In a blink of an eye I’m on to my 10th post about ABC Cooking! This is a journey I do not regret embarking on. Since I started in September 2017, I’ve gone for countless of lessons and learnt so much! Without further ado I shall dive straight into my lesson reviews.
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 – Petit Four Sec
This class is highly popular and I can see why. You use one dough base to make many kinds of cookies, and you get to bring home this cute cookie tin. Yes, ALL the cookies in this box were made from the same base dough, while mini madeleines were made separately using a quick and easy recipe.
- Chocolate almond
- Earl Grey
- Galette Bretonne
- Sugar coated fingers
- Almond or pistachio buttons
- Strawberry mini madeleines
- Matcha mini madeleines
For the cookies, the common ingredients of the dough was mixed first and divided out. Flour and flavours (earl grey and cocoa powder) was then added to the respective portions to create different cookies. It’s worth learning because it’s a practical choice where you can get many cookies in a short period of time. Ingredients are common and versatile to have in your pantry. The cookies did taste good, although not the best in the world of course, but good enough to be better than average!
I do have an important tip for those who are intending to take this class though! Do not store the madeleines and cookies in the same box. The result of doing so is that there will be moisture transfer – the moisture from madeleines will move to the cookies and the madeleines will dry out while the cookies will turn soft within hours of storing them together. Regrettably my cookies placed in the box with madeleines turned non-crispy by the time I discovered this mistake, and the madeleines turned rock hard (like it can chip off). In fact, the texture of both were around the same by the 3rd day – soft cookies and hard madeleines have around the same kinda texture. Those extra pieces (we made way more than this box can fit!) that were stored in separate plastic wrappers did retain it’s original texture though! Just take out the madeleines after you’re done with a photo and store them separately from your cookies and all is good.
Hungry Bird rating: 4.5/5
May Bread Basic – Tomato Twist
I liked how this dough was different with tomato paste kneaded into it, making it a pale apricot colour. Flavour wise, the sundried tomatoes added in it was really fragrant when I was doing the bread but not very detectable when I ate it.
The value lies in learning the shaping I suppose. The taste wasn’t as fantastic as my other savoury bread lessons and I probably wouldn’t choose to attend this lesson if I could choose again.
Hungry Bird rating: 3/5
May Bread Basic – English Muffin
Did you know that you should use a fork to split open an English Muffin?
That’s how English Muffins gets their signature nooks and crannies surface! Just think about how the muffin in your McDs big breakfast look like. I only found out just 2 days prior when searching about how to cut English Muffins. I thought I needed a special knife but alas no knife is needed at all!
Prior to this I even thought that muffins gets the nooks and crannies surface naturally – I didn’t realise that 2 pieces of English Muffins was actually one piece split open. I thought it formed the rough surface naturally while baking, just like Crumpets which have their rough holey surface formed when cooking! I even thought that maybe stove top cooking will lead to that effect for English Muffins while oven baked ones at ABC gives thicker muffins since the picture from ABC looks so thick. Now I know all muffins are this thickness by default and you’re supposed to use one muffin split into two!
You can toast it in an oven and it will be nice and crispy (the nooks and crannies give it more surface area to crisp up), but to look even better you can toast it on a frying pan, rough side down, for it to brown. To serve, just place a thin slab of butter on it to let it melt in with the remaining heat and it’s good. Just like this it is delicious!
If you’re feeling fancy, you can try making Eggs Benedict! This was actually the dish which first came to my mind when deciding to attend the English Muffin lesson, and I decided to just try despite never successfully poaching an egg before! I was also intimidated by the thought of making Hollandaise but I think I did ok for a first attempt!
The method at ABC is a Japanese take on English Muffin and it’s a lot softer and fluffier than usual, and it is baked in an oven rather than stove (or teppanyaki surface) cooked. Yes English Muffins are usually baked on stove tops, but this oven baked version works too. I definitely will make this again at home especially since I’ve got English Muffin rings already which I bought.
So anyway, I think this English Muffin is a bread recipe worth learning because it’s really different from the other breads offered at ABC. Some other lessons are basically normal bread with different ingredients added in but this English Muffin is a category on its own and is actually functional for other dishes you could make at home. It is a good practical choice!
