This is the first event cake order I received from the Crowne Plaza L. A. Harbor Hotel in San Pedro, California. The event is about a non-profit organization, New Beginnings Mai Am, whose ministry involves sponsoring an orphanage in Vietnam, as well as sending out medical volunteers to the same rural area. The organization was going to have a fundraising event at the Crowne Plaza L. A. Harbor Hotel on December 11, 2010, and the hotel GM, Mr. David Lai, introduced me to meet the President/Director of the organization, Dr. Mike Lehoang, for a chance to present my new cake career. Since this is a fundraiser, and it's for the orphans, I then volunteered to make a cake for this event, but Dr. Lehoang was just so kind and was generous enough to purchase the cake from someone who doesn't seem very much a real baker like me.
I was so excited because this would be my very first big event cake, and it would be done in the hotel's commercial kitchen. I started to get really nervous, and right away jump started on testing the ovens in the hotel, and on planning out my workflow as I would be the only person making the cakes, I'd better come up with a system. I was supposed to make a small cake for them to taste on the second week I started working on it, but still, the cakes did not come out as good as I wanted. I began to panic, can I truly handle this kitchen? Should I sneak in the cakes from a bakery for this? Am I the right person to make wonderful cakes?... Before I could think straight, Mr. David Lai has already added his finishing touch-toasted slivered almonds to the cake, wrapped it up, and got on his way to meet with the good doctor and friends. Goodness! I just stood there in the kitchen biting my nails praying and waiting... Later that night, David told me that they liked the cake! Oh, what a relief! :-)
The flavor of the cake is vanilla chiffon with taro root mousse filling and whipped cream frosting. I chose the flavor since this is an Asian event, and so far I have not come across any Asian who does not like taro root. LOL! Anyway, after numerous trials and errors testing the kitchen and ingredients, I finally made the cakes in three afternoons! Yay! Although the number of guests called for was 300, I actually made more than enough to feed 400! Most importantly, people enjoyed the cakes, some even had mroe than one serving. Mrs. Sue Lehoang was so kind to introduce me to her friends, and to pass out my fresh off the printer, home-made business cards! The mayor of City of Rosemead, Mr. Steven Ly, sitting at the next table also liked it very much, and right away invited me to make the cakes for his 200 people party next spring! Oh, how exciting is that!
It is truly rewarding to see people enjoy my production, in this case, my cakes! Thank you, friends! To Dr. and Mrs. Lehoang, for your order and kind referrals, and to Mr. David Lai, for the opportunities of cake making as well as for having faith on my cakes.
(The cake and me. More cakes at the back, thos one alone is of course not enough!)
(Cute girls at Mai Am praying!)
(Made fondant dolls from the picture above for a cake top, and ambitiously made whipped cream morning glories, but they did not withstand the room temperature, and began to wilt... :-(