I’ve been looking at improving my baking skills and decided to take up a course.
I had narrowed down my choices to Creative Culinaire (cos I’ve friends who went for the course and they made pretty awesome cakes) and ABC Cooking Studio. An old customer (back when I was still doing jewelry business) named Grace got me a trial lesson at ABC Cooking Studio for just $28.
This was the first cake I made at ABC Cooking Studio, and I liked the taste so much I decided to sign a package the next day.
It helps that the Takashimaya branch is just a few train stops away from my workplace, with a direct bus back home. Also, it touts itself as a Japanese cooking studio and I’ve always loved Japanese cakes.
I signed up for a mini course of 6 cake lessons. You can choose any 6 recipes from the 18 provided and finish the course in 8 months. It’s EXPENSIVE though. I spent $551.50 for 6 lessons.
These were the recipes I learnt during my course:
Earl Grey Chiffon cake: Too dry. I felt like we were eating cardboard.
Strawberry Shortcake: I was really disappointed with this, cos this is like, a classic cake. But the taste is really lacklustre. I fathomed it’s got to do with the brand of the whipping cream they used, which was Millac Gold. Although the cake was easier to frost cos of the stabilizers present in the cream, it also affected the taste.
Matcha rolled cake: It’s made using a method that requires you to cook the flour, supposedly to make it softer. To be honest, I wasn’t impressed and in fact, it added a somewhat weird taste to the cake that for some reason, reminded me of glue. But overall, it’s nice. I would definitely switch out the Millac cream if I were to make it again.
The macarons lesson is very popular but cos I always book the 430pm lessons, it’s not that hard to get a slot.
Macarons: A MUST-LEARN. The taste is not too sweet and they teach 2 flavours, which is wonderful. The only problem is, I’ve yet to re-create the same results at home. The shells kept cracking. Which is really weird cos I’ve always been successful with other macaron recipes. I’ll definitely try and make this again. (Update: I realized it’s cos the almonds I’m using were not fresh and the oil had started to leech out, causing excessive moisture to the batter! I’ve since successfully made it at home!)
This has a really atas name which I didn’t bother to remember. Let’s just call it chocolate cake. Really pretty, but the taste is not very impressionable.
Caramel Chocolate Mousse:
This was like the variation of the raspberry cake I learnt at the trial lesson. I liked the raspberry version better, even though I’m a chocolate fan.
So out of the 6 recipes I learnt, I felt only 2 were worth it- Macarons and the Caramel Chocolate mousse cake.
We were not allowed to video the cake-making process, as the recipes are to be kept secret. If you lose the recipe given, you’ve got to pay $10 for another copy. Crazy, right? Heh, heh~
If I were to be really honest, I felt that I didn’t learn as much as I expected from the course. Though that might be cos I’m not exactly a greenhorn in baking? And I realized they don’t have a uniform teaching style. Some teaches you the J-style folding, some are more familiar with the cut half, fold-in method. Some teaches you to hold the beaters to the side of the bowl and pull up, some hold the bowl over their heads to show you that the meringue is ready.
Well, that also means you learn a variety of methods, I guess?
I had a different instructor for all 6 lessons and 2 left an impression on me- One is Jovin, cos she’s quite funny, but also a bit forgetful. I would not take up a lesson with her again just for her jokes though. Second is Mei Peng. I love this instructor. This lady is clearly experienced and knows what the hell she’s doing. Though she tends to move quite fast, but she’s also ready to stop and answer any questions you might have. I learnt some very useful tips from her and would totally recommend her.
I like that the class size is small, maximum 4 to each table. The place is cosy looking and pretty. You can leave your bags in the (very tiny) lockers and enjoy a free warm/cold drink while walking around to kaypoh as you wait for your class to start. You don’t need to bring anything cos even aprons are provided. It feels like a place for tai-tais and I have encountered some 12 year old kids during two of my lessons. Yes, they were there cos their parents have the money to send them. Marvelling at the privilege some kids get, lol~
This course is not exactly what I was looking for. But it’s a good start if you are a beginner in baking and want to learn how to make a variety of exquisite cakes. I enjoyed most of the lessons and there’s the added bonus that you can visit other countries on the ABC International passport to learn there!
If you are interested in a trial lesson, just let me know and I can get you a cheaper price with my membership card~ ^^