Hungry Bird rating: 5/5
May Bread Basic – Lemon Tea Custard
This was one of the first breads of the bread basic course that enticed me to take up bread lessons, but I’ve heard extreme mixed reviews from various people. One camp claims it’s way too sweet and sickening to eat, while the other just says it’s “nice”. I decided to try anyway, because I think I do have a high threshold of eating sweet stuff. I can eat macarons non-stop without complaining about the sweetness so that’s where I stand. I also like savoury food so I think my judgement should be quite objective.
This bread has established itself to be a sweet bread, so to expect this bread to not be not so sweet is not a fair judgement. I shall judge it based on it being a sweet bread. For those who dislikes sweet stuff in the first place, of course they will not like this bread, but that is not to say this bread is bad as a sweet bread.
It has a earl grey bread dough filled with lemon scented custard and the whole bread is topped with a macaronage creme. Very sweet indeed.
So for this bread, I first tried a piece at room temperature. The lemon extract did stick out like lemon essential oil and wasn’t very natural but surprisingly it was still acceptable. The smell of the lemon extract was more like essential oil than food when I was making the custard so I was a little worried.
It occurred to me that the bergamot in Earl Grey isn’t from the juice either but it’s from extract including flavours from the peel and everything. So in a way, the lemon flavour from the custard did match with the Earl Grey bread! As for the bread itself, it reminds me of one of the earl grey bread at Asanoya which I love! It’s a bit denser (it has more eggs and less water in the dough) compared to other breads at ABC.
I tried my second piece warmed up but I think the difference is negligible. It isn’t much better than room temperature so this is a bread that can be eaten at room temperature without doing it injustice!
For this bread there was a sweet topping of egg whites, sugar and ground almonds, something like macaronage. It was sweet (as if the bread and custard isn’t sweet enough) but I appreciated how it have some variation in texture.
Overall it is definitely a sweet bread and if your sweetness threshold isn’t high or you know you don’t really like to sweet things, then this is not for you.
But in terms of what this bread is supposed to be, I think it delivered good quality! This actually turned out to be one of my favourite breads learnt!
On the other hand, I can totally get why some people will hate this bread because unlike plain breads which sits in the middle and is acceptable by all sorts of people, this one skews to the extreme end of sweet and only people who love sweet stuff (or people who likes a wide variety of flavours) will find the sweetness reasonable.
Hungry Bird rating: 4.5/5
May Bread Basic – Strawberry Cranberry Bread
This is a bread with dried cranberries and dried strawberries in the dough, with a fine sugar coating which is scored to created a design. I am personally not a fan of dried fruits (or fruits) and typically when I buy bread I will not consider such breads. If I wanted sweet bread I would choose something sweet from dairy like chocolate, custard etc, never fruits. However being someone who likes to do things randomly I would buy such breads occasionally just for novelty, just to try. But it’ll never be my favourite.
The bread dough itself is very soft (when still fresh) and I went with full portion of the sugar coating and I liked how it became a crispy layer on top giving it some textural difference. I can imagine it being a sticky mess when the sugar dissolves in the humidity, but judging when it is still in tact, the sugar coating is nice.
Overall it is quite a nice bread and if you’re a fan of cranberry bread or raisin etc this is for you. For me the value of this lesson was learning how to do the scoring of the bread. The scoring was really hard. It’s my first time and I need more practice or perhaps a sharper knife! This should not be rated a 1 star difficulty bread!
Hungry Bird rating: 3/5
May Bread Basic – Melty Raisin
You can’t tell here but there are a lot of dried blueberries and currants in there! And there are no raisins, despite the name. This dough was tricky to handle because the little morsels of dried fruits kept coming out. I also didn’t dare to be too heavy handed or else fruits may smash and stain my dough.
