Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Abridged Dim Sum

I always look forward to receiving the monthly schedule from the Cooking House, my favourite cooking school (a bit biased I suppose, but its closeby to where I live, easy to park, reasonably priced, and run by my ex classmate and her sister), and when I saw that they were offering tidbits of dim sum (literally), I immediately signed up. Added to that, the instructress was Gina, the super evangelist of the Magimix Food Processor.

I got there at 3 sharp, but it was like one of those movie theatres that have no trailers in the beginning, and you walk in and the movie has begun. Really annoying. She was already sieving the egg mixture for the egg tarts, as I plonked myself beside 3 familiar faces. The 3 divas of the food blogging world, ie, Boolicious, Lemongrass and Precious Pea. The first two were a surprise, as I only expected Pea there. I asked Lemongrass under my breath if she was going to teach us how to make the flaky pastry, and LL confidently said, no, the pastry is pre-prepared. I was ready at this point to jump up and create a scene, coz the flaky pastry was the main reason I signed up. Fortunately, patience has its benefits, for it really was part of the syllabus.

While some may have found her teaching a bit haphazard, I found it suprisingly organised, because stuff that had to be pre-prepared, such as dough that needed proofing, were done before hand, and so she was able to demonstrate lots of concurrent activity, and backtracking later on to show how the particular dough was made.

ie, we started off at say, Step 3 for a particular dough....since steps 1 & 2 require lots of waiting time, but she would later on demonstrate steps 1&2. Good thing, or we'd have been stuck there for hours.

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We have above the various demonstrations on making flaky pastry and Bao dough.

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The completed egg tarts, which were a bit overcooked, and the pastry had hardened from the melted grease.

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This is a charsiu sou wrapped in hong kong style. The Singapore style is the pillow style, an oblong shape.

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Straight Dough vs Gay/Happy Dough

The charsiu baos, pre-prepared by the si fu, which fart. Fart (Fatt) refers to the way the bao opens up in four directions. Fart (prosperity) baos can only be obtained using the Starter Dough, which we will call the Gay/Happy Dough (because it makes the baos burst open in smile), because the other Dough she demonstrated is the Straight Dough, that doesn't need proofing and can be used instantly.

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The pillow cased charsiu sous.

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These were the baos made by the students. Various degrees of fartness. She taught us two methods of folding the dough, ie, the housewife method, and the sifu method, (similar to wrapping a siu long bao)

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We have here the 3 Flogger Divas posing for the camera with their various buns, (featured below)

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Lemongrass miraculously managed to get a smooth bald texture on her second bun, and named it in honor of Bald Eagle.

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The one above was my 2nd attempt, by which time, the dough for that round all didn't fart very well. I gobbled up my first one forgetting to take a picture.

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Her charsiu recipe is surprisingly simple and PRETTY GOOD!!!! Of course, since it was chicken char siu, there was no basis for comparison with the other artery clogging stuff we've been eating at places like FSF, but even on its own, the marinade made the meat most delicious, and call it whatever you want, it's great.

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I was most fascinated by the longevity peach that Gina was demonstrating. My favourite part of this entire exercise would be inserting the a** slit onto the bao.

I heard Lemongrass was SOOO inspired that she immediately headed off to the village grocer, and bought all the ingredients for the charsiu. As of press time yesterday, the meats were still having their spa in the marinade.


Precious Pea said...

I was really confused with the Step 3 then Step 1 and 2..but i guess i need to study the recipe again before trying it out. I shall start off with the char siu and the bao!!!

daphne said...

ooo.. that char siu certainly looks mean and shiny.

teckiee said...

didn't fart very well? LOL!

Nic (KHKL) said...

different degree of fartness..nice term! some looked like they had diarrhea, judging from the overflowing filling..hehe..very interesting class!

Anonymous said...

Hey hey missed your blogging! Just curious, is the flaky pastry for the egg tart similar to puff pastry ie the recipes and method is exactly the same? Also, did you guys used the same pastry for the egg tart and also the char siu soe?

fatboybakes said...

sam, heh, thanks for missing my blogging. the pastry isnt the same as puff pastry. this is the one with the oil dough and water dough, very chinese thing. its flaky but not layery like puff pastry, though certain techniques, such as the book folds and rolling are similar to puff....not that i've ever made puff.
and yes, same pastry for CSS and ET.

nic, yup, it was an interesting class alright.

teckie....roll eyes.

daphne, yup, the charsiu was rather good.

pea, dont forget to let us sample

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

My char siu turned out okay, but not as tender as her char siu. Maybe because I didn't blast it in the pressure cooker first? Good luck with yours. I'm moving on.

Paprika said...

ehhhh next time call me also laaah. I love pau!

yienyien said...

i m jus wondering do they let u to cook as well or jus demonstrate for u?

coz i m kinda interested in the september japanese cuisine thing.. but but..

i m not sure if.. they let us to cook or teach us only.