Chef Jackie Tay – The Baking Rabbit

The Baking Rabbit

Rose Ombre Mini Cake by Chef Jackie Tay on 14th September 2013

Before the break of dawn, I made myself a cup of coffee and got way ahead ready for a bake class at 10am. It’s been 15 years or more since I attended any culinary lessons and I was pretty excited after reading Chef Jackie’s profile.

Having chanced upon the magical world of fondant cakes, Jackie Zoe Tay left the airlines industry to pursue her dreams and newly found passion. Since then, she never looked back. Within a short period of time, she attained her cake decorating instructor certification in Wilton Methods and PME professional diploma courses. Jackie’s works have been featured in both local and overseas magazines. These include Cake Craft and Decoration, Cakes and Sugarcraft and Style Weddings. Her clients include SIA and Olay. Jackie’s forte is in gumpaste figurine and flowers. She is excited and keen to share her knowledge with you through an exclusive collaboration with Shermay’s Cooking School.

Upon arrival, I got myself registered and was handed a 5-page recipe. I was also given special permission to take photos during the class so please do not go hopping around like me when attending Chef Jackie’s lessons.

Shermay's Cooking School. Founded in 2003 to provide fun learning experience in chic cosy environment, Shermay also  use it as a platform for individuals of any culinary ability to learn practical tips from professional chefs, making them better cooks or simply to inspire them...

Shermay’s Cooking School.
Founded in 2003 to provide fun learning experience in chic cosy environment, Shermay also use it as a platform for individuals of any culinary ability to learn practical tips from professional chefs, making them better cooks or simply to inspire them…

Attendees are encouraged to arrive 20 minutes earlier to collect recipes and enjoy the complimentary drinks.

Attendees are encouraged to arrive 20 minutes earlier to collect recipes and enjoy the complimentary drinks.

Hi, my name is Jackie!

At 10am…
Hi, my name is Jackie!

Chef Jackie's class ran full house with some latecomers turning up.

Chef Jackie’s class ran full house with some latecomers turning up.

Chef Jackie’s class commanded full house that morning. Although students were highly encouraged to interact with the teacher, having “Q and A”s at appropriate times during the two hour session did  ensured the class ran smoothly and ended on time. Chef Jackie is a breath of fresh air. I love the way she injected humour while teaching. From the recipe given and demonstration during the lesson, I could tell Chef Jackie is a very meticulous person, paying great attention to details and giving precise instructions so that students do not stumble at home after attending her class.

After class, I had the privilege to conduct a brief interview with Chef Jackie Tay and found out about the “Baking Rabbit” on her name card. I had to ask why. In her own words, “Contrary to many’s beliefs (or should I say guesses), I wasn’t born in the year of the rabbit. There’s a two-fold meaning. Firstly, I like rabbits. Secondly, one of the character in my Chinese name is 逸 (rabbit in a boat).”

Searching 逸, I found it has three meanings: break loose; leisurely; outstanding. This Baking Rabbit is definitely Outstanding!

Let’s attend class and see why. It’s time to feast your eyes!

Mis en place for the day's baking demonstration.

Mis en place for the day’s baking demonstration.

Creaming icing sugar, butter and rose water till light and fluffy.

Creaming icing sugar, butter and rose water till light and fluffy.

Remember to reduce speed when adding eggs.

Remember to reduce speed when adding eggs.

Add eggs one at a time. Chef Jackie prefers to have her eggs beaten in a glass beaker for easier handling.

Add eggs one at a time.
Chef Jackie prefers to have her eggs beaten in a glass beaker for easier handling.

"By cracking eggs one at a time into a bowl and transferring it to the beaker, you save having to throw away all the eggs should you come into one rotten egg. Broken egg shells that have accidentally dropped into the bowl are also easier to pick out at this time then when they are already in the mixer", she quipped.

“By cracking eggs one at a time into a bowl and transferring it to the beaker, you save having to throw away all the eggs should you come into one rotten egg. Broken egg shells that have accidentally dropped into the bowl are also easier to pick out at this time then when they are already in the mixer”, she quipped.

Concentrated colour gel.

Concentrated colour gel.

Mix a little of the colour gel into the batter.

Mix a little of the colour gel into the batter.

Divide the batter into separate bowls and mix in different amount of colour gel gently to achieve different shades.

Divide the batter into separate bowls and mix in different amount of colour gel gently to achieve different shades.

Today, we are having 4 different shades.

Today, we are having 4 different shades.

Spoon batter into a baking sheet.

