I’m a frustrated cook. AND baker. Since I started binge watching Master Chef and Hotel Hell, I’ve been living vicariously through the contestants and the hotel chefs. So last Friday, I’ve decided to go the extra mile, or should I say MILES, to learn how to bake. My dear friend, Ayen, took baking classes a while back and she’s been telling me all about her experiences. I also got a chance to taste some of her cookies and they were perfect! I decided to pay her a visit and get some crash course in baking from her. She gladly obliged and so my baking apprenticeship starts…
I’m not gonna document everything — every single step– here. I’m too lazy for that. Haha. The first ‘technical challenge’ for us was the Apple Tarte Tatin. I watched one episode of The Great British Bake Off and saw some first time bakers make this. Or at least they tried to. I thought it wasn’t that difficult but we had a bit of a ‘dough situation’. Haha!
And here’s the finished product… TA-TA-TA~TAN~ XD
Ayen taught me how to do the measurements and the mixture for the dough. However, my dough was kinda dry and crumbly. I don’t know why. I blame the hot weather in LB. LOL! Placing the apples on the pan was kinda fun and exciting. I had to make sure the design would be perfect when we flip it upside down. So… the dough didn’t turn out as well-baked as we wanted it too. And the apples were too wet and soggy. Haha! But it was quite tasty and sweet.
Next up was the SUGAR COOKIES! The cookie dough drained me of my energy. This one needed lots of arm strength. I started feeling pain on my heels coz I didn’t realize I was standing for too long. Haha! This time, the dough was kinda wet and sticky. Haha! I need more practice on dough-making. I have to learn the proper consistency for it. Cutting the cookies into different shapes were quite fun. We made some flowers, butterflies and hearts. The small and thin ones baked quicker than the bigger ones.
^ Concentrating on my “piping skills” XD
^ Failed attempt at Minions LOL
Although I burnt some of them, I was quite proud of their taste and how they turned out. I had a wonderful time piping the royal icing. I wrote the names of my friends and coworkers on some of them. I also added some swirly designs haha! But as you can see, my piping skills are still clumsy and rusty.
CREAM PUFFS! It was also Ayen’s first time making these. The preparation time was quicker and easier than I expected. However, we need to move fast and do everything in a hurry. Haha! It was sort of a time-limited challenge. Finally, we got them in the oven. It was fun to watch them ‘pop’. There was a bit of a problem, again, coz they weren’t turning brown. They were kinda pale. When we took them out, the top was too soft which means they were under baked. So we put them back inside. I guess they spent too much time inside the oven so they turned really brown and crisp… but too hollow inside. We couldn’t inject them with custard coz there were gaping holes at the bottom. T_T We decided to just put some cream cheese in them and place them upside down, like a cupcake. Haha.
RED VELVET CUPCAKES!
Ayen made the dough so I wasn’t sure about the consistency or anything like that. She made a nice dough, though. Pun definitely intended. Haha! I helped out in piping the cupcakes onto the cupcake pan. It was a bit stressful coz I had to avoid making a mess. The cream cheese on top of it was made by Ayen, while I stood by and watched. Haha! The taste of the cream cheese was just spot on. It wasn’t too sweet or too… cheesy. Hehe.
OREO CHEESECAKE COOKIES!
I can’t take credit for any of these cookies. Ayen made them while I was taking a shower and getting ready to go back to Baguio. Haha! I just asked her how she made it and watched her placed the mixture into the pan. I got my first bite of it when I was on the bus, heading back to my city. Now… I’m not just saying this to promote her business or just because she’s my friend. It was REALLY like a party in my mouth! The flavor was rich and cream cheese comes through along with the crunchy Oreo cookies. It was the BEST out of everything we’ve baked. Hahaha!
Taking a crash course in baking opened my eyes to a lot of things. It inspired me to practice more and do better. I just need to invest in some baking tools first — the important ones, like the oven. And then find an apartment with a decent kitchen coz my apartment’s gonna blow up if I try to cook so much as an egg. Haha!
If you want to order some of those scrumptious cookies, contact Ayen on Instagram @blissbakeshoppe or send her a message through SMS or Viber at 0917 583 0194. She also makes yummy and chewy brownies!
I shall end this with a quote that I saw somewhere on the web.
“When baking, follow directions. When cooking, go by your own taste.” ~ Laiko Bahrs