26 October 2009


Took half day from work last Friday to attend Chef Daniel Tay's demo class on "Strawberries" at Shermay's Cooking School. The Bread IV class was supposed to be my last, but I couldn't resist signing up for this class (and in fact, another puff pastry class by Chef Christopher in Dec :p).

Even though it was a weekday, the class was full with close to 40 pax, I think. That goes to show how popular pastries made with strawberries are, or rather, how popular Chief Daniel Tay is and his Strawberry Shortcake, Fraisier and Strawberry Tart desserts offered at Bakerzin. I guess everybody loves strawberry pastries, partly because of its visual appeal and partly because the tartness, sweetness and juiciness of strawberries paired very well with cakes and cream. I'm keen to attend the class so that I could bake either the Strawberry Shortcake or Fraisier for my close friends' birthday celebrations. Cupcake is good as giveaways or during parties but layer cake is always the essential for birthday celebrations.

4 recipes were demonstrated and these are very substantial recipes on their own which require multiple steps. The recipes are also found in his recipe book "Just Desserts". I guess the advantage of attending his class, he would share certain tips and knowledge not written in the book, and we could actually see the process of preparing the various components and finally assemble them.
  • Fraisier - A cake made of almond genoise sponge, pistachio butter cream filled with kirsh-soaked strawberries (techniques for crème patisserie for pistachio butter and Italian meringue included)
  • Strawberry Tart - A simple fruit tart made of sablé dough filled with almond cream, topped with fresh strawberries, raspberries and blueberries, finished with an apricot glaze
  • Strawberry Shortcake - A classic cake made of a genoise sponge and chantilly cream, topped with fresh strawberries. Cake assembly and decoration technique included.
  • Strawberry Ice Cream - Homemade ice cream using strawberry purée, includes how to make a basic custard
Seriously a lot of hard work goes into the Fraisier. Preparing the Pistachio Butter Cream itself requires another 2 recipes - butter cream and crème patisserie. Not to mention the almond genoise sponge. Assembling the cake itself is also tedious - almond genoise sponge, pistachio butter cream, neatly placed strawberries, more butter cream to fill all the gaps, sponge, spread with layer of Italian Meringue, caramelised the surface using blowtorch for colour, topped with a layer of apricot glaze and finally some fruits for decoration. Phew!

The Strawberry Tart requires 2 components - the sable dough for the tart and almond cream for the filling. Both are fairly easy, except that got to work very fast with the sable dough as the dough does not work well in our hot and humid weather. Just look at the amount of strawberries, rasberries and blueberries that go into just one tart. These fruits are not cheap, especially strawberries which preferably from Korean or Japan (even more ex) as they look nicer and are sweeter. End result, very lovely and vibrant and sure whets my appetite.

And now for the star. The strawberry shortcake remains one of the best seller and hot favourite of Bakerzin, according to Chef Daniel.

The key is making a very light genoise sponge, however requires experience in whipping and folding the batter, as well as ingredients (he uses Japanese flour) and oven temperature. We had tasting of just the sponge itself, and oh my, the sponge was light as feather and just the right sweetness and texture! Good to eat on its own.
Didn't have opportunity to see the full process of the strawberry ice-cream as the cake and tart recipes were really tedious and took up most of the time.
Everyone brought home a takeaway box (fresh from Bakerzin Factory) with a slice of Fraisier, Strawberry Shortcake and Strawberry Tartlet.
Even though lots of pistachio butter cream was used, the Fraisier was not heavy at all. Taste-wise, some may not like pistachio butter cream but I thought it was ok, not overwhelming at all. The butter cream paired well with the almond sponge and strawberries. The fruits balanced the sweetness and creaminess. But I reckon just one small slice with coffee or tea would be nice, not too much.

Instead of a big tart, can also make into tiny tartlets and top with one strawberry. Presentation-wise although not as appealing as the big tart, I think this is much easier to serve and eat. The tart retained some crunch even though kept overnight in fridge.
The strawberry shortcake was lovely, with the light as feather sponge and cream. With the combination of strawberries, it gave a 'fall-in-love" and blissful kind of feeling. I felt so tempted to finish the slice but alas, watching my sugar intake now so could just a bite or two :(
Nevermind, this shall be one of my top to-bake cake after I pop!


  1. I've been a fan of Daniel Tay since Bakerzin opened in M'sia, but I don't know what happened, there's none here in M'sia now...

    The cakes look good!!

  2. Hi pinkconfetti,
    Sorry, I'm not sure. I think she didn't mention, or nobody asked, or maybe somebody did but I didn't note down :p

  3. Hi Swee San,
    Yes, the cakes are nice, especially the strawberry shortcake. I like cakes that are light and moist :)

  4. thanks for answering =)

    do u know where we can get good match powder? the ones i found look "dead" and not the bright glorious green that i see on ur pictures and on other green tea creations!

    thanks so much

    ps so sorry.. but can u delete my previous question cos my email address is there? thanks

  5. Hi pinkconfetti,
    Probably Meidi-ya or Isetan Supermarket.

  6. Hi
    Where do you buy your Almond paste and Japanese flour?

  7. Hi Fionna,
    You can try Phoon Huat for Almond Paste. As for Jap Flour, I found at Isetan Shaw Centre.