Providore, Singapore’s Premier Gourmet Cafe and Grocery Store, has opened its own cooking studio here in Singapore! The cooking studio is located right next to the grocery store in Pasarbella.
Other than a series of lessons conducted by Providore’s very own guest and resident instructors, the studio is also stocked with a range of cooking equipment, baking ingredients and utensils – making it extremely convenient for you to re-create the dish at home if you were inspired by the lesson.
If your culinary skills have plateaued right after having learnt how to successfully turn the stove on to cook some instant noodles and fried eggs, I feel you. And I’m here to tell you that if I have emerged from Providore’s cooking class feeling like I am able to conquer the kitchen, you can too.
Our cooking instructor of the day was Ms Mayumi Taneie – a spirited and bubbly woman who was highly motivating in getting me to try my hand at many things: beating egg whites, mixing batter – all the things I would never have voluntarily gotten myself to do.
Our objective of the day was to learn how to make cookie cream puffs. To make the lessons easier to follow, the Providore cooking studio had also kindly prepared the recipes in hard-copy for every single student. It came in handy: Ms Mayumi was very generous in giving tips on cooking.
Before we could get our hands all dirty with making the cream puffs ourselves, Ms Mayumi gave a demonstration on the entire process first. She also made sure to answer any burning questions we had for her promptly before moving on.
There are four distinct elements to the making of an excellent cookie cream puff: cookie dough, pate a choux (cream puff dough), creme patissere and creme diplomat. Taking into consideration the time of preparation, Ms Mayumi chose to guide us through the steps in making the pate a choux (cream puff dough) and cookie dough first.
Making of the cookie dough. It was rather easy to make the cookie dough: we had to combine sugar and butter until it was creamy, before sifting in almond powder and plain flour. That was it!
The only time-consuming thing was that you have to put it in the fridge to allow the cookie dough to set overnight – you cannot use a fresh batch of dough. Thankfully, Ms Mayumi had prepared a batch of cookie dough for us the day before so we did not have to worry about having to stay overnight at the studio.
Making of the pate a choux. A mixture of water, fresh milk, salt, castor sugar and unsalted butter was first brought to a boil at medium to high heat before plain and bread flour was added. Still over heat, we had to make sure to stir the now hardening batter continuously, only stopping when the dough began to stick to the bottom of the pan.
After removing the dough from heat and transferring it to a mixing bowl, we added in beaten eggs slowly. Ms Mayumi shared tips on how we could know how much egg is needed to achieve the perfect cream puff dough – we had to observe the viscosity of the dough: if it is scooped up and falls naturally in a triangular shape, then we know we’ve got a winner.
Next, we had to pipe the dough into 16 cute rounds on the baking sheets. The distribution of dough for each puff had to be equal to ensure even cooking times when they’re stuck into the oven. They were then brushed with egg wash and topped off with a slice of cookie dough. The racks were then sent straight to the ovens to bake for 30 minutes at 180 degrees celsius.
Making of the Creme Patissere. As a testament to how enjoyable the cooking class was, before I even knew it, we were down to the second last component of an awesome cookie cream puff. We had to whisk egg yolks with sugar till the mixture was light and thick, before adding in the flour.
Vanilla pod and milk had to be brought to a boil in a saucepan, before the mixture was added to the egg mixture as stated above. Following its removal from heat, butter was then added. The entire mixture was cooled down in a cooling bowl.
Making of the Creme Diplomat. This was the easiest out of them