Tuesday, July 18, 2017

WSQ Certificate in Pastry and Bakery - Practical #1

I have recently started my part-time courses WSQ Certificate in Pastry and Bakery and had my first practical class - chocolate sponge cake with chocolate ganache.

In Shatec, students work in professional kitchens, and fortunately for the bakers, we get air-conditioned kitchens.

Kitchen work is never glamourous though. We are always on our feet and constantly shuffling around to make sure the ingredients are collected, the cakes are in the oven, the ganache is cooling and that our cake pans, spatulas, etc. are washed and clean.

Students are also required to have a basic set of baking tools which includes a heat-resistant spatula, pastry brush, angled spatula, apron, pairing knife, and dough cutter.

Unofficially, we are told to bring our own sieve, measuring boxes, table cloths, and any other equipment as told by your Chef.

The easiest thing to do is to throw everything into a giant bag and lug with you every class, lest you forget anything.

Today's recipe consist of two parts:
  • Sponge cake: Eggs, sugar, flour, cocoa powder and butter
  • Chocolate ganache: 58% chocolate and whipping cream
It's a basic combination but as they say, the easiest stuff are the easiest to screw up. If your sponge is hard, it's hard - no other way to hide that.

The key is not to over-fold, but don't under-fold either. It's really hard to describe, but with practice, it's a lot easier to identify the stage where it is just perfect.

I can't share any pictures due to rules of the school but you can check out the completed product on my instagram page, @themoodkitchen.

Till next class, Strawberry Vanilla Swiss Roll!

Monday, July 3, 2017

Taking the leap of faith

It's been a really long time since my last post; almost 2 years?!! Time really flies.

For a couple of years, I have been struggling with my own perception of baking. Is this my hobby? Is there more? Can there be more? Am I willing to do more?

It took me some time to reach a decision I am comfortable with, at least at this point in my life.

I want to professionalise my baking and hope to sell my goods on a small scale to begin with.

It's a tough game really; barrier of entry is low, and any social media darling will do this really well.
I ain't no top instagram-er and I don't know how to make my photo-shoots magazine worthy.

All I know is that I bake with love and dedication. And I prioritize taste and flavour over all else.

That doesn't mean you are going to get ugly bakes. It just means that you get the basic cakes done well and good.

And that's not saying you aren't going to get your speculoos-mint-lavender-chilli-matcha-etc-etc. It just means that you will get solid strong cakes with even just the classic vanilla and chocolate.

Sometimes, I wish we can just tear away the frills and embrace strong naked flavours as they are. The classics are just as boring as they are endearing.

In view of my goals, I have recently embarked on a WSQ Certificate in Pastry and Bakery with Shatec, one of the top bakery and culinary schools in Singapore. Over the next weeks, I'll try to share as much as I can on the course so that you too, can consider taking this if you ever wish to take the next step in baking.

By the way, this is not a sponsored or paid post. As I have said, I had the same doubts and simply hope that my sharing can help anyone in a similar predicament.

To be, or not to be. To do, or not to do. 

Let your mind and heart guide you and remember, there are no mistakes, only learnings to be made.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

5 desserts you can make with puff pastry


If my explosive declaration above has not caught your eye, at least, I trust that the title of this post did.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Banana Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Sometimes, the itch to bake comes suddenly and the battle between the mind and body begins. My psychically tired and lazy body refuses to do move but my mind is working overtime with the numerous recipes I want to try.

This recipe was born out of my mind-body conflict. All you need is a big bowl and a sturdy spoon/spatula/whisk. Mix, bake, and wash – all completed in an hour flat. Out of sheer laziness, I used Skippy chocolate peanut butter but you can always use a combination of peanut butter and cocoa powder or melted chocolate. If you like, throw in a dash of chocolate chips for some bite.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Brownie Cream Cheese Butter Cake Recipe

Can't decide whether you want a brownie, butter cake or cheese cake? Try this Brownie cream cheese butter cake. A mouthful isn't it but this combination is surprisingly good.

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