Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Sign in to follow this  
Pitter

Baking Party for Teenagers

Recommended Posts

I've been hired to give an afternoon-long baking class for six teenage girls for one's sixteenth birthday party (a two-day sleepover.) Any ideas? It's been a long time since I was sixteen, so I have no memory of what my skills and interests were. Should I show them how to make a chocolate torte (melt chocolate, whip eggwhites, fold) or is that too sophisticated and technical? Or keep it simple and do a carrot cake? Roll out and decorate cookies? I know we'll make ice cream. I guess I need three or four items for a well rounded presentation and lesson. Any ideas would be hugely appreciated. I'm kinda stuck.

Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you need a quick interview with the birthday girl. You'll want to know her skill level. She wanted a baking class so she might be quite skilled already and you could pick something a bit more difficult, or just a passing interest and then it will be quite simple. Also, flavours she likes and are they all dieting?

I think it sounds exciting! I wish I'd been aware of this idea when I was 16. What a cool birthday!


Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Orison Swett Marden

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the chocolate torte is a geat idea but it'll take at best an hour to put together, even if they're really slow. So you'll need something else.

Like the others said I would find out what their skill level is and how much interest they've got in learning new things. Maybe they'll just suggest cookies, or maybe they've made so many cookies they're dying to learn something else.

Assuming they askedfor the baking lesson.... I'd start with pate choux, bake them off, assemble the torte and bake, while that's baking come back to make the pastry cream etc. and finish off the puffs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

if you don't have to stick with baking, it might be fun for sixteen year olds to learn how to make marshmallows or something chocolatey like bark. bark is easy and fun and tasty as are marshmallows...then you can show them how to make really cool s'mores (maybe you can get a graham cracker recipe?)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like the idea of the pate choux. Who doesn't love cream puffs?

What about homemade doughnuts? That's something a lot of people don't know how to do, and it's fun! It's also fun to fry things.

I think a chocolate mousse is a nice idea. You could also teach them how to temper chocolate and make cute little bowls by dipping inflated ballons into the tempered chocolate. I think that was one of the most fun days back in Pastry class at school.

Or do they want to learn to decorate and pipe icing and what-not? A carrot cake would be fun for that, and you could make little carrots out of marzipan.

This is a really fun idea!


-Sounds awfully rich!

-It is! That's why I serve it with ice cream to cut the sweetness!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Decorating is definitely something that should be incorporated, if they have minimal skills it's always fun to do cupcakes as one thing. Hard to mess them up and you can make different flavors of cake/frosting. I love the idea of the playing with tempered chocolate like J. Torres does on TV, he makes all kinds of cool things using common household objects to create different shapes/textures. You could make a simple cake and frosting and have all kinds of cool decorations!


"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast" - Oscar Wilde

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah, yes, those chocolate cups formed with balloons! I had forgotten about those, and that is something that is foolproof and so easy, and an idea that they can take home to impress their family and friends effortlessly.

I spoke with the girl, and face-to-face she had the "deer in headlights" look. She simply has no idea, nor does her mother. (That's why they hired me. Oh.)

It turns out that there is sort of a theme, being Hawaii. And she has never had sorbet but was very interested in that. But what kind of tropical fruit goes with chocolate? Does anyone have a recipe for coconut?

Beyond that, I'm thinking a carrot cake with pineapple in it, and having them all make flower decorations with royal icing. Problem is, I don't eat royal icing type of stuff and I'm not sure they should, either. Any ideas for mangoes other than sorbet? And that doesn't really go with chocolate. This thing is on Wednesday, and I'm getting a tad panicky. I think it all needs to be pretty simple. Please keep your ideas coming. You are helping me a lot. Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Perhaps a coffeecake or scones or, depending on skill level, brioche which they could bake off and have for their breakfast the morning of their sleepover...

a big tray of thin brownies which you could sandwich together with your homemade ice cream...

it's summer...fruit pie?

mmmmmmmmmmmmm. pie.


kit

"I'm bringing pastry back"

Weebl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ah, yes, those chocolate cups formed with balloons!  I had forgotten about those, and that is something that is foolproof and so easy, and an idea that they can take home to impress their family and friends effortlessly.

