28 October 2007

Japanese-French Pastries Class

Have been attending quite a number of demo classes at Shermay's Cooking School lately (and 2 more upcoming!). Really enjoy classes at Shermay's for the comfortable environment (just a tad crowded), free flow Gryphon Artisan tea and Illy coffee, and most important, the passion shown by the chef instructors along with easy-to-follow recipes and useful + practical tips offered. These are truly valuable for novice home bakers like me who can now bake a mean chiffon cake or gourmet cupcakes with no sweat!
Japanese-French Pastries is taught by Guest Chef Keiko Ishida who studied pastry in Paris, France; opened her own baking studio in Tokyo and now in Singapore teaching baking classes and has published her very own cookbook in Apr this year.
Within just 3hrs, Chef Keiko demonstrated 5 recipes:
  • Matcha Macaron - a French classic flavoured with Japanese green tea filled with buttercream
  • Black Sesame Ice Cream - a simple recipe using black sesame paste
  • Dark Brown Sugar Swiss Roll - a very soft sponge with whipped cream & chestnuts
  • Soy Bean Chiffon Cake - Japanese-style soy bean sponge covered with red bean whipped cream
  • Black/White Sesame Cookies

Chef Keiko's method of making macaron differs slightly from Joycelyn's but yielded perfect results all the same. (I'm still hesitant about making macaron. Perhaps till I manage to get hold of the 1/2 size Silpat mat and other essential equipment.)

Making ice-cream seems easy! That is, with the help of an Ice-Cream Machine. The black sesame ice cream tasted delicate and full of black sesame richness. Alas, my kitchen is just not ready to accommodate another piece of equipment.

I love the swiss roll, spongy and light and complemented perfectly by the whipped cream and chestnut. This should be manageable at home. Can't wait to find time and try this!

Having attended Chef Christopher's Chiffon Cake 101 class previously and successfully baked many chiffon cakes using his recipe, I was quite curious when I saw Chef Keiko's recipe does not require baking powder nor cream of tartar (corn flour is used instead). The chiffon cake turns out to be equally light and fluffy!

The sesame cookies are crunchy and savoury due to the black and white sesame seeds used. I must try this too since sesame is rich in Vitamin E :)

At the end of the class, we tasted the Black Sesame Ice Cream and Dark Brown Sugar Swiss Roll and each participant brought home a lovely slice of Soy Bean Chiffon Cake with red bean whipped cream, 2 slices of Black/White Sesame Cookies and 1 piece of Matcha Macaron. Yet another weekend afternoon well spent and looking forward to the next class!


  1. Hi, what a pretty blog you have here. I know Joycelyn favours using Italian Meringue method in making macarons . Does Chef Keiko use the French meringue? I envy that you have the opportunity to attend such wonderful classes by talented folks.

  2. Hi,
    Thanks for the compliment. Glad you enjoy my blog. Yes, Chef Keiko uses the "whipped egg white" method, which I think should be the French meringue. She uses powdered egg whites to stablilize the egg white foam.
    In fact, I just attended another Joycelyn's class. This time, she uses the French meringue and the stablizing agent is cream of tartar.
    Difference according to her - Italian meringue batter can hold better, good for large batch; but more tedious. Whereas French meringue easier but batter softer, risk of overfolding and for small batch.