Tuesday, March 31, 2009

300 Desserts

I had my biggest order yet. 300 desserts for my company's party. 8 dozen cookies, 4 dozen brownies, 2 dozen regular cupcakes, 8 dozen mini-cupcakes and 4 dozen truffles. It was a long wednesday evening. With the help of Barb and the generous offer to use her dad's dual oven kitchen, we made it through. I felt the need to document the copius amounts of butter needed to accomplish such a task. They're like my little minions, eager to do my bidding!

The event was definitely a success, but there were some lumps in the batter, if you get what I mean. I have never made mini cupcakes, mostly due to the fact I have a friend who has a monopoly on the mini-cupcake market and I didn't feel like I should compete. But the interest and demand for them was too great for me to ignore it any longer. So, first off, I could not find the proper mini-cupcake baking pans that I was vying for. I searched in many stores, but only was able to find the crazy-weird, floppy, silicon type pans that I find very unappealing. But due to a time crunch, I was forced to purchase them. Granted, once using them to bake, I suppose there wasn't anything "wrong" with them - I just don't like 'em. Anyhow, the other issue worth mentioning is that I like my cupcakes the same way I like my meat: medium-rare. Loosely translated into bake-speak I mean: I like them moist. This means keeping a close eye on the goodies in the oven, and sometimes pulling them out before they're "technically" ready. Works wonders for chewy cookies and ooey-gooey brownies, but as it happens with confections like cupcakes, there is a delicate balance between "al dente" and flop. I found flop. When I first removed the batch from the oven, they looked alright, but it was not to be. Luckily, it was fun to watch them slowly deflate. Alas, they did not make it to the party.

One more technical note: Oven temperature matters. My buddy and I did a couple dozen mini-snickerdoodles at too low a temperature, and they tasted fine, but were pale and flat in comparison to their properly-baked brethren.

The night wore on. Barb and I had resorted to mostly grunting and nodding our heads to show signs of direction. We were conserving energy since we had no real idea as to how long we would need to persist (I'm learning how to gauge the timing as I go). I made a fine batch of brownies at 2 am, followed immediately by a batch of indiscernible what-the-hell-happened-to-these brownies that I am still not certain what went wrong.

I was too busy to take any good photos - we worked from 8pm - 3am and had to wake up straight away at 7 am in order to get back to real work on time. This is the price I (we) pa(id) to see so many people enjoying our creations. I would do it again, but I'll have to find a way to not drag my friends down with me into the wee hours of the morning.

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