Dough side, the cookie topping was another challenge. Getting the cookie to not break when placing it on the bread was tough. Basically we made a cookie dough and shaped it into a rectangle before slicing up into little strips. However when rolling out the dough, there were rough edges right. I pushed it in to form a nicely straight edged rectangle. but that also means that the edges are thicker (because I pushed the excess in) than the center part of the cookie dough. As a result, each strip is thinner in center and thicker at the 2 far edges. So some pieces snapped when placing it on my bread. because the center was thin and the sides were heavy weighing it down on both ends. I frantically tried to patch each piece back, freeze to shape again before placing it on my bread.
This recipe is definitely worth 3 stars in effort and difficulty! But I would say, this bread tastes pretty good! I’m not a fan of dried fruits or fruits as mentioned above but I do like this bread a lot. I find the dough to be softer than the Strawberry Cranberry bread – that one was like sponge soft but this one is pillow-y fluffy kinda soft! It’s the kind of fluffy whereby it comes out like cotton when you pull it apart.
Both recipes have similar ingredients except that Melty Raisin has a combination of cake flour + bread flour and egg yolk only while Strawberry Cranberry has entirely bread flour and with half a beaten whole egg. I liked how fluffy it turned out, and the contrast in texture from the sugar coating + biscuit topping! It’s really nice when eaten all together.
I find it even fluffier than the Chocolate Marble Bread recipe. That one has similar ingredients too with bread flour + cake flour mix too but with half a beaten whole egg.
Comparing fluffiness index I would rate in descending order of fluffiness:
Melty Raisin > Chocolate Marble > Strawberry Cranberry Bread
Hungry Bird rating: 4/5
May Bread Basic – Bacon Roll
I was on the fence about learning this bread but decide to go ahead anyway. True to what I assumed about this bread, it is as good as every bacon bread gets. You just cannot go wrong with bacon. However, it didn’t really taste extra special or exceed expectations. I do like how soft the bread dough was, without being too airy! It stays in shape pretty well. There is Parmesan cheese kneaded into the dough which makes it unique. Despite being a 3 star recipe, I find it quite easy to do and the shaping isn’t difficult either, to make the bread look nice. I guess everyone’s basically look similar because this is baked in mini loaf tins, creating the shape for the bread.
Hungry Bird rating: 3/5
June Bread Basic – Sausage Brunch Braid
This is a braided bread with sausage, cabbage and mustard. The cabbage and mustard was like a pseudo Sauerkraut which makes this bread kind of German inspired I guess?
The taste of this bread isn’t one which gives me a “this is the best bread ever!!” moment. The sausage tastes as good as good sausage can get but the cabbage didn’t quite add value to the bread. The filling of cabbage and mustard was like a pseudo sauerkraut but it’s not fermented so it lacks that complex flavour. Compared to the Camembert Sausage, which I personally feel is the best bread ever based on the taste, this one pales in comparison.
The bread itself was nice like a typical Japanese soft sweet bread and I do like it on its own, but almost every other bread recipe is just as good (except strawberry almond cream).
Shaping this bread requires nimble fingers and patience! The dough was very soft and each braid was done with a tiny piece of dough. The value in this lesson is more about learning how to make a beautiful braided bread. From the beginning I never intended to take this lesson but I changed my mind because it looked beautiful! And indeed it was pretty (when done properly). If I could choose again I probably would give this bread a miss only because there are better recipes to learn,
Hungry Bird rating: 3/5
June Bread Basic – Marron Crown
This bread uses kibisato (Japanese cane sugar) instead of normal Japanese white sugar. kibisato is actually quite popular in Japan and some people use it in place of white sugar in their normal cooking. The flavour from the kibisato wasn’t very obvious but I’m sure it did make a difference.
The colour of this bread was also a little more brown than others. Shaping this bread is the most challenging part and mine is far from good but aesthetics aside, I really liked how this bread turned out! The texture was very soft and fluffy and I love the marrons glaces. If you like how Mont Blanc cake tastes like, you’ll like the taste of marrons glaces. It may be sweet to eat on it’s own, but scattered all throughout this bread, the sweetness overall was just right. I like this kind of sweet bread a lot more than the dried fruits kind of sweet bread, personally. This is only second to Maple Butter Swiss Zopf to me under the sweet bread category, and is something I would purchase if I see it on the shelves at bakeries!
