6 Feb 2010

Aspiring TV Star.... in the making, at least!

Posted by PastryPrincess at 01:09
... and my first ever Red Velvet Cake!
Something crazy and fun is happening ( on top of everything else ) and I'm loving it! I licked blood. I want to be on tv! Even better, there's a good chance it will actually work out but you have to keep your fingers crossed... promise you will!

Not too long ago I was watching a tv show I always watch because there's this girl Dani on it and I think she's hilarious. She has eyebrows tatooed on the middle of her forehead, how could she not be funny?!
Well anyway, out of boredom I went onto the show's website and because it only took 30 second I applied, just for the heck of it and didn't think anymore about it. After all it said that it would usually take over 3 weeks for people to even have a look at your application and I figured rightly that lots and lots of people would apply.

To my big surprise I received an e-mail less than 12 hours later that they liked me and wanted to talk to me over the phone. Maybe I should explain this show follows young people going abroad so I mentioned Le Cordon Bleu and my move to London. The girl who called me was really nice, she was very much into the whole culinary thing ( they had never had anything like that on the show before ) and so a small camera crew from the production company was sent to my house this Tuesday to film an application video for the tv station who make the final decision on whether it's yay or nay...

My boyfriend was supposed to be on it, too and of course we were excited - especially because he's like Chandler from Friends when a camera is around, i.e. making weird faces, and so I was worried he'd be kinda stiff on film to be honest, erm... He wasn't though, good boy! They liked him and want him on it! ;-P I'm lucky to have such an amazing boyfriend who supports me in everything I do and plays along!

They had a lot more equipment than I had thought, the whole shebang, and turned my living room into a studio with lights, moving things around, microphones and everything. Obviously it was all a bit staged because we basically had to give them all the info about Le Cordon Bleu and everything while having a "casual" conversation and then me making Mojito-inspired truffles. Yeah, thanks again for looking like you were gonna puke on the table when you "had to" eat them, luv! Btw my family did actually like them and even though I wasn't too proud of them they were gone in no time and the tv people regretted not having taken any, ha!
All of that was followed by me being interviewed and then we had to rush because I had to take my boyfriend to the train station and I was just about able to stop them from filming our goodbyes, too...

I had loads of fun and thought the tv people were very nice and it helped that they were my age. They seemed to really like me and I felt like this could me something I would enjoy very much and would be a great way to commemorate and document this big adventure of mine. I like to talk a LOT and am a bit of a wisecracker, which I was told is great for tv and as I wouldn't mind having my own food-related tv show one day this could be a great way to carve my way into tv... a girl can dream, right!?

Now I just have to wait until next week when I'll be told whether my story will be picked up or not. Just imagine, if people like me there might even be a sequel - or two, hahaha! The 25 pages of rules and restrictions Le Cordon Bleu sent me and which are army-style strict, albeit reasonable (they are world-renowned and have to maintain highest standards after all!), somehow give me a feeling that they won't be too happy to have a tv crew in the building... They're not very keen on anything like that and the whole place is like Fort Knox so that might be a bit of a problem and I would understand if they didn't allow any filming on their premisses. Hopefully that wouldn't affect the general decision to film me at all though. Too bad the "good advertisement" argument wouldn't really work either - they simply don't need it!
Red Velvet Cake

Because of Joy the Baker, Queen of all things Red Velvet, I decided a red velvet cake would be a great celebration cake last weekend. It was my first. Just like Joy, who likes the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook as much as I do, I used their recipe for red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting and it turned out nicely. I pimped the frosting though and added some lemon and bitter almond extract to boost the flavour of the shredded coconut I covered the cake in. Although I only used a few drops of bitter almond it was quite strong and although still tasty and liked by everybody, I would use less next time. I had some left-over frosting and dyed it with some food colouring to get a nice shade turquoise and just scribbled onto the cake. I didn't do the best job in the world because the added liquid from the food colouring made the frosting a tad runny and the supposed good luck - cloverleaf lost its' shape a tiny bit so I added some sprinkles. Over-compensation I guess. They'll break my habit in culinary school I'm sure... ;) However I only had half of the required amount of red food colouring so that balanced it all out again and I think it was better this way because my folks might have been a turned off by so much edible red brightness!

I also noticed that the cake tastes best at room temperature and not chilled. On the first day we ate it I had stored it in a cold place and then took pictures of it outside in the snow, hence it was pretty cool and I felt like the flavour of the frosting was dominating while you couldn't really taste the chocolatey cake very much.
By pure coincidence I realized how much better it was unchilled when I had a cheeky big bite out of it when we came back from the restaurant and it had sat out on the table for the day. Oooohhhhh, it was so much creamier, more chocolatey and deliciously goooooood! My whole family agreed the next day and I regret having ever chilled it!

The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook's recipe for
Red Velvet Cake


120 gr unsaltd butter, at room temperature
300 gr caster sugar
2 eggs
20 gr cocoa powder ( I used a bit more )
40 ml red food colouring
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
240 ml buttermilk
300 gr plain flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon bicarb baking soda
3 teaspoons white wine vinegar

Preheat the oven to 170°C (350F) Gas 3.
Put the butter and the sugar in an electric mixer with a paddle attachment and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy and well mixed. Turn the mixer up to high speed and slowly add the 2 eggs, one at a time, and beat until everything is well incorporated.

In a separate bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, red food colouring and vanilla extract to make a thick, dark paste. Add to the butter mixture and mix thoroughly until evenly combined and coloured (scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula). Turn the mixer down to slow speed and slowly pour in half of the buttermilk. Beat until well mixed, then add half the flour and beat until everything is well incorporated. Repeat this process until all the buttermilk and flour have been added. Scrape down the side of the bowl again, turn the mixer up to high speed and beat until you have a smooth, even mixture. Turn the mixer down to low speed again and add the salt, bicarb and vinegar. Beat until well mixed, then turn up the speed again and beat for a couple more minutes.

Devide the mixture betwen three 20-cm greased cake tins and bake in the pre-heated oven for about 25 minutes or until the sponge bounces back when touched and an inserted skewer comes out clean. Leave them to cool slightly in the tins until you turn them out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

For the cream cheese frosting

600 gr icing sugar (very sweet, maybe take a bit less)
100 gr unsalted butter, at room temperature
250 gr cream cheese
shredded coconut, optional

Beat the icing sugar and butter together in an electric mixer with a paddle attachment on medium-slow speed until the mixture comes together and is well mixed. Add the cream cheese in one go and beat until it's completely incorporated. Turn the mixer up to medium-high speed. Continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy, at least 5 minutes. Do not overbeat though, as it can quickly become runny.

Stack the cakes and spread the frosting inbetween the layers, then evenly cover the whole cake on the outside as well until all the frosting is used up. Use a palette knife to smooth down the frosting and use your hand to carefully press on the shredded coconut onto the sides of the cake and sprinkle on top. Refrigerate for an hour for the frosting to set. Serve at room temperature.

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