The round, surly-looking girl greeted me at the door. She would have looked so pleasant, if only she smiled.
I’d signed up for a cake-making class at Sweet DIY Bakery after some serious coaxing from my co-workers. Did it matter to them that I’d never baked in my life? That I didn’t even cook, beyond omelettes and ramen? Apparently not.
And my teacher’s gruff attitude was not helping matters. Straightaway, she began shuffling together ingredients. I watched apprehensively, wondering if I was supposed to help. After a few minutes of silence, she handed a few bowls over to me, muttering their contents under her breath.
I beat some eggs, then mixed some flour with sugar, oil and water. Oftentimes I had no idea what I was doing – she would demonstrate for me with disinterest, and I’d emulate her methodical movements as best I could. At one point, I accidentally yanked the electric egg beater out of its socket. That got her smiling, but only for a brief second.
After my arms had started to tire, she was satisfied that the mixing process was complete. She poured all my work into a cake pan, creating a perfect flat circle, then stuffed it into a miniature toaster oven.
“Thirty minutes,” she said to me, as she moved on to help the two chatty girls who had just arrived. “In the meantime, sketch out your design.”
I already had a vague concept in mind – a smiling crab to represent my astrological sign – but I surveyed photos of past clients’ creations anyway. Cartoon character heads proved most popular. Meanwhile, the true-to-life Louis Vuitton handbag and MINI Cooper cakes on display gave me a taste of what my cake-decorating skills could eventually become.
For the time being, though, I felt like I was in grade school again. With toothpick and dye tubes in hand, I made some haphazard attempts at spreading the frosting evenly – my teacher watched me wordlessly, then set about smoothing over my bumpy mistakes. Then I dotted, squeezed and dragged the colorful sugar paste according to my vision. At last, I received the validation I’d been waiting for: the vaguest nod of approval from my teacher. Did this mean my very first cake could be considered a success?
To find out, I brought the final product back to the office. At first, all my hard-earned efforts seemed for naught – something that had taken over two hours to make was gobbled up in just under five minutes. But then I saw the frosting-stained smiles on my coworkers’ faces. Mission accomplished.
Call Sweet DIY Bakery at 138 1088 1010 (Chinese-only) to set up a class.
This acticle is from thebeijinger.com.