Wednesday, February 13, 2008

DIM SUM ~ My 1st Cooking Class

When it comes to baking, so far, none of my cakes or cookies came out with good result. My first cake baking session was memorable for the wrong reason. I ended up with fever after spending 40 minutes in front of my oven watching the entire baking process. I can't even differentiate baking powder with double action baking powder (now I could) so imagine to my horror when my brownies rises in the oven like nobody's business! All along I thought 'folding' means putting your hand into the batter and fold(literally) it until I learned what it means on the Asian Food Channel. The most recent case, I made some pineapple tarts for the Chinese New Year. The recipe stated that I should bake the tarts for 20 mins but I found that it wasn't brown at all, so I gave it another 10 minutes with a slight increase in temperature. So proud when I saw my tarts golden brown, well, not until when you put it into your mouth. It turned into biscuit texture instead of fluffy melt-in-your mouth tart! My colleague then told me that it should be white and not golden brown.

I always wanted to make flaky egg tarts since ages ago but after reading my recipe book, I was way too confused with the method of combining both the oil dough and the water dough. Right until one fine day, I got an email from The Cooking House in Desa Sri Hartamas and imagine how happy I was when I got to know that Egg Tart was included as part of their Dim Sum Class. The 4-hour class only costs RM100 featuring Char Siu (BBQ meat), Char Siu Bao (HK-style and normal style), Char Siu Sou (flaky puff) and Flaky Egg Tarts. Quite a good deal right? Together with Boolicious, Lyrical Lemongrass and FBB, we signed up for the class.

I learnt quite a lot from Gina, our instructor as now I know there are so many kinds of flour, *ahem* double action baking powder, shortening and etc. She showed us how to make the flaky pastry dough and the bao dough from scratch. Although I would prefer to be shown from Step A to Z, due to time constraint, some of the dough was made well ahead, hence she showed us Step 3 then Step 1 and then Step 2. In the end, I was super confused. Anyway, to be fair, others seem to follow her well.


I paid full attention when she made the flaky pastry by snapping a series of photos of the whole process. The method of combining the water dough with the oil dough is crucial in ensuring the dough overlaps one another in layers.

It was quite fun when we were given an opportunity to make our own Char Siu Bao. Gina taught us both the sifu method and the housewife method. Needless to say, I can't even perfect the housewife method, how would I dare to even try the sifu method? 3a

The Hong Kong version is supposed to rise and break open like a flower when steamed.

Sadly, mine didn't rise and break-open like how it is supposed to be. But who care as long as it ended up inside my tummy right?

Soft and tasty!

Baos on parade!! The first two belongs to Lyrical Lemongrass and Boolicious. *Ahem* Why so much gravy stain ar?

Fresh from the oven: Char Siu Sou!

It was really good. Light, flaky and melts in your mouth! Best to eat if fresh. Brings many dim sum restaurants to shame.

For dessert, the Egg Tarts! The pastry used is the same with the Char Siu Sou, hence, equally DELICIOUS!

Like I mentioned earlier, Gina doesn't follow the 'supposed' procedure from A-Z so we only get to learn making the Char Siu at the end of the class. No complain as it was absolutely marvelous although she used chicken instead of pork. The aroma, the colour, the taste...ooohh...everything was PERFECT!!! I couldn't help myself with two, oppss, or was it three(?) helpings.

Now, to answer your question, NO! I have not tried doing this at home yet and I don't know if I ever will. Since there are only 3 of us in the house, seems not feasible for me to do it especially when the egg tarts and char siu sou must be eaten fresh. But I guess, I should try doing it once, at least, to justify the RM100 spent on the class. So, are there any guinea pigs out there?


Lyrical Lemongrass said...

I have an idea if you need numbers...... ;-)

It was fun, but next time, I shall be less ambitious (translated: go for easier classes). :-)

Jason said...

*jump out from nowhere* Pick me!

Kavi said...

I want... i want.... when r u inviting me to taste it????

Precious Pea said...

luscious sista: So agree with you. Maybe we should start with something basic.

jason: Picked!

kavi: Errr.....when i decide to make it lor..which I don't know when..hehe.

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

haha i think u might regret asking for guinea pigs..bcoz u gonna get me knocking on ur door early morning!!

mama bok said...

Had I known that i was gonna to marry someone in Canada.. and got no chinese food hor.. i die, die also go and learn how to cook.. now really regret... :(

ling239 said...

the char siew of the csb u made is peeping thru the bao leh.... so inviting ~ ^_^

wmw said...

