There’s always a first to everything!

As the title mention of a first to everything, I experienced a very special first a month ago. I took part in my very first competition! As a culinary student, it was such great honour and a nerve-wrecking experience to participate. It was foreign yet, exhilarating! So today, I shall share with you my journey in my very first competition!

This competition is called Project Bake Off 2016. It is a baking competition co-organised by nEbO, a junior membership arm of the Labour Movement (NTUC) Singapore, together with a group of Year 3 business studies students from our local polytechnic in Singapore, Ngee Ann Polytechnic. There were 2 rounds to this competition, a preliminary and final round. In the preliminary round, contestants, a team of 2, were tasked to bake 3 cheese tarts. The tarts would be judged based on creativity on the plating and the taste of the tarts. 10 qualified teams from the secondary and tertiary teams would then proceed to the finals. For the the final round, the teams would have to bake a birthday cake for the celebration of nEbO’s 9th birthday, with a secret ingredient incorporated in the cake.

ANI

It was my partner, Angelyn, and I first ever competition. We are both culinary students, this was a very big deal to us. Therefore when we read the criterias for the preliminary round, we got down to business straight away. We researched on the creativity aspect of plating as the recipe for the cheese tarts were fixed. And so we shortlisted with 3 plates with various flavours infused.

Firstly, we have this vibrant orange spread made from pumpkin puree. We thought it went pretty well with the contrast of the tart shell and it tasted surprisingly fine with cheese! We added some blueberries, mint leaves and meringue for more texture.  IMG_8604 Our second plate, was a little more simple. The spread was a blueberry sauce. Again we played with the colours of the tart. IMG_8499

Lastly, the plate we decided to present, was a rustic and more adventurous plating idea. The base had a meringue, lightly smashed, then it undergo heat to allow caramelisation to take place. Then we added some blueberry sauce and mint leaves for more flavour and texture. IMG_8462

IMG_9279

Our last few moments of plating…

Everyone put up a tough fight for the preliminary round as there were some amazing work done by other contestants, however we were beyond surprised when we got through to the finals.

FullSizeRender 24
Our final product.

The real deal happened during the final round, which happened 2 weeks after the preliminary round. It was intense and we only had 2 hours to dish up an 8 inch cake. We were taken aback by the results from the preliminary round, thus we did not have an idea of what type of cake we would be baking. And with the addition of the secret ingredient, caramelised cookie, we were clueless on what should our product be. We asked for advice from the chef in school and hence, we narrowed down to local flavours.

Our sponge consisted of the caramelised cookie, as we wanted an innovative way of incorporating the cookie into our cake and not just treat it as a garnish. IMG_9280

cake
Angelyn was in-charge of the sponge. And here she is folding the dry ingredients into the wet.

cake 1

While Angelyn worked on the cake, I was preparing the garnishes and cream. The cream used to frost the cake was a coconut cream. In between the layers, there would be a lime curd to moisten the cake. As garnishes we had gula melaka salted caramel and some chocolate barks to give the cake height. Gula melaka is a palm sugar, widely used in asian desserts, thus our idea of having it on our cake.

IMG_9278
The making of the lime curd.
IMG_9284
Making the gula melaka salted caramel.

We made sure all garnishes and cream were ready before we started to assemble the cake.

cake 2
We added some more caramel cookies to give the cake crunch and a variety of textures.
cake 3
Adding the lime curd in the middle gives the cake a colour contrast and a pleasant surprise!

IMG_9277

cake 4
We creamed the cake with splashes of orange and yellow colour as orange colour represents nEbO!
IMG_9286
The caramel was too warm when we poured it onto the cake, thus it melted the buttercream a little.

Within 2 short hours, Angelyn and I gladly baked a birthday cake!

It was the shortest 2 hours I have ever experienced, but it was fun and the adrenaline pumping through out the time made this whole experience so worth it. The results we achieved scored extra brownie points in my ecstasy as we clinched 2nd runner up with the most eye-catching cake.

IMG_9272
With one of the judges, Mr Markas Aw, the owner of Crusty Oven, Singapore.