Hungry Bird rating: 5/5
May Japanese Home Cooking – Flavourful Teriyaki Bento
This lesson was a hot favourite because teriyaki chicken is always delicious and it would be a practical choice to cook at home!
For this lesson we learn how to make:
- teriyaki chicken thigh
- chicken soboro
- bean salad
- black sesame dessert
I personally liked everything (the bean salad was alright, skippable but acceptable) in this meal. It is definitely something that I would make at home again!
Hungry Bird rating: 4.5/5
May Best Selection Cooking – Sushi Gozen
This is the cooking lesson that was highly popular for the month of May. I was glad to get a slot with my preferred instructor! Check out my beautiful Hinoki wood sushi board from Japan. I bought it just for this sushi class from Tokyu Hands Japan online store.
For this lesson we’ll learn:
- 5 types of Temari Sushi
- Mitsuba clear soup
- Sakura Madeleine
手まり寿司 Temari literally means “hand ball” and compared to Nigiri sushi, this is much easier to shape as we used cling wrap to shape it round, and to compress on the toppings. And it still looks pretty!
This shape of sushi is usually served to girls and is often eaten on happy occasions like Hinamatsuri (girl’s day) in March. The size of Temari sushi is usually smaller than standard Nigiri so it’s easier for girls to eat – sushi is always meant to be eaten whole, in one mouth.
There are many variety of Temari sushi but today we have:
- tri colours of maguro, sake and kanpachi
- hamachi with kombu (using kelp tea powder)
- pickled beetroot
- soboro egg
- teriyaki chicken
Now I know what I can do with those sachets of kelp tea powder I have at home, taken from various hotels in Japan from my various trips. it has a very nice umami note!
The side dish for this lesson is kakiage with shrimp, served with rock salt. I actually love kakiage, especially with Udon. I’m sure most kakiage sold in Singapore is not of good standard but the fresh and well fried ones I’ve ever had (like in Udon House, Kagawa) was so good, I didn’t need other fancy ingredients to go with my plain handmade Udon.
Initially I thought that learning this recipe would be an impractical one but it turns out these little termari sushi are actually quite easy to make at home! I might make this again, especially since I bought the Hinoki sushi serving board.
We also had a side soup which was made with bottled white dashi so we basically poured the ready made dashi into a bowl with Mitsuba and colourful wheat gluten balls.
For dessert we have a madeleine with a pickled sakura flower placed on top. The madeleine tasted more like generic sponge cake but with a slightly crispy surface. The sakura 🌸 was only decorative – it was just vanilla flavoured inside.
Overall I felt this recipe was worth the hype. It was definitely something new to learn and is also doable at home, surprisingly! The taste was also delicious, but of course don’t go compare it to a Edomae sushi-ya because it’s not that kind of sushi. It’s better than your generic supermarket sushi for sure!
Hungry Bird rating: 4.5/5
May World Cooking – Turkish Delight
I’ve actually never tried Turkish food before and I don’t assume ABC’s Japanese influence is the real deal but should be alright for a first time. I’m sure it will not shock my palate. For this recipe we would be making Dolma rolls (cabbage wrapped over minced chicken and mushroom), avocado tartar sauce dip and a simple tarte tatin inspired dessert.
The prep includes finely mincing mushroom and onion, to cook into a mushroom paste. The chopping was done with knife but a food chopper would be a better idea at home. The mushroom paste is then divided, part to be mixed with minced chicken to form the filling inside the cabbage rolls, and the other part used to make a white mushroom sauce that will be cooked outside the cabbage rolls. Truffle oil was added to the mushroom sauce to give it more aroma. The cabbage rolls and sauce was then transferred to baking casseroles to bake with cheese.
I was told the truffle mushroom sauce could be used for chicken chop as well so at least the sauce is something versatile to learn!
I’ve actually never eaten Dolma rolls before so I don’t know how this fares compared to the real Turkish version, thus I can’t give a useful objective judgement here.
