Ultraq's Final MooCow

Bits and pieces by Emanuel Rabina

Black Forest Gateau 1.1, Cake Box 1.0

Day 15 without the internet... Blatant company-bashing: Orcon Genius sucks / blows / is not fit for human use.

Shortly after the trial cake, I was able to create a much-improved version of it for my friend's birthday. Unfortunately I don't have any pictures of it for show, so just imagine the same cake as before, but with fluffier base layers and a diamond of dark chocolate sitting atop a cream swirl in the centre.

So I had the cake down, but the birthday girl lived on the other side of the city, some 30 minute walk from where I live, and I thought to myself, I can't just walk through the city with an exposed cake. I need to protect it from prying eyes, car exhausts, cigarette smoke, and emos. What I needed was a cake box.

I never thought to ask around at the local bakeries or supermarkets to see if I could take one of their many cake boxes (they have tonnes of them just sitting in the back, surely they could part with just 1). All that came to mind was that I had, at the corner of my desk, a horde of packaging material collected from deliveries ranging from NZ-based online stores like Mighty Ape, to overseas giants like Amazon and the resellers behind eBay.

It's like I had been preparing for this moment my entire professional programming career...

So, in the lead-up to cake-making day, I carried as many boxes as I could back home from work, then spent my Friday evening making a cake box out of various-sized packaging material. 2 hours, the cannibalism of 3 smaller boxes, and several metres of sellotape later, this was the result:

Cake box 1.0
Cake Box 1.0

It's a very crude-looking thing, but it did its job well: the box was large enough to contain the cake, the lid closed properly over the box to protect it from the elements, and there's even this slide-out 'tray' to take the cake out of the box if lifting it out will prove too messy.

The next day, cake complete and ready to serve, I carried the cake in the box through the harsh city environment*.

The birthday girl was very pleased with her cake, and I was pleased she was pleased with the cake. But even with the lovely cake before the both of us, I spent most of the time talking about the box! I mean, I'd made the cake before and blogged about it - I was done talking about the cake before I had even given it to her. The box however: it was new, I created it from scratch with other boxes, scissors, sellotape, and my crafting know-how. I almost drew comparisons between it and Frankenstein's monster: stitched together from other similar pieces, and... OK, that's where the comparison actually ends - I never breathed new life into the box since it was inanimate to start with and inanimate to finish.

Luckily for me, the birthday girl was nice enough to humour my OMG-I-made-a-cake-box obsession, and we talked about ways to improve the box for a good chunk of the afternoon. By the time I left, I had plenty of ideas swirling through my head for Cake Box 1.1.

* harsh for a cake anyway