chef ismail

I went to the High 5 Bread Town last week for a cooking session with none other than Chef Ismail himself!

One clue that this isn’t going to be your regular boring cooking demonstration is when Chef Ismail gave the cue for heart thumping music to play and got us to exercise…with High 5 bread as “weights”. I got so into it that my adrenaline was pumping like a fireman attempting to put out a 5 story blaze. Lame analogy but it’s either this or something NSFW. smirk

play dough

Anyway, we started off the session by kneading and molding fresh dough and making shapes with it. It’s like playing with Play Doh! I attempted to make a heart shaped one while my teammates went for abalone and a vaguely phallic looking thing that she twisted so hard it fell on the floor. Heh!

baking class

It’s a good thing that wasn’t for eating though – it’s for getting a feel (pun intended) for the high quality dough that High 5 uses for its bread.

coffee bread

Steaming hot coffee with slices of soft and fluffy High 5 bread was served to give us an experience of dipping the freshly baked bread into coffee.

coffee dunk

This is a breakfast staple for a lot of Malaysians on the go. It sure brings back those childhood memories!

ceo

After a short speech by Dato’ Jackson Tan, the Group Managing Director of Silver Bird Group Bhd (yes, it’s the same company that makes those delicious cakes) we donned our aprons and got into the gist of it.

ingredients

The proper cooking session started with the Mini Pizza. You can choose either wholemeal or white bread and chuck it in the oven while waiting for it to heat up to golden brown.

oven

Chef Ismail here shows us how to do it. He had his own special tomato base made with plum tomatoes, diced onions, chopped garlic, chopped parsley, thyme, oregano, tomato paste, black pepper and olive oil.

mini pizza

I made mine with extra tomato base (which we nicked from the good chef’s table) on High 5 wholemeal bread with half covered with chicken sausages and the other half with onions. I also added some diced capsicum and topped it off with grated mozzarella cheese and a sprinkling of chopped parsley.

This was sent to the oven and after a couple of minutes…

mini pizza cooked

WALLAH!

It tasted really good, and I didn’t regret using the wholemeal bread as the base as it provides that extra texture to the thing.

curry puff roll

Next up is Sardine Curry Puffs. Okay, this one ups the ante a little since it requires motor coordination skillz and a bit of expertise.

curry puff fill

Chef Ismail made it look easy and I was determined to make this one come out right.

curry puff seal

I opted for High 5 white bread this time and used a rolling pin to thoroughly FLATTEN the slice of bread. You need to make the bread into pastry. I didn’t have the right technique apparently, since Chef Ismail had to come over and teach me how to really work that bread into a 1 mm pastry like base.

curry puff flatten

Now comes the tricky part – you shouldn’t overfill the the curry puffs. After cutting off the crust, you put some filling into the curry puff before using a mixture of flour and water to seal off the curry puff. I applied the flour paste liberally – on the sides and to the entire other half of the slice of bread before rolling it up and submerging it into hot oil.

hot oil

I am pleased to report that my Sardine Curry Puff turned out golden brown and tasty to boot!

curry puff bite

The last recipe we did was High 5 Bread Tuna Canapés. Canapés, for the uninitiated, is another word for the little morsels of food you see served at atas functions with champagne. As soon as Chef Ismail went into the part about being sophisticated while eating canapés, mine promptly flew out of my fingers and went God-knows-where. FML. >.<

canapes

Anyway, the High 5 Bread Tuna Canapés is very easy to make and it requires no cooking! All you need is basically a cutter to cut the pieces of bread into round shapes before buttering it and adding some tuna, cherry tomatoes and a sprinkling of spring onions.

making canapes

It is an art form – you’re supposed to decorate the canapés and I guess I wasn’t really good at that.

group shot

Anyway, there was a prize for the best group amongst the gaggle of bloggers and media that was there. I did the speech, much to the woe of my teammates as I described how Kimberly dropped her dough, KY made a curry puff that expanded due to the overfill and how I somehow managed to eat a canape while at the same time unintentionally doing a Wright Brothers on it. Michelle and Nicholas‘ team won. Congrats! =D

Here’s a video of Chef Ismail working his magic. It’s quite long but good for the recipe!

tasting

There is also a contest where you can win iPads amongst other things called Jom Rasa & Menang. It’s really easy to enter!

