Wednesday, June 10, 2009

10 lessons learned

so today, there were a lot of discoveries, new tips and techniques, and overall lessons learned. Not the most productive, exciting, or photogenic day but there's the rest of the week coming up.

1. There is such thing as too much cake.
So, those of you who were curious about the status of last week's sundae cake will be saddened to learn that the cake didn't even make it through the rest of the night. Joan said that just a half hour after I left on Saturday, the "ice cream bowl" broke apart under the weight of all the "ice cream scoop" balls and became a huge mess. Joan took pictures and showed me today, I'll see if I can get a copy of them to put on here - it was a massacre.

2. Try, try, try again.
Luckily she had time to re-bake and re-decorate, it only took her 2 hours this time around, and now she has the design perfected (she had never really done one like this before, so we're calling the whole thing "a learning experience."). Good thing too because we have another sundae coming up this week, so Ice Cream Sundae v 2.0 will be much better, stay tuned.

3. Joan does more than just cakes.
Joan usually sticks to cakes, but she had a special request for 100 sugar cookies with colored glazing so that was my assignment today. It was my first time doing the mixing/baking component today, and it was interesting reading the recipes to see the massive amounts of ingredients needed to make massive amounts of batter, or cookie dough like today. Flour, sugar, butter, etc. is now measured in pounds, not cups, teaspoons, or ounces.

4. Don't turn on the mixer when you've just added flour to cookie dough.
Or it WILL fly everywhere, make a mess, and snow on your camera and bag.

5. It is harder than you think to make 100 perfectly circular cookies of the same diameter and thickness.

6. Always make extra.
Because you will always make mistakes and need more cookie dough, colored frosting, etc. than you thought.

7. Cookie dough smells delicious.
I don't know if it's because I'm becoming immune to the cake better aroma, or if cookie dough has always been my raw sweet treat of choice, but making and working with the dough today was a nice change and quite the temptation.

8. Always Be Flouring.
Humidity + moist cookie dough doesn't make a great combination, so you need to flour the working surface, the dough, and the rolling pin after every few rolls back and forth. We used almost a pound of flour just in the rolling out of the cookies.

9. The oven is hot. Things in the oven are hot. Things that come out of the oven are hot.

10. The way to glaze cookies:
Make the icing out of powdered sugar + corn syrup + milk and draw a border around each cookie. Then mix in more corn syrup to make it more of an oozy glaze and spread to the border. Sounds easy enough but x 100 cookies = an all day project.


So after all that, here's all I have to show for it:


Here's some cooler things that Joan did today:

After boxing up the cookies tomorrow, it's back to some real cake decorating for me...

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