Last weekend was a memorable event as I partnered up with Le Creuset Singapore to host my first ever public cooking demo. I was excited when the lovely Carine from Le Creuset invited me to do the cooking demo. Since I am an avid fan of this French cookware and in the spirit of holiday season, I agreed without a blink of an eye and we decided to go all out on festive menu for the participants.
The week before was all planning, getting the recipe cards ready and setting up the scene with ingredients preparations, anxious yet excited! We chose APS building as our venue, and it was a good choice indeed! The designer kitchen was a dream to work with, equipped with Smeg kitchen appliances and of course the generous array of Le Creuset cookwares for me to use. I was glad to see some happy faces of the audience on the day, and the support of Hubs and Suhaina truly made it special.
Choosing the menu, cooking food from scratch at home is easy, but chopping the vegetables, stirring the chocolates, marinating the poultry in front of an audience AND explaining what you are doing, is a new ball game altogether. I wanted to share what little I know, and spread the word on healthy eating, healthy living through food. I hope we have achieved that mission, without giving any false impression that I am a trained chef! With The Lawyer husband happily agreed to be my sous chef for the day, it felt more like having a big bunch of guests over for dinner parties, just like home. The only thing different is this time, he happily chopped the onions and washed the dishes!
The menu was kept simple yet festive. Brined chicken roasted with fresh herbs and cashew stuffing, mediterranean roasted vegetables, gateaux aux pommes and chocolate truffles were the stars of the show. Given the time constraint, I chose chicken instead of the desired turkey, as obviously chicken took less roasting time, although the recipe is interchangeable for the two. We wanted the audience to have a good lunch, instead of just food tasting so whilst the chicken is roasted live, they were served the 2 whole chicken with vegetables, which I prepared on the morning of the show. Based on the response, it seems brining is the new preferred method for roasting, as it does produce succulent ( Suhaina’s own verdict!) fleshy chicken..and the stuffing was popular!
Fresh herbs can be a challenge to find in Singapore, and sometimes you have to pay up to the nose for them. As I have a lot of herbs as leftover, I quickly showed the audience how to pepare herb dressing for salad. Again, the idea is to use staple cupboard ingredients, tweaked to one’s personal taste- balsamic or white vinegar, honey or mustard, chilli flakes or pepper- I shared what I usually make at home and hoping that each of them would go home and replicate the recipes that they were taught. The salad finished in a jiffy and I made a mental note that the recipe is a sure keeper;-)
Gateaux aux pommes is one of the earliest recipes in the blog, those early days when my photographs left a lot to be desired, yet you could see that I used Le Creuset ramekins then! Newly bought, a new fascination, which grew to become my kitchen favourite since. A lot of Le Creuset pots and pans were exponentially added on to the repertoire since. Cast irons, skillets, more soup bowls, and of course the ramekins. Each participant was served the cake in the small ramekin, as that is how I bake this cake at home whenever the Husband wants it as this is his favourite! I dialed down the sugar a wee bit as the original recipe is a bit sweet for our palate, and the audience somehow agreed that the sweetness was just right with slightly less sugar. It was good to see this humble apple cake received such an accolade, as they are divine yet homely, and best of all, ready in less than 40 minutes from start to end!
The best part of the day was waiting for the chocolate ganache to set. I had to demonstrate the ganache at the start of the demo, as it would need a good hour to set in the fridge. The chocolate ganache was truly the icebreaker as I let the class go hands-on, letting the participants make their own truffle! Various dustings were given, from the classic unsweetened cocoa, chocolate rice, dessicated coconuts, lightly toasted chopped almonds, and despite Carine’s concern that the class has gone beyond 2 hours by then, I quickly melted some milk couverture to dip the truffles in.
I hope that those who attended the class would try the recipes out, and vary the basics that I showed. Truffles are ideal for homemade gourmet gift, and with so many flavours and coatings one recipe really is suitable for all!
It was indeed a day to remember, and sets the mood in for holiday season. The Hubby and I had a good time, and really appreciate the good gesture of Carine for this fab opportunity, and Elaine from APS who guided me in using the gorgeous oven and induction stoves. We have to do more of these demos, girls!
I went home inspired for more. Thank you for all the lovely comments, and the new found friendships, let me know how your baking and Christmas dinners went.