So here is the latest installment in my “Kitchen Chronicles” series. For those who do not know, I enjoy taking cooking classes, and I occasionally share my experiences here on Daily Thankful (for the record, I haven’t posted one in awhile).
So today, I had the opportunity to take a cake decorating class. It was quite an experience. The class took three hours total – and that was just for the decorating! The cakes were already baked in advance – and I had a lot of fun. Here is the end result of my efforts:
What you’re looking at is a vanilla chiffon cake, with some apricot preserves spread generously between the two layers. It is covered with a lemon curd buttercream frosting, and all the piping that you see on the edges was manually done by me! 🙂
Until today, I had no idea how much effort was involved in the frosting a cake. I don’t think I’ll ever look at a cake in quite the same way again!
That being said, the buttercream frosting was a little too buttery for me. Remember that I am a vegan, but I had to sort of toss my veganism out the window today! Eggs and butter as far as the eye could see, with heavy emphasis on the butter.
The cake by itself – including the apricot preserve filling – was quite tasty. I’ve never been a fan of thick frosting, and I have to say that after today, my opinion has not changed. My plan is to freeze the cake, but I will likely scrape off most of the frosting.
That being said, frosting a cake is an exercise in patience and concentration. You cannot be in a hurry and try to frost a cake as well. You have to have the right tools and be trained to use them appropriately. Also, you must recognize that having the right approach is important – it’s simply not enough to have the correct implements and know how to use them; if your approach is all wrong, then you will not succeed (for instance, I was frosting the sides of my cake from the wrong angle. As a result, the cake started to slope down like a dome. The chef had to come around, explain the correct technique and angle of approach, and then show me how to do it the right way).
And even when you do everything right – you follow the instructions, you use the right tools, your approach is correct, and everything seems be going according to plan – it still takes a really long time to frost the cake. You have to cover the sides and the top, and then use different kinds and sizes of spatulas to create a smooth finish all around the cake. One careless move, and your cake can literally be destroyed.
And don’t even get me started on the piping! That’s where you get a bunch of frosting and you squeeze it into a little bag with a nozzle on the end of it. You can use frosting to create shapes and other decorative touches that you can use to make your cake look more festive. I actually enjoyed the piping because it was very calming; also, I was able to carry on a conversation with my friend (who was also piping her own cake) while doing so.
After three hours, we were able to box up our cakes and take them home. I decided to make a pitstop at my mother’s house and share the cake with her, my stepdad, and a family friend. Everyone agreed that the cake was tasty, but the frosting was a little “butter forward”. Even though I had put in three solid hours to decorate this cake, I knew that the first thing I wanted to do was to share it with people who mean a lot to me. So I did.
So that was my story for today. If you think about it for minute, you might be able to observe some important spiritual parallels – I certainly did. However, I won’t bother to spell them out here. If the Lord speaks to you through my cooking class experience today, then to God be the glory! Otherwise, I hope you enjoyed hearing about my cooking class. I’ll be sure to let you all know when I take another one.
Dear Lord, I thank You for giving me a truly delightful day. I really enjoyed the cake baking class with my friend, and I now have a greater appreciation for the level of precision and focus that is required to decorate a cake well.
Thank You for also speaking to me in a subtle way about where I should be directing my focus, and the fact that precision and attention will be required in order to accomplish the goals that You have set before me. And like the three-hour process required in order to decorate one little six-inch cake, it will likely take me some time to fully realize the dreams that I have in my life, but it’s still worth the effort to pursue them. In Your name I pray, Amen.