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.