Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Easy as Puffs @ The Baking Barn by Just Heavenly, Bangsar, KL

Some of my favourite desserts back in my UK days are cream puffs, eclairs and profiteroles. I would always grab a box from the bakery section just before I checked out at the counter. In KL, there are only a handful of places selling good ones, including A Slice of Heaven - we've tried them before and we liked them! 

Last week, Nigel of Just Heavenly extended an invite to me to attend one of his baking classes at The Baking Barn, Bangsar - to learn how to make choux pastry! Of course I had to say yes.  



This is the second time I've attended one of Nigel's classes. What I like is that he guides you through the process, lets you try your hand at it and by the end of the class, you feel accomplished, like you TOO can do it back in the comfort of your own home. Plus his classes are always so much fun - Nigel is so entertaining and funny, we had such a good laugh and I met a bunch of really nice people there.

At his baking class, Nigel always concentrates on one mother recipe and from there he would usually teach 2-3 cakes or desserts from that one recipe. We learnt how to make pate a choux (choux pastry) and from there, we shaped them into cream puffs, swans, eclairs, churros and deep fried chinese doughnuts! We also got to learn several fillings such as creme patissiere, creme St Honore, creme Chantilly and quick chocolate filling - all in 2 1/2 hours!

I will definitely be trying my hand at making choux pastry (hubby will be very happy!), and will share the recipes soon! In the meantime, do enjoy the photos that I took at The Baking Barn last Saturday!

At his baking classes, Nigel will share tips and tricks for baking including simple everyday tips on how to crack an egg without getting chips into the bowl. How? Never knock an egg against the side of a bowl to crack it, instead crack it on a flat surface or bump two eggs together to crack one of them at a time. Now you know!

Nigel showing us how to make the choux pastry

Piping the cream puffs


Glazing them with egg-salt-water just before baking

To make choux pastry, the oven needs to be turned to its highest temperature setting so that the choux pastry can expand nicely. After 10-15 minutes in the oven, the cream puff shells are looking mighty fine!



Immediately after taking them out of the oven, turn them around and pierce the middle with a sharp knife


Next, we tried shaping swans... perhaps the most complicated and laborious of the lot, but with a very pretty result! I tried my hand at piping the head/neck... 

Nigel shows us how to do it
video


This is how it looks when it comes out of the oven 


Making the swan's body
video

The swan's body..


Meanwhile, Nigel shows us how to make creme patissiere - drizzle in the milk very slowly into the yolk-sugar-salt mixture (I made this for my Boston cream pie previously).


By now, we were all doing different tasks.. these are our eclairs.. getting glazed before being put in the oven


Creme pattisiere done... absolutely lovely..


And using the creme patissiere, Nigel folded in meringue to make Creme St Honore, a lighter cream filling for our puffs.


Creme St Honore..done!


Oooo these were one of my favorites that afternoon.. Chinese fried doughnuts. I have this rule at home where we NEVER deep fry stuff, but for this maybe I will forego my rule LOL!! Using 2 teaspoons, shape quenelles and place them in cold oil.. then deep fry until golden brown. They taste heavenly!!!! So so good.




Love this so much!



Cream puffs


And Nigel assembles the first swan! Pretty, right?


I made this one ;)


Making churros


Churros, hot from the pan, with some cocoa powder and sugar


Delicious eclairs with creme chantilly


Everyone did a great job in putting this together, thanks Nigel for being such a great teacher!


This was very very good!


Here's the schedule for July classes at The Baking Barn. From 5 July onwards, baking classes will also be held on Thursdays at 9.30am as well as the Saturday ones at 2.00pm.


Click here to view class schedule for July and August. You can buy your classes online or call them on 03-2287 9866 / 03-2284 9866. There is also a special kids class (for under 14s) on 23 August for RM160.

Full set of photos from the baking class can be viewed on my Facebook page here. 

Price: RM180 per class.

Location: The Baking Barn, 47 Jalan Terasek, 59100 Bangsar, KL (approx. 400m from Bangsar Village).

GPS Coordinates: 3.131132, 101.667695

20 comments:

  1. Interesting baking class! Looks quite tough, especially on the swan's neck. =p

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    Replies
    1. It's not that easy for first timer, but Nigel taught us well. Most of us can do it now (maybe not as pretty as his la!) ;P

      Delete
  2. So pretty... Hey! They're deep fried! I didn't know that! So stupid...I thought they're baked. How much are the ordinary ones selling there? Here, the last time I bought - 70 sen each...and looking at all that work, I think I've changed my mind about it being so expensive... ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Arthur, the cream puffs, eclairs and swans are baked in a hot oven - I think they cost about RM3 for an eclair at their outlet. Only the churros and Chinese doughnuts are deep fried.

      SO you're not stupid ;P

      Delete
  3. ...my gosh, everything looks damn good! The swan looks too pretty to be eaten. hahaha and...I think I will just pay to eat, not sure if i have that much patience to make!

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    Replies
    1. Yea now that I know so much work goes into it, I also dont mind paying a bit more to buy it from a bakery. :P

      Delete
  4. it's almost too pretty to eat!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like the use of the word "almost" in your sentence. Haha!

      Delete
  5. whoa, the swans look very nicely formed! i think if i tried this, my swan would look like some strange unidentified species! :D

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  6. Pastry art!! Very beautiful!!! =)

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    Replies
    1. It was a great class, got to learn so much. :)

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  7. Your swan is very elegant! I have not dared to reattempt choux pastry since my fail heroic attempt at the tender age of 8. Silly me! I should really try it again. Especially to make them into churros! Yum! :D

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    Replies
    1. I think I'll attempt making this again next week! I'm sure you will do a very good job.

      Delete
  8. There's also a rule for no deep frying in my apartment, or pan frying. I can't risk my clothes smelling like the food i cook...

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    Replies
    1. Maybe you'll change your mind after you try the Chinese doughnuts.. LOL

      Delete
  9. Hi Yen,it is my dream to live like your lifestyle,hahaha!Great classes& very creative to shape in swans! For the creams that you mentioned,I only familiar with the chocolate filling,, haha.Churros is in my list but my sore throat keeps coming back so I have no chance to try yet.I even bought a large star nozzle just for making the churros.Just in case you have no time to check my reply,Cook like a star is opened to everyone!Do drop by. Zoe's blog to find out more!Remember to mention you are joining the blog hop event& link back to Zoe's page!Best is to copy the logo as well! so I shall be looking forward of your JO's cooking huh? Tk cr

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OK, I have some old Jamie Oliver recipes but didn't cook any of his recently. Maybe I should go hunt for a nice recipe and make something of his soon!

      Yeah, I'm grateful that I get to learn from a great baker. And it was such a fun class too!

      Delete
  10. We attended one of Nigel's butter cake class long long time ago, but till now we still haven't practised that at home...yet. LOL

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    Replies
    1. This weekend practice and then let me try! Hehe.

      Delete

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