There are so many rites of passage associated with turning sixteen: getting your driver’s licence; getting a new photo health card; getting a job. So far, I’ve gotten my G1 (although I
lost it temporarily misplaced it) and my health card. The job thing
hasn’t happened yet, but I can always hope.
Another privilege of being sixteen: finally being old enough to taking continuing education classes at George Brown College. My mom and I have been talking about taking baking classes there for years and now I’m finally old enough to do it. As I waited impatiently for my best friend Jenny to turn sixteen so we could take the classes together, I fantasized about learning how to bake in a professional kitchen for a real college certificate.
This past September, we started our classes. Every Friday night, we meet at the subway station and take the train down to the St. James Campus. After three or four gruelling hours, we re-emerge from the culinary arts building, holding boxes filled with treats, and retrace our steps to go home.
Jenny and I are by far, the youngest ones at George Brown. In a class of adults, I’m glad that Jenny and I took the class together. Even more so, I’m glad that we have a reason to see each other at least once a week. Since the school year started, we’ve both gotten so busy that we don’t have time to see each other on the weekend.
The kitchen where the classes are held is huge and industrious. Two sets of sinks line one side of the room and opposite them, a huge shelf stacked with cake pans and sheet trays. At the front of the room, there is a demonstration counter, complete with huge mirrors hanging of the ceiling that allow students to look up when there are others blocking their view. Behind the counter sits two ovens and a refrigerator. There are six four-people work stations, each unit containing a miniature fridge, an industrial sized stand mixer, and a portable induction stove top.
The work stations don’t come with utensils, however. Students are expected to bring their own spatulas, whisks, bench scrapers, dough scrapers, and most importantly, kitchen scales. Whenever I bake at home, I measure ingredients using volume measuring cups. I know that weight is a more accurate unit of measurement when it comes to baking, but my baked goods turn out fine even if I use measuring cups.
But I’ve wanted an electronic kitchen scale for quite some time now and I jumped at the opportunity to buy one. After all, my mom couldn’t deny me such an essential piece of equipment if it was required for a class. So we bought a new $80 kitchen scale, good for up to 11 pounds.
In the past weeks, we made apple pie, bran muffins, and tea biscuits. This week, we made crème caramel and Coffee-Flavoured Bavarian Cream. I didn’t care much for the crème caramel, especially since it upended itself and spilled over the sides of the ramekin (maybe it was undercooked...?) while I carried it home, but the Coffee-Flavoured Bavarian Cream was deliciously sweet, rich, and creamy. Heck, how can you go wrong with coffee, custard, and cream?
Click below for the recipe.
Coffee-Flavoured Bavarian Cream
Adapted from: George Brown Baking Arts Manual
Yield: 16 150g servings
- 250 mL milk
- 125 grams sugar, divided
- 10 grams gelatin
- 100 grams (2) eggs
- 1 gram salt
- 5 grams vanilla
- 60 grams instant coffee, plus more for garnish
- 20 grams hot water
- 250 mL heavy cream
- sweetened whipped cream, for serving
In a small bowl, combine the coffee powder and water. Set aside.
Pour the milk into a small saucepan and sprinkle a couple tablespoons of sugar into the bottom. Do not stir. Bring the milk to a boil. (The sugar coats the bottom of the saucepan, which will prevent the milk from burning).
Meanwhile, in a small mixing bowl, whisk remaining sugar and gelatin together. In a large bowl, beat the eggs, salt, vanilla, and sugar/gelatine until blended. Whisk in the coffee mixture. Cool the mixture down in an ice bath, stirring constantly so that the gelatin doesn’t set. (An ice bath is a larger bowl filled with cold water and ice.)
In a large bowl, whip the cream until medium peaks form. Slowly, add the cooled custard into the cream, folding gently to combine. Pour into the ramekins. (The mixture will be runny.) Allow the custard to set in the refrigerator before serving, about two hours. Top with sweetened whipped cream and a sprinkle of instant coffee.