Ignite STEM event 2019
We have finally reached the point where we have been working on RainyDayChefs for over two years! Cooking for RainyDayChefs and learning how to keep up a blog has been an exciting journey for all of us. We have learned a lot throughout this experience. Most importantly, it has taught us to be grateful for every opportunity we are given. Speaking of opportunities, this month we baked a cake for the IGNITE gala, which is an event that raises money to fund STEM programs in schools, which provides opportunities for girls to pursue a STEM career.
This year, I was excited to bake a more challenging cake. I was looking through a lot of difficult recipes, but I was not really drawn to any of them. One day, when I was flipping through the pages of a classic cookbook, I stumbled upon one of my favorite recipes. It was Ottolenghi's clementine and almond cake. I decided to stick with it, as it is a light and moist cake, fit for being eaten during warmer weather.
Since this is a more challenging recipe, we practiced baking it for our April donation. I have learned that most recipes are quite generic, and don't have any specific flavors. I think that cakes taste the most delicious when they fit a certain taste profile. For example, this time, we had tried reducing the sugar, adding more lemon, and even adding a touch of almond extract. After tasting and redoing, we had finally reached perfection.
In about a week, it was finally the day before the event; the day we were going to bake the final day. It was nerve-racking to make sure that everything was being done great. Nitya had come over, and we had spent hours mixing and measuring everything to perfection. Once the cake had come out of the oven, we poured the glaze over the cake. The fragrance alone told us that it was going to be delicious.
However, we still felt like something was missing. However, we knew that the cake could be even better. I knew that the recipe included a creamy chocolate ganache that is meant to ice the cake.
The next day, I had made the chocolate ganache and spread it evenly throughout the whole cake. While the ganache was cooling, I had whipped up some pink buttercream icing, which I had used to pipe small little cherry blossoms on the cake. After the cake was complete, I knew that I should be proud of what we had created.
Thanks to my mom's good friend, I got an opportunity to volunteer at the gala! It was an enjoyable experience. I had never seen anything like it before. It started off with a bunch of socializing with a few auctions here and there. After a few hours, everyone started to settle down. There were a bunch of speeches. Some were from actual girls who had benefited from IGNITE, and some were from people who support the cause.
Then was the part that I had been waiting for the whole night. The dessert dash. The dessert dash is when each table writes down how much money they are bidding for each cake, and the tables get to pick a cake based off of the amount of money that they bid. The guests at the first and second tables went and chose cakes that were probably made by a professional bakery, but the third chose our cake! I was very happy about this, and I realized how you get rewarded if you work hard on something. -Ria