Saturday, February 25, 2012

It Started on Valentine's

For those of you who've been following me since the journey started, you'll remember that my first baking adventure revolved around making a delicious chocolaty symbol of love for my boyfriend for Valentine's Day. A year later, I couldn't help but reflect on the past year and realize that so much has changed since then. I started out as someone who just wanted to learn more about baking, someone taking on a new hobby, now I've transformed into a student of baking and pastry and dreaming and aspiring towards making it a more integral part of my life.

On the non-baking front, I moved from girlfriend to fiance, and I'm sure baking had a small part to play in all that. Not just because he has been the chief taste tester and could look forward to fresh baked goods on a weekly basis, but also because I believe baking has made me a happier person, and helped me relieve the week's stress. As a part of this certificate course in Pastry Making  and Cake Decorating, I have practicals twice a week but I have to say, I much prefer baking on my own terms. I like selecting the specific recipes I'd like to do, and adding a little something here and there. The school kitchen does have its advantages though, like industrial mixers which can mix, whisk and knead. They are putting the hand mixer I have at home to shame and making me hunger and salivate every time I see a Kitchenaid mixer. I MUST get one, its not an if, its a when.

Since we've been together, my fiance and I have never been out on Valentine's Day, mostly because the  thought of a crowded restaurant doesn't seem that romantic to him. This time we decided to give going out a try but of course, I still had the inkling to make him something, surprise him with a chocolaty gift. I decided on breakfast in bed and came upon this recipe from Two Peas and Their Pod for a Chocolate Dutch Baby. This recipe also gave me an excuse to buy a cast iron skillet which I'd been wanting for quite sometime. Immediately after I bought it I came home and began searching for recipes to try in my new skillet.

For those of you unfamiliar with Dutch Babies, they're like pancakes which are made in the oven. This particular recipe is made by heating the skillet with melted butter in it, blending all the ingredients in the blender, pouring them into the skillet and putting the hot skillet in the oven. After baking I topped it with sliced strawberries and dusted it with powdered sugar. It was super easy, the perfect recipe for a quick Valentine's breakfast.

I totally surprised Anthony and I liked it so much, I'm looking forward to trying other dutch babies. The only thing I'd add is a little dollop of whipped cream, that would've made it perfect.