In-Depth 2021: Post 6

Hi everyone! After several months, In-Depth is almost over. This is my second-last post! But I guarantee that even after the project is done, I will keep working on my cake decorating skill!  

Since my last post, I have made cake pops and sugar cookies. I started with the cake pops. To decorate them, I melted white chocolate and grabbed some Styrofoam to use as a stand for the cake pops. Once the white chocolate was at a liquid consistency but was not too hot to the touch, I dunked the cake pops into the chocolate. After I finished one cake pop, I placed it into the Styrofoam so that the chocolate could dry.  

After the chocolate coating on all the cake pops was dry, I put the leftover white chocolate in a piping bag and piped a drizzle onto the top. The idea was to then place sprinkles onto the still-wet chocolate drizzle. However, instead of placing the sprinkles on immediately, I waited until I had drizzled chocolate onto all of the cake pops. By then, the drizzle was dry, and the sprinkles did not stick. In the end, only one cake pop got any sprinkles, but I still think the others were pretty too 

The next week, I made sugar cookies. This was a longer process than I thought it would be! First, I had to make the dough. This part was not too complicated. I then had to refrigerate the dough overnight. This is because I had to soften the butter before making the dough so that it would properly incorporate. However, to get the perfect layers in a sugar cookie, the butter needs to be very cold so that the cookies will not just melt and spread out in the oven. Therefore, to make sure the butter would be cold enough, I kept the dough in the fridge until the next day.  

The following day, I took the dough out of the fridge and allowed it to soften to room temperature. I rolled the dough until it was around a centimeter thick, and then I used cookie cutters to punch out the sugar cookies. For a few of the cookies, I cut out a shape and then gently placed a smaller shape in the middle without pressing all the way down. This gave the cookie a bit more design!  

I did not get a chance to decorate the sugar cookies this week, but that will be the first thing I do at my next meeting with Cassandra!  

 

 

How to Have a Beautiful Mind

This week, the two chapters covered from Edward de Bono’s How to Have a Beautiful Mind are Concepts and Alternatives.  

Concepts are the general idea, or umbrella term, used to cover more specific items. For example, “food” is a concept, because there are specific types of food such as apples, fish, etc. As well, “meat” would be a concept, just a narrower one. There are several types of concepts, and several levels of specificity.  

Alternatives are other ways of completing tasks. There are positive, negative, and many other types of alternatives. For example, if you are making a choice as to what to eat for dinner, there are many alternatives you can choose. Should you eat pasta or pizza? Those are alternatives.  

 

When were concepts used during our most recent meetings?  

An example of when a concept was used in a meeting was when Cassandra and I were making the sugar cookie dough. She was explaining to me why the butter in the dough needed to be cold before the cookies could be baked. She said, “with pastries, if the butter is not cold, the cookie or pie or whatever it is you’re making will melt and spread out.” The concept was “pastries.” The “cookie” and “pie” are practical ideas, which is what you call the more specific items under the concept. 

Another time concepts were used in my meetings was when Cassandra and I were discussing the chocolate coating on the cake pops. She said, “the coating should be more cool than warm before dipping the cake pops in it. If the white chocolate is too warm, the cake pop will fall right off the stick.” In this scenario, the concept was the coating, and the white chocolate was the specific practical idea.  

A final, more general, concept that I have used throughout the entire project is “desserts.” I have used this word as an umbrella concept for cookies, cake pops, cakes, and cupcakes. This generalization allows me to more widely recognize all the different types of desserts I am making without listing each type.  

 

When were alternatives used during our most recent meetings?  

An example of when alternatives were used during a meeting was when I was making the sugar cookie dough. Cassandra gave me the option of either making the full recipe or halving it. She said, “You can cut the recipe in half if you want.” I took the alternative of halving the recipe. I have been making so many desserts recently, and I decided that I did not need to make a full recipe since I already had so many desserts in my house!  

Another time I was given alternatives during our meetings was when cutting out the shapes for the sugar cookies. Cassandra said, “you can use whatever cookies cutters you have, it’s up to you.” She also gave the alternative of using the edge of a mug to cut the cookies if I did not have any cookie cutters. I decided to make a few different shapes, such as flowers and simple circles.  

third example was when covering cake pops with the chocolate coating. Cassandra gave me two alternatives: dip the cake pop into the chocolate and allow them to drip-dry with the stick in the Styrofoam; or dip them into the chocolate and place them face down on the Styrofoam. I chose the first option. 

A final example was when decorating the cake pops. Cassandra gave me several alternatives for this step. She said I could either drizzle chocolate on top, use sprinkles, or both. I chose to do both. However, as I detailed above, the sprinkles did not really work as the drizzle dried before I put the sprinkles on, and the sprinkles therefore did not stick.  

 

What other alternatives might other mentors have given me? 

Other mentors might have given me more alternatives around what desserts (cake, cupcakes, cookies, etc.) we would make each week. Cassandra is really good at planning lessons in advance, and she often presents an idea for our next meeting to me well in advance. I really like this method, since I feel that I do have input, but she also can provide lots of ideas. Other mentors, however, might give even more choice surrounding the types of desserts made.  

 

My next post will be my learning centre! For that post, I will be making a video showing the steps used when making and decorating one large cake! I will be combining the techniques I learned throughout this entire project into one cake! The video will illustrate the steps of the process and give several tips that I have learned during this project. I hope that the audience will be able to learn a few new tips and tricks about making and decorating cakes. Viewers will be able to watch the engaging video and simultaneously learn about tips and my process through this project. I am super excited to make this final cake and to demonstrate my learning!  

 

I want to thank Cassandra once again, because she is such an amazing mentor! I am learning so much during this project, and I always look forward to our mentoring meeting! As well, thank you so much for reading my post, and please feel free to leave and questions in the comments below!

2 thoughts on “In-Depth 2021: Post 6

  1. Very interesting about the sugar cookies being a centimetre thick. I’ve always made mine thinner than that.

    1. Yes I found it strange to make them so thick at the start as well but then they spread out a little bit in the over and they ended up DELICIOUS! 🙂

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