Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Preparation Perspiration

Wow! Who knew it would be so difficult to learn to decorate a cake? At no point did it occur to me that in order to learn to decorate cakes, one would actually need cakes, icing, tools, and mountains of decorating paraphernalia.

My challenge was to bake an 8 inch cake and mix two containers of icing to take to class tomorrow.  After realizing I only had half a bag of icing sugar, I checked the buttercream icing recipe to see how much more I had to purchase. I made a list of everything I needed and went shopping.

Each batch of icing, required one pound of icing sugar. Sounded simple enough. As I neared the appropriate aisle at the grocery store, I found the sugar.. "Hmmmm", I thought."I need two pounds." I saw bags that contained the words "one kilogram" and my life flashed before my eyes. Inches, feet, yards, pounds, miles, acres, cords, gallons, fluid ounces. During my youth, I could barely fathom imperial measurement. Then, along came metric. It was in a league of its own, although I thought I finally had it mastered. At no point did my brain register what I clearly knew. One cup is eight ounces, therefore I'd only need four cups for my two batches.

I tried to make it far too complicated. "Let me see," I said to myself. "one pound is 2.2 kilograms."

I have no idea where I got that absurd idea for conversion. Clearly the gray matter wasn't firing on all cylinders. Perhaps I was confused with one mile is 2.2 kilometers, or 2.2 fahrenheits make a celsius, or a metre stick and a yard stick are almost the same except for the 40 inches. Who knows? Essentially, here's what I calculated that I needed.

The bag on the top is the partial bag I already had. The only difference is that I used four cups out of it for the icing and still had most of the bag left. As it turned out, the recipe was simple and my buttercream icing is perfect (no actual butter was harmed in making that trans fat delicacy).

It's late now. It was very hot today. I still need a cake. My second cake is currently baking in the oven. I waited until evening to avoid overheating the house. Although the measurements were precise, the first cake refused to bake properly. Murphy's Law. I used all the helpful handy baking hints we got at last week's class.

 I need a cake!

If the second cake doesn't turn out, I'll be forced to use my tub of icing to decorate the other tub of icing. After all, I certainly have the ingredients to make a lot more of it.

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