Read more reviews right here:
Part 2: https://hungrybird.sg/2017/12/03/abc-cooking-studio-part-2/
Part 3: https://hungrybird.sg/2018/02/21/abc-cooking-studio-part-3/
Part 4: https://hungrybird.sg/2018/04/29/abc-cooking-studio-part-4/
Part 5: https://hungrybird.sg/2018/06/26/abc-cooking-studio-part-5/
As much as I love eating out, I also love making my own food. Be it cooking or baking, I’m always interested to try! However, my biggest interest lies in pastries. Starting from entirely no training, I learnt from recipes books I purchased as well as recipes online. Of all things, cheesecake, macarons and tiramisu are my most frequently made recipes. I did not post about it online, but I did fail countless times. I probably have tried 10, 20… uncountable times. And it can be demoralising, not to mention, it is such a waste of good ingredients. Valrhona chocolate, Philadelphia cream cheese, fine ground almonds, SCS butter – these are very expensive! I use them anyway because using bad ingredients is the first step to failure. Check out my post on baking ingredients in Singapore to learn more about where to find these items. You have no idea how many attempts of macarons, cheesecake and other things I did before getting my recipe and technique good enough for me to share it on my blog. (Frankly, I do not have that many recipes to share because I don’t always succeed in a variety of things.)
After these years, I figured that the time and money for ingredients and recipe books wasted on failed attempts can very well pay for a good class to learn properly from. Learning it live is always different from learning on YouTube. Having hands-on experience is most valuable and the teacher will be there to clear doubts and troubleshoot common issues which you may never find the answer to when doing it alone. Therefore, I decided to take the plunge and signed up for Cake course at ABC Cooking Studio!
ABC Cooking Studio Singapore is located in Takashimaya (right next to my favourite store Lululemon). Originating from Japan, they now have studios all over Asia. Unlike most other cooking studios in Singapore, they run their cooking studios more like a school. Meaning, all members have to take up a course of at least 6 classes to learn their regular menu. They do have special 1 day classes very occasionally but I’ll get to that later. Besides Cake, they also have Bread and Cooking course and they also have combination package if you like to try a bit of everything. For more specialised courses they have kids course and wagashi course too. I shall not elaborate too much about these because I only signed up for Cake course and I’m just sharing what I experienced.
This is not a sponsored post by the way, I am just sharing about the experience I paid for!
The price per lessons varies depending on how many classes you take, but the average price will be around $80. Considering how other hands-on baking classes usually costs $120 nowadays, I thought that this price wasn’t too absurd as long as the learning experience proved to be a valuable one.
To summarize what you’ll get out of your $80 class:
- Classes available everyday from 10:15am – 8pm
- Predictable lesson time of 2hr including cooling down cake and packing it up
- Can store your cake in their fridge while you walk around town and pick it up later
- Ingredients conveniently pre-measured out
- Small class size of max 4 people per teacher
- Recipe sheet to take home in full colour printing
- Disposable apron
- Packaging boxes for cakes and bread, as well as cards and wrapping paper if you want, complimentary
- 24/7 real time online booking, bookable from 1 month in advance
- NO NEED TO WASH! Just send the dirty bowls and stuff to the washing counter and someone will do it for you
Basically, it’s higher level service on top of just a regular cooking or baking lesson. I’ve attended lessons where I had to bring my own tupperware and was responsible for cleaning up too. Often times I did not have the correct kind of packaging to transport the bakes home! ABC will provide proper optimised cake boxes and bases for whatever you’re making. You can bring it straight to a party and look professional.
For my cake course, there are 18 cakes from the Basic series and you need to finish all 18 before you can proceed on to learn from the Master series. The order to learn is entirely up to you, at your own time within the expiry of your course. They will offer 6 recipes to learn from every month and this will be repeated every 3 months.
Hungry Bird rating
– Must learn! Recipe really good/ useful to recreate often.
