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!