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Muggle Studies Fascinating beings, those Muggles. Come learn about the Muggle world and the ways they get by without using magic!

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Old 11-22-2021, 01:11 AM
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Default Muggle Studies Lesson 2

The door to the classroom is open, allowing you to enter. Even with the warm spring sunlight streaming in through the windows, the room is a comfortable temperature. The desks are lined in their usual neat rows, and Professor Applewood has done her best to keep the intrusive vines confined to the walls.

Speaking of the professor, she can be found standing beside her desk, ready to greet you as you enter.

Come on in and have a seat. Class will begin shortly.


OOC: Hi! Welcome to Muggle Studies Lesson 2! Class will begin in approximately 24 hours.


Class Progress:
- Question 1
- Question 2
- Activity 1
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Old Yesterday, 04:50 AM   #26 (permalink)

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Text Cut: Responses
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chelliephone View Post
Cake decorating? Oh, if only Chin-hae were here for this one. Or if only Evan had ever paid attention to when Chin-hae talked about work or showed any of the designs they'd made at the bakery he worked at. The male Nam had to think really hard to try to recall anything, but then it came to mind the elaborate fan cake that he'd had once for a birthday.

The cake part tasted good but... The frosting. Remembering that gave him an idea, so he raised his hand and waited to be called on. "A lot of bakers use fondant for frosting on a cake because it's sturdier than like a buttercream and can be used for molding. I personally don't think it tastes very good though." So no, he did not like fondant though it seemed the most popular.
"Excellent, yes, fondant is very commonly used. Very useful and versatile in adding certain decorations or sculptures, even if the taste is not always up to par with the rest of the cake." It wasn't her favorite either, truth be told, though it was very nice to look at when done well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FearlessLeader19 View Post
Ah.

Culinary arts. Cake decorating. Claudine was not sure how she felt about this topic. See, she was used to having her meals prepared for her. Here at Hogwarts, while she lives with the Jones’, when she lived at the Blaze mansion. But cakes… who didn’t like cake? And some of them were decorated so prettily that often Claudien found herself reluctant to even eat them.

Not really having an answer for this question, the seventh year opted to sit out on answering. She’d just be listening this time around.
No answer from Miss Blaze this time, it seemed, which was okay. She looked to still be paying attention, so Rosalie offered a smile before moving on to the next student.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DuckyLinJi View Post
Upon hearing the words 'cake decorating' Daniel's head snapped up and he began to search for Lisa as he wondered if maybe she had told Professor Applewood about him never having made a cake before. He was convinced that they were moving to the kitchens later seeing as she had mentioned that they wouldn't be inside of the classroom for long.

"Our chef makes cakes from time to time" when they had a birthday party or any party really. "I never cared about the techniques or designs though, I just want to eat them" which is as far as his cake decorating skills went. "But he uses this weird tube (cake icing nozzles) to make flower shapes" at least he guessed they were supposed to look like flowers?
Rosalie could appreciate the honesty in Mister Yoon's answer. Eating cake was certainly the part that would excite people the most. "Flowers are a very common decoration that people use on their cakes, yes, excellent."

Text Cut: Apollo & Kinsay
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhoenixRising View Post
Non magical ways that people express creativity?? Welp, that ruled out quidditch and exercise. His eyes wandered over to the vines on the walls as he considered plants and horticulture a possible way people express creativity. But it seemed they were going to be talking about culinary arts creativity instead??

He grinned over that one Hufflepuff boy, Daniel's answer, cause honestly he had the correct answer and the only answer that mattered to the third year. "I'm with him. If the cake doesn't taste good, then what difference does the design make." Also, it was going to be destroyed via cutting within minutes, so it seemed like an awful lot of wasted energy on designs and techniques?
Quote:
Originally Posted by ArianaBlack View Post
Kinsay wasn't planning on answering any questions, but she was still paying attention... even though she was actively trying not to. It was difficult not to pay attention when the topic of class was actually interesting. Why did Professor Applewood choose FUN lesson topics?! It was so unfortunate.

Still, Kins was doing a pretty decent job at NOT answering things. Or asking things, for that matter. But when Apollo offered his answer, Kins frowned. It made all the difference! People always judged books by their covers. Or people by the way they dressed. Or cakes by their designs. Or or or. She understood the point Apollo was trying to make, but it was silly.

"No one wants to eat an ugly cake."

..... Did she say that out loud?


Mister Adara-Stark raised a question about taste vs. decoration, and Miss James jumped in with a reply just as quickly. "Taste is certainly an important to consider when baking a cake, Mister Adara-Stark. And Miss James makes an excellent point. There's a reason for the saying that goes, 'you eat with your eyes first.' If something looks unappealing or unappetizing, people are much less likely to eat it, even if they're told that it tastes wonderful."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lady of Light View Post
Cake decorating!! Which meant that they would get to eat cake, hopefully. Valentina tried not to bounce on her seat with excitement, super glad Professor Applewood was going to be teaching them something fun today.

