About a year or so ago, we ALL started planning a wedding. My sister Chelsea's wedding. During some discussions it was brought up that Brian's favorite kind of cake was not really cake, but cake balls. And somewhere in that discussion it was decided that the groom's cake should be made of cake balls. And somewhere else in that discussion we came up with a figure that would be needed based on how many cake balls Chelsea can eat in one sitting. And from that point we moved forward to see what it would cost to order each guest the number of cake balls that CHELSEA can eat in one sitting. And through that calculation we came up with a cost of approximately $4,000. Gasp.
First mistake--don't ever base anyone else's eating capabilities on what Chelsea can do. She eats like horse and looks like a freakin' bean pole. You see, Chelsea can eat 8 cake balls in one sitting....yes, EIGHT. And when you break it down, that's 1/3 of a cake. No one....and I mean NO ONE eats 1/3 of a cake at a wedding....so our calculations were a bit off. But it was too late....we had run with them...
So, anyway....somewhere in all those discussions, I agreed to make these 600 cake balls. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.
But you see, Bakerella had made it look so easy. You just bake...then shred....then mix....then roll....then freeze....then dip. Easy peasy pumpkin pie, right?
So, for the past year every event I have gone to where I have been asked to bring something, I have taken cake balls. I've made cream cheese cake balls, red velvet cake balls, chocolate-chocolate cake balls....you get the picture. But making one batch of cake balls is much different than making 600.
Here's what 616 (plus the dozen or so eaten by bystanders) cake balls look like prior to a careful, artful creation. The amount of ingredients alone should have been a huge red flag....but I was still in that, "I'm so happy to do this for my baby sister and her hubby-to-be" state of mind.
I spent two straight days of baking 16 cake mixes...in a kitchen that's under construction, no less. Not sure I'll ever bake another cake again...maybe just pies from here on out. :-)
During those two days, I also shredded each of the cakes and mixed them with the appropriate flavor of icing. We had Chocolate-Peanut Butter and German Chocolate...the groom's two favorite flavors. Happy to oblige, I was.
I spent a whole third day doing nothing but dipping and topping my little prizes.
To be honest I only dipped about 550 of them, because we didn't have enough boxes to pack them in...but I still like the ring of 600, so I tell that story.
After carefully packing each of the hand rolled, hand dipped treasures into their boxes, we packed them in coolers so they could stay unmelted during the 400 mile trek from my parents' house to Austin. I was just glad I didn't make those in Nashville and try to board a plane with 600 cake balls and two toddlers...can you imagine the crazy that would have come out of my eyes?
Anyway....I was feeling really good about myself for having finished such a big project and being able to contribute such an important piece to the reception. I realize it wasn't "THE Wedding Cake", but it was the Groom's Cake....so it was almost as important.
But I'll have to admit I was a bit taken aback when I saw the presentation of the cake balls. Actually, I'll be honest...I lost my breath for a moment. I had been informed that the cake balls would be resting beautifully on a tiered platter. I had imagined 200-300 of those sweet puppies being displayed at once....oh, what a grand presentation that would be.
I walked in looking for this tower of perfection. I looked left. I looked right. I looked around the room about five times and there was not a single grand tower of chocolate anywhere. And then over in the corner, barely peeking up off the table, I saw it. A small tiered platter that held no more than 37-39 cake balls at a time. A sad little tear trickled down my cheek... could this really be? Did I slave for three days hunched over an endless supply of cake balls for such a small display that was so easy to miss?
Indeed, I had. I wiped my tear. Remembered this day was not about me. And headed upstairs to help the bride button 427 buttons down the back of her dress.
I will say, the compliments about the cake balls throughout the night were endless, and greatly appreciated. We, of course, over estimated our audience's cake ball consumption by about 450, but the cake balls were passed on to others and joy was spread beyond the walls of just our celebration....
And isn't that what life is really about? Sharing the love... Indeed it is.
To see more great pictures of this beautiful love affair, check out my other blog or my sister's blog.