When Jade from Mustard Tree Communications (we’ve got to know each other at Oriental Spoon last year, now closed) emailed me whether I am interested to visit the Academy of Pastry Arts, I barely could reply her with a No. Better yet, I was asked to bring along a friend, so off I went to the academy on last Saturday noon with WMW.
Since it’s near the Christmas season, we were briefed that we will be making gingerbread house! Upon arrival at the academy, we were welcomed by Hanne Landgraf, the Customer Relations Executive and subsequently introduced to the friendly Pastry Chef Lejeune Guillaume, whom is also the Director of Pastry Arts.
A short intro: Opened its door to the public back in July 2010, the Academy of Pastry Arts opened up another opportunity to learn the art of bakery and pastry making in a professional setting, as well as being professionally trained and coached by experts in their field. Classes and courses on different varieties of pastry making are available from a minimum 2 days classes to 9 months certification program.
Back to the academy, we were given a tour of the surrounding areas together with other food bloggers – PureGlutton, Edwin and Li Chuen, including the spacious and bright main kitchen/hall (love the stainless steel table top), cake decorating classroom, sugarwork station, baking station, chocolate room (the temperature is slightly lower here) and the store where they keep the ingredients. We actually barely could control ourselves from snapping away or peeking at the students’ table to see what were they doing!
For the gingerbread house, we were supposed to mix all the ingredients together, cut and roll them up into separate pieces (the wall, door, roof, base), bake in the oven and assemble them when cooled. The “white glue” is made of mixing beaten egg white with icing sugar, used not just for decoration purpose, but also to hold the gingerbread pieces together. Decorate the sides of the roof as if the icicles with the remaining icing sugar mixture, topped with colourful candies and finish up with sprinkles of icing sugar which resembles snow, and ta-daa! Your very own gingerbread house is now completed!
After Chef Lejeune is done with his gingerbread house, it’s time for us to demonstrate our creativity! Each of us, including Jade got a gingerbread house ourselves to work on. It’s not an easy task, especially when we tried as hard as we can to put on the perfect, perky icicles on the roof, and mostly we got are drooping ones! Hahaha! But one thing for sure, there were plenty of laughters along the process.
And who say floggers only knows how to eat? Check out these gorgeous masterpieces! Clockwise from top left: Mine, WMW, Li Chuen and PureGlutton. See the white “smoke” out from the chimney?
We were then treated to a tea session at the lounge area. All the Christmas themed breads and pastries were made by Chef Lejeune and his students, like the Cardamom Honey and Lemon Cinnamon cookies, Stollen loaf and some desserts. The macaroons were pretty but they are just for decoration purposes, not edible.
These petite desserts are indeed small, but truly mouthwatering with a perfect balance of sweetness and tanginess in every bite. Called the Petit Four, they are made with chocolate shell as the base, whipped ganache (passionfruit with vanilla and raspberry with vanilla), biscuit joconde, guimauve (the yellow sponge look-alike squares) and topped with chocolate shaving, raspberries and strawberries. Perfect for parties or as after dinner dessert!
Lastly, the Chocolate Moelleux – rich chocolate cake with melted centre, raspberries and edible gold leaves. It is kinda similar to molten lava cake, except that its melted chocolate centre is not fully encased by the cake.
Now, if you’re interested in any of the courses they offer, their December 2010 and January 2011 schedules are up! There are two days classes (they called it continuing education) on French pastry, Christmas delight, chocolates, petit fours etc available in both December and January, as well as the certificate program intake (3 – 9 months programs). For more information on the schedule, click HERE.
The current ongoing four main programs:
- Certificate in Pastry and Bakery (9 months)
- Certificate: Art of Intermediate Pastry Program (3 months)
- Certificate in Bakery Arts (3 months)
- Continuing Education (Short term courses which usually takes up to 2 – 5 days)
*Ingredients and uniform are included in the fees. 10% discount is given with full payment on the spot.
**A big thank you goes to Jade for organizing such a fun event and Chef Lejeune Guillaume and his team for welcoming us amateurs with open arms!
Academy of Pastry Arts Malaysia
Lot 2-A, 2nd Floor,
Wisma Thrifty (opposite PJ Hilton, above Giant),
No. 19, Jalan Barat,
46200 Petaling Jaya,
Tel: 03-7960 3846
Fax: 03-7960 3848
Opening hour: 9.00am – 5.00pm, Monday – Saturday
Click HERE to read about Li Chuen’s experience (and pretty pictures!)