The tarte tatin on the other hand turned out to be my favourite, unexpectedly! I’m not a fruit person so I’m surprised I liked this. The apple slices were cooked in butter until a little caramelized and then stewed in red wine. It was so fragrant. But no doubt this was done as a simple dessert and there are more comprehensive methods of making the tart base. They used crushed digestive biscuits here as a cheat. This only makes me want to try the real deal soon!
Overall this cooking lesson was nice to learn but not a must learn.
The practicality value is on the lower side (for regular Singaporeans) because such a meal would be an occasion meal, not a staple or weekly meal.
Hungry Bird rating: 3/5
June Japanese Home Cooking – Handmade Udon and Variation of Dashi
I was always only neutral towards udon, never choosing it if it was on the menu but wouldn’t mind eating if it was in front of me – until I got the chance to visit Kagawa Prefecture last year and had the taste of Sanuki Udon. I was sold. We did have a Udon making class in Kagawa and my handmade (footmade rather) Udon did taste good!
I miss that taste so I decided to take the Udon lesson at ABC. It was another highly popular class and was so hard to book a slot!
The udon texture is no where near Sanuki Udon I made in Kagawa, expectedly. Back then we stepped on the udon to mix it well without over working the dough. This one was just hand pressed so it’s literally handmade! The rolling out method was somewhat different too. In Udon House Kagawa they also used a traditional noodle chopping machine to slice the noodles but here we did it hand sliced using a knife, hence the uneven broadness. My Udon was kinda too big and could’ve been better. I’d say the Udon won’t be the best tasting overall but it’s worth the novelty!
Other than just udon, we also made a dashi dipping broth, dashimaki tamago and warabi-mochi.
I have a tamagoyaki pan at home since 2017 and have been making my own tamagoyaki. Dashimaki tamago is the variant with dashi stock in the beaten eggs, and is slightly trickier to fry compared to just eggs alone because it’s softer. At home I use instant dashi, which is perfectly fine, but at ABC they boil the dashi from kombu (kelp) and katsuoboshi (bonito flakes). This version has spring onions inside too which adds to the challenge of rolling the egg up. It’s served with grated radish.
Most of the cooking effort was in the dipping broth which actually has leek, chicken thigh, shiitake mushroom and mitsuba added into a dashi broth we made from scratch. It’s not exactly meant for drinking because it’s very salty on it’s own, but the ingredients soak up the flavour and everything inside this bowl is so tasty! We pan fried chicken thigh with the green part of leek (and then discarding it) and then separately pan fried the white part of leek before adding it into the broth and the chicken is so tasty. Not a hint of chicken odour at all. I seldom get satisfied with chicken dishes but this one is really good.
On the side we also have 3 additional condiments to add into the broth – yuzusho (yuzu flavoured sansho sauce), chopped leek and more mitsuba. I hate the taste parsley but mitsuba has a different taste, despite being called Japanese parsley!
Warabi-mochi in this lesson was made using warabimochi-ko.
Authentic warabi-mochi is made with warabi-ko – pure bracken starch, which is very expensive. Nowadays in Japan they don’t really use that anymore. I’ve had authentic warabi-mochi once in Tokyo and it was very expensive indeed but so good.
Modern warabi-mochi is made with a blend of other starches and some brands mixes in a little bit of bracken starch whole some don’t. They called this mixture warabimochi-ko which will make a wagashi that is 80% like the real deal, but also 80% cheaper (estimate figure, by the way).
Not all warabimochi-ko is made equal, however. I did buy warabimochi-ko before and the brands I tried did not include any bracken starch at all. This one we made today has 5% bracken starch and is sold at ABC’s retail section. I find that today’s warabi-mochi is softer and has better texture than the other brands I’ve tried! The colour is less grey-ish too.
Overall this would be one of my favourite cooking classes so far and I’m starting to see a trend here – the classes under Japanese Home Cooking course seems to be better! So far I loved all those which I’ve attended under this course.
Hungry Bird rating: 5/5
May Wagashi – Mizuyokan & Wakaayu
This wagashi class represents early Summer and I chose to do this lesson in May instead of November! I like to match my wagashi with the right season.
