Tag Archives: Pastry Chef

Mother’s Day Celebration at ROMANZA and Giveaways

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Romanza Le Restaurant @ Hock Choon Terrace,

Superb impressive French and Mediterranean Inspired Restaurant with a South African flair!

Having to drop by at ROMANZA can be such an amazing pampering thing to do over a lovely meal. I was there to observe, well I was there to try them out. I was truly impressed. It was a very lovely place to be, flushed over a romantice deco. Romantic black iron chandeliers hanging from the ceiling, elegant wall paper and the red, black and white furnishing the gave the place a superb comfort

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HSN Cooks Spring Weekend Event presented by Bon Appétit

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Get ready for the biggest cooking event of the season as multichannel retailer HSN presents more than 24-hours of the best chefs in the industry and over 75 high-quality kitchen products during its HSN Cooks Spring Weekend Event presented by Bon Appetit on March 26 and 27.

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Gingerbread Man Decorating with the Boys from Agathians Shelter Home at Prince Hotel

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The Ginger Breadman

It was an awesome day!
The children from The Agathians Shelter Home were invited to have a Christmas lunch at Eccucino, Prince Hotel & Residence recently and I was there to be part of the day. It was not just a Christmas Lunch but it was filled with smiles and an awesome ginger breadman decorating.

The children were truly awesome.
They were enjoying themselves but first they had their lunch first.

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A Young Man from The Agathians Shelter Home

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Wai Sik Mui Indulged New Zealand Ma Cherie Macarons

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Ma Cherie Macaron by Chef Guillaume Nicoli

Ever since my trip to Paris this year, I have been addicted to macarons. These lovely goodies are not only cute and pleasing to the eye, they are little bites of happiness in the mouth too. Since my return to Auckland I had been searching around for some authentic macarons and months later, I’ve found them!

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Not only that, I was lucky enough to meet Pastry Chef and owner of Ma Cherie, Guillaume Nicoli who happily agreed to show me how macarons are made. Double joy!

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Guillaume is a French patissier with over 15 years of experience, having worked for top-ranking French maestro Thierry Mulhaupt in Strasbourg and at the famous Fauchon in Paris. When he moved to New Zealand, he brought along his expertise in macaron-making. Ma Cherie was born out of Guillaume’s passion and expertise in fine French pastry making. Ma Cherie supplies fine French pastries to a number of cafes in Auckland. Macaron Trees and Croquembouche can be made to order by Ma Cherie for weddings and events.

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NYONYA BREEZE Penang Finest Nyonya Cuisine

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Nyonya Breeze located at Abu Siti Lane is yet another delicious nyonya heritage gourmet that not to be missed if you are in visiting the Penang Island. Upon the invitation of Uncle Lee, we headed to Nyonya Breeze right after our baking class ended.

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According to my google search, six centuries ago, China’s Ming Dynasty began courting the kingdoms to the south, dispatching Admiral Zheng He on his seven epic journeys, during which he made port in Malacca and Singapore. To cement budding diplomatic and commercial ties with the kingdom of Malacca, the Imperial Princess Hang Li Po was married to Sultan Mansur Shah, the Sultan of Malacca at that time. Her entourage settled in Bukit Cina, marrying the local Malays and eventually growing and evolving into a class of straits-born Chinese, the ‘Peranakan’. Peranakan communities continue to grow in Malacca and later extended to Penang and Singapore.

Peranakan ladies were called Nyonyas while their male counterparts were labeled Babas. They retained many traditions and beliefs of their Chinese forefathers, and adopted many more from the local Malay community. Hokkien was enriched with Malay words, and the sarong and kebaya became everyday clothes for this emerging class. The Peranakan adapted – to the land and its colonial rulers

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Today’s Nyonyas and Babas have largely been assimilated into the Chinese community but the Nyonya art of cooking has been preserved, passed on from mothers to daughters through the centuries. Fusing Chinese, Malay, Indian and Western styles, Nyonya cuisine is prepared meticulously with great attention to detail, balancing aesthetics, aroma and taste. While Malacca and Singapore Nyonya cooking were influenced by their proximity to Indonesia, Penang Nyonya cuisine is laced with Thai secrets, being more sour and spicy. This is most evident in the many Kerabus the Penang Nyonya holds in her recipe book.

The preparation and cooking of Nyonya food can be a laborious, meticulous and time-consuming affair. The grinding, blending, pounding, and marinating of the ingredients can take several hours. Typical Nyonya spices complemented by the subtle fragrance of lemongrass, lengkuas (galangal or wild ginger), kunyit (turmeric root), fresh or dried chillies, candlenuts, shallots, kaffir lime leaves, pandan (screwpine), daun salam (fresh bay leaves), daun kesum(Thai basil leaves),daun kunyit(turmeric leaves) and ginger buds are crucial in the making of authentic Nyonya cuisine. Sauces made from coconut milk, tamarind seeds and curry pastes (freshly pounded with shallots, garlic, lemon grass, ginger and selected curry mix) is a testament of an excellent cooked meal at Nyonya Breeze

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MADAGASCAR CHOCOLATE VANILLA OLIVE CAKE | BIG BOYS OVEN SWEET DESSERT

We had a great time baking and meeting new friends in Johor Bahru (JB). We had 3 sets of baking on the first day instead of two by request and at the end all of us got into being a zombie . . . . yeah, we were so tired and went straight to our bunker!

