week 3 of fondant and royal icing

It’s the halfway point of the course. The fact that a major snowstorm hit the city yesterday didn’t help dispel that feeling of dread, “what am I doing here?” The assignment: to make a white cake and cover it in a crumb coating. My cake’s texture was dense. No doubt because the egg whites didn’t get foamy enough before I added the sugar. <sigh>

We also made our own royal icing and Italian Meringue Buttercream. Now, those were more successful. The buttercream was a delicate balance between meringue and sugar syrup arriving at the same point ready to be joined together. Sounds like a marriage! In fact, after two pounds of  butter had been added it still looked like the consistency of cream soup. (This stuff isn’t heart healthy, that’s for sure.)

Chef Tai said to just put the buttercream in the bowl in the fridge for a while. But Chef Joseph showed me a really neat trick instead. He put the bowl back on the mixer stand. Instead of raising the bowl, he let the whip just touch an inch beneath the surface. Then he switched on the machine and let it go round until the mixture began to look vaguely like cottage cheese. Then he raised the bowl to immerse the whip and continued whipping until a smooth buttercream emerged. A miraculous save!

We were dismissed an hour early on account of the weather. It was still sleeting. I brought back the royal icing and the buttercream to practice making borders at home. I reviewed the white cake recipe afterwards to see where I went wrong. I noticed that the vanilla was missing and the sugar amounts in the ingredients were different from the procedure. Aw nuts. Chef Tai had said it was Martha Stewart’s White Buttercake recipe so I looked it up online and got the correct measurements. That’s my next recipe post!

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