Mizuyokan 水羊羮 is red bean paste with agar in it to be a solid jelly like thing which stays solid at room temperature but can be eaten chilled. I’ve actually made this before at home. There is another type of yokan called neriyokan which has less water, but mizuyokan is lighter and more refreshing, typically eaten in summer.
Wakaayu 若あゆ refers to 若い (young) ayu fish. The season for ayu is in summer. Gifu prefecture is particularly known for ayu fish and they even have a traditional eat to catch it using a bird. I was there during the end of summer in Gifu prefecture and went to watch the fishing process as it is now a tourist attraction to experience. Towards the end of summer, the ayu has grown pretty big.
But during another trip in May which is end of spring – early summer, I had ayu served at Kichisen, a kaiseki restaurant in Kyoto and during that period the ayu was very young and small, like the size of canned sardines! So wakaayu refers to the ayu in early summer, when it is still small and this wagashi is modeled to look like the young ayu fish. This wagashi is quite famous in Gifu especially with gyuhi and white bean paste wrapped inside and is served in the middle of the year from mid spring to the end of summer. Traditionally features of the ayu is drawn on using a hot iron stamp, but here we used coffee paste as ink.
The yokan is very sweet because it’s essentially all red bean paste. These cute bamboo yokan containers are reusable and it was ours to bring home. I felt it was alright but perhaps a mizuyokan with red bean paste cooked from actual beans would have been smoother and better.
The Wakaayu tastes like dorayaki pancake and I like it! It is a uniquely Japanese recipe with honey and mirin inside. The fillings of this wakaayu was gyuhi and white bean paste, like how it commonly served in Gifu Prefecture.
Hungry Bird rating: 4/5
June Wagashi – Maccha Roll
This wagashi lesson is quite popular because it is matcha and many people love matcha, but this is not a usual swiss roll. The cake sponge actually uses white bean paste in it and the recipe is simply not your typical chiffon sponge cake. I can’t really tell what difference the white bean paste makes to the cake sponge honestly. But it was interesting to learn that such recipes exists. I’d say the cake batter was one of a kind.
The filling was entirely white bean paste – no cream or butter involved, so it’s definitely not anything like a usual western roll cake. They also added in yuzu to the cake by using yuzu syrup to brush the sponge and adding a little bit of yuzu jam into the matcha white bean paste filling. I can accept yuzu flavour on it’s own but inside a matcha cake, I think the yuzu flavour steals the focus and I can’t taste much matcha overall.
Like you know how red bean and matcha is a perfect match? I think yuzu and matcha isn’t. The tartness of yuzu doesn’t compliment the bitter matcha very well. It doesn’t bring out the flavour of matcha to say the least. And it’s not to say I don’t like yuzu. I definitely do like yuzu, but not in this application. Especially when I bit into pieces of the yuzu peel, I find that it didn’t do the matcha justice. I eventually picked away all pieces of yuzu while eating and it was much better.
Unique flavour combination aside, it’s also the first time I had white bean paste as a filling for a roll cake and it is something new to me. I won’t say I love it because cream filling is definitely better for me, any day, but it’s still something I can accept. It just didn’t impress me as much as the other wagashi I did, honestly. And the odd flavour combination knocked off some points overall for sure.
Hungry Bird rating: 3.5/5
May Seasonal Trial – You Fraise Me Up
I know this tart looks pretty but this lesson was underwhelming because there was nothing much to learn. The tart base was just crushed digestive biscuits, like in the Peach Blossom Tart lesson from last year (which I really disliked) and the filling here was made with instant custard powder. I would prefer if we could at least used microwaved real custard. The only thing good is the huge and sweet strawberries used on the tart! I did this lesson 3 times and one of the instructors was more stingy with the strawberries, which kind of ruined the only good point of this lesson for that class. Overall it is not one of the must learn lessons and if you’ve missed out in it, you’re not missing out on anything.
Hungry Bird rating: 1/5
June Seasonal Trial – Burger for the Soul
It’s been a whole year since they offered a cooking Seasonal trial lesson and this time it was quite a well planned out recipe because we got to learn how to make the burger bun! It was somewhat between a bread and cooking class, except that the bread was made in an express manner with only 1 time fermentation. For bread trial lessons they will usually do the usual 2 times fermentation like in regular bread lessons. Even so, the burger bun was still really nice, and it was soft and fluffy inside! I’ve always been curious about how burger buns are made and this was a nice first experience.