"I like any cake that has a lot of frosting on top." Val liked any and all kinds of cake, honestly. Who didn't? She did like ice cream a little more but yeah.
Rosalie smiled. "Certainly can't go wrong with including frosting on a cake." There was such a variety of frosting types too, so there was something for everyone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MadAlice View Post
Violet was taken aback. She'd never really seen anyone decorate a cake, except for house-elves, and they'd done it all with elf-magic. She didn't really remember noticing any cake that much, except for how it tasted when she ate it. Then she remembered a cake she'd seen several years ago in the window of a New York deli. "I saw this cake once. It was rather a tall cake, with chocolate frosting, rather plain on the outside, but the really unique part was the inside. The cake had had a piece cut out of it and laid to one side on a small plate, so that the onlookers could clearly see the cake's inside. It had been made of many, many thin layers--16 of them.' (Violet had stood there and counted them). "The layers were chocolate and white, alternated one after the other and with custard or red filling in between each one. It looked splendid!"
"Yes, excellent! Sometimes bakers not only decorate the outside, but even the inside can be done creatively with differing flavors, sizes, and colors for the cake layers." Those were very impressive too.


"You have all covered a nice variety of ways that cakes can be styled differently. Cake decorating can take many forms, all depending on the creativity and skill level of the baker.

"And so today, we're going to be trying some hands-on practice with the art of cake decorating. We'll be moving down to the kitchens for this, so please follow me."
And once everyone was lining up, Rosalie led the way down to the kitchens, keeping an eye out for any vine obstacles along the way.

Fortunately, they didn't have far to go with the kitchen being a couple floors down, and the vines didn't take this opportunity to stand in their way, and so after tickling the pear, they were inside. She led them over to a part of the kitchens that had been sectioned off with tables lined up in rows, one for each student. On the table they would find a cake turntable, an offset spatula, a round cake board, a flat plate with two small layers of cake on it, and a few containers of frosting.

"Please take your spot at one of the tables, one student per table." And she did the same, taking the table set up in the front of the rows. "The elves have kindly let us use this area of the kitchens and assisted in preparing a few things ahead of time. I want you all to get a basic, general overview of cake decorating for this lesson; over the next few weeks, we'll cover certain aspects in more detail. The cake layers have already been baked and cooled, and the tops have been cut to provide a flat surface on top.

"I will demonstrate the first part of your tasks, but there is also a paper at your tables with these instructions listed out if you want to follow along."
It was up them whether they wanted to watch a little first or if they wanted to complete each step as she did.

"First order of business when handling any kind of food, of course, is to wash our hands and make sure our hair is out of our face and tied back if necessary." Hers was indeed already pulled back, so she moved on to washing her hands at one of the nearby sinks for 20 seconds, then returning to her station once dried.

"Next," she continued, completing the steps as she went along, "we'll place this cake board on the turntable and the first cake layer on top of it. Then, using the offset spatula, we'll add some frosting to the top of this layer, spreading it evenly, and then we'll place the second layer on top of that. Then we can apply more frosting to the top of that and around the sides of the two layers. You can turn the cake with the turntable as you do this to make it easier to spread around the sides. It's okay if this layer is a bit thin and doesn't fully hide the cake. It's called a crumb coat, and it'll help keep the crumbs from mixing with the final coat of frosting you'll add in a few minutes.

"In order for the frosting to harden, you'll need to put it in the enchanted ice box for about 10 minutes. With an ordinary Muggle refrigerator, this time can be longer, but as we don't have access to one here, we'll use what we have."
Ice boxes had been used by Muggles once upon a time too, before refrigerators were common, so the function was still the same, even if this particular one worked through magic.

"While you wait, you may wish to plan out how you want to decorate your cake. On the counter over here are several piping bags ready to go in a variety of colors and with a few different nozzle shapes. Perhaps you'll want to add a border to your cake, or write a message, or draw a flower, or anything else you can think of."

And with her cake in the ice box, she would go ahead and talk about the last two steps without demonstrating. "And so the final two steps are simple: once the crumb coat has hardened, take it out and add the top layer of frosting, smoothing it out over the top and around the sides. And then you may begin decorating."

And with that... "If you haven't already, you may begin!"


OOC: Hopefully everything is clear, but here's a simpler list of the instructions as well:
  • Wash hands; ensure hair is out of your face and/or tied back
  • Place cake board on the turntable
  • Place first cake layer on top of the cake board
  • Apply frosting to the top of the cake layer with offset spatula
  • Place second layer on top of the frosting
  • Apply a crumb coat around the sides and the top of the cake
  • Refrigerate in enchanted ice box for 10 minutes
  • Apply a top layer of icing, smoothing it around evenly
  • Decorate with piping, sprinkles, etc.

