Thursday, November 24, 2011

Basic Baking Class

I am opening a class during the school holidays. The details as follows. I have 1 place left. Do email to me at if you are interested.

Class: Basic baking, butter cakes (hands on)
Date: 8th December 2011
Time: 2-6pm
Cost: $65
Number of participant required: 4

You will be taught 3 methods of mixing and comparing the textures from these methods. Ingredients will be provided and you will bring home all your bakes. It is not going to be a boring butter cake, extra ingredients will be provided to add into your cake. 2 simple icing for butter based cakes will be included in this class. Light snacks will be provided.

Quick/Rough Puff Pastry

I was in the mood to bake something crispy and buttery. So what came into my mind was puff pastry. I was not prepared to do the classic pastry as it was a weekday night. Found one by Gordon Ramsay which is easy as it uses 1 block of butter (250g/9oz). Since most of the butters we get here is in 9oz or 250g, I love love recipes that uses the whole lot as I can be lazy to cut and weight it *LOL* This is extremely buttery so eat it with care if you are concern with your weight :-D Do make a bigger batch and store them in your freezer as it is definitely better than store bought ones (at least the ones we get here).

What you need:
250g strong plain flour (bread flour)
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
250g cold butter , cut into cubes
about 150ml cold water

What you do:
1. Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl.
2. Add 1/4 of the butter and rub them in loosely into the flour either using a food processor, hands or pastry blender (I used pastry blender)
3. Add the balance 3/4 butter and mix them lightly, it is important to have chunks of butter in the dough
4. Make a well in the bowl and pour in about 100ml of the cold water, mixing until you have a firm rough dough adding extra water if needed. Cover with cling film and leave to rest for 20 mins in the fridge.
5. Turn out onto a lightly floured board, knead gently and form into a smooth rectangle. Roll the dough in one direction only, until 3 times the width, about 20 x 50cm. Keep edges straight and even. Don't overwork the butter streaks; you should have a marbled effect.
6. Fold the top third down to the centre, then the bottom third up and over that. Give the dough a quarter turn (to the left or right) and roll out again to three times the length. Fold as before, cover with cling film and chill for at least 20 mins before rolling to use.

1. The reason why you need to have the butter in chunks because we need the steam coming from the butter during baking to lift the dough so that you get the layering effect.
2. When rolling, if you find the dough gets a bit soft, chill it in the fridge for 15mins and continue with what you were doing.
3. If you want a more distinct layering, do not roll the pastry too hard.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Review: CP 5-Spice Roasted Chicken

I have been wanting to try this out for quite some time. Although I roast chicken at home quite regularly, i want to find out it this off the freezer chicken is good enough for days when I do not have the time to bake one from scratch. At a glance, the packaging does not look huge but the chicken is actually pretty big. Definitely bigger than those spring chicken. You can use either the microwave or regular oven to reheat the chicken. I should you can also preheat it on the stove with a covered wok.

In terms of flavour, I find it not too bad although it is on a slightly salty side. So what did I have this with? I had it with buttered rice and a simple salad. This is good for days when you do not have time to cook or simply too tired/lazy to cook up a storm *LOL* I took me at least 40mins to reheat it in the oven. Maybe the temp I set was too low but the chicken was still pretty frozen before I chucked it in the oven. As long as you don't overheat it, the meat will still stay moist.

I would say that this is pretty versatile. You can have it with your wraps or have gravy on it with mash potatoes etc. Will I buy this again? Yes, I will :)