Baking vs. Tattooing

posted: 01/23/12
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Baker gets inked! Mauro heads to the Wooster Street Social Club for this tattoo.

On a special episode of Cake Boss, Mauro takes Maddalena to the Wooster Street Social Club. Seeing a baker in a tattoo parlor has us wondering what's tougher: tattooing or baking? Here are a few professional considerations to help YOU decide which artist has a harder workday!

Tattoo Artist

Being a tattoo artist gives you pretty serious street cred. Of course, you won't have any professional credibility unless you wear ink, so start thinking now about which designs you want on your arms, back, legs -- wherever. You can handle the pain, right?

Enduring the needle will come in handy when you get a client who flinches at the sight of one. A professional will know how to handle someone who gets scared, sick or passes out. That's just part of the job! And so is talking to clients who think they know better than the pro. You're an artist, after all, so you can tell if someone's design is the right scale for its intended place, or if the color just won't work. You may even have to talk someone out of inking his girlfriend's name across his back. It's forever, after all!

Besides the artistic considerations, you've got to uphold some pretty serious health standards, too. Tattooing comes with the risk of infection, so you have to keep your work area incredibly clean and use all the right tools to protect your clients. You'll have to give them the spiel about tattoo aftercare and insist they take your advice seriously. It's one thing for a client to regret a tattoo; it's another for him or her to become infected. If you can only prevent one, choose the latter!

Dealing with clients is also a big part of your job. You'll see everything. People will stumble in drunk. They'll come in huge groups with friends who get in the way. You'll shock people by revealing the price of their dream tattoo -- why don't they get how expensive this is? And you'll encounter clients with really bad tattoos that they want you to transform.

And that's all in a day's work!


You've got a sweet gig -- literally! If you can avoid the temptation you face every day in the form of pastries, cakes and pies, you might get a sleek physique, too. Hauling giant bags of flour and sugar can build muscle. But it can also be tough on your body, too. Heavy lifting, repetitive motion and a job that keeps you on your feet can take a toll.

People will stop in the bakery for a casual treat, but your clients will also come by to request orders for special events. Your work will be a part of someone's wedding day, a retirement party or a kid's first birthday. What an incredible honor! It's also pretty intimidating. They're all counting on you to make the most beautiful cake ever. Not only that, it's got to taste great.

You may think you've got it made. Your apple pie is the best on the block, and your brownies are the family favorite at reunions. But have you ever baked in bulk? Say, a cake that feeds 400? Be prepared to do a little math when you make that apple pie recipe for a group of 150! Brush up on your chemistry skills, too, because baking is all about science. Ingredients react with one another, and the way you handle batter or even frosting can make or break a recipe. (How many times have you read "Don't overmix" and disregarded it?)

You'll meet some pretty amazing people on the job. And while you've got great ideas for their cakes, it's their perspective that matters most ... even if the idea of an orange and yellow wedding cake makes your eyes burn. You may even give up a few holidays and weekends delivering the goods. Most weddings are on Saturdays, after all, and people go gaga for desserts at Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Planning on spending Valentine's Day with your sweetheart? Not a problem, after you fill that order for 1,000 chocolate-dipped strawberries!

Ready to bake?

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