– Good, met expectations
– Ok… optional to learn
– Lower standard in taste than expected / looks better than it tastes/ not as good as store bought versions
– Waste of time
September Cake Basic – Tarte aux Pommes
For the month of September, I took my first lesson, learning Tarte aux Pommes, a French apple tart. I was very lucky to get a slot on a Sunday afternoon and there was only 1 other person with me! It was almost like a private class. I was already more than satisfied with the group being capped at 4 because most other classes I’ve attended had 20 – 30 people to one teacher. Such level of attention spoil market. Even though each class is capped 4 pax, most of the time it may not even be at full capacity so if you’re really lucky, you may get a 1 to 1 session!
This is the exact tart I made at ABC and brought home!
This tart was more like the rustic sort, something like what you would expect to find from French pastry shops. It’s dense ans sweet, and the tart was baked with almond cream together, so do not expect a crispy tart crust like you would expect from Japanese fruit tarts (you know, the sort filled with pastry cream).
Hungry Bird rating: 4/5
Not wanting to forget what I learnt, I recreated it at home myself last weekend, following the recipe and method closely.
It looks pretty much similar right? I’m so happy that it turned out looking like the real deal! I was too used to failing so I kind of expected my homemade version to fail, especially for something unfamiliar to me like making shortcrust pastry from scratch, but it did not. By the way, I got the tart pan from Daiso years ago and it was of the same size as the recipe asked for.
1 Day Lesson
The 1 day lessons happens when there’s an occasion upcoming and they have a special recipe to teach (eg. Mooncake, logcake) or if there’s a special visiting chef. These 1 day classes are open to both public and members, but of course member rates are slightly cheaper, like $88 vs $108. You will still get the same service level as regular classes, not to worry. No need to bring tupperware, apron or wash up – it’s all covered!
I signed up for a 1 day Snowskin mooncake class, just in time for Mid Autumn festival! The recipe here is quite unique, with Japanese elements in them. Matcha was involved of course, lots of it.
The sakura makes everything look so beautiful. The process was made really easy as well, including the creation of the custard filling, which was cooked using the microwave and that was something new I learnt.
The custard filling actually quite tasty and not too sweet like most other mooncake, thanks to the subtle saltiness of matcha-kombu and salted egg yolk. If I do it myself I would make the skin thinner of course. The 1 day lesson was a worthwhile one in my opinion.
Hungry Bird rating: 3.5/5
Trial class is the way to go to get started with ABC! If you sign up on the day of your trial lesson, you will for sure get a savings of $70 compared to if you signed up on another day. So yes, if you did not take a trial class and signed up directly you’ll end up paying more!
Trial class is available to anyone as long as you’re new to the studio. They have trial classes for cake, bread and cooking and you can only take it once. The recipe for these 3 are:
- Hamburg Steak
- Japanese Ham & Mayo Bun
- Chocolate Gateau
Trial classes usually offers really simple menu which is easy to understand. These 3 have been available since Day 1 and I’m sure the teachers are very seasoned in teaching these! However, since the trial can only be done once, I suggest that newcomers aim to try the seasonal trials! Seasonal trial or regular trial – either type you can only take it once.
Seasonal trial classes have new recipes every month and the price is the same as regular trials! In the past few months, they had interesting ones like Raspberry Ombre Cake and Japanese Souffle Cheesecake. We’ll never know what new recipe will be upcoming!
September Seasonal Trial Class – Strawberry Chiffon Roll Cake
Yup, I made this! Beautiful isn’t it? *shameless*
I have tried making roll cake before at home years ago but failed quite badly. I even have 2 roll cake pans at home lying around for almost 10 years serving as a tray rather than for it’s original purpose of baking cakes. Now I can put it to real use! I must say I was very pleased with the outcome of my cake from this class.
Hungry Bird Rating – 4.5/5
Trial classes are available everyday at almost every hour and are bookable through an online system or by calling the studio direct. The usual price is $48 by physical payment, $35 if booked online (credit card), but $28 if referred by a member! The $28 rate refers to both physical payment and online booking system payment, whichever you prefer.
For the month of October, the seasonal trial menu is Wiener Bread aka sausage roll bun.
If you’re interested to take a trial class and want to do so at the discounted rate of $28, do drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Again I will emphasize, this is not a sponsored review or anything. I paid for my lessons and just wish to share all I know about it so far!
ABC Cooking Studio
Takashimaya S.C., #03-12/12A
391A Orchard Rd