Sunday, July 06, 2008

Free Baking Class Report

What can I say except the baking workshop was very beneficial. I learned a lot of baking 'secrets' such as... oh wait! Am I allowed to share these trade secrets? Hmmm... let's see... I didn't have to sign a contract or anything. I guess I can share without repercussions. Okay, these are some things I learned:
  • When making bread dough, put in fats such as oil or butter at the end. This is because it's very important to first let water and flour mix to form gluten. This is how you develop the dough. If you add the oil/butter too early, it forms a barrier (coz' oil repels water) between the flour and water. Then your bread not so soft lah.
  • Use cold water and ice cubes when making bread dough.
  • You can substitute bread improver with vitamin C (bread improver is 50% vitamin C anyway).
  • This is the first time I heard about Sorbitol. It is to keep the chocolate cake moist. Can use glycerin too.
  • Cream of tartar is used to strengthen the egg whites (when you make meringue).
  • When making meringue, make sure there is not even a drop of oil or egg yolk mixed in or it won't work.
  • When making chocolate chip cookies, add the eggs in bit by bit. Don't pour in all the eggs at once. If you do, it will curdle.
  • Again with chocolate chip cookies, combine all dry ingredients into a premix and then pour the whole thing in. If you add the premix spoon by spoon, it takes too long. Over-mixing will allow gluten to form and you end up with hard, chewy cookies.
Okay, now for some pictures and a little bit more "exciting" (or maybe I should say "shameful") story.
This is me folding in the meringue into the chocolate cake batter. Look like professional or not with my apron and cap? So nice of MIB (Malaysian Institute of Baking) to provide these memorable gifts. By the way, this is a very rare photo of me. I normally don't post photos of myself. So remember how I look okay.

This is the moist chocolate cake I DIDN'T bake. Haiya, why I say it's not baked by me? It's because some time during the chaos of getting the ingredients ready, we mistook salt for sugar. I was in a group of 4 people and this is an excellent example of how "too many cooks spoil the broth." So after all the mixing, we ended with salty cake batter. Thank goodness for Ms. Chin (our baking guide) who offered to make another cake for us (so we don't get "boo"ed by our husbands). But I must also thank Loh (Save the Cheeze!) and Thomas (Life Goes On) for donating their extra cake to us. So nice to have blogger friends to help save the day. And even though I didn't bake the cake you see, I can at least say I decorated it. Mine is the one with the criss-cross pattern.
So, another good baking tip:
(So embarrassing to tell this story).

This is my group showing off the sweet buns we made.

These are the baking bloggers. They may want to stay anonymous so I won't tag them in this photo. But that's Michael from AMBP in the front. Thanks once again Michael for selecting me. This picture don't do him justice. Just for the record, he looks cuter in person. (Golf lesson at Puncak Alam driving range still open for you).

Last of all, thank you Clove and MIB for the goodies and the good experience.


  1. it looks fab!!!! :) WOOHOOOOO...

    glad you learnt lots and wah, I didnt know those tricks, good to learn :)

  2. a&a'smom06 July, 2008 11:06

    Thanks for sharing ur baking tips that u have learned! Dont worry abt the blunder as it will teach us to be wiser. Dont want to mention what all the stupid things I did while first learning to bake. Anyway the cake looks fab!

    So I guess u'll be quite bz experimenting with all the recepies that u have been taught. Just to remind u that we r practically neighbours (wink, wink), LOL!

  3. cuddly family:
    Yes, I learned all the things I was doing wrong, especially the buns. No wonder mine always gets hard at the end of the day.

    Have to upgrade some of my utensils before I can experiment. I don't think my cake mixer can whip up a meringue. Can try whisking with hand but my hand will probably fall off first before I can get it as stiff as is should be. Hahahaha. Yes neighbour, when I've succeeded, I will bring some over.

    Mummy to qiqi:
    The sweet buns I brought home didn't even last 15 minutes. Everything (cake, bun and choc cookies) came out very nice indeed.

  4. wah...not bad at least u took home some baking tips...I forgot everything already =(

  5. The cake looks wonderful and so do you. Haha.

  6. thanx for attending the event. glad you had fun. as for the golf lessons, hmmmm. cannot take lar. rasuah tau. :-) - mike -

  7. hurley:
    Of course must remember. Don't want to come home and continue doing the things that I've been doing wrong.

    Thank you so much.

    Then my offer is a friend-to-friend offer. If you and your friends ever want to have a taste of golf, just come on over. It'll be a good outing coz' after some ball bashing, you guys can head on over to Kuala Selangor for seafood and fireflies.

  8. Hahaha...that reminds me of my experience with my son. We were making custard and mixed the sugar up with Ajinomoto!!! The custard tasted bitter instead.


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