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Lesson 1: Inverted Puff Pastry


Bonjour everyone!

So school started on Friday, with what was the only day of the whole term with a demonstration & practical class on the same day. Unlike the rigour that I’d been exposed to in the intensive set for Basic Patisserie, the normal set has a pretty spread out schedule, with approximately one class a day, four times a week. We’ll see in due time whether I think the intensive course/normal one is more suitable for me haha.

It was really awesome to be back in the demo room (albeit a totally different school) and to be a pastry student again. Apart from the fact that I’d barely slept the night before, the 3 hours of class was super enjoyable and passed by pretty quickly. We were introduced to the chefs I/C of the IP group and briefed on the rules etc. that we were expected to follow in the weeks to come. In terms of strictness, I’d say that the school has definitely stepped up its game from the time I was here.

Prior to knowing the syllabus, Tenille (my friend from Trinidad & Tobago who is also not from the most recent BP batch) and I were discussing how we hoped the first class would be basic enough to handle. I’m not too sure how she felt, but when I saw that it was a class on inverted puff pastry, I started getting quite worried (my experience in basic with Pithiviers in the sweltering summer heat was horrible). The chef made it look really simple but at the same time, you could tell that the room was slightly too warm for laminating, resulting in the chef himself having a difficult time handling the deterempe.

Immediately after demo (which ended around 630pm), everyone from groups E & F rushed to the locker rooms to get changed for our practical class which was at 7pm. I was super nervous at this point, knowing that the unfamiliarity of the kitchen would be a potential hurdle in my class. Right from the beginning, I got it wrong. Unlike 4 years ago where we’d just stand wherever we pleased, my classmates were all standing at benches corresponding to their index number (I didn’t even know what mine was LOL). One of my classmates had to come up to me to tell me I was standing in her spot *oops*.

To my delight, our chef for the prac was Chef Jean-Jacques, one of my fave chefs from Basic. He kept his usual cool demeanour & I felt that familiarity from Basic once again. Everyone paired up to make different components of the puff pastry & I was lucky to have Jianhua (from China) pair up with me. She was super helpful in telling me where to get all the items & I must say we worked pretty well together 🙂

Once everything was out of the oven and we’d cleaned up, Chef went around to assess our work. Another new thing that was introduced was an evaluation journal that each of us had to bring in for the class, for Chef to give a grade based on our work. Again, I must say that the new system put in place really seems much more school-like than it was. Kudos to the academic team for that!


Going to my second practical tomorrow – we’re using leftover puff pastry from this first one to make a mille feuille 😉 Stay tuned!



Pink Guava Macarons

Oh my goodness!

It has been officially almost 5 months since I last updated. So so so sorry about that 🙁

The past semester has been busy. And unfortunately, I hardly even had time to bake. If you follow my Instagram, you’d know that I baked a strawberry shortcake & a cheesecake but apart from those two, I haven’t really baked anything, lest update my blog.

I’ve since started my Summer internship (four days after my final exams ended :<) and the office is celebrating World Baking Day, which is today! The theme was cakes but I just miss baking macarons so much that I had to do something macaron related.


Sometimes at night, I think about macarons and what sort of flavours I could curate. There are just infinite possibilities. But I decided to be practical about it and use whatever I already have in my fridge, rather than go around and end up having even more ingredients that will end up expiring on the shelf (it ALWAYS happens). So last year, I bought this Pink Guava Puree and made it into a ganache for my Lemon & Pink Guava Macarons. Mind you, this Puree is like some 2-litre thing. I honestly have no idea how I’m going to finish it before it expires at the end of the year. You can probably expect tons more pink guava desserts from here hahaha.

What I did was take my usual recipe of macaron shells, paired it with my favourite Swiss Meringue Buttercream, but then reduced Pink Guava Puree with Brandy (just for a little fragrance) and then added it in to make Pink Guava Macarons.

I used quite a bit for a small batch of macarons to make the flavour more pronounced, but it still wasn’t too strong, and perhaps not as obvious as I’d like it. But since Guava is a rather subjective flavour, I figured it was best to keep it more subtle than to overwhelm everyone.


Some baby’s breaths from my Anniversary bouquet hehe

Do try it for yourself and let me know what you’re baking this World Baking Day!

Pink Guava Macarons

Macaron shells
Makes 100 shells
Preheat oven to 160 degrees with fan



  • 300g powdered sugar / icing sugar
  • 300g almond meal/almond flour
  • 110g egg whites


  • 75g water
  • 300g granulated sugar
  • 110 egg whites


  1. Sift powdered sugar & almond meal together. Put egg whites over and leave aside
  2. Boil water and sugar until it reaches 115 degrees celcius. Begin whipping the egg whites till they reach soft peaks
  3. When the sugar syrup reaches 118 degrees celcius, pour it into the egg whites to create an Italian Meringue
  4. Keep whipping until your meringue has stiff peaks (see Meringue tips)
  5. Fold the meringue into the almond mixture A
  6. The batter should be ribbony and when a pattern is created, the pattern in the batter should disappear only after 15 seconds
  7. Pipe out the macaron shells around 3-cm in diameter, spaced out from each other
  8. Put into oven for 8-10 minutes or until the shells are ‘fixed’ or ‘attached’ to the baking parchment. This will mean that the parchment will shift about when you hold on to one shell. The shell should not detach from the rest of the shell (if you’ve made macarons before you should know what I mean)
  9. Take it out to cool & remove from parchment sheet

Pink Guava Buttercream (SMBC)


  • 100 g sugar
  • 2 extra large egg whites
  • 150 g butter, at room temperature
  • 100g pink guava puree
  • 1 bottle cap of brandy


  1. Take pink guava puree and 1 cap of brandy and place in saucepan, reducing over low heat.
  2. The resulting mixture should be thickened but not burnt. Leave to cool.
  3. Place sugar and egg whites in a large heatproof bowl. Put the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and whisk continuously until the sugar is dissolved. The mixture should be thick and sticky.
  4. Place the egg white mixture into an electric mixing bowl. Using whip attachment, whip the egg white on medium-high speed until it reaches a stiff peak and is glossy. The meringue should be cool at this point.
  5. Change to paddle attachment (of electric mixer) and continue beating meringue at medium-high speed . While the motor is running, add small chunks of room temperature butter one at a time. Continue adding all the butter and keep beating until the butter is blended in and the buttercream is smooth, very smooth.
  6. Add cooled pink guava puree that has been reduced, to taste.


  1. Match up your macaron shells
  2. Pipe pink guava buttercream
  3. Cap with the matching macaron shell
  4. Refrigerate & serve to eat the next day

Hope you enjoy this recipe 🙂





Hello readers!

Happy New Year to all of you (can you believe a year has passed & it’s already 2015?), and thanks for following me over the past year. I know I have been pretty tardy the whole year in terms of posting & I really thank all of you who still comment & try out the various recipes.

I mentioned in my last post that I was planning something for the holiday. This was a collaboration with another baker, my dear friend Jancy, who went to Le Cordon Bleu (my FAQ on LCB) with me. We did this as a sort of taste-test for what sort of flavours people would respond to, as well as general receptiveness on newer flavours.

Presenting to you, our Christmas project, POCO A POCO Patisserie – the Macaron giveaway 2014.

Photo credits: Syazwan Hanif

Photo credits: Syazwan Hanif

L to R: Kaya, Salted Gula Melaka, Lavender Earl Grey & Maple with Candied Bacon

Thanks to everyone who participated in our survey & gave feedback on flavours.

Here’s to a new year (and hopefully more new posts) to everyone!

As I type this, I’m letting my curd rest in the fridge, experimenting with something new! Promise a recipe will be out soon 🙂


– the first CITNB post of 2015