Baking day #1

Baking challenges ahoy, but they’ve definitely been fun thanks to tight deadlines and a brand new mixer!

Yes, I say #1 because I will be back in the kitchen again tomorrow (though with an assistant to help with the fiddly decorating details and the prep I dislike) in order to finish the two commissions that need to be ready for tomorrow.

Though I had a lot to do today I knew that there would be limits to the amount that I could realistically complete, partially due to time, but also due to the fact that I am lacking some of the ingredients I need (carrots, sunflower oil, cream cheese, sour cream, to name but a few).

Having enjoyed a productive day (more of that in a little), I am now sitting on the sofa watching an old episode of The Closer and enjoying a spiced rum and cola, I feel that I have earned it.

This morning I started with the cake which I needed to get out of the way before I could start on anything else, it was also going to be the first true test of my new mixer, the Sage and Heston Blumenthal Bakery Boss in Blueberry Granita (reviews have been favourable, but I like to judge these things for myself). As with every baking venture I have ever pushed myself into I started by ensuring I had everything to hand.

I will note that prior to getting anything out I made sure that the kitchen was thoroughly cleaned to ensure there was no possible cross-contamination of gluten free and normal(?) products.

Once I had done this I measured every ingredient out, cracked the eggs into a jug, and then put the butter and sugar into the mixing bowl (I washed the new mixer and all attachments yesterday evening and left them to dry naturally) and started it on the snazzy ‘cream’ setting on the mixer.

mixing-batter

I have to admit that I had initially been rather dubious of the supposed abilities that this mixer proclaimed to have, but I am seriously impressed. I was a little bit nervous about making a gluten free cake, but this gluten free recipe seemed simple enough, and the comments at the bottom of the post made me feel as though I wasn’t taking too many risks in baking it. Turns out that I wasn’t wrong to trust it (though it did sink a bit in the middle).

Anyway,  the process was very simple, though perhaps my using my usual creaming of butter and sugar, then adding in the other ingredients slowly could possibly (maybe?) have caused each of the three sponges I made to sink a little in the middle.

I did my usual, creaming the butter and sugar, and then slowly added the eggs (one at a time).

adding-eggs

Before adding the flour and reducing the speed on the mixer to the setting that has been called ‘folding’ (no, seriously, that’s what it’s actually called on the mixer).

Once I’d added the eggs and the flour, I left the mix folding for just a few minutes, until it was light, fluffy and full of visible air bubbles, it looked silky smooth and I felt more than hopeful.

finished-batter

I measured the mixture (doesn’t it look lovely?) into three tins and then put it in the oven (preheated of course) for the prescribed time. When I took them out they were springy, golden and definitely properly baked.

baked-cakes

After they were out of their tins and properly cooled I covered two of the three sponges with a (not over-sweet) chocolate buttercream, the mixer, again, didn’t let me down, light, fluffy, beautifully whipped, and the covered sponges are now in the fridge ready to be covered in fondant tomorrow.

crumbcoated

All in all, I feel that today was a successful one. I currently have 2 trays of cupcakes cooling on racks in the kitchen, a further two batches are already boxed and awaiting buttercream (which I have yet to make). The pictured cake is in the fridge waiting to be decorated, and the third layer of the sponge has been covered in the remaining chocolate buttercream (there wasn’t much) so it can be tasted by the client upon collection.

Tomorrow my baking duties will be 14 (odd number again) carrot and coconut cakes, and 10 lemon meringue cupcakes (my first try at making Italian meringue buttercream will be an interesting one I have no doubt), and then decorating as much as is possible so that I can actually have a proper lie in on Saturday, and not panic that I am going to miss a collection deadline.

Oh, and did I mention that at some point tomorrow (not some point, but a specific one) I will be interviewing for a new job?

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