Yahlo...invite us over! Then more worthwhile for you to make :o)

Vanitha said...

My lovely sister can be your first guinea pig...she loves char siu...have fun!

Cokeworld Citizen said...

wahhhhh i want try....*pouts*

haha i like cooking also...u should watch more food channel then. folding means folding the mixture with other ingredients gently to capture air in it so ur cake is fluffy soft not keras keras batu XD hehe

oh my infused vodka dah post. lolz...

The Cooking Ninja said...

wow! Those are sure delicious looking. :) Yummy.

ekeng said...

i can be the guinea pig..hahaha..

Terri @ A Daily Obsession said...

i spent RM100 also learning from a KL sifu but even his HK bao didn't smile! n no refund either. your sifu's bao looks perfect, n u guys learn fast!truly impressive.

Nic (KHKL) said...

as chinese saying goes "failure is the mother of all successes"...dont' give up!
guinea pigs recruitment, count me in! promise won't run away when the tart turns cookie-like..hehe...

daphne said...

that's so cool! esp the egg tarts! One day! I will try the pastry.. ;p

Precious Pea said...

NJoe: Then i will make sure my gate is locked and my dogs are let loose. Hehe!

mamabok: Hahahaha!!! Aiyoo..really that bad? No Chinese restaurant?

ling239: The piece of char siu trying to burst out from the bao (imagine Aliens)

wmw: Cannot also many cooks, spoil the Baos! Hehe!

vanitha: Haha..i know i know. She wanted to go for the class but sadly, it was full already.

cokeworld citizen: Aiyoo..sadly recipe books never explain what is folding. They expect us to know. Grr! Ok..will hop over to sniff your vodka in a minute.

cooking ninja: Yep, tasty and fresh!

ekeng: Ok..let me feed you with some carrots. Come ere come ere...

terri: Before she started the class, she oledi told us her bao guaranteed fatt. But i guess i will try out her recipe after the CNY when I am less busy to see if it can really fatt.

nic(khkl): Ok, if i do it during the weekend, then i will ask you over.

daphne: Cool! Will lookout for your post!

ai wei said...

you made me craving for dim sum all in a sudden aaaa!!! the egg tarts n char xiu sou look too good to me! i wish i could try out ur 'product's ^^ can i?! hehehe

catsndogs said... mee....
i'm always ur standby guinea pig :P

a feast, everyday said...

Wow, everything looks delish, good job!

crazylobster said...

Hi I know this is completely unrealted to your entry but you slapped your cousins just to irritate them?!

Precious Pea said...

ai wei: Pls submit your application for being one of my guinea pigs. Hehehe.

catsndogs: Hahaha..i can imagine you raising up your hand!

droolteam: Thanks! :)

crazylobster: Not I irritate them but she irritated me till i no longer can tahan. Hehehe....fierce or not?

tigerfish said...

Sounds and looks so interesting. I wonder when I can ignite my interest on baking. Hmmm...maybe a dim sum class is a good start. Well, at least I like savory bakes eg char siew pao, pork pastry...heee heee..

Imbi & Itchy said...

21 precious comments! Am I too late? *worried*

Cokeworld Citizen said...

wah liao...dah lah JFKA have to apply. become ur guinea pig also need to apply??? wats with the red tapes in even got to food bloggers :P hiyoh...

Angel said...

hi, i would very much like to learn how to make egg tarts.. when u have time tomake them next time, can u pls post it here..:D thanks!

ai wei said...

Name: Ai Wei
Age: 22
Blog: Ai Wei's story a.k.a. My Story~
Blog URL:

hehehe, am i qualified to become ur guinea piggie?!?!?!

Simon Seow said...

I can be the white rat anytime. Just make sure the food is cooked. I have bad experience with food poisoning.

UnkaLeong said...


Precious Pea said...

unkaleong: Submit application pls.

simon: Hmmm...delicate stomach eh? Cannot eat sashimi then?

ai wei: Hahaha!! Wahh..detailed submission. Ok! Application has been approved and filed.

angel: Although too much work involved, I think I will do it at least once. Will blog about it if i do yah :)

cokeworld citizen: Aiyah..nowadays everything also very political. No choice la sekali later people come protesting saying i unfair lor. At least i give chance for you all to vote for yourself ma. HAHAH!

imbi & itchy: Hahaha...err...can still submit your application.

tigerfish: Baking is fun! Should try especially with your cooking skill, am sure you will whip up even more mouthwatering dishes.

Shirley Khor said...

Wow! The char siew bun u made looks very tempting :P" Mmm~I miss char siew sou :(


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