Thursday, November 25, 2010
Chef Tim Healea And the Cranberry Marketing Committee
Yes, there IS such a thing as the Cranberry Marketing Committe. And they're doing a fabulous job, I reckon, of promoting the fruit.
I wonder if our Ministry of Agriculture takes the same initiatives and form a Durian Delegation (henceafter referred to as D-24, cos that's the minimum people it takes in our local delegations), and the MACC, aka Mangosteen Action Committee & Commission.
But yes, I never realised Cranberries were big. First time I heard of them was as a sauce or jelly accompanying turkey, but lately, I have been noticing their increasing presence. Frozen cranberries are quite readily available in supermarkets, and so are their dried counterparts. So, I was quite intrigued when I got invited to attend the US Cranberry Bakery Seminar & Workshop, thanks to BabeintheCity KL, who extended me the invite. (subsequently the host venue, Berjaya University College of Hospitality also did extend an invite, with many thanks).
Chef Tim Healea owns a bakery called the Little T American Baker, in Portland, Oregon. The bakery specializes in handcrafted breads, Vienesse style pastries, rustic desserts. An affable, likeable looking fellow, he imparted quite a lot of his recipes to us, and best of all, made it look simple and effortless.
Cranberries of course boast a whole truckload of health benefits. From fighting urinary tract infections to reducing risks of heart disease, these little gobules of goodness contain valuable antioxidants like anthocyanins, ellagic acid, quercetin, resveratrol, selenium, viatmins A, C and E. And on top of that, the gorgeous scarlet color makes it a fabulous decoration to any cake.
After a brief introduction, Tim launches into the demonstration. I have to say I really liked his style of whipping things together. Efficient, fast, no fuss, all the qualities I aspire towards.
He demonstrated Baked Cranberry Doughnuts, US Cranberry Almond Roll, Cranberry Crumb Brioche, Cranberry Cream Scone, Cranberry Apple Turnover, Cranberry Apple Whole Wheat Muffin, Cranberry Sweet Cream Tartand Cranberry Financiers. Amazing isn't it, so many recipes in less than 3 hours. He is my new superfast baker hero.
For those who couldn't see what was going on upfront, they had very kindly provided for us a screen magnifying the man's handiwork. He rolls his dough into balls with great ease, and even showed us how to roll balls with both hands at the same time.
He also takes the time to field questions from the floor. The funny strained expressions are when he was trying to decipher what the question was. You know how articulate some of us Malaysians are, ...it takes a translator just to translate their English into err...English. But you can't blame us, afterall, English is not our mother tongue, so it's amazing any of us can speak it at all.
Cranberry Apple Turnovers, with Italian puff pastry made from scratch. I really must try attempting this italian puff pastry. It looks less complicated than the normal one.
My favourite item, and looks easy to make. The Cranberry Sweet Cream Tart. The tart casing is a cross between a tart pastry and a cake. Does that make it a Take or a Cart? And the baked custard, combined with the tart cranberries, (as is sour tart, not pie tart, or slutty tart), perfect unison.
Yeast? What kind of yeast you use ah sir?
The one we got to eat was preperared, but this is the real deal, demo-ed to us by Tim himself. Turned out beautifully too!
Cranberry Apple Whole Wheat Muffin - not really a fan of muffins, so definitely not on the MUST TRY TO MAKE list any time in the near future.
Who said that scones had to be round? I love these triangle shaped ones, and really, this was screaming out for some Devon Clotted Cream and plum jam. Yummm. I must make these soon. Note to self. Make US Cranberry Scones SOON.
Cranberry Almond Roll... looks like a perfect tea time or breakfast treat. Another mental note, MUST MAKE FOR BREAKFAST.
Cranberry Crumb Brioche. My mental picture of brioche is a soft, buttery kinda bun, but this one tastes more healthy, and is more bready.
The smorgasbord of goodies prepared by Chef Tim.
What an enjoyable way to spend the afternoon, watching a chef in action, and the best thing about it was, it looks like something you CAN replicate at home. I have the recipes here, so email me if you want any particular one.
Thanks BabeKL for the invite, and for saving me a seat!
Thanks to the Cranberry Marketing Committee for hosting this very enjoyable event.