I’m back with updates from May and June at ABC Cooking Studio Singapore once again. I did fewer lessons at the studio these 2 months, but I redid many recipes myself at home and I’ll share about how it turned out.
Check out my previous posts about ABC Cooking Studio Singapore here:
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
May Cake Basic – Délices aux pêches
This is a peach flavoured mousse cake and is rated a 3 star recipe. I personally feel that it isn’t really that difficult, but requires precision in assembling. For this cake, you’ll make a mousse that will be set with gelatin and the cake was to be set in the chiller. It’s similar to a no bake cake, except that you need to bake a sponge cake. For this recipe they prepared a pre-baked sponge for us due to time constraint, so the whole lesson was all about making the gelatin mousse and assembling the cake. I would think this is my least favourite cake from all the lessons I’ve did so far, because the process wasn’t much fun and this sort of mousse cake isn’t my favourite. It’s more jelly like than creamy mousse like. However, some people actually really like this cake and thinks it’s better than all others I’ve made so far, so I guess it’s subjective. Still, it was interesting to try out different techniques of making cakes! The main issue I have with this cake is the flavour – they used canned peaches and canned peaches have a distinct sweet-sour flavour which I do not like. If fresh peaches were used the flavour would have been a lot better.
Hungry Bird rating: 2/5
June Cake Basic – Gâteau Blanc
I didn’t know what to think about this cake when I first saw the picture of it on the brochure, because it does look plastic-y as if it’s a fondant cake. It wasn’t one of the cakes which screamed out to me as a must learn, but I tried to have an open mind because I’m here to discover new things. I decided to learn this cake anyway and this it turned out to be nothing like I assumed! In fact, I really like this one. While doing it I swore never to attempt this at home, but after seeing the final product, in retrospect it probably can be simple once familiar with the steps.
This recipe is rated 3 stars and this is absolutely because it is a challenge to coat it and shape it nicely. Sure you can make it easily if you do not care about aesthetics, but this cake is precisely all about the looks. It is probably the prettiest looking cake from all Cake Basic course recipes! I’ve seen pictures online posted by others who’ve done this cake earlier and in all honesty, most of them do not look pretty. This cake requires a lot of patience to build up nicely and I personally think it’s the hardest cake to decorate so far!
The cake sponge uses a genoise sponge recipe and it tastes so good on it’s own, I actually chowed down the excess cake sponge after cutting out the shapes we needed. The cream is whipped with white chocolate and it is topped with white chocolate to give that shiny glossy look.
Despite looking hard and plastic on the exterior, the interior is actually really soft and fluffy. Judging from the exterior I always imagined it to be a dense cake, so the soft and fluffy texture really took me by surprise! In fact, I thought it tasted pretty good too. I honestly wasn’t expecting to like the taste of this cake! On the contrary, the Strawberry Shortcake I did in April was one cake I was looking forward to learning since Strawberry Shortcake has been my all time favourite cake, but it fell short of my expectations.In my opinion, this tasted better than the Strawberry Shortcake.
I would recommend learning Gâteau Blanc, but only after you’ve some experience with other cake lessons because this can be tricky.
Hungry Bird rating: 5/5
For the month of May, the seasonal trial lesson was Berry Herby Shortcake. I actually took the Strawberry Shortcake lesson just a week before learning this one, and the technique was actually quite similar.
The cake was decorated with berries and rosemary to give a rustic feel. It was quite wasteful though, these herbs could have been of better use for roast chicken or something! The cake itself turned out better than I had expected. Individually the cream and the sponge cake was pretty bland, but when put together it turned out better.
Hungry Bird rating: 2.5/5
I redid a couple of ABC cake recipes at home lately. Ideally I would be redoing every single recipe I learnt, but some of the ingredients/ equipment are not something I have or can commit to right now.
This is something you’ve probably never seen before – me neither, but I learnt this from ABC Cooking in Tokyo. They call this Cake Au Chocolat and it’s offered under Basic Cake Course in Japan. This is rated a 3 stars recipe and I feel it is only difficult in terms of number of steps.
I decided to redo this at home because the taste was so good. I usually like cakes which are frosted with cream, so I was very surprised that I liked this more than I thought I would! The chocolate was very rich (I use Valrhona Cocao Powder and Callebaut dark chocolate couverture) and the texture was moist and fluffy, because meringue technique was used. The toppings of dried fig, freeze fried raspberry and walnut was similar to what was suggested in the recipe. I also got Brioche pans for this because it was used in the original recipe. I got them from Phoon Huat and it cost a lot less than the Brioche pans sold at ABC retail section.
I did this in November last year and only got down to trying it at home 6 months later, but if my memory served me well, the taste I achieved was very similar to that from the one I did in Tokyo! Or at very least, this turned out to be a really good cake regardless of whether it tasted similar. ABC Passport holders who can understand Japanese language can go try this recipe if you visit Japan. They offer the same menu countrywide, not limited to only Tokyo!
I made nama chocolate using the technique and recipe from Chocolate A la Mode regular lesson I did in February. I self improvised to make matcha truffles using white chocolate as the base. I prefer the dark chocolate (with rum) recipe that was according to ABC’s recipe proportions way more than the matcha nama chocolate.
I also remade financiers, this time matcha flavour.
For matcha pastries, using good quality matcha is very important. Cheap matcha will affect the whole flavour and ruin your effort. I strongly recommend using drinking grade matcha. You do not have to use top notch quality, but basic drinking grade matcha will suffice. Do not buy baking shop matcha (like those from Phoon Huat)!
If you’re going to Japan, check out supermarkets or Don Quijote shops – they have Itoen 伊藤園 or Iyemon 伊右衛門 brand matcha sold in packets. The cost is relatively inexpensive at ¥500 (S$6.20) at ¥600 (S$7.40) respectively for 30g. Don Don Donki in Singapore stocks Ioten matcha as well and it cost $9.20 here. Otherwise, you can look for Hagoromo 羽衣 brand matcha – this comes in a small canister and cost around $6.30/ 40g at Japanese section of NTUC Finest, J Mart and several other baking shops.
Late one night, I was pulling off fruits on a commercially made cake I had at home (I reckon that fresh fruits wouldn’t last that long) and I ended up with a few strawberries and raspberries which I initially intended to eat on it’s own. It struck me that I had on hand all the ingredients required to make this Strawberry Chiffon Roll Cake which I learnt from a trial lesson way back in October last year. And so, here’s my cake! My sponge did not turn out good. I’ve never achieved good sponge cake at home, honestly. I blame this on my cheap Tefal electric mixer which can’t seem to whip eggs to a light airy texture with fine bubbles.
For August 2018 they are offering TWO types of seasonal trial class!
Summer Loopies bread seasonal trial class – It’s a mango flavoured custard bread, decorated with fresh, moist and refreshing summer fruits. This is available at ABC Cooking Takashimaya….
And in conjunction with the new Westgate outlet, they are offering a premium trial cake class Tangy Chocolate Roll. The Westgate seasonal trial lesson is available via Members Referral to Non-Members only, so if you would like to take this special cake trial class for $28 (U.P. $35), do reach out to me!
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