Facebook is finally fading...because I found a new toy that has been there all along! My oven, who hardly recognizes me... is making my aquaintance recently. It started with my granddaughter, Alexis,considering her future in culinary school versus hairdressing, versus community college.
Paying to learn to bake is pretty expensive, as it turns out. Community college is seeming to be a better deal.....so..... dear GD, how would you like to learn to bake with me???
Well she thought that would be great fun, so I re-arranged my kitchen and brought out all my baking tools that I could find, and then bought some more and then a super video-packed on-line baking book that really focused on the cake decorating I wanted to get into.
And off we go!
Lexie is more into cupcakes and all the cute things you can do with them. So we started simple, with a list of goodies in my kitchen for baking. She had to find all of them, so she would know where to get all her ingredients and tools as she baked. She was surprised at how long the list was!
BTW, she is 18 and is VERY limited in what she has baked in the past. So we had a fun time cooking from scratch. She made a simple chocolate cupcake with peppermint creme frosting. She decided to make half of them green and half of them white. The emerald toppers had chocolate curls to decorate, and the creamy white had bits of hard candy broken up with a hammer (she got out a bit of frustration with that!)
We were so excited to share them with the family at our Tuesday night get-together that we FORGOT TO TAKE A PICTURE
I made out a little opinion paper for each family member to give their opinion of the cupcake. It worked out very nicely, as we asked them to please be honest and not give her a 10 just because we are all family. It averaged out to about a 7, which I thought was a fair evaluation for her first try.
THESE WERE HER NEXT ATTEMPT
She is going to start her own blog and explain more about her adventures with me, so it is enough said that these cupcakes were not as pretty but soooooo much better tasting than the first. She got 8's and 9's on these. I'll let her tell you the secret ingredient...
On to my own trek into cakery...
I was going to be meeting my two sisters at our "Sisters Sewing Sircle" in a couple days, so it was the perfect motivation for making a desert. I chose to use a box cake for my first try, because I wanted to focus on the frosting more than the cake. I followed a couple extra pointers from that on-line book and the cake came out nice and smooth and even, and for the first time came out of the pans perfectly!!!
I got brave and tried cutting the two layers into four, so there could be a filling. I made a little frosting 'dam' around the edge and put in blueberry preserves for the filling in a lemon cake. Then I did the rough frost to keep the crumbs under control. Which WORKED!
The white underlay came out pretty good, and I loved the paper-towel lace effect. But the frosting for the yellow flowers was softened by the fact I had put it in the fridge overnight. I don't know what the cold does, but the petals wouldn't stiffen. I won't refrigerate the left-over frostings again.
The mail brought my first order for new fun tools, and I ripped it open and used the drop flower tip for the blue flowers. And because I didn't have enough pastry bags or know-how, I didn't change the drop flower tip for a star tip and the edging is not all that it should be. NOW I have the merngue powder to stiffen up the iceing and have figured out what to do about changing tips.
My sisters were amazed that I had made it and loved the taste as much as the look!!
I know I have a lot to improve on, but I felt pretty good about my first foray into baking with a purpose.