You can have your cake, and eat it too. But not until next week.

We started on cakes this week - high ratio, to be exact - where I was introduced to a new ingredient: Fluid Flex. Fluid Flex resembles the flabby geletin they bring on talk shows to show you how much fat you’re ingesting when you eat a Big Mac. Gross. I'm very thankful for having an allergy to soy, which gives me a valid excuse to not have to eat disgusting crap like Fluid Flex or vegetable shortening.

Everything went really well this week. I'm still pinching myself because I can't believe how great the night went. I wasn't stressed. R and TR did a stellar job helping prepare the mise for our first cake. Chef was in a good mood and provided a great lecture on the different types of cakes/mixing methods. And Chef let me use the best chocolate in the kitchen because it was the only kind that didn't contain soy lecithin. (thank you, Chef!)

We banged out 4 cakes; 3 chocolate (which I can eat) and one yellow (which I cannot eat because it called for shortening). The chocolate cakes came out perfect. The yellow cake had some problems - the sides rose before the middle and then the cake sunk. We suspect the culprit was oven temperature. I wasn't involved in gathering the mise, measuring or the mixing for the yellow cake though - I was cleaning dishes - and can't vouch for how it was put together. It also sat on the prep table for almost 30 minutes before it went into the oven because R forgot to put it in. (how do you forget something like that?) So, who knows what went wrong. I can't eat it anyway and I think Chef knows me better than that - I can read a recipe and follow directions.

Our cakes were stacked in the freezer for cryonic suspension until next week, when we begin butter creams and basic piping techniques.

Four weeks left to the semester, and then I begin my Quantity I class, which is what Valencia refers to as their first-level cooking class. I have the same Chef instructor for QI as I have now for baking, so should be a great class, provided Chef lays down the law on the first day. He warned me yesterday, as we were standing by the oven watching the cakes rise, that most of the people in the QI class aren't the brightest bulbs. To which I calmly pleaded, "Please do not pair me with any jamokes next semester, Chef!" He laughed. He knew exactly what I meant.

Side note:
Mark your calendars, set your alarms for July 5th, 7 p.m. East, 4 p.m. West. As you're coming down from your 4th of July high, hop onto your computer or wireless device and join me for the Chef2Chef Sunday Twitter Chat. I'll be hosting this week, discussing everything baking!

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            5 Program(s) Found
            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
            • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
            • Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
            • Provides program coordinators who work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
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            • Hands-on culinary education with focused attention on each student
            • An ACCSC School of Excellence with multiple “Best Vocational Cooking School” awards*
            • 15,000 graduates, including celebrities like Bobby Flay, David Chang, and Christina Tosi*
            • Programs in Culinary Entrepreneurship, Professional Culinary Arts, Professional Pastry Arts, and much more
            • Campuses in New York and Silicon Valley with nearby housing available
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            • Received the 2015 and 2013 “Cooking School of the Year” Award of Excellence from the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP).
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
            • Externship opportunities are available at numerous famous New York City restaurants.
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            • Students get real-world experience through the required externship at the end of the program.
            • Curriculum includes laboratory sessions, academic preparation and hands-on experience.
            • Program objectives are to provide students with skills needed for cooking wholesome, attractive, food preparations and to assist graduates in obtaining positions in the food service industry.
            • Accredited by the American Culinary Federation (ACF).
            • Has campuses in Melbourne, Sarasota, and Tallahassee, Florida
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            • Has been training students in the culinary arts since 1946.
            • Teaches hands-on culinary training in French, Asian, Mediterranean, Latin and American cooking, along with professional baking and pastry techniques.
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            • Offers an Italian Culinary Arts program where students get to externship in Italy.
            • Its instructors are respected chefs who put their dedication and life experiences into their instruction.
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            • A contemporary, career-focused institution of higher education dedicated to excellence since 1902.
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            • Gives students the option to study online, at one of the 12 campuses in Indiana or Ohio, or a combination of both.
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            L'Ecole Culinaire , Kansas City
            • Offers educational opportunities for the aspiring, career-minded chef.
            • Students are trained by professional chefs and spend the majority of their final term working in the campus restaurant to learn all phases of the culinary industry.
            • St. Louis campus offers new Food Truck Entrepreneurship courses.
            • Has a student-run food truck that tours around St. Louis.
            • All campuses have a public restaurant where food is prepared and served by students.
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