There were a lot of changes in the Johor Bahru scenery, lots of new roads and new buildings as for food, I would amazingly say, just amazing, just delicious, just awesome!. We had loads of Italian food, you just can’t imagine, just pure lovely, perfect pasta and drooling pizza. We had japanese too, outstanding flavours, fresh shashimi, truely teppanyaki of a whole squid, unagi maki, tempura, not forgetting the garlic fried rice and flushed down with a few cup of rejunevating cooling green tea.

Another exciting menu we had, it was the Bak Kut Teh flushed within the Johor Bahru downtown scene, it was totally amazing delicious. Yet another exciting meal we had was the beef noodle and also the stewed duckling noodle, both amazingly delicious, something not to be missed and I will defintely post about them this coming weeks.

And as for today, I am going to share my delicious discovery of baking, a chocolate vanilla olive oil cake and a recipe by a modest, loyal, good looking and a winning pastry chef himself, Chef Ronny Leung from the famous Hong Kong Club.

Madagascar

 

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Chocolate Cake with Cranberries and Raspberries Fillings

SIMPLE AND YET DELICIOUS

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 I came across this lovely chocolate cake recipe of Chef Johnny Chan, a well known Hong Kong based pastry chef. He is known for his passion in pastry and his creative ideas , techniques and the use of ingredients. For my bake this time, I had used deliciously moist dried cranberries instead of black sweet cherries and raspberry jam to ehnaced the taste of the chocolate. It is a very simple recipe and yet an ideal to serve this to your guests on a special occasion. This cake can be served cool and even warm over a scoop of lovely and delicious vanilla ice-cream. I am sure you will give this wonderful recipe a try this weekend . . . . yours Sunny Yaw

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Toasted Almond and Strawberry Jam Cookies Sandwiches

Sandwich cookies sound like a really good deal as they come in two cookies plus a filling. Isn’t it a real bonus. Sandwich cookies have slightly longer ingredient lists than single cookies, but their fillings are all fast and simple, and these cookies are familiar and easy to make. They just look like something special. You can use quick frosting, chocolate and cream trufle fillings, jam and ice cream provide a lot of filling choices, and they can be mixed and matched with other cookies.

Sandwich cookies lend themselves to a two-steps or do-ahead preparation, make the cookies one day and fill them the next day. Any of these sandwich cookies can be wrapped individually and frozen for up to a month.

The craving for sandwich cookies had me stumbled onto this book entitled, “Big Fat Cookies” by Elinor Klivans. Elinor Klivan ia a notable cookbook author and food writer who has published articlesfor Bon appetit, Fine Cooking, Eat Well and the Washington Post. She is also a formet pastry chef, she is a member of IACP and lives in Candem, Maine. In her book there are 50 different gigantic, crispy, chewy or fancy-pants-sandwich version to choose from, but my favourate one will be the maple cranberry oatmeal cookies, absolutely marvellous, delicious and so adorable. But in this post, I would like to share this recipe that I had tried, the toasted almond and strawberry jam cookies sandwiches. They are really ideal for afternoon tea or even with a warm cup of coffee which I always prefer, a cup of illy espresso.

The shape of these jam-filled almond cookie sandwiches is limited only by your choice of cookie cutters, circles, rectangles, heart and stars are all good choice. If no cookies cutters, just cut the dough into neat rectangules or squares. The top cookie has a hole cut of its centre and is sprinkled with powdered sugar, so the bright jam shines though a white sugar-dusted top. Seedless rasberry, blueberry or blackberry jam make other good filling choices.


2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup powdered sugar, plus extra for dusting
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (monin syrup)
3/4 teasppon almond extract (monin syrup)
1 cup (about 4 ounces) whole blanched almonds toasted and finely ground
6 tablespoons strawberry jam

Sift the flour and salt into a medium bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and 3/4 cup powdered sugar until smooth and slightly lightened in color, about 1 minue. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl as needed during mixing. On slow speed, mix in the vanilla, almond extract, and ground almonds. Mix in the flour mixture just until the flour is incorporated and the dough holds together.

Divide the dough in half and form into two 6-inch disks. Warp each one in plastic wrap and refrigerate the dough until it is cold and firm enough to roll, about 40 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Remove one piece of dough from the refrigerator. Put the dough between 2 large sheets of wax paper and roll it into a rectangle about 12 by 8 inches and 1/4 inch thick. Remove the top piece of wax paper and discard it. Use a cookie cutter to cut out 3 1/2 inch circles (or any shape you like) from the dough, leaving the cookies on the wax paper. Turn the wax paper over, peel off the paper and use a metal spatula to help palce the circles 1 inch apart on one of the preparedbaking sheets. (The cookies do not spread much.) Set aside the dough scraps. Using 2 clean pieces of wax paper, roll and cut the second piece of dough. Gather together all of the dough scraps, forming a smooth disk, and repeat the rolling and cutting process. You should have 20 cookies.

Cut a 1 inch circle (or other shape) from the centre of half of the cookies and remove these circles from the cookies (the wide end of a pastry tube works well for cutting the circles). The dough “holes” can be baked along with the cookies for snacks.

Bake the cookies one sheet at a time until the edges are light brown and the tops firm, about 18 minutes. Cool the cookies for 15 minutes on the baking sheets, then use a wide metal spatula to transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Turn the cookies without the holes botttom side up. Leaving a 1/4 inch edge, spread a rounded teaspoon of jam over each one. Sift powdered sugar over the cookies with the hole and place them on top of the jam-covered cookies.

The cookie sandwiches can be stored in a tightly covered container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

I love and adore this cookies as the scent of almond will bring the freshness in you and sweetness of jam makes you feel so divine. I hope you will give it a go soon as festive season is just so near.

Love Sunny Yaw

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