I spoke with the girl, and face-to-face she had the "deer in headlights" look.  She simply has no idea, nor does her mother. (That's why they hired me.  Oh.)

It turns out that there is sort of a theme, being Hawaii.  And she has never had sorbet but was very interested in that.  But what kind of tropical fruit goes with chocolate?  Does anyone have a recipe for coconut?

Beyond that, I'm thinking a carrot cake with pineapple in it, and having them all make flower decorations with royal icing.  Problem is, I don't eat royal icing type of stuff and I'm not sure they should, either.  Any ideas for mangoes other than sorbet?  And that doesn't really go with chocolate.  This thing is on Wednesday, and I'm getting a tad panicky.  I think it all needs to be pretty simple.  Please keep your ideas coming.  You are helping me a lot.  Thanks!

What about white chocolate balloon-formed cups, to go with the mango sorbet? I'd think that might work better than chocolate-chocolate.

MelissaH


MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i would think buttercream would be easier than royal icing...and it tastes better too. you can always flavor it with passion fruit or something to make it fit the theme. coconut cupcakes with passionfruit buttercream? sounds deelish if you ask me.

the white chocolate cup with mango sorbet sounds perfect as well.

remember, they're teenagers, so attention spans aren't too long. those two ideas might be enough to make it interesting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It turns out that there is sort of a theme, being Hawaii.  I think it all needs to be pretty simple.  Please keep your ideas coming. 

Macadamia nuts are from Hawaii so you can do a lot of things with them...

How about caramel apples rolled in macadamia nuts and drizzled with chocolate...

or a banana macadamia nut cream pie topped with whip cream and fresh coconut

or frozen bananas dipped in chocolate and macadamia nuts...

or white chocolate macadamia nut cookies...

Homemade marshmallows with a tropical puree like guava or passion fruit might be different - especially since it's overnight you'll have time to let it set.

Chocolate dipped strawberries are fun and they can decorate them with

drizzled white chocolate or coconut too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Beyond that, I'm thinking a carrot cake with pineapple in it, and having them all make flower decorations with royal icing.  Problem is, I don't eat royal icing type of stuff and I'm not sure they should, either.  Any ideas for mangoes other than sorbet?  And that doesn't really go with chocolate.  This thing is on Wednesday, and I'm getting a tad panicky.  I think it all needs to be pretty simple.  Please keep your ideas coming.  You are helping me a lot.  Thanks!

I have had a gaggle of teens, myself... they're a bit older now (15, 17, 19, 20, 21,) but we've had our share of cooking parties for their friends as they were growing up. This is a great idea.

If the teens in question have very little experience in the kitchen, I think you can keep it very simple. For one thing, making flower decorations may be a bit of overkill; just give them a pastry bag with lots of different tips and some buttercream and let 'em go nuts. Trust me, they'll be thrilled. And as far as carrot/pineapple cake... no matter *what* fun stuff I try to whip up, dessert-wise, the carrot/pineapple/coconut cake I make (with cream cheese frosting) is what everyone asks for over and over again!

I also second the chocolate-dipped bananas. We did this for the huge number of kids we had here for a 4-day festival in May. The kids formed a kind of assembly line, some inserting popsicle sticks, others poking peanuts, raisins, and/or M&M's into the bananas, then the older kids dipping them in chocolate & laying them out on parchment-covered baking sheets for freezing.

I don't imagine this is very Hawaiian in theme, but another thing my kids really loved doing was making funnel cakes. You want to make sure there is careful supervision, as you're dealing with hot oil, of course, but it's certainly not beyond a teen's skill level. My kids have grown up in the kitchen, but my now 15-year-old daughter had this down to a fine art by the time she was 11. And if you're already making pate choux dough for cream puffs or eclairs (another GREAT idea,) you can just make some extra for the funnel cakes!

Have fun!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you want to go the ice cream or sorbet route, how about brandy snaps or melting chocolate and letting them drizzle it over clingfoil-wrapped cups to serve the ice cream in?


May

Totally More-ish: The New and Improved Foodblog

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How about each girl getting to make her own cookies. Start with a basic chocolate chip cookie dough and each girl can personalize her cookies. If it's a tropical theme, have add ins like dried fruit, macadamia nuts, chocolate chunks, etc. You can give a little lesson on why cookies spread or keep their shape, the way different colors of cookie sheets affect baking times, etc.

