Thanks to Jade Wong of Mustard Tree Communications, (through the kind recommendation of FBB) I spent a delightful afternoon at the Academy. The moment I walked through the glass door, I was bowled over by the wonderful aroma of BAKING... you know, that oh-so-delicious aroma that can only come from baking a concoction of butter, flour, eggs, sugar and goodness-knows what else (yummy stuff, of course!)
The Academy houses an impressive 8,000 sq ft which had been assigned to a Chocolate Room, Bakery Room, Pastry Kitchen, Pastry Room, Weddine Cake Room (with ceiling mirrors!), Chef's Lounge and classrooms.
The Academy's main focus is to train students through their Certificate programs:
* 3-month Certificate Program in Pastry & Bakery (Full time)
* 3-month Certificate Program in Pastry & Bakery (Part time)
* 3-month Certificate Program in Bakery (Full time)
* 9-month Certificate Program in Pastry & Bakery
Students and participants will be personally trained and coached by pastry and bakery champions ensuring hands-on teaching, practice and repeated exposure to the best pastry techniques, pastry tools and ingredients. Believe me when I say they use only top-notch ingredients (like Varlhona chocolates) and the Academy is fitted-out with the most modern state-of-the-art equipment.
Helmed by the affable and charming Chef Guillaume Lejeune as the Director of Pastry Studies, who comes with more than 13 years of international experience in teaching, demonstrating in Hospitality Institutes as well as hands-on experience within Michelin starred hotels and restaurants in France, the Middle East and Asia, you know you are in pretty good hands!
Existing professionals and pastry enthusiasts can also go for short-term courses whereby you can learn how to bake:
* Chocolate for Beginners
* Chocolates & Pralines
* The Art of French Pastries
* Tea Cakes, Cookies & Bars
Their fees are very reasonable, ranging from RM150 (half day), RM250 (full day) to RM500 (2 days).
On the day I was there (together with a few other bloggers), we were treated to a short lesson on "How to Bake & Decorate a Gingerbread House"!
Actually, to save time, the ginger bread house pieces were already baked and ready. After the informative demo by Chef Lejeune, it was our turn to decorate our houses! The "cement" used to glue the walls and roof of the gingerbread house is made from beaten egg whites + icing sugar. Chef Lejeune showed us the technique of creating "icicles" that should hang from the roof beams...
Sift some icing sugar over the house for that "snow" effect... and then proudly presenting my handiwork...
... standing next to WMW's house...
As Christmas is just round the corner, you may be interested in their "Christmas Delights" class on 13 & 14 December 2010 (one time only!). We were treated to these Christmas delights baked by Chef Lejeune and his students...
Stollen - so fragrant with spices and dried fruits!
If one is not enough for you, have a whole basketful!
How about some Christmas Cookies? Cardamom honey and Lemon Cinnamon flavoured...
A beautiful and ingenious way to stack up your cookies...
Tell me, can you ever, ever resist something like this...
Chocolate Moelleux - sinfully rich chocolate cake with a moist melted centre, topped with raspberries and edible gold bits! Such luxurious indulgence!
I am definitely going to sign up for some classes soon because I want to
Thin chocolate shell holding a dollop of whipped ganache (passionfruit + vanilla), biscuit joconde, guimauve (that square of yellow spongey melt-in-the-mouth delight), topped with chocolate fan-like shaving and raspberry - heavenly!
Another variety is this... the Strawberry version:
It was a wonderful decadent afternoon spent at the Academy, in the charming company of Chef Lejeune and Hanne Landgraf (Customer Relations Executive) and fellow bloggers WMW, Jason, Li Chuen and Edwin...
I can't wait to go back there and get my hands-on sessions!
The Academy of Pastry Arts Malaysia is located in Wisma Thrifty, right across the Petaling Jaya Hilton:
Lot 2-A, 2nd Floor
19 Jalan Barat
46200 Petaling Jaya
Contact: Mobile +6017-3252395
Tel: +603-7960-3846 / Fax: +603-7960-3848
*Thank you, Jade - for this lovely experience!