The patty on the other hand was more disappointing because the recipe uses a blend of beef and pork. The pork does have a taste (which can be unpleasant to some) and it also requires full cooking, which means the patty has to be cooked well done and it becomes harder and drier than I’d like. If I were to cook this at home I would use full beef for sure! The burger bun makes up for it and overall the trial class was worth going for just because of the bun. It was a buttery bun, like a brioche bun, and not a dry tasteless bun!
Hungry Bird rating: 4/5
June Seasonal Trial – Battle of the Tomatoes
This was the seasonal trial for June at Westgate studio and in this lesson we were to made a tomato sauce which would be used as the base in a tomato cream prawn spaghetti and also for margherita pizza. We also got to learn how to make a simple pizza bread base. Everything from this meal was tasty and I liked the pizza more if I had to choose, but I enjoyed the pasta reasonably well too. For trial lesson standard, this has good value!
Hungry Bird rating: 4.5/5
June Cake Basic (Malaysia) – Florentine
I used my ABC Passport for a lesson at ABC Cooking Malaysia. The booking method is the same as ABC Thailand, which was good because I could book and cancel as I wish. I chose to do the class in Pavilion Elite studio, because The Gardens (Mid Valley) studio was more inconvenient on my one day trip. For more details about the ABC Passport do check out all my previous ABC Cooking posts as I’ve talked about it before.
I like how bright the studio in Pavilion is with neutral lighting, making it perfect for taking photos! The studio in Singapore has yellow tinged lighting due to the choice of lights and the overall colour of the studio.
The photobooth corner is also has really good lighting and background!
The cake basic course in Malaysia used to be exactly the same as Singapore’s but from June 2019 onward they have renewed the menu and now there are several items which are different, which was great because I can learn something new with my Passport class! The different items were actually offered in ABC Singapore during the first generation of Cake Basic back in 2015 – 2017. When Malaysia’s studio opened a couple of years after ABC Singapore, they started using the Cake Basic menu which tallies with our second generation of Cake Basic.
When I joined ABC Singapore in Sept 2017, they were already using the second generation menu, hence I did not get to do classes from the first generation. It’s good that I can still attend these classes in overseas studios!
I chose to do the Florentine because it is easy to bring home with me, compared to mousse or cream cakes. This recipe used to be offered in ABC Singapore before I even joined! The Florentine was similar to the lesson I did in Taiwan last year, but instead of a Pâte Brisée base, this one uses Pâte Sucrée, a sweet shortcrust pastry. It is similar to the tart base of Tarte Aux Pommes or the Tartlettes Au Chocolat I did in Bangkok in March, except that there’s no cocoa powder.
I really liked the Pâte Brisée based Florentine I did in Taiwan but this version was also good in it’s own way! The tart base was more tart-cookie like, crumbly and rich. I could easily finish eating everything by myself because it’s so good. The Florentine layer had the same recipe except that they did not add any dried cranberries to this one.
We also made it in 2 flavours – vanilla and coffee. We only did the whole process one time, splitting the dough into 2 portions and adding coffee to the coffee portion. The same was done for the florentine layer which was also coffee flavoured. I liked both equally much and it’s good to have a variety!
This was overall easier than the Pâte Brisée based Florentine because the softer base of Pâte Sucrée made it possible to bake a large sheet and cut it up with clean edges, whereas Pâte Brisée base would be too hard to do that.
Hungry Bird rating: 5/5
Home Baking/ Cooking
I’ve did this scones recipe a few times at home before but only for the Chocolate Cranberry Scone. I happened to have cheese in my fridge so I thought I’d make the savoury scones as well! I followed the full recipe, not changing a thing and they turned out great. The mozzarella cheese somehow turned orange inside the scone after baking, looking exactly like the recipe’s picture! And they tasted great. This is definitely one of my favourite recipes from the 2017 – 2019 Bread Basic Course!