White chocolate brownies with macadamia nuts would be nice(who doesn't like brownies or blondies)

If they are not used to baking, simpler would probably be better(that way they can walk away thinking hey, I could do this myself)

Sandra

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've taught in this type of party/class atmosphere and believe me, royal icing is the best. There's no problem to eating it--you mean because of egg whites?? It's perfectly fine to eat--you could make it out of store bought meringue powder too. But the greaseless icing is a snap to clean up. Butter cream is no fun to clean up after kids finish using it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really like the add-in cookies idea...you might have both a basic chocolate and basic shortbread or sugar cookie dough, and lots of different add-ins...also, I think decorating cookie cakes is lots of fun, so you could have them bake the doughs into big flat rounds or in jelly-roll pans and then pipe some fun frosting on.

And yeah, chocolate-dipping is a great idea-you don't even have to limit it to bananas. Or you could even do some really basic truffles or other chocolates-they can make a flavored ganache or gianduja or something similar (both of which are actually quite easy, I think) and then you can make sure the chocolate's tempered right and they can do the dipping-I bet that would be really impressive.

I think you might be surprised at the skill level, actually, or at least their ability to follow instructions. This generation watches the Food Network, has celeb chefs, etc., and even if they don't actually cook they've often heard the terminology and will be enthusiastic about it.

I do recommend things that are short on the measuring out and baking time and long on the decorating, rolling, dipping, churning, etc. time, because that's the fun interactive stuff.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I spoke with the girl, and face-to-face she had the "deer in headlights" look. She simply has no idea, nor does her mother. (That's why they hired me. Oh.)

I cannot imagine that someone would hire you to teach a "pastry/baking party" for teenagers and

have no clue what they want. Obviously they're interested in baking....you'd think they'd have at least SOME idea....... :huh:

Of course, I get a lot of brides that have absolutely no opinion on their wedding cake either. Trying to get them to choose a design is like pulling teeth. I wish they had those heart defibrillators for people's brains. ZAP!!! Hellllooooooo? Any one THERE?

Funny side note:

Although I'm a professional PC now, (chose this career...would you believe),

if my Mom had given me a "baking party" when I was 16, it would have been a room in hell.

Back then, it was all about boys. All boys all the time. Talk about boys...look at boys....

dream about boys.....chase boys......baking????!?!?!? Bleah! :raz:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm 23 so this is not a stretch for my imagination.

Cupcakes from scratch decorated with buttercream. Disposable pastry bags and tips.

Brownies.

chocolate chip cookies

peach pie

ice cream sandwiches!

some sort of crumble...


does this come in pork?

My name's Emma Feigenbaum.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

:wub::wub: Go for fondue.

They can dip what they like (marshmallows, fruite etc) and love it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Um, mango goes fantasically well with chocolate in our house... and we have gaggles of 16 and 17 year olds hovering around often. I make dark chocolate shells and spoon mango sorbet into them. Big hit. Especially when you flake some coconut and toast it for the topping. Then add some pineapple fingers. And a hunk of cake alongside on the plate. Said plate having sometimes been prepped with a glaze of pineapple preserves. I think I'm hungry. I pass for 16 if the lights are low, is this an evening affair? :laugh:


More Than Salt

Visit Our Cape Coop Blog

Cure Cutaneous Lymphoma

Join the DarkSide---------------------------> DarkSide Member #006-03-09-06

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I say keep it simple. Most teens that I know of can barely bake a boxed cake (or that's all they know), much less a torte.

Even something relatively simple like cupcakes from scratch will astound and impress them. Cupcakes are portable, fun and the perfect size for young ladies who may be calorie conscious. Yet baking them from a scratch recipe will add a new dimension for them.

You can even have them make Swiss Meringue Buttercream for the icing and have assorted sprinkles, colorings and candies (e.g. crushed butterfinger, M&M's and oreo cookie crumbs) that they can decorate with.

Maybe a nice brownie or chocolate mousse recipe would be good too.

I just wouldn't get too sophisticated though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...