Hi! I’m back with part 3 of my ABC Cooking journey report. In the months of December – February, I did not get to travel, hence no usage of my ABC Passport in other countries. Attending a cake class at ABC while travelling has become somewhat of a priority when planning my travels around the region!
One thing I’ve come to realise about ABC Cooking now is that you shouldn’t just look at the amount you’re paying for your paid regular lessons. Of all the lessons I’ve attended so far, half of them are free? Either from trial lessons (when I bring a friend along), free lesson ticket (from successful referrals) or ABC Passport. This was not something I was consciously expecting when I decided to sign up, so it was a pleasant observation I made over time!
To learn more about the different types of lessons do refer to my earlier posts!
December Cake Basic – Carré au chocolat
This is one of the most popular cakes from the Basic course because everyone loves chocolate and hazelnut. You can’t go wrong with this! I’d say it’s quite easy and not really as complicated as it sounds like, but I don’t know why it looks so different from the picture. The chocolate used was probably not dark enough. Generally I felt that this recipe was not bad, but the cocoa powder they have at the studio isn’t the best of quality making the chocolate sponge taste kind of like neighbourhood bakery chocolate cake (this scenario is similar to the Roulé au thé vert where the recipe was good but ingredients could be better). Nevertheless, it is still a cake worth learning!
January Cake Basic – Mont Blanc
I was excited about this one because Mont Blanc has always been my favourite cake among Japanese-French style cakes! This one did not disappoint at all! The chestnut cream was of the right flavour and sweetness as I would expect from Japanese cake shops, and not overly sweet like the French versions. Once I gathered all ingredients and tools, I’ll try to make this at home. I highly recommend learning this one!
February Cake Basic – Chocolate a la mode
I usually make chocolates for Valentine’s day and I already know most of the techniques taught in this class, but I decided to take the class anyway because making chocolates at home would create a lot of mess. However, I would say this is a really easy recipe and the value add factor isn’t that high from learning this one. The only value to me was having the mess at the studio instead of my own kitchen. That aside, the nama chocolate recipe is a keeper! As long as you get good quality chocolate to begin with, it’ll be good.
January Cooking (ABC Best Selection) – Osechi ~Japanese New Year Food~
I had a free lesson ticket and I used to to attend this cooking class. This was offered under the “ABC Best Selection” menu. For cooking classes, they have 3 menus per month – Japanese Cooking, World Cooking and a Best Selection menu which is usually themed for the month or features healthier cooking methods. I took this class on 1st January, because it makes most sense to eat Osechi on the very day it matters!
In Japan this is what they traditionally have on New Years day. Some of the authentic Japanese restaurants in Singapore even offers Osechi menu for New Year too.
However, this class only served me for the novelty of Osechi and learning about the tradition. It was interesting to learn what each item symbolises. The cooking lesson itself wasn’t really fun to me because most of the time, we were doing low level kitchen prep work like cutting carrots, measuring liquid ingredients etc, instead of real cooking. The food was also average at best. It definitely wouldn’t be something I’ll want to cook at home so if it was a paid lesson, there’s hardly any value added. You also don’t literally make everything yourself – the work is split up among all 4 participants. I guess the Cooking course at ABC isn’t my cup of tea and I’ll just stick to Cake.
Trial lessons are open to all first time customers and each person is only allowed 1 class! The class usually cost $35 if you sign up by yourself, but a member (like me haha) brings you in OR refer you when you book, you only pay $28. Members will get to attend the same lesson as well for free, so that’s a perk of signing up as a member! If you’re interested to try ABC do drop me a comment or email.
December – Strawberry Bouche de Noel
Fancy name aside, this is a logcake and perfect for Christmas. I chose to do this on 24th December. The cake recipe was kept very simple so most of the effort was for decorating the cake! It was my first time doing a logcake and I was quite pleased with the results. This is probably the most exciting trial class so far! Comparable with the Strawberry Chiffon Roll I did in September.
January – Omurice with Mushroom Demi-glace
While most of the seasonal trial lessons are Cake classes, Bread and Cooking seasonal trial classes do appear occasionally. I had the opportunity to try the Omurice cooking class in January and I must say, I did not really enjoy it. I generally feel that the cooking classes are not as fun as the cake classes. Similar to the regular cooking class I took (review above), you don’t get to do everything by yourself and it was shared effort. The end result wasn’t anything fantastically delicious either. I wouldn’t sign up for cooking classes here I guess, but it’s alright to take a few lessons here and there!
February – Labu Labu No-bake Cheesecake
This trial lesson was obviously designed for Valentine’s day! Can’t get cuter than strawberry and heart shape. However, no-bake cheesecakes are usually no where as good as the real deal and I was mentally prepared for that. The method is very simple for beginners and it’s hard to fail. The main point of the lesson was more about decorating rather than technical skills. The taste of the cake was decent.
One Day Lesson
ABC Cooking × Fukuoka Prefecture – Amaou Ichigo Tart
Unlike the mooncake one day lesson I did in September, this one day lesson was kinda different. For ABC Cooking, they offer 2 categories of one day lessons – either in conjunction with certain festivals (Mooncake Festival, Halloween, Chinese New Year etc) or in partnership with certain Prefectures in Japan. The various prefectures would occasionally visit Singapore and promote some of their ingredients. These ingredients would be featured in the recipe for the class. Before the session began we had a crash course about Fukuoka strawberries and was greeted by the mayor of Fukuoka. A whole team of them arrived in Singapore and was present throughout the duration of the class!
This lesson cost $88 but it included one whole punnet of Amaou strawberries from Fukuoka! Seriously, $88 is only a few dollars more than the cost of a regular lesson, but with such premium ingredients, I’d say it’s worth it. These strawberries were sponsored by Fukuoka Prefecture and they were so fresh! I spotted these selling for $28 in a Japanese store and I wouldn’t buy them in Singapore for sure. I’ll look for them when I visit Japan again!
I used 4 strawberries for my tart and brought the rest home! These strawberries were huge, each punnet had only 9 or 10 pieces.
At the end of the session, there was a giveaway for 5 extra punnets of Amaou and I was very lucky to be walk away with one making it 2 punnets of Amaou for me! Seriously no regrets for joining this class and I always wanted to learn making fresh fruit tart anyway. This had a strawberry custard filling which was just right for me and of the perfect sweet pink colour. I have to improve on my tart crust technique though.
This one day lesson had only 15 slots and I was very lucky to snag the last slot. Phew~ Due to limited numbers, this class was open to members only, but for most other 1 Day Lesson they do allow non-members to join, albeit at a higher fee!
Just for more information, these are example the different types of 1 Day Lessons (these are from the past, no longer available now):
Seasonal 1 Day Lesson, in conjunction with different festivals.
Prefecture partnered 1 Day Lesson, featuring ingredients from specific prefectures. For some of these classes, the rates are actually even lower than regular cooking classes! The purpose of these classes are partly to promote their prefectures and ingredients. These lessons are available for a few sessions only, usually on weekdays.
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