Tuesday, June 4, 2013

RETURNING: Cake Boss: Sandy, Birthdays, Paul, Exercise...

When Hurricane Sandy happened, I worried about Carlo's Bakery and searched for Buddy's family on twitter to find out how bad things were. It wasn't difficult to find out that they were up and running pretty quickly after the storm, and I'm fairly certain that anyone and everyone knew by now that it didn't take them "months" to recover. Therefore, the attempted suspense built in "Hurricane Sandy Strikes" didn't mean a whole lot because of the huge gap between when the Hurricane hit, when the show introduced it as a concern, and this season's premiere. Still, I was intrigued to see cakes being done with very little lighting and no big equipment, and it was also interesting to me to learn how much cake is frozen and then used!
Similarly, we got a few more nuggets about life at Carlo's... they have 170 employees (I would not have guessed it was so many!), and the typical progression in decorating goes from fondant cakes to sheet cakes to wedding cakes (fondant before piping seems so foreign to me!). What did you learn from the first few episodes this season?

The Cake Boss "Hurricane Sandy Strikes" (S06E01): Lackawanna was damaged by the storm, but the main bakery was completely spared. After the storm is over, there are still 48 specialty cakes to do over the weekend, but there's no power. Some orders are cancelled, others are rescheduled, and the rest are finished via generator and low lighting, with some help from styrofoam layers. [I remember an early episode where Buddy talks about how they never sell cakes that aren't 100% real. I've nitpicked some of the decorations here and there before, but this definitely qualifies as a red flag. I understand it's an emergency and all, but you also have to wonder how often it regularly occurs if they have that many styrofoam pieces around...] The group also donates some thawed cakes to a hurricane relief center. 

The Cake Boss "Welcome Back Robin!" (S06E02): It's been a couple months since Sandy. [proving that the only reason the previous episode was held so long was to boost ratings for the start of the new season...] Buddy is opening another Carlo's in Ridgewood, NJ, half an hour west of Hoboken. [are they really going to become a chain? because that's REALLY different from what they were before all the TLC fame...]

Buddy does a cake Good Morning, America's return of Robin Roberts. The color palette is based on an inspirational bracelet. [I liked the color scheme but the end result itself was just too busy... especially around the letters!]

Noa, a spin instructor, has lost 150 pounds, and wants a cake to thank his mentor. Mauro is trying to lose weight (having recently had the same lap band surgery that SisterLisa had), so he is excited to work on this cake, which is supposed to be "as healthy as possible." They do a carrot cake with fresh cream and fruit, and also get some of the family members (Mauro, his wife, and 2 of his kids, Danny, Mary, and SisterLisa) to try the 45-minute spin class. [I wasn't in love with the spin cycle cake.]

The Cake Boss "Cake Smash" (S06E03): Paul lost his job after filming Cake Boss: Next Great Baker, and then he lost his home in Hurricane Sandy, so he's in desperate need of work. With Ashley working in the bakery, it's a hard call to make, but Buddy gives Paul a job in the bakery. [wow. didn't see that coming!]

A bridal salon wants a cake shaped like a wedding dress, so they bring in some gowns for inspiration. [lovely gowns but those designs required SO MUCH CAKE!] To figure out how to make the cake look like it flows, Buddy has the dresses modeled: WifeLisa puts on one, Ashley puts on another, and Anthony wears the third. [haha! but it was sad to see the cake pulled apart so quickly in search of the coin that wins a dress from the boutique!]

A photographer wants three cakes for first birthdays in a very girly, specific color palette, with an old-fashioned whipped cream look. Buddy has Carlo play with some cake to learn more about smash cakes, but the boy doesn't like to be messy. [I can relate!] 

The Cake Boss "Sugary Slopes" (S06E04): Paul is introduced to the bakery staff, and Ashley wastes no time pulling a prank on "the new guy." [I kinda hate the prank wars on this show...]

Buddy is hired to do a cake for Windham ski resort, and it needs to have a working chairlift, replicate the mountain, and be delivered over snow. [tall order!] It will require a thousand trees and tons of people, and the chairlift can actually pick up and drop off people! [wow. so cool!] As the employees work on the cake, they talk about their winter sports abilities, prompting a race down the mountain between Anthony, Ashley, Paul, and Maurizio. Paul, the loser, gets pelted with snowballs. [he lost TERRIBLY! why bluff so much??]

Buddy and WifeLisa both have birthdays in the same week, so Lisa bakes a cake for the occasion, using fondant for the first time. [It turned out decently well, I thought, especially for doing the whole thing in one day!]
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