Christmas Comes Early at the Academy of Pastry Arts, Malaysia

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.

Photobucket

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.

Photobucket

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!

Photobucket
Photobucket

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!

Photobucket
Photobucket

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.

Photobucket

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?

Photobucket

Photobucket

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.

Photobucket

Photobucket

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!

Photobucket

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:

  1. Certificate in Pastry and Bakery (9 months)
  2. Certificate: Art of Intermediate Pastry Program (3 months)
  3. Certificate in Bakery Arts (3 months)
  4. 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!

PhotobucketAcademy of Pastry Arts Malaysia
Lot 2-A, 2nd Floor,
Wisma Thrifty (opposite PJ Hilton, above Giant),
No. 19, Jalan Barat,
46200 Petaling Jaya,
Selangor, Malaysia.

Tel: 03-7960 3846
Fax: 03-7960 3848
Email: info@academyofpastryartsmalaysia.com
Web: http://www.academyofpastryartsmalaysia.com/
Opening hour: 9.00am – 5.00pm, Monday – Saturday

Click HERE to read about Li Chuen’s experience (and pretty pictures!)

Advertisements

Merdeka Open House 2010: Food From Our Hearts

Merdeka Open House event is back! Organized annually on the Malaysia independence month by our dear Babe KL, I took the effort to participate in this year’s event with the theme “Food From Our Hearts” (I didn’t participate last year due to time constraint).

Photobucket

So, what does food from the heart means? As most people know, when it comes to cooking, we need skills, effort, ingredients, tools and also the “heart“. When cooking from the heart, the food would usually looked scrumptious and has a perfect balance of taste (saltiness, sweetness etc), smell and texture. Most of the time, mom’s cooking fulfilled every aspects as I mentioned above.

I’ve always admired my mom, as she could whip up an array of dishes easily and quickly. Her nasi lemak has been a favourite among my siblings and myself since we’re little, as well as her “ham kou” (rice cake with preserved vegetable and dried shrimp), which I’m going to write about for the Merdeka Open House event this year.

Rice Cake with Preserved Vegetable & Dried Shrimp

Photobucket

Guesstimate recipe:

  1. 500 – 600 grams rice flour, sifted
  2. About 1 litre water, adjust to preference
  3. 400 grams preserved vegetables (dai tau choy or choy pou), minced
  4. 400 grams dried shrimp, coarsely chopped
  5. 10 rose shallots, finely chopped
  6. 20 red chillies
  7. some bird’s eyes chillies (cili padi) – if you like it spicier
  8. juice from 10 calamansi lime
  9. salt and sugar to taste

Photobucket

How to do it:

  1. Mix the rice flour with water in a round metal deep dish (the upper part of the metal steamer). Adjust the flour and water amount to your peference; too much flour would yield harder cake and too much water would cause the cake mushy.
  2. Add some salt to the mixture and steam it high heat, stirring occasionally and gently to prevent the mixture for coagulating at the bottom part of the dish. Do this step until the bottom part started to set in. Cover and continue to steam over medium heat for about 30 – 40 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, fry the chopped preserved vegetable, shallots and dried shrimps separately and set aside. Reserve some of the oil as well.
  4. Blend the chillies till formed a smooth paste (alternatively, pound the chillies with a pestle and mortar for a coarse chilli sauce texture). In a heat-proof bowl/pan, heat the calamansi juice. Add the chilli paste to the juice and mix well. Add sugar to taste and remove from heat. Let the chilli sauce cool.
  5. When the cake is done (test this by poking a chopstick into the cake and if it comes out clean, it’s ready), set aside to cool. Spread the shallots, dried shrimps, oil and preserved vegetables on the cake before serving. Serve with home made chilli sauce.
  6. Photobucket

    Happy Birthday, Malaysia!

Simple Warm Potato & Garlic Salad

Recipes are abundant on the Asian Food Channel, don’t you think so? (unless you don’t watch that-lah). Programmes like Chef at Home, French Food at Home and Fresh with Anna Olson always gave me some inspiration to try something new such as this warm potato salad. Salad is always my favourite thing to make for potluck parties because it’s a breeze to prepare and healthy too.

Photobucket

Simple Warm Potato Salad

  • 2 medium potatoes, washed thoroughly and pat dry
  • 4 – 5 cloves of garlic
  • 2 cups of your preferred salad leaves (baby spinach, arugula, rocket leaves, romaine, cherry tomatoes etc), washed and drained
  • 3 teaspoons of EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
  • freshly cracked black pepper and salt to taste
  1. Cut the potatoes with skin on into medium-sized cubes. Try to cut them into similar size so they will be cooked at the same time.
  2. Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in pan and pan fry the potatoes till golden. Set aside in a mixing bowl.
  3. Chop the garlic into fine bits, then mix with the remaining 1 teaspoon of EVOO in a smaller bowl. If you don’t like the strong taste of garlic, reduce the garlic to 1-2 cloves.
  4. Add the salad leaves, garlic, salt and pepper to the potatoes and toss to mix well.