I'm learning how to decorate cakes! Andy's ladyfriend Sophia is in town, and she is a trained pastry chef. This has been something I've been fascinated with for a few years, ever since I discovered Ace of Cakes and the wonders of the Food Network Challenge. So when Andy said that Sophia would be willing to teach some JETs how to decorate cakes, I got pretty excited!
First, I learned how to ice a cake properly. This is a huge deal, considering the extent of me icing a cake is taking a still-warm cake that is in its original pan, slathering pre-made frosting on it, and covering the whole cake pan in Saran wrap. But here I learned how to take the blade of the pastry knife to smooth out the frosting evenly, first on the top and then on the sides of the cake. Then I learned how to take a warm knife and smooth out any air bubbles and imperfections.
Next, I learned a couple simple piping techniques. I made flowers, leaves, and little decorative star-shaped dots. I may not be the best pastry chef, but I ended up decorating a cute little cake that I was really proud of!
Sure, this may not be a new career path. At the least, I've learned a new hobby whose outcome everyone can enjoy. At the most? I can become a famed self-trained cake decorator and win $10,000 on a Food Network cake challenge! :-)