Monday, February 28, 2011

Been Flat Out!

Dear all,

Sorry for the lack of updates. I am so busy with school and work. Promise will update and will reply to all your messages soon okay.


p/s: you can also keep tabs on me me via twitter: passionatemae or "Like" me on facebook - passionatemae

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Pastry School : Lesson 2 (Knife Skills, Sneak Peek & Hygiene)

The second week of class was more exciting than the first because we got to see how puff pastry is made from scratch! Yeps! Our pastry teacher said that because it is a pastry course, he wants to give us a sneak peek of it.

Before I tell you about puff pastry, I want to tell you about other stuff first.

First and foremost, I forgot to bring my camera yet again! So, I apologise for the lack of photos. I hope I'll remember to bring it to the next class. Or hopefully, when I practice at home, I'll snap some photos for you to see, and update this post.

So, we were told to practice our knife skills from the previous lesson. More... "Brunoise, Macedoine, Paysanne, Julienne and Jardiniere". Also, learning the right way to turn vegetables. It looks like a bullet with 2 sharp ends. It isn't easy for me, I'm pretty afraid that I'll cut my finger. So I definitely need more practice.

Next up was tomatoes. Blanching; tomatoes in simmering water to remove the skin easy. Some chopped onions and skinless tomatoes were sautéed in a pan. Our pastry teacher used it as a topping for the pizza.

And now, the part you've been waiting for...Puff Pastry. Our pastry teacher showed us how it was made. It looks simple. Everyone was so excited because we got to learn something pastry. He told us that it was important o roll and fold the puff pastry dough the right way and we shouldn't do more than 6 folds. The best past was he was making us Puff Pastry Pizza style. YUM! We got to have a slice each. It was really yummy! All of us couldn't wait to make it ourselves.

We learnt about Hygiene - The risk and importance of it.
Our teacher also told us that we should check out this FoodAuthority website, where we're able to find a "Name & Shame" list of food outlets in NSW. Below are the different types of list.

I lost my appetite after reading the list and their offenses. All you have to do to read about their offense is to mouse over the "Penalty notice no."

My dear reader, "Did your favourite eatery appear in the Name & Shame list?" I hope not.

Hope you enjoyed today's lesson! :)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Pastry School: Lesson 1 (Induction)

First day of class was good. So much to absorb and so much to learn. We have 2 components, 6 hours - practical and 2 hours - theory.

Our pastry teacher told us what we are expected to do and learn throughout the course. We will also be examined at the end of our semester.

So, we learnt knife skills on the first day. We were told that it was important for us to learn the basics including knife skills. My first thought was "this feels like a cookery class instead of a pastry class."
It started by our pastry teacher showing us a few times how it is done before we were to do some of our own.

We got to learn some French terms for different types of vegetable cuts....

We had a different teacher for the theory class and it was taught in a classroom instead of in the kitchen.
First class was all about introduction and we were given a subject outline and all. Before our teacher became a teacher, he was actually working in a kitchen in different countries as a Chef too. "How cool is that, he travels around, and works in different kitchens."

It was pretty much just introducing ourselves to the class as well as to share with them how we got here. There are some great experienced people in the group, some were already working in the industry, some owns a restaurant business, some did cookery course before and wanted to learn the pastry, some wanted to do it for self-knowledge and some moved from a different career path.

Then we had to do a survey at the end of the class. We were told that this is to ensure that we can read, write and understand what was going on in class.

Anyway, that pretty much sums up the first day of class. It was tiring but FUN!

I hope the first day wasn't too boring for you.  :)

Friday, February 11, 2011

How to make creamy ice-cream?

Do you ever wonder how to make those delicious rich creamy ice-cream at home?

 adapted from Flickr - Patricia Scarpin
Here's how based on this article I read the other day "Adriano Zumbo and Peter Gilmore ice-cream challenge" in Gourmet Traveller.
adapted from Gourmet Traveller

Personally I've not tried it myself but we're talking about Peter Gilmore here.
  "If you’ve got a slow churn at home you can’t make a pure milk-based ice-cream because it’ll become very icy. At home you’ll normally need at least half cream to the milk, and if you make it more like three-quarters cream you’ll end up with a creamier product in a slow churn. If you use even 50 or 60 per cent cream in these fast professional churns it goes to butter."
 - quoted Gilmore

Happy Churning!
Enjoy! :)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Sago Gula Melaka Pudding

Remember the Honeydew Sago Dessert (Sai Mai Lo) I made, I portioned out some sago to make another dessert, which pretty much uses almost the same ingredients.