Spoon batter into a baking sheet.

She further tipped that every oven has it's own optimum baking temperature.

She further tipped that every oven has it’s own optimum baking temperature.

Bake at the highest heat possible in the shortest time.

Bake at the highest heat possible in the shortest time.

While the cake was in the oven, Chef Jackie showed us how to make buttercream and then pipe the cakes.

While the cake was in the oven, Chef Jackie showed us how to make buttercream and piping the cakes.

Next, she demonstrated the making of tiny butterflies for decorating the cakes using gumpaste

Next, she demonstrated the making of tiny butterflies for decorating the cakes using gumpaste

Click on first picture to see piping process.

Click on first picture to see sequential making of the glittering butterflies.

Chef Jackie attending to questions of students.

Chef Jackie attending to questions of students.

"Practice piping on a parchment before you do it on the cakes", she reminded.

“Practice piping on a parchment before you do it on the cakes”, she reminded.

The key here is to ensure that the broad end of your petal tip is always at the bottom and the narrow end is on top.

The key here is to ensure that the broad end of your petal tip is always at the bottom and the narrow end is on top.

Chef Jackie's take on sugar when asked if the amount could be reduced. "Yes, but not too much."<br />Pound cakes, prepared with butter or shortening, usually contain no leavening agent other than air (Chef Jackie's recipe does). The air is incorporated into the batter through a relatively large quantity of beaten eggs. Creaming the sugar with the shortening contributes fluffiness to the shortening by providing tiny air pockets that undergo heat expansion during baking. Sugar also acts as a tenderizing agent during mixing by inhibiting gluten development and during baking by delaying gelatinization. Thus, sugar helps produce pound cakes of fine grain and good volume.

Chef Jackie’s take on sugar when asked if the amount could be reduced. “Yes, but not too much”. She cited an incident with her neighbour who was preparing for her home economics exam and further explained the function of sugar in cakes. “Besides, you don’t eat these everyday”.
Pound cakes, prepared with butter or shortening, usually contain no leavening agent other than air, although Chef Jackie’s recipe does. The air is incorporated into the batter through a relatively large quantity of beaten eggs. Creaming the sugar with the shortening contributes fluffiness to the shortening by providing tiny air pockets that undergo heat expansion during baking. Sugar also acts as a tenderizing agent during mixing by inhibiting gluten development and during baking by delaying gelatinization. Thus, sugar helps produce pound cakes of fine grain and good volume.

I was offered this piece of pound cake. It was much lighter than the pound cake I made though it retained its density but nothing fudgy. The texture was delightful. It's wonderfully rich and buttery with a lovely golden brown crust covered by the vanilla scented buttercream.<br />The name pound cake derived from the measurements of ingredients used, calling for a pound each of butter, sugar, and flour.

I was offered this piece of pound cake. It was much lighter than the pound cake I made though it retained its density but nothing fudgy. The texture was delightful. It’s wonderfully rich and buttery with a lovely golden brown crust covered by the rose scented buttercream.
The name pound cake derived from the measurements of ingredients used, calling for a pound each of butter, sugar, and flour.

These are some of Chef Jackie's sugar craft creations.

These are some of Chef Jackie’s sugar craft creations.

For enquiries on Chef Jackie’s classes, please contact
Shermay’s Cooking School
Address: CHIP BEE GARDENS (Holland Village)
Blk 43 Jalan Merah Saga, #01-76,
Singapore 278115.
Tel: (+65) 6479 8442 / 6479 8414

Are you ready for her next class?

Are you ready for her next class?

Happy learning 😀

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Comments
6 Responses to “Chef Jackie Tay – The Baking Rabbit”
  1. Laura Lynn says:

    Wow! What an artist, so lovely to see this! I really can’t wait to see what you make Sam. Practice, practice, practice and soon…right? Haha…I can make a lovely cake and a delicious icing but once I have to put them together? Look OUT! It’s a mess!

    • Sam Han says:

      Laura’s mess, lol… It’s somebody’s blog name, taken, sorry. Me, too, I’m not good with my hands. But I love to see these beautiful creations. They whet my appetite! There’s always an excuse to buy cakes with sugar figurines, though I usually do not eat them.

  2. Lignum Draco says:

    Another one that didn’t get in my reader.

    Looking forward to seeing your creations soon.

  3. risia says:

    I love Chef Jackie class….

    • Sam Han says:

      Thanks for visiting Risia. I will let Ms Jackie know when we communicate how much you enjoyed her classes 🙂 I hope you enjoy reading my posts too 😀

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