Monday, December 04, 2006

Graduation Day At ICCA

It's darn scary how quickly time flies. I still remember vividly reading snowdrop or spot's link to ICCA, visiting the place, and now, I've finished the level 1 decorating course already, which took 4 weeks. Conclusion, well, the course is well worth the money, I reckon, and I had a great time, barring the one day when I was suffering a massive hangover after my 40th bash. A few of us have already signed up for Level 2, which begins this week. Level 2 is Royal Icing, and while it is not my preferred medium, I have no choice, because Sugarpaste is level 3, and like university, you can't go to 3rd year without finishing 1st and 2nd.

The class is really quite "international". We had a lady from Brunei, who apparently has been staying in a hotel for the entire month, just for this course. Another chap from Sibu, who owns his own cake shop there, (I feel a lot better knowing that he's a professional, coz his workmanship was very good, and I was feeling inadequate), and another lady from Hong Kong. Another lady from Philippines I think lives here. Her roses were exquisite. Dual hues, and another batch with a violet outline at the white petals.

For our "graduation" cake, we had to assemble our pre made roses, aka the Wilton Rose, onto a pre iced cake....which we are supposed to have done ourselves. Oh, speaking of cakes, UGH, I decided to use up this block of buttercup (which I've been meaning to experiment with pastry) for the buttercake. Dunno if it's the recipe or the butter, but UGH, you could smell that fake butter subsitute oil thing, and the texture of the cake, well, this is one cake you certainly don't have to have and eat. So children, don't stinge on butter, use the real thing, if you're making butter cake.

For our last lesson, we learnt how to do these sweet pea flowers, bows, leaves, before finally assembling our piece de resistance.

Actually, I thought when all the cakes were put together, it did look rather charming. Eliza Doolittle would have approved, so many flowers. I announced to the instructor that I was only going to do the bare minimum to pass, as I had done in university.

Well, I have concluded that I am no artisan, and I'd rather just concentrate on dessert cakes, that require little embellishment, such as my latest favourite recipes, eg, chocolate mud cake, and baked orange cheese cake, below,

but I guess since I am taking orders, the odd birthday cake order might pop up, and it helps to be able to ice a cake and plonk on some basic deco, (now can even do roses). But if you want those character shape pans, with the trillion bits of flower icing, err, please don't call me.

I still think the money is in sugarpaste. 3 D objects, no need for Michaelangelo type sculpturing skills, etc.

Last Friday, Best Man (as in my Bestman at wedding), bought me 40th dinner at Cilantro. I had a choice of 3rd floor, Lafite, Prime, or anywhere, basically, but I always enjoy Cilantro, especially if someone else is paying, coz the food seems consistent, and excellent.

My scallop and rocket starter.

Wife's angel hair and scallops starter. Divine!!!

Pan Seared Foie Gras on Duck Breast. Kill the duck, gouge out its liver, and use the carcass. Very good.

Wasabi encrusted wagyu Beef Cheek. Also tried bestman's wagyu syabu syabu. The latter is better. The cheek is too meaty, and a bit gelatinous. But I was a wagyu virgin, so it was a great experience.

Black cod in bean curd skin. (foo choke) Godma doesn't eat red meat, so her choice is limited.

The dessert platter. Orgasmic. Banana souffle, chocolate cup cakes with earl grey ice cream, kahlua ice cream with coffee jelly, and something something I can't remember.


snowie said...

oh wow, graduated stage 1 already? congrats!!! looking forward to seeing your stage 3 creations...

and that dessert plate! YUM!!

boo_licious said...

Congratulations on graduating! oooh, Cilantro looks good, I wonder if I can wrangle my bf's hand and ask him to take me there for an end of the yr treat.

fatboybakes said...

actually boo, cilantro isnt THAT expensive. the mains are around 60-80, ...unless you order the wagyu steaks or wat not with seasonal price. if you dont order mineral water, and dont order wine, and stick to food, you'll be surprised, its quite reasonable. (i know the term reasonable is relative, but i'm saying compared to other establishments of such stature, eg lafite, 3rd floor, or even places like JAKE'S CHARBROIL STEAK, which is realllllly exp in my opinion.