If you have any questions, please feel free to VM/PM me Class will continue in approximately 48 hours.
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Old Yesterday, 03:40 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Claudine joined the line to follow Applewood down to the kitchen. This was going to be fun. Maybe. Either way, she found herself anticipating the activity to come. Once they were there at the kitchen, Claudine took some time to observe the set up and the equipment. Yes, definitely cake stuff. She silently made her way to one of the tables as instructed, taking a spot at one of the rows at the back.

Her eyes were fixed on the prepared cake before her. Claudine was thinking to herself that since she was such a good artist, decorating shouldn’t be too difficult for her. And yes, she was definitely going to be watching Applewood’s demonstration before getting started.

First, Claudine tied her hair in a messy bun before washing her hand, making sure to get under her nails as well. With the cake board on the turntable and the first cake on it, Claudine began applying frosting with the offset spatula. She dalloped a healthy amount of it onto the cake then began spreading the goop around. This wasn’t so bad and she immediately felt a bit more comfortable. She turned the turntable this way and that to help things even out. The girl even found that leaving her spatula still and allowing the turntable to spin helped with that. That done, the second layer of cake was placed onto the frosted one. More goops of frosting came, plus more turning and evening out. By this time, the Snakette was having the time of her life. Her crumb coat was thin, but it was perfect.

Into the icebox it went.
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Old Yesterday, 08:29 PM   #28 (permalink)


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Oh dear. Another assignment involving artistic ability. Violet began the first few steps, which she felt she could handle, and trying not to worry about the decorating. She washed her hands expertly, just as she did before preparing potions, and twisted her hair back into a bun and held it with a nifty little spell which her friend (no longer governess, for Violet was quite grown-up) Jane Howard had taught her a few years ago. That was all easy enough, but doing it calmed Violet's nerves.

Next she placed the cake board on the turntable and carefully placed one of the cake layers on the board. Taking about 3 dollops of frosting with the offset spatula, she dropped it into the center of the layer and began gently spreading it from the center to the edge. Even more carefully lifting the second layer with both hands, she gently set it on top of the first, and repeated the frosting-spreading on the top, then moved to the sides. She found it a bit tricky at first to deal with all the crumbs that stuck to the frosting, but she soon got the hand of it, and using the turntable, eventually coated all the top and sides with frosting. This wasn't so bad--it was like brewing a potion, only with less disgusting ingredients.

Violet popped her cake into the magical refrigerator and prepared to wait the required ten minutes. As she surveyed the decorating items laid out on the front table, she began to to get nervous again. Art had never been her strong point and she was beginning to worry that her cake would wind up looking like a troll had made it.


OOC: This is a great lesson! Maybe MadAlice will finally learn to frost a cake properly, too.

Last edited by MadAlice; Yesterday at 08:31 PM. Reason: add OOC note
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Old Today, 02:37 AM   #29 (permalink)
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Ash was less than enthusiastic about cake decorating, and that dampened her earlier excitement about getting to be creative. But that excitement returned when she realized they didn’t have to MAKE the actual CAKE. Because decorating was the only part of baking that she was good at.

She wrestled her long hair into a ponytail and washed her hands, which was very very easy. She put the cakeboard on the turntable, which would have been easier if she didn’t absolutely need to center the cakeboard in the middle.

Putting the cake on the cakeboard was probably the hardest part, because it involved actual food. Luckily Ash had a steady hand, and it wasn’t too difficult if she went slowly.

Now came the fun part! Ash carefully frosted the cake, making sure it was absolutely perfect. Sure the frosting wouldn’t be seen in the final cake, and it was just plain frosting, but that was no reason to not do a good job. A perfect job. Okay, nobody was perfect, so maybe an almost perfect job.

Ugh, she had to move the actual cake again. She went extra EXTRA carefully this time, because if she had to adjust the cake, it would mess up the frosting underneath and then it wouldn’t be perfect and she’d have to redo it which probably involved starting from scratch and looking incompetent in front of the whole class.

She applied the crumb coat, trying to be as even as possible. Was there a way to make crumbs look artistic? Ash was trying. Decorating food was harder than regular art, in her opinion. She respected the cooks in her household a lot. And Alex too, even though he wasn’t technically a cook.

Ash thought that if the kitchens didn’t have a refrigerator, they ought to get one. Really? An icebox??? Was this a renaissance fair? Victorian England? The 1900s? Ash was dying to know if all wizards used iceboxes. Seriously. She needed to know! She put the cake in the icebox, suppressing a smirk.

Waiting was soooo boring. Ash entertained herself by scribbling notes on the back of her hand and stressing about waiting for exactly ten minutes. She figured that this was potions, where you had a window of several seconds to do things OR ELSE. She was probably wrong.

When the waiting(for ten minutes and one second) was done, Ash removed the cake and added the icing. She decided to make a very simple cake, because it would look tasteful and also because she was not awesome at this. She frosted it in white, made a couple of designs in the frosting, then added a border around the top with whatever was in the piping bags.

...

“Professor, do you have any strawberries I could put in the middle of my cake?” Ash thought it would look very pretty.
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