I could not have done this competition without my partner, Angelyn. It was yet another first with you and it was such a lovely journey, from the experiments of the cheese tarts to the birthday cake. Extremely grateful to be able to take part in this competition, it really broaden my horizons in the baking world. The other contestants put up such a great fight and it made this prize even more valuable.

IMG_9291

I would like to thank the 3 gracious judges for giving us your honest feedbacks and ways to improve. To the students from Ngee Ann Polytechnic, you have organised such a great event and would be looking forward to participant in more!

Overall, it was an absolutely pleasure to be part of this bake off! It was definitely a good virgin experience in the competition world and I hope to be able to join many more and share it with you!

And if you are wondering what Angelyn and I named our team, We are called ACEsulfame! We chose that name due to the sweetener we learnt in school and also, there’s ACE in the name!

I hope you have enjoyed reading this piece and till next time, See you!

Spread love and Be Kind! Pei Gee

To find out more on the organizers and judges…

Organisers:

nEbO- Not the usual club

Project Bake Off 2016, Facebook

Judges:

Mr Lutfi the founder of Bakers Of Singapore: Instagram @BakersofSingapore

Mr Markas Aw, the owner of Crusty Oven, Singapore.

Ms Sri Suratman, the owner of La Marelle Cafe, Singapore.

Come connect with me on…

Instagram @BigOnFood 

Facebook, Big On Food 

My Trending Stories- Pei Gee Tan 

Pinterest @PeigeeTan 

Or, Drop me a mail at TPG22@hotmail.com

Advertisements

Sweet potato patties are my new favourite!

Remember my previous post? The one on the tofu and sweet potato mash? Well, today’s recipe is going to be something similar as I just used leftover sweet potato mash and made it into a patty! Without further ado, let’s get started with the recipe!

IMG_7778

Like I said I used the leftover sweet potato mash recipe for this recipe. This recipe is basically an open faced sandwich with fried mushroom beneath the patty. I added plain flour to the mash to bind it better, so that it would not break while I flip the patty. I fried it till they are crispy on the outer ring. They gave a fluffy internal structure and a crispy external. It was a surprisingly yummy patty, it could be due to the seasonings of the mash.

Next I merely fry a mixture of mushrooms, enoki- both thin and thick, with a shallow amount of oil, seasoning it with salt and pepper.

Overall, it is a simple and easy meal. The mash does not take a lot of time to make, it is pack full of complex carbohydrates and beta-carotene, which is excellent for the eyesight. Mushrooms are low in calorie, not much fat in them, which makes them super super food. This meal can be eaten as breakfast or lunch, whichever you desire. You could change it up by adding cheese and caramelised onions or salsa would give the sandwich a fresh kick. A sandwich is a mashup of your favourite things combined, so be loud with your creativity when making a sandwich!

IMG_7777

Sweet Potato Patty Sandwich

Ingredient

  • A bowl of Sweet Potato Mash 
  • About 1-2 tablespoon of plain flour
  • A handful of choice of mushrooms
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Fresh greens to give your sandwich a crunch
  • A slice of your choice of bread (I went with  wholemeal bread)

Directions

  1. Add plain flour to the sweet potato mash. Mix till combined, then form a patty using your hands. (Best time for your kids to join in)
  2. On a non-stick frying pan, add a splash of oil and add patty onto the frying pan. Fry till sides are a little burnt, or more if you like it more crispy.
  3. While the patty are browning, add toast into toaster or the grill to toast the slice of bread.
  4. After the patty are done, on the same frying pan, add mushrooms and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Once your toast is toasted, layer a bed of greens then your mushrooms and lastly your patty!

IMG_7775

A simple quick fix of all my favourite food. Well, I hope you have enjoyed the recipe today. I got a little free time on hand as it is Singapore’s Birthday today, 9th of August. I would like to wish Singapore a Happy Grand Birthday. And very grateful of the public holiday that I get to recharge myself and write to you. So, thank you for reading and till next time, See you!

Spread Love & Be Kind! Pei Gee

Come get social with me on…

Instagram @BigOnFood 

Pinterest @PeigeeTan 

My Trending Stories- Pei Gee Tan 

Or, Drop me an email at TPG22@hotmail.com