Milk Butter Bread
I’ve made this bread a few times after learning it but I never tried making it in it’s original shape before. It isn’t as easy to shape as it looks, and mine is not perfect but I believe it’ll get better with practice! I need to practice rolling the bread nicely because I want to take Croissant Master Class in August, and I sure hope I don’t mess that up!
Teriyaki Chicken Bento
I tried cooking the entire meal from the lesson from all sides to dessert and it was doable within 2 hours! I singlehandedly cooked for 4 pax. It turned out pretty much like what I ate at the studio so I’d say this recipe is easily replicated at home!
Ethnic Thai Meal
The Ethnic Thai Meal recipe comes with a fried Vietnamese spring roll (which was very nice) but I left that out for this meal. I cooked the Pad Gaprao and Tom Kha Gai and I’d say I liked the Pad Gaprao. It tastes pretty much like how it did when I cooked at the studio. I would probably make just this next time!
I made these at home just 3 days after learning it at ABC Cooking Malaysia, using my Passport! I happened to have all the ingredients so I thought it was a good idea, especially since I’ve finished eating all those I made at the studio. The preparation was actually really simple but this required waiting for for baking or cooling down.
I made both coffee and vanilla flavoured ones, just like the recipe, but I added cranberries to the vanilla one because I was short of some almond slices. The other Florentine recipe I did in ABC Taiwan mixes cranberries into their vanilla florentine anyway, so I knew this combination would pair well.
ABC Cooking Trial Classes – July
ABC Singapore’s 3rd Studio at the brand new Funan Mall will be opening it’s doors on 28th June! From 29th June on wards, they will be conducting trial lessons only, while regular lessons commences on 1st August. The exciting part is they will be offering 3 brand new trial lessons as their regular trial lesson line-up! Cake – Japanese Cheesecake Bread – Ham & Cheese and Mocha Swirl Cooking – Nikujaga (Japanese pork stew) As for Takashimaya and Westgate studios, they will be offering this Tofu Chewy Bun in July! This looks even better than the bread trial offered at Funan if you ask me. All of these are available to any first timers to ABC Cooking only, and is priced at $28 via member’s referral!
ABC Cooking Trial Classes – August
At Funan Studio only, they are offering a Royal Roulade, an Earl Grey swiss roll cake! This is quite a premium cake trial class compared to most other cake trials offered as the product will be baked from scratch.
At Westgate and Takashimaya, they are offering a local special trial class – Hainanese Chicken Rice!
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 email@example.com or IG DM me @hungrybird.sg
Funan Opening Special Promotion
As of 28th June 2019, the 3rd studio of ABC Cooking in Singapore has opened it’s doors!
There is a pretty good promotion ongoing for the whole month of July! For new sign ups, the membership fee is $70 instead of $140. Usually this $70 rate only applies if you sign up on the same day as your trial, but now it is valid for the whole month. All these promotions are valid to purchase at all studios. The membership is valid for lifetime, internationally and being a member has a lot of perks. You can find out more reading through all my posts!
As for the promotions, it is really good this month. For example, if you buy a >$1000 course such as 6 Cake + 8 Bread for $1003, or the 6 Cake + 8 Bread + 6 Cooking for $1500, you’ll be entitled to 1 Free Lesson Ticket, 1 Free Starter Kit (3 – 4 retail items per kit, only at Funan, or 1 retail item at Taka or Westgate), 3 months validity extension and a $100 rebate voucher valid on your next course purchase.
The rebate voucher however is valid only till the 31st July. But what if I tell you that you can redeem it up front, against your course package? You’re in luck because I happen to have extras of this $100 vouchers which is transferable and can be applied to all course purchases above $1000! I can give you the voucher for your course purchase – just drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or IG DM me @hungrybird.sg! So if any one is keen to sign up for ABC, now is the best time. You’ll save $100 + $70 off the membership fee AND get a bunch of freebies.
If you’ve never been to ABC before but you’re quite keen on this, you can always join me for a trial class at $28 and then consider whether you want to take up the course with the discount and freebies!
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
3 Gateway Drive, #03-01
107 North Bridge Road, #02-29