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
This is how it looks when it comes out of the oven
Making the swan's body
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!
And Nigel assembles the first swan! Pretty, right?
I made this one ;)
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