24 December 2008

Christmas Special Workshop: Traditional Baked Goodies III

Attended my last baking workshop for the year at Shermay's Cooking School 2 weekends ago. This demo class was taught by Paris-Trained Pastry Guest Chef Keiko Ishida. Have attended a few of her workshops previously and always very impressed by her impeccable and meticulous presentation style in all her baked treats, just as Chef Joycelyn.

It was amazing how she could accomplished demos of all these recipes within just 3hrs 30mins and yet remained so composed.
  • Opera - 8 layers of chocolate & almond sponge with freshly whipping cream covered with a Valrhona chocolate glaze
  • Kardinal Shittea - traditional Viennese yellow sponge and white meringue cake with coffee cream and crunchy almond
  • Colombier (Tree-shaped Orange Almond Cake - orange flavoured almond cake baked using a tree mould
  • White Wine Jelly with Festive Red Fruits - a beautiful Christmas chilled dessert filled with raspberries, strawberries & redcurrants
The texture of the Tree Orange Almond Cake resembled a little of the Malay/Nonya Kueh Bolu. But this is made from mainly ground almonds, top flour, eggs, icing sugar and butter, whereas Kueh Bolu uses sugar, wheat flour, tapioca flour.The Colombier could also be baked as a cake and decorated with sugar glaze for very Christmassy feel.
The Kardinalschnitte is an Austrian coffee cream sponge cake. Ingredients are simple, essentially meringue - egg whites and caster sugar and sponge - egg, egg yolks, caster sugar and top flour. Method includes careful piping of strips of meringue and sponge; baked then sandwiched with coffee cream.
An elegant and angelic presentation with icing sugar and sliced almonds.

White wine jelly with red fruits - this is so pretty! Simple to make yet creates a stunning sophisticated effect. I'm going to make this for my upcoming 2 parties!

Opera - this is a traditional French chocolate layered chocolate and coffee cream cake, made up of 8 layers - starting with Biscuit Joconde (Almond Biscuit), Chocolate Ganache (Chocolate Cream), Biscuit Chocolat (Chocolate Biscuit), Coffee Butter Cream, Biscuit Joconde, Chocolate Ganache, Biscuit Chocolat, Coffee Butter Cream and finally top layer of Glacage Au Chocolat (Chocolate Glazing).

The process is really tedious and requires a lot of patience and attention to details. But effect is awe-inspiring. Chef Keiko definitely gives us the hope that this is achievable at home.

The smooth Glacage Au Chocolat (Chocolate Glaze) is a perfect canvass for decoration. Handwritten wishes with chocolate glaze, silver candy balls, gold dust and there we have it, the rich and luxurious Opera.

All participants went home very happy with a box of goodies - one portion of each recipe! Chef Keiko was so generous; she must have spent a lot of time preparing all these.


  1. Hi, no I don't. This is a really tough recipe! Failed when I tried once and have not tried again since.