Last weekend, CCC got invited by thenormadGourmand to head on over to the Academy of Pastry Arts Malaysia for Gingerbread House in a hands on cooking class. Thanks Rebecca!
I was so excited to enter their kitchen for a hands on cooking demo and to gain extra knowledge from expert chefs! Plus it doesn't hurt since pastry isn't my strongest point ey?
On the day of our cooking class, The Director of Pastry Arts and Head Chef, Chef Guillaume Lejuene was our host of the day. Turns out Chef Guillaume has 13 years of international experience in teaching, demonstrating in Hospitality Institutes as well as hands on experience within Michelin starred hotels and restaurants (France, Middle East and Asia). Can you believe it? 13 years!
Chef Guillaume Lejuene teaching us how to use the "cement" or in proper culinary language, royal icing to "glue" up the pieces of gingerbread wall to create a house :)
Chef Guillaume Lejuene explains in depth the procedures, recipes, differences between what others do and why. But most importantly, he is willing to answer any questions asked by students very patiently and detailed. Chef would you like to come over to my house to teach me everyday? :D
Chef Guillaume glue-ing all the pieces together and decorating.
Oh and last but not least, sifting some icing sugar above the Gingerbread house will give it the illusion of snow, just like in western countries. It also *aherm* helps your house to not end up looking like a "rumah papan".
Full recipe will be given in a seperate post in conjunction with Christmas! :)
And this is my house, obviously with my CCC watermark on it :D
And if you're interested and excited to learn more on Christmas Delights at Academy of Pastry Arts Malaysia, there's 2 full day classes being offered by them this 13th and 14th December which only cost RM250 a class, maybe that could be the start of you baking for Christmas. CCC will gladly come sample your fruits of labor.
Besides gingerbread houses, we also had a tea time session with Chef Guillaume Lejuene and Hanne Landgraf from AoPA, Jade Wong from Mustard Tree Communications and the rest of the friendly bloggers, String of Memories, Pure Glutton, Ipoh Mari Talak Sombong, and You Get What You Give.
So what kind of food did we feast on?
Macaroons! That's what I thought, but sadly they were only for decoration :( maybe next time i could try AoPA's macaroons, hehe. Oh-so-tempting!
Cardamom Honey and Lemon Cinnamon Cookies made me feel so Christmas-ey while I was nomming away. It was simple and just nice to start off with :)
Stollen(top) and Chocolate Moelleux(bottom).
Stollen - German tradisional Christmas loaf-shaped cake containing dried fruit and covered powdered sugar.
Chocolate Moelleux - Chocolate cake with a slight melted center topped with raspberry and edible gold leaves.
And the most special of all, Petit Fours.
Raspberry & Passionfruit Petit Fours(left) - Chocolate shell as a base with raspberry jam,whipped ganache (passionfruit + vanilla), biscuit joconde, guimauve (that square of yellow spongey which looks a little like tofu), topped with more chocolate and raspberry. This tasted sweeeet, mouth watering and one will never be enough. Everything melts in your mouth with such heavenly blend.
Strawberry Petit Fours(right) - The other variation of the raspberry and passionfruit petit fours with whipped ganache which is made from strawberries and vanilla. I am craving for more while I'm writing this!
The students self made experiment which they named, Chocolate Caramel Cake, which was made from chocolates, creams and mousses. It looks alot like an Opera Cake. Looks really tempting but we weren't offered any as it was a project/assignment. Wonder how the lecturer evaluates them. Hmmm :D
Did I mention how spacious this academy is?
An impressive whopping 8,000 square feet of space is set aside just for the chocolate room, bakery room, pastry kitchen, pastry room, wedding cake room, chef’s lounge and classrooms. It spacious, clean and so well organized. Just the right elements for some kitchen education.
And according to the students(we had a little chit chat), their normal classes has a maximum of 15 students per class and they have got a lecturer and a kitchen assistant to guide them throughout the class. Thats a great way to learn right? Its so hands-on! And it definitely affords more attention to detail.
Special workshops held at AoPA with world reknown chefs which cost RM2000 to outsider is free if you're the student enrolled in here. Thats just so nice of them to provide students with more extra knowledge.
With a vision to become one of South East Asia’s best pastry schools, The Academy of Pastry Arts Malaysia will operate as a hub for all pastry and baking activities where students will have the opportunity to learn from the best pastry chefs around the world.
The Academy’s main focus is to train students through the Certificate programs. The Academy of Pastry Arts Malaysia offers:
• 3 month certificate program in Pastry and Bakery (Full time)
• 3 month certificate program in Pastry and Bakery (Part time)
• 3 month certificate program in Bakery (Full time)
• 9 month certificate program in Pastry and Bakery
Besides the full time courses they provide, there are also half day, full day, 2 days, 5 days and also world reknown chefs classes.
The short term courses include:
• Chocolate for Beginners
• Chocolates and Praline
• The Art of French Pastry
• Tea Cakes, Cookies & Bar
Click here for updated schedule and updates
An impressive line-up of pastry chefs and baking champions will be conducting courses at the academy. They include notable names such as:
- Chef Guillaume Lejeune: Director of Pastry Studies, Academy of Pastry Arts Malaysia
- Master Pastry Chef Matthias Schuebel: Pastry Olympic Gold Medalist chef, Masters Degree in Pastry & Confectionery
- Chef Keith Hurdman : Winner of Double Gold Medalist World Chocolate Award, London (2007)
- Chef Michel Willaume: Pastry World Champion, 2001 which he won representing Team USA in Coupe du Monde de la Patisserie in Lyon, France
- Chef Stéphane Tréand: Meilleur Ouvrier de France (Best Craftman in France), 10 Best Pastry Chefs in the USA by the Pastry Art and Design Magazine (2007/2008).
- Jean-Marie Auboine: Pastry Instructor, World Pastry Forum
Lot 2-A, 2nd Floor
19 Jalan Barat
46200 Petaling Jaya
Tel: +603-7960-3846 / Fax: +603-7960-3848
*Photos credited to Chuen from String of Memories