Life is good with a pot of tea and an ipad.
I kickstarted my holidays with the plan of watching Kat bake a cake for a baby shower. I've never seen or heard of vanilla bean paste. I've never made buttercream before. I've never used a candy thermometer to check for temperature of melting sugar and heating up egg whites. And I've never worked with fondant. So, of course the plan was to just watch.
But, being in the kitchen while Kat is at work, it is inevitable that she'd put you to work also. The above was my first work station. The cushiest job ever. To read the recipe out to Kat while sipping on one of my most favorite teas from Silk Road.
I laughed so hard when this happened. This is a good example of haste makes waste. Haha. Let the cake cool before taking out of pan. Kat decided "piping hot" was close enough to "cool". When the cake plopped out of the pan and cracked in half, Kat quickly pushed it all back together in hopes that it would somehow glue back into one piece. When we realized that wasn't going to happen, Kat quickly swiped the cake off the rack to make room for the next. Let's just say there was no TLC for that cake.
Luckily, somehow, the recipes yielded five cakes, and we only needed four.
Unfortunately, since I was busy being assistant, I didn't document the entire process. Before the fondant, there was an assembly of cake with buttercream layers, all done on a fancy lazy-susan-type cake turntable. We made a decadent chocolate cake with strawberry buttercream. (Fresh strawberries made this buttercream absolutely heavenly!). And the other was a vanilla bean white cake with passionfruit buttercream. Mm-mmm....
Here was my last work station. Fondant lovin' time. After playing with it and learning about it, fondant is essentially edible play-doh. But it's so disgustingly pliable, I just cannot imagine eating it. I've had fondant cakes before and avoided eating the fondant. Now that I'm played with some, I will continue to avoid eating fondant.
But... it was ridiculously fun to work with.
And it certainly makes the cake look fabulous!
Now I've learn to use vanilla bean paste and tasted it. I made a really smooth batch of passionfruit buttercream all by myself! I used a candy thermometer to reach 150 degrees for the sugar and egg white mixture as per recipe. And I had a whole lot of fun shaping with play-doh. Err... fondant. Yay!
Thank you Kat (again) for all these learning experiences.