Sago Gula Melaka

This is also another great dessert to have, but it should be enjoyed in small quantity because the sago can get pretty filling.

Let's start making some shall we...

Serves 3
All you need are:
1/4 cup of sago (Tapioca Pearls)
1/2 cup of Santan (Coconut Cream)
1/2 cup of gula melaka (Palm Sugar)

All you need to do:
1) Boil sago till it is translucent about 15 minutes. Rinse thoroughly with cold water and put in a mould if you like. Let it sit and cool in the fridge.
2) Melt your gula melaka in a pot on low heat until completely melted, stir occasionally to avoid burning it (If it is too thick, add a teaspoon of water at a time). Let it chill in the fridge - the gula melaka will thicken up in the fridge.
3)Add santan and gula melaka to taste over the sago in your serving bowl.
4) Serve chilled.

Enjoy! :)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Patisserie of my Own (Part6) - Pastry School

It's official!

 I am a pastry student. I am so excited. 

I can't believe that this day has finally arrived.

I've been waiting for months to enrol in this pastry course.

I thought long and hard whether this is what I wanted to do.

But I'm glad I did. 

Friday, February 4, 2011

Chinese New Year Honeydew Sago (Sai Mai Lo) Dessert

How was your first day of Chinese New Year?! Had lots of food and snacks? Collected lots of angpow? That's great! Anyway, I thought I'll share with you a recipe of one of my favourite desserts.

 Honeydew Sai Mai Lo (Honeydew Sago Dessert)

It makes such a great dessert during the summer months because it is really cooling and refreshing. 

Hope you'll enjoy this dessert as much as we did :)

Serves 4
All you need are:
1/2 of honeydew
3/4 cup of sago (Tapioca Pearls) - Coles sells it.
1 cup of coconut milk
1/2 cup sugar
8 cups of water

All you need to do:
1) Boil water, when it is boiling,

 Add in the sago. 

Stir every once a while, otherwise it'll stick. Boil for 10-15 minutes, till the sago turns translucent. 
*Make sure not to over boil it. As long as most of the sago is translucent, you can stop boiling it.

2) Rinse sago thoroughly with cold water in a strainer. Set aside.

3) In a pot, boil the sugar and water till the sugar is dissolved and becomes a syrup. Set aside to cool.

4) Chop the melon in two,

 and blend one of it in a blender until it becomes a puree. Set aside.

5) Use a melon ball scoop or chop the remaining honeydew in to small cubes. Set aside.

6) Add the puree, chopped honeydew, sago and coconut milk into a large bowl. Mix.

7) Add the syrup into the bowl to taste (depending on how sweet you want it) and mix properly.

8) Cover with wrap and chill it in the fridge for about 3 to 5 hours. 

9) Serve.

Enjoy! :)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Gong Hei Fatt Choy everyone!

Today is officially the 1st day of the Rabbit year!

(adapted from Vectorstock)

To everyone who is celebrating Chinese New Year

I wish you happiness, prosperity, health and love all year round!

Gong Hei Fatt Choy!!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Chinese New Year Golden Cookies

How about some Golden Cornflake Cookies?!

It is quite common for you to find these cookies during the Chinese New Year period.

It is easy to make and simply delicious!

All you need are:
2 1/4 cups of Cornflakes
1 cup of self raising flour
85g of sugar
110g of unsalted butter, soften
1/2 tsp of vanilla essence
1 large egg

All you need to do:
1. Put the butter and sugar into a large bowl.

2. Beat until it is pale and fluffy.

3. Add in the egg and vanilla essence, mix properly.

4. Add in the cornflakes and flour into the mixture.

5. Fold until just incorporated.

6. Pre-heat oven to 160 degrees.

7. Spoon teaspoon size onto your baking tray.
You can decorate the cookie dough just before you put in the oven with more cornflakes if you like.
8. Bake for about 19 minutes or until golden in colour.

Enjoy! :)