The Cake-Time Continuum
Or – HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE ME TO DECORATE MY CAKE?
Since the beginning of Cake, this has always been the paramount dilemma.
It’s important if you are charging for it. It’s important if you’re not. You have a perishable item there and you have to plan your execution so you can deliver it on time.
And finally I have CRACKED IT!
I’ve hit on the fool-proof time-equation that works for 99.9% of cakes.
Here is the definitive:
Take your first guestimate…
Add 5 hours for margin of error
Add your age
Then take note of the date and time your cake needs to be delivered
Subtract the hours you have left until that time
(Make no allowances for sleep)
And that is TO THE SECOND the amount of time you need to make that cake. EXACTLY!
Works every time for me!
Yup! In short – your cake usually takes AS LONG AS YOU’VE GOT! We are all crazy cake people who keep kicking ourselves for starting something that we know is going to take over our lives for a few days and we will rarely have enough time to do our imagined design justice.
We’re artists! We have to suffer for it!
And Muggles don’t get it.
Because the thing that muggles don’t really see is just how time consuming this stupid profession can be. Not their fault. I mean, SERIOUSLY, who would believe that some of us would spend 24 hours making a basket out of fondant when you could make a real one in a fraction of the time? Or spend an hour on a sugar rose when you can just nick one from next door’s garden? You’ve got to be a little bit of a fruit loop!
Admittedly not all cake artists are daft enough to waste their life hand-crafting edible baskets or feathers, or scales or sugar sequins or all those other ridiculous details that take FOREVER.
The 1% who create viable businesses are the heroes here. They have lives! They sleep!
They are the ones who know that when they quote for a job they are factoring in ALL their time, INCLUDING the designing, sketching, washing up and time to SLEEP whilst still making a profit! (‘PROFIT’- it’s in the dictionary. Look it up!)
They don’t see every cake as a reflection of their best artistic and technical ability but more as a compromise between what the client wants and what they are able to pay. They don’t mind if their cake isn’t competition-perfect because they aren’t being judged by their fellow artists, they’re being judged by their clients. Clients who don’t get hung up on a tiny crack in the fondant or on a slightly boss-eyed topper. These bakers can probably make perfect toppers if they want to. If they spend more TIME. But not everything has to be perfect…just commercially viable.
Yeah…there really are some sensible cake artists out there. A few at least.
But then there’s the rest of us!
We KNOW it too. I have done a basket before. I KNEW I could run a few marathons before I’d finish it! (Maybe I‘m reaching a bit there but you get my drift!)
And yet I went ahead and did it anyway.
Yes – I factored in a lot of time.
Yes- I prepared myself to binge-watch anything on Netflix with over 3 series
Yes – I made as many sugar flowers as I could in advance
Yes I STILL got no sleep and took it to the wire.
Which only goes to prove my equation (see above!)
Here’s the proof – Condensed from 5 Billion minutes – to 5! 🙂