The latest Cake Boss begins with a warning about fireworks. That’s funny that there was no warning about spitting flames through a cake or deep frying a cannoli big enough to land a small plane through.
The bakers are driving somewhere at night (in their chefs’ whites). They’re going to Long Island to meet with the famiglia Grucci, the maestros of amazing fireworks. Buddy is really impressed by all the incredible firework displays they’ve done for different occasions - July 4th, the Brooklyn Bridge centennial, inaugurations, etc.
Today they need a cake for Donna Grucci’s father’s birthday. He was the founder of their fireworks company. Dad doesn’t appear to be around anymore. Is this an Italian thing to bake for the departed? Buddy mentions he did the same thing to honor HIS father a few weeks earlier.
Donna's brother, Felix Grucci, says that the company is noted for doing displays in the New York harbor. THAT’S the understatement of the year. This one wasn't in New York, but it was grand enough that it could have been.
Felix would be happy if Buddy could incorporate various NY landmarks on the cake. He’s also happy to provide them with some “pyrotechnics” for “the piece”. They've arranged a little fireworks show for Buddy and Mauro to get them in the mood. Stunning.
Buddy’s idea for the cake is to do three land masses -
Man-HAH!!!-IN, Brooklyn and Hoboken, with the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty and various skyscrapers on there as well. He says there’s going to be fireworks coming out of each element.
He has the team making the cakes and the icing. He makes the Statue of Liberty from a pipe covered with rice krispie treats, which are then covered with modeling chaw-co-lot.
Buddy’s wife calls and reminds him that he has to go to little Buddy’s school tomorrow for Bring Daddy To School day. There’s plaintive music in the background as we see scenes of Buddy’s kids (especially his favored namesake) coming to visit the bakery. He decides to make (have his team make) little cakes for each father and son.
Buddy wants to test what will happen when you mix fireworks with a cake. He sends Frankie out to buy some fireworks. Buddy puts one in a cake and they all go out into alley behind the bakery. He lights the thing and runs away. Nothing happens at first and then it EXPLODES… big time. Perhaps they’re smart to let the Grucci’s take care of the “pyrotechnics”.
They finish making the Grucci cakes. Now on to the icing. Buddy lays a screen on top of fondant and a roller goes over to make a window pattern. He does the same thing to make bricks. For the roof, he uses black poppy seeds to look like asphalt. Oh my, he’s doing TONS of buildings – 9 actually, plus a bridge, a stadium and the Statue of Liberty.
Frankie goes to get little “snap” fireworks. Buddy sneaks behind his sister, Mary, and throws them at her feet, scaring her. She tells MOM! Buddy comes down again and throws them at Mom’s feet. Mom giggles while she tells Mary “He’s done. He’s done.” (I think Buddy can do anything and mom won’t care...unless, of course, he bakes dirty cakes. THAT she will not tolerate.)
The sides are beginning to slide off one of the skyscrapers. The problem is they’ve brought this huge conglomeration of cakes into the 80° oven room to be wired up for the fireworks, because it’s the only room big enough to hold the thing!
Buddy explains that when you take a cake that’s cool from the refrigerator and put it in a hot room, the fondant will start to sweat and then peel off from the sides of the cake.
They glue (with icing) whatever needs to be touched up and they finish all the little derails – boats, sidewalks, taxi cabs and a replica of Carlo’s Bake Shop itself. AND there is even the Grucci patriarch sitting on the cake, holding a fuse as if he’s about to light the fireworks. Buddy says to his team that he’s “proud of youse”.
They go to load it into the truck. There’s a problem. It doesn’t fit in the truck. They have to take a shelf out of the truck, which is bolted from the bottom. When they finally do it, Buddy says, “It was like the gates of heavens opening” and anything was possible.
They unload it to a surprisingly small crowd. Everyone is excited. They love it. Donna says her father would be so honored. The Grucci’s finish setting up the fireworks. They set them off on top of all the buildings (cakes). Incredible. They go off beautifully.
Buddy is reminded of his father and he says both businesses are all about family. He stays to cut the cake and serve it around. Felix Grucci is especially touched. Buddy says, “We did it with all our heart. We know how it feels.” Aww. Buddy is so sweet. The two Italian sons embrace.
Next scene is Buddy at Bring Your Dad To School day. Little Buddy is too cute. The dad and kids decorate the little cakes he brought in. The Cake Boss remembers special times with his dad. We see old pictures and videos.
Remember, this is the finale of season one of Cake Boss (yes, it has been renewed) and Buddy is getting rather contemplative. He says in the last year they’ve taken the bakery to a whole new level to fulfill the goal his father had. In spite of all the yelling and conflict, “at the end of the day” they’re all family.
”There’s a lot of love in this bakery.” Buddy continues. “This is what my father wanted. This is how things were supposed to be. This is where I wanna be. I wanna be there with my son, making this cake, reminiscing about my day…It couldn’t have been a better day.”
I can’t help but think that Pops wouldn’t necessarily agree that this is how things were supposed to be. I think he might have liked to have stuck around a bit longer and spent more time with his big crew of a family. But I guess becoming the “man” of the family when he was only 17 prepared Buddy to lead the family business and become the Cake Boss that we’ve come to love.