ipad

Just look for the sticker on any High 5 bread products – there are different requirements depending on whether it’s sandwich bread, sausage rolls, buns, or cream rolls. After you buy it, fill up the entry form and enter the barcode displayed on the High 5 bread before dropping off your entry at the contest box located at bread stands in retail outlets or mailing it in. You can get more information and the contest form at http://www.silverbird.com.my/contest.php.

eating canapes

The High 5 cooking session with Chef Ismail was really fun! I liked how all the recipes bring out the essence in High 5 bread and now I have my own recipe arsenal to add to my repertoire of cooking! Thanks for the hospitality High 5! I really liked the Mini Pizza that I made. I guess you can say it’s the best thing since sliced bread. smirk

the devils kiss

This afternoon was baking day at the sixthseal.com bakery. That, of
course, is just really my girlfriend’s kitchen – she has more baking
stuff than my kitchen does, coz my family doesn’t spend time doing
things like baking. We made a Devil’s food cake which I’ll like to call
The Devil’s Kiss. Yes, it was from a cake mix, but we customized it
(er…kinda), so there. :p

Recipe for The Devil’s Kiss:

moist devils food
One Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Devil’s Food cake mix

hersheys kisses
One pack of Hershey’s Kisses

dairy whip
One can of Dairy Whip whipped cream

dunhill old master
One Dunhill Scotch Master “Finest Scotch Whisky”

and the things that the cake mix requires, which wasn’t much – 3
eggs, 1 1/3 cups of water, and 1/2 cup of vegetable oil. Nothing you
would be hard pressed to find in any kitchen (even mine).

cake mix water

We started out by pouring the cake mix into the mixing bowl and
adding in 1 1/3 cups of water. I don’t know the exact empirical figures
for “cups” so we didn’t bother with conversion to SI units like litres,
and just poured in (literally) one full cup and another filled a third
up.

cake mix oil

Next, we added in the vegetable oil. I was a bit doubtful when I
read this…a recipe that calls for cooking oil instead of butter for
cake seems kinda dodgy. However, that’s what it says on the package, so
that’s what it’s going to be. My girlfriend handled the huge cooking
oil bottle while I took a photo – we did not bother with cups because
that would mean more things to wash up after we’re done. ;)

It should be noted that more than 1/2 cup of vegetable oil was
poured in…the oil container is as unwieldy as it looks, and while I
sat on the frontlines to monitor the pourage (meaning, I sat on my ass
while I watched her pouring it), too much oil got into the mix. I was
going like “yeah, that looks about right, you can stop now, thanks” and
my gf was still going at and I was like “OMG, stop!” and she was still
going at it and when I finally put the digicam down and took the
cooking oil bottle away from her (it’s dangerous in her hands), I
guesstimated that more than one cup of oil landed into the mix. Oh
well…

cake mix eggs

Anyway, three large eggs were cracked into the mix after that. It’s
noteworthy to say that all these preparations took a long time and we
did not follow the recipe religiously, and spent ample time doing other
stuff while the mix was lying there. I also added about 6 shots of
Dunhill scotch whisky into the mix. I was considering whether to go for
Chivas Regal or this one, and decided on this one, because it tastes
better than Chivas.

drinking makes baking fun

I also took the liberty of adding some whisky into myself at this
point. The recipe calls for 30 seconds of stirring, and I felt that
having a drink in my hand would make the task much more pleasurable. ;)
One does get sick of cheap alcohol, so this premium scotch is a very
welcome drink instead and makes the baking process much better. It goes
very well with clonazepam too, but don’t add that into the baking mix,
for Christ’s sake.

cake mix stir

Thus, I stirred the mix for about 30 seconds (or until I was tired of stirring, didn’t know which came first, really).

prepped cake tin

Now, we realized that we need to find an appropriate receptacle for
our cake mix, so we searched for one. The candidates were: a small
circular cake tin, a long bread mould tin and a square cake tin. We
chose the last one and used butter to grease the inside and finely
powdered it with flour as per the cake mix instructions.

cake mix beat

The cake mix, which now contains the original Devil’s food mix,
three large eggs, water, vegetable oil, and scotch whisky was processed
with one of them cake mixers for two minutes or so. The box said two
minutes anyway, we did not time ourselves, we just looked at the very
hypnotic swirls until we shook ourselves and realized that the cake mix
seems to be smooth.

unkiss kisses

I then proceeded to prepare the Hershey’s Kisses by unwrapping it
from the foil and pulling out those damned liners. I like to call this
“unkissing the kisses”.

cake mix pour

The cake mix was poured into the cake tin…

cake mix kisses

and Hershey’s Kisses were dropped into the mix at random spots. I
used up the whole packet, there is bound to be one in every square inch
of the cake.

enter oven

Finally, we realized that we have not pre-heated the oven and did
so. It should be noted that I did not want to do any calculations to
change Fahrenheit to Celsius so I let my girlfriend set the heat
settings to what “should be about right” for a cake. The cake mix is
finally inserted into the oven.

waited
We waited…

and waited
and waited…

exit cake

and I finally took the cake out of the oven with this nifty cake tin lifter when it looked right.

cake not done

My girlfriend poked a hole in the middle with a toothpick and it came out moist, so back to the oven it was…

devils food cake

I present to you…the final product! We had waited for about 15
minutes and took the cake back out again. My gf then proceeded to poke several
holes across the cake while laughing hysterically. My
cake…sabotaged… :p Oh, by the way, the crack in the middle is
apparently the result of taking it out before it was fully done and
putting it back in again. The temperature differential shock tends to
make it go that way.

Download:
The Devil’s Kiss [sixthseal.com]
Requires Apple Quicktime. Unzip the file for the video clip.

devils food nitrous

The movie clip shows me eating the cake with some nitrous oxide,
er…I mean, some whipped cream. It should be noted that whipped cream
uses nitrous oxide (N20) as a propellant:

nitrous oxide

However, if you’re expecting to get recreational hits of nitrous off
a whipped cream bottle, you’re going to be very disappointed. It’s only
a small canister, and the dispensing system will produce whipped cream
no matter now tenderly you manipulate the nozzle to produce nitrous
oxide. You’re not going to get anywhere near recreational doses off
this, and it’s not for the lack of trying. I did, and the best I could
do was get a minute amount into my lungs and my exertions expended the
nitrous canister of the whipped cream container…which made it produce
sludge instead of whipped cream. Oops…my bad. I didn’t realize it had
such a small amount of nitrous in the bulb. Stick with nitrous
canisters and crackers and leave the whipped cream container alone. ;)

devils food cake slice

Here’s a shot of a slice of The Devil’s Kiss with some…er, cream
sludge. It tasted pretty good actually, but it was a little too rich (I
think it was the oil). I’ll tell you something interesting…it seems
that some of the Hershey’s Kisses were preserved intact in the final
cake! The scotch did not shine through though, probably due to the
overpowering chocolate taste. Nevertheless, it was a great experiment
and it yielded a rather tasty cake. :)

I had wanted to name it The Devil’s Kiss with Angel’s Cum on it, but
I didn’t think that would be a very appealing name for a cake so I’ll
settle with The (Drunk) Devil’s Kiss (unofficial name) or Devil’s Food
Cake with Hershey’s Kisses and whipped cream, for a more orthodox name.
;)

Thanks to Renee of shiokadelicious! [shiokadelicious.com] for baking tips.

pav1.jpg

I made a Pavlova
[users.bigpond.net.au] today from one of those egg shaped instant mixes
called Pavlova Magic. A Pavlova is a dessert popular in Australia and
New Zealand. I got it from Melbourne before I came back and finally got
around to baking it with my girlfriend today. It was pretty easy and
fool proof to make, there was a packet with the Pavlova mix in the egg
and an instruction sheet. Basically, I just filled the bottom part of
the shell with luke warm water and the top part of the shell with
caster suger and mixed it all together. The instruction sheet has a lot
of strange instructions in BOLD like “turn the cake mixer to full speed
for ONE MINUTE ONLY” and “put the resulting mix into the oven and TURN
THE HEAT DOWN TO 110 c IMMEDIETLY”. Whatever.

pav2.jpg

We didn’t have a cake tray so we just dumped the mix into a baking
tray and shoved it into the oven. The Pavlova turned out pretty good
though. It was crispy-ly sweet at the bottom and nicely aerated in the
middle and wonderfully sweet and creamy at the top. However, there was
a lot of sugar syrup at the bottom of the Pavlova. I wonder if that’s
meant to be?

pav3.jpg

Wow, am I domesticated or what? ;)

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