Just about a week ago, the Asian Food Channel folks invited a few bloggers to a Tea Party at their AFC Studio located at Orchard Central.
If you have been watching Asian Food Channel, you would have seen their show clips about cooking classes conducted by celebrity chefs. Well, for the classes in Singapore, they are mostly held here, right in the middle of Orchard Road!
Last year, I attended a few sessions here. I was here before for a Spain Cultural Experience hosted by Chef Joseba Jimenez de Jimenez and also Taste of Philippines hosted by Chef Bruce Lim. How time flies!
Located on the 7th level of Orchard Central, they have a fully functional kitchen, a cafe, a mini library and also a retail shop!
The next time you are tired after walking along Orchard Road, why not pop by the AFC Studio for a cuppa and cakes!
While you are having tea, you can browse through their mini library. They have quite a good collection of food related books! When there are no cooking classes going on, you are welcome to sit down for hours and browse their books!
Back to the tea party. The tea party was also a baking class! Sounds so exciting ya?
With the heart shaped mold, I am sure you can guess what we were going to bake!
First of all, let me introduce you to the guy who hosted us. The man himself, Hian Goh, the big boss of AFC. Thanks to him and his business partner, we had our first taste of 24 hours of food related show!
(I am sitting in front of the TV tuning in to the AFC Channel as I type this! - Channel 435 on Starhub TV in Singapore)
Introducing the resident chef of AFC Studio, Chef Sue-Ann Lambert who was our baking teacher. She's a skilled pâtissier! If you are a fan of Laura Calder, Sue-Ann and Laura are both Canadians! It seems they come from the same part of Canada if I am not mistaken. If I got it wrong, it's probably Sue-Ann got excited and started blurting out in French! ;-p
She taught us to bake 2 types of biscuits: Sugar Cookies and Chocolate Chip Biscotti.
Here's the recipe for the Sugar Cookies.
Recipe 1: Sugar Cookies
- 2 cups flour
- A pinch of salt
- 85g of butter, softened
- 170g sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla
- 2 Eggs
- Preheat oven to 160C.
- Cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time and mix to combine. Add salt, vanilla and flour and mix until dough just combines.
- Chill for 30 minutes.
- Roll chilled dough and cut with desired cutter.
- Transfer to baking tray and bake at 160C for about 8 to 12 minutes or until edges of cookies turn golden brown.
Fast forward the kneading, rolling, flattening, molding and baking process....
The cookies were cooled, and it was play time!
Can you spot and recognize the following people?
Dim Sum Dolly, Camemberu, HungryCow, LadyIronChef, CalvinTimo and BakerWhoCooks.
The icing is so eye catching, isn't it?
If you want the recipe for the colourful royal icing we used, here it is:
Recipe 2: Royal Icing (Using Egg Whites)
- 2 large (60g) egg whites
- 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 3 cups (330g) confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar, sifted
- In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the egg whites with the lemon juice until combined.
- Add the sifted powdered sugar and beat on low speed until combined and smooth.
- Use icing immediately or transfer into an airtight container before it hardens.
- Cover with plastic wrap when not in use.
I made quite a few sugar cookies! This was one of it!
5 of the above were my creation! Can you guess which ones?
The 7 of us made so many cookies! We are a creative lot aren't we?
When I saw Chef Sue-Ann demonstrate in front of us, everything looked so easy peasy!
When it was our turn, most of us felt our hands had lead bars on it. It's so heavy and we felt clumsy. Why?
Anyway, here's the recipe for the biscotti that we made.
Recipe 3: Chocolate Chip Biscotti
- 1 cup of white or brown sugar
- ½ stick (¼ cup, 4 tablespoons) of butter, softened
- 2 eggs
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 tsp of baking powder
- A pinch of salt
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 160°C.
- Cream the sugar and butter together in a stand-up mixer until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and continue to beat for a few more minutes, then add the vanilla.
- Whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt, then add to the mixer. Combine well then stir in the chocolate chips.
- Shape the dough into a log, approximately 12 inches long and 3 inches wide with lightly floured hands. You may find it easier to divide the dough in half and form two shorter logs. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and flatten slightly. Bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool until you can handle it. Slice diagonally, into ½-inch slices and return to the baking sheet. Bake again until the cookies turn light brown for about ten minutes. Flip them over and brown for another few minutes.
- Allow to cool and enjoy with a cup of espresso!
Yup, in North America they use stick for measurement of butter. The recipe above has the conversion that we can understand.
The biscotti dough on the left was moulded by yours truly, because I was 'volunteered'. The one on the right, Chef Sue-Ann. I did quite ok right?
Just like on TV, when the dough was put into the oven, in seconds it is ready!
Chef Sue-Ann demonstrates how to transform a piece of baked dough into biscottis!
Now, a participant tries. Not bad! Chef Sue-Ann gave an approving look and smile.
Perfect for your cuppa!
Do you know if you want to host a cooking session as part of a birthday celebration, or a ladies day out baking, or even a man day's out flipping burgers, you can contact the AFC Studio. They can work out something for you depending on your budget.
You can contact them at: http://www.theafcstudio.com/
I have a weakness. When I see books, ingredients or gadgets, I am always tempted to buy them.
I asked if there were any geeky books, and was recommended this book: "What Einstein Told His Cook".
Yup, I saw the book and bought it! Another geeky book to my personal collection!
(A special note of thanks to Kimberly and Jannah from Fulford PR for the invite!)
THE AFC STUDIO
181 Orchard Road,
#07-02 Orchard Central,
Tel: +65 6834 4829
Opening Hours: 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.