26 April 2012

Japanese Swiss Roll and Macaron Demo Class

Swiss roll has always been one of my top to-bake cakes, yet I'm terribly afraid of doing so. Fascinating yet intimidating. What a paradox. Although I have attempted making swiss rolls 2 times using Chef Keiko Ishida's recipe, those weren't exactly successful. My roll cakes turned out a little rough and dry; I simply couldn't achieve the results of the famed tender and moist roll cakes that are sold in Japanese bakeries. So I was really looking forward to this particular demo class at Shermay's Cooking School by Chef Aki Watanabe to see if her recipe/method could help conquer my fear once and for all.

A total of 4 recipes were demo-ed with 2 bonus recipes to try at home.
1) Vanilla sponge cake with Kirsch-flavoured syrup and whipped cream and strawberries for filling.
2) Pink macarons with strawberry jam and butter filling.
3) Matcha sponge with 'fishing net' motif and white chocolate ganache and chunky red bean paste for filling.
4) Matcha macaron with matcha buttercream.

It's been a while since I last attended Chef Aki's class. The last time was her Japanese Homecooking class. She was still as humourous and animated, and I love how she illustrated certain methods with her own cute actions.

There were several steps to making the swiss roll - pate decor (the fishing net motif), cake, whipped cream, red bean filling (store bought) and macaron but she demonstrated all the steps from baking to assembly to rolling very clearly.
Look at how pretty the cake was. The steps for making macaron looked quite simple, seemed much easier than the Italian method that I've learnt before.
Even more sweet and pretty was the Strawberry Shortcake. The method used was different from Chef Keiko's so I was very inspired to try this new method.
Awww... so sweet.
We got to try both the swiss rolls during class.

The matcha swiss roll was flavourful with strong notes of matcha. The cake was tender and moist but slightly more dense than the vanilla sponge. I love the white chocolate ganache and red bean filling! They really complemented the matcha swiss roll very well.

I love love love the vanilla sponge. It was very light and tender and moist all at the same time! Really perfect with the whipped cream and strawberries filling.

All participants brought home a box of macarons compliments of the chef. I love the cutesy pink macarons; the strawberry jam with butter was unique and quite addictive. Both the matcha macaron and goma macaron had very distinct flavours. But I'm not a very big fan of macarons so would probably make the swiss rolls first, and KIV the macarons till some other time.

I am really dying to bake the vanilla swiss roll this weekend. Wish me luck!

P.S. Please DO NOT ask me for the recipes as they are under copyright by the chef and cooking school. If you are keen in attending the class, please enquire with Shermay's Cooking School directly.

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