a baby for 10 minutes. In retrospect, I think this cake should be meant for me, I'm a crybaby. So as usual, my mum came in and calmed me down like a baby. After regaining my composure, I went back to the kitchen and started to think of ways of how to save this hot pile of mess while my mum went out to buy some whipping cream.

So I had scrapped everything off, then I quickly whipped a new batch of cream and started to redecorate the whole thing again.

And this was how I gave my disaster cake a new transformation. No one knows it was a hot mess under disguise except for all the readers who are reading this post. I personally think this version is much better than the first one. Clean and simple is a virtue sometimes. In hindsight, that was a good decision. I was glad that I redo the whole thing. Or else, if the cream didn't fall while I'm still at home, it will definitely fall apart somewhere when I deliver it all the way to Kinarut, or when my clients handle it much later.

Things that I've learnt from this experience.

1. Never do things last minute. 
Thank God that I still had ample time to redo the whole thing. I decorated it in the morning and delivered it in the late afternoon.

2. Always stick to what you know best
If you want to experiment with something new, do it when it's not for an official business. Then when it fails, it won't cost you a cake and a client. I tried to experiment by combining 2 different whipping cream. Whipped dairy cream tasted so much better than non-dairy, of course, it also costs twice as more, that's why bakeries never use dairy cream. I really wanted that rich milkiness dairy whipped cream in my cream. So I tried to combine it together, guess what, I ended up in a disaster. The dairy cream has a different texture and is more unstable. When I saw the mixture became more liquid, I whipped it again, I think this was where I've done wrong, I overwhipped it. This is a good example of an experiment gone bad.

By the way, this is why the locals hate whipped cream, cause it tastes really artificial compared to the real dairy one thing. That's why the westerners like to eat whipped cream so much, they always add a dash of whipped cream in any dessert. Seriously, it tastes really different, but that's the thing, it's not stable enough to pipe really beautiful decorations.

3. When you sense that something is not right, believe your sense and take immediate action.
In this case, my whipped cream. I knew it wasn't turning out as what I expected, but I still used it anyway. Am I just plain stupid or ignorant or both?

4. Let it go
Sometimes, it's best to let go of something than to dig yourself into a deeper trouble. I was adamant to throw away that big bowl of cream. That's why and how I got myself into humongous trouble after that. Sometimes, I failed to figure out which loss costs more? The RM20 bowl of whipped cream? Or a 2kg worth of cake, a client and my reputation? 

5. Made a mistake? Try again!
This is the most important part, it's the choice that you make when something goes awry. It's ok to make mistake, it's ok to panic and has a breakdown after that, but in the end, get up at try again. 

I need to give myself a pat on the shoulder, for someone who has anxiety, you don't know how anxious I was when I was faced with this kind of situation. If anxiety can be measured by temperature, I would say a thousand degree. A big thank you to my mama for always supporting me and helping me to clean up my mess, literally a big pile of mess. You should look at my kitchen after that. I recently read a book called "The Up Side of Down", it says everything about failure and I felt like my third eye was opened! I'll do a write up about that in my next post. Stay tuned! 

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