Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Luscious Red Velvets and New Opportunities


I promised myself that I would be baking and blogging a lot more when my term break commenced a week ago. I have been baking moderately more often, but haven't been blogging very much about them. For this I must apologize.

You see, I received some bad news last week from my restaurant. My boss went around the bush and then in circles explaining himself and the situation that has compelled him to make the sacrifice, but it could be summed up with this sentence: I have been laid-off.

The signs were there all right, my hours were cut down, and even when I get any it seems that I was asked to finish earlier than my scheduled roster, because there was just nothing else for us to do. It is a slow time in the restaurant industry-- we are in the middle of a nasty winter spell and I don't blame people when all they want to do is stay at home curled up underneath a warm blanket. I feel much the same way.

So I have been applying for various jobs and contemplating the next step. I doubt that I will be able to work in a pastry kitchen again until I graduate from culinary school--the Australian Immigration only allow people with International Student Visas to work a maximum of 20 hours per week during term time. I was really lucky that I was able to find myself a part-time job in a pastry kitchen that I can work at for as little as 20 hours a week--most kitchens either demand full-timers that could work 50-60 hour weeks or part-timers that could do 35-40 hour weeks. So whatever jobs I apply for in the meantime will benefit me strictly in terms of cash flow, and maybe, hopefully, I'll learn a few things along the way.


To tell you the truth, I have been contemplating about leaving for quite some time now. I just haven't been able to find a potential job that I would be totally happy with to replace my old one. Plus, I like all the people that I work with, so that makes leaving harder.

But now there is a multitude of possibilities. Opportunities that I have been toying with and fantasizing about for the past few months. Applications for internships that I have procrastinated to put forward into action because I was worried that I would not have time to fit them into my life.

So here's to new possibilities and (hopefully) a new job!!



I made two versions of these red velvet cupcakes. The bright red ones are from Joy the Baker, and the cocoa ones are from Chockylit. I used the recipes for the frostings that each recommended. I have to say though, that Chockylit's frosting is easier to make because it is less prone to splitting. But if you want to try making the brown sugar cream cheese frosting, please follow Joy's guidelines to ensure the best results. As you can see, my brown sugar frosting split a little, and although I did come up with a way to rectify the problem later, I had gotten impatient and piped it on the cupcakes the first chance I got.

If your brown sugar cream cheese frosting splits, put it in a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water. Keep stirring, and you will notice that the frosting will turn smooth. But do not take off from the heat yet, or your frosting will split when it cools down. Keep stirring until mixture is warm-ish. Swipe a little of the frosting on your fingertips and rub them together. You should only be a slight graininess. Remove from heat and cool.

I apologize because I could not be more specific about the instructions, but i was purely going by touch. The best way is to try it, let it cool down and see if it turns grainy. If it does, return to the bain-marie( heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water), and keep it on for a longer period of time. But be careful not to scorch it.

19 comments:

Y said...

Winter is always a quiet time for restaurants. Sorry to hear about your loss of job. Here's to hoping you manage to find something bigger and better :D

Mallory Elise said...

Holy crap those are gorgeous! So you're a chef? or baker? both?! wow it is nice to meet a foodie blogger ~around the same age (we're on the younger side of the curve) not a lot of people I know quite understand our blog world.

erm, I hope you have found some good salt to go along with the sugar. when I come to Australia some day, I will bring you my favorite.

cheers!

Sharona May said...

Gorgeous cupcakes! Good luck with the job search. :)

Sharona May

Aran said...

well, then that probably was not the right job for you. It's great to see the optimism in you. Great opportunities await you and if you can and are free of responsibilities, travel!!!

Mrs.French said...

Yay! I love your blog so much! I will be back.

Oh and these have to be the sweetest cupcakes I have ever seen...lovely!

Sophie said...

You did such a great job on these :). So pretty!

Katie said...

So you are studying abroad in Australia? How cool! I really want to study abroad when I am older. I love your blog. Beautiful photos & delicious food!

Elra said...

Godness me, those cup cakes are gorgeous!
I am sorry to hear about your job. I wish a good luck with the job searching! Cheers

Katie said...

How do you get the frosting on your cupcakes so perfectly smooth? I don't have a lot of a frosting experience but I always seem to make a mess!

Christy said...

Katie, getting a smooth frosting is not really that difficult to achieve. I did mine on my stand mixer with the paddle attachment on that's why it is so smooth. I'm not sure if you have a hand-held mixer that you can use, but those electric hand-held ones with the whisk are pretty helpful too in getting a smooth consistency.

The other thing you can do is to really combine them together with a wooden spoon, and make sure that your butter and cream cheese are at the room temperatures to make this easier. I hope this helps, and if you have any questions, feel free to ask!!

Vera said...

Christy, good news always follow bad ones. I'm sure your life will change to the best.

The cupcakes are lovely.

Tartelette said...

As you said, there might be a reason behind the job loss: after the joy of getting "a" job, it might be pushing you to get "the" job, even if only temporary. I am sorry you have to go through that, but I have no doubt will talent will be appreciated somewhere else.

Oakley Rhodes said...

How in the world did you get the frosting so smooth! Beautiful!

Oakley Rhodes said...

I've got plans to make a shark cake for the beginning of Shark Week tomorrow night (my roommate loves the Discovery Channel) and I'm not sure how I'll fare. Maybe I'll make cookies instead. Or beautiful red velvet cupcakes with perfect icing and a candy shark on top! :)

You've been added to my blog links. Keep in touch!

pea & pear said...

2008 is the year for new beginnings... Something really special is going to come your way I can just feel it :) Your red velvet cupcakes look delicious!!!! pea and pear

Haley said...

with such gorgeous cupcakes you are bound to get a job in no time!

Monkee said...

Oh gawd! These are SO SO SO cute!
I was laughing because they were amazing. I know I have weird reactions to things. But hey, laughing = happiness and I'm sure happy to see beautiful food. I love your blog!

Dani said...

cannot wait to try these!!!! they look too cute for words :):):)

princesshoney said...

how did you get to do that piping technique? its so cute! and whats the little red dot on top?