Today's struggles are none like I've experienced in a long time. Long strings of successful bakes and lucky first time trials in Australia reduced to a bunch of less than satisfactory products here in Singapore. At one juncture, exasperated and highly irritated by the soaring temperatures and moisture laden air, it felt as thought I was back at square one. The year and a half of professional training rendered down to nothing, like a piece of chuck reduced to gravy in a pot of slow simmering heat.
It lead me to question myself, could it be the inferior ingredients (diary products and quality of milled flour and nuts as well as the state of couveture), the deadly curtain of humid air hanging around like an unwanted friend or the heat that made working with high fat content pastries an impossible feat... That being said, I now have a new found respect for homebakers and pastry chefs in singapore who dare to strive for excellence in an environment that doesn't quite support its growth. Also,its understandable why good quality french pastries are so hard to come by here, and if they are discovered, their high prices justifiable. At the end of the day, I came to a conclusion. Despite all these oddities at stake, it all boils down to the chef. Instead of shifting the blame to the conditions, I should re-evaluate my attitude. In the evident failures to come, the fine-tuning of recipes being a major concern to befit this alien environment, I shall remain strong-willed cause good things come to those who wait.
on a side note, today I change my headnote from "pastry chef to be" to an official pastry chef. Celebrate yo.. it's my graduation. Thanks to all my lovelies who have steered me on this path and all the rest who have my journey unforgettable.
my love, let's create a revolution.
First order of the day, taste testing of a few macarons around the island.
Our first stop brought us to Obolo at the newly furbished (i might be outdated on this one. Pardon me) Katong Mall where we shared the cassis, salted caramel chocolate and champagne macarons. Of the trio, the salted caramel chocolate stood out as the best of the lot ( to me only) trailed closely by the champagne flavored one. As for the poor ole' cassis, half of it landed up in the bin. It's fate sealed by its puckerish dark chocolate ganache that failed miserably at showcasing the flavor of cassis in a favourable light. Perhaps it's because of the recent amazing renditions we had recently that threw the competition overboard. essentially we got ruined by Laduree's fine execution with its cassis macaron. Darn it.
Next up, Antoinette on Penhas Road. That was a major disappointment with innards that left a chalky feel in the mouth. Clearly overbaked, I pondered why is there this common trend throughout the range that we had taste tested throughout the day. Could it be a compromise actioned on purpose to prevent the weeping of the fillings in this extreme hot weather from softening the shells too much?
Canele Patisserie at Raffles City Shopping Center was our next stop where we dived straight in for the Salted Caramel Macaron. With fillings as generous as those from Pierre Herme, I was praying for some sort of redemption. Air pockets were predominent, but the shells were a little better than those at Antoinette. Sweating shells? My guess for the criminal is the humid weather; the action of packaging and unpacking for display combined with the drastic change in temperatures in the process could perhaps explain for this phenomenon. That being said, the salted caramel filling was gorgeous, smoky and luscious.
With the rain as a buzz kill, we got our act together and headed down to ION for our final macaron stop. TWG, where we bought the Earl Grey Fortune and Lemon Bush Tea macaron. What I liked about these macarons were its efforts to showcase the flavors of the various teas and that the company strive to venture from the conventional flavors with a range of 8 macarons, each of a distinctively different tea flavor from each other. And despite having a price tag of $2 (the lowest amongst all that we sampled today), these were the biggest on flavor and delivered commendable quality in terms of texture. A crisp and smooth shell yielding into soft moist innards and a flavorsome tea-infused fillings. Best things should be kept for the last.
112 East Coast Road
30 Penhas Road
Raffles City Shopping Center
TWG Tea Salon and Boutique
ION Shopping Mall
2 Orchard Turn, #02 – 21