So far, the morning is not going well.
I woke up at 4AM and couldn’t fall back to sleep.
My hair…which I got cut this weekend…was not cooperating with me. For this I blame my stylist…apparently “please don’t make short layers” means “chop tons of short layers all over the place so it takes me an hour to make my hair look right”.
I walked out of the house without my makeup bag, so I’m going to be really pale with big dark circles under my eyes all day.
There was a lot of traffic because…well, I guess because it’s raining and people seem to forget how to drive in the rain. Because of that my bus ride in took forever…which is usually good because it’s more time to read my book…except this really annoying guy took my bus this morning and he didn’t shut up for one second. It was very distracting.
Then, to top everything off, some asshole in an Escalade was in a really big hurry this morning and decided to fly down Fifth Avenue…but right up close to the sidewalk…you know, where the puddles are? Yeah…he slammed a puddle right as I was walking past it and everything on the sidewalk…including me…got soaked.
So am I happy this morning? Nope. But I have to get through my day…and the entire week…which is going to be rainy and gross…so I have to get into a better mood. In order to do that, I’m going to talk about one of my favorite things ever…cake.
Friday night, Marisa and I took the first of three cake baking classes at The Institute of Culinary Education. We have both been looking forward to it because we love to bake, but sometimes things just don’t come out quite right. On Friday night we found out that it’s mostly due to over mixing and incorrect measuring. Who knew?
The class was great. We went over techniques for measuring and how important it is to be consistent in your methods. Also…if you are following a recipe see if it says anything in there about how to measure…like should you sift the flour before measuring. It makes a huge difference. Oh…and when it comes to eggs…size matters. If a recipe calls for large eggs, make sure you use large only. Using three extra-large eggs can be like using four large ones…which will result in your cake not coming out right. Again…who knew?
It was also fantastic to be working in a commercial kitchen. Everything we could have possibly needed was right at our fingertips. The fridge and pantry were completely stocked with the freshest ingredients and delicious produce. And the best part…there was someone to wash the dishes as we finished with them and then he restocked the equipment shelves as he washed…which means we never had to stop to clean out of bowl or rinse a mixing paddle.
This week’s lesson was pound cakes and crumb cakes. We made three different recipes. The first was for blueberry crumb squares…
I think I measured the cinnamon wrong on these because they definitely could have used more. But the cake was light and fluffy, the blueberries were big and fresh and delicious and the cake to crumb ratio was perfect.
The second recipe was for a marble spice cake…
I’m not a huge fan of spice, but this cake was amazing. The texture of it…it was unlike any other cake I’ve ever made. It was really light and fluffy and it sort of melted in your mouth. It will be making an appearance at Thanksgiving this year.
The last cake we made was an orange pound cake…
This was by far my favorite. It had a lemon orange glaze on it and the texture was like velvet. It was pretty dense, but just perfect. The juice from the oranges and the lemons was freshly squeezed by Marisa and the smell was amazing.
Other people made different recipes…there was an Irish currant soda bread and a lemon pound cake and a pineapple crumb that was absolutely heavenly. When all the cakes were done we had a little tasting party…
That big giant silver bowl on the table was filled with the most fabulous buttercream frosting for us to use next week…layer cakes. I’m excited because that is baking, but also decorating…which I’m not always so good at.
The one thing that didn’t work out so well was my footwear. I was planning to wear Crocs…I know they are ugly, but sooo comfy. Anyway, the Crocs didn’t really go with my outfit, so I stupidly wore Converse sneakers. Bad idea. I have bad arches and those sneakers don’t have enough support. My feet were killing me by the end of the night and have been hurting since then. So next week I will be wearing comfy footwear…even if it doesn’t go with my outfit.
Stay tuned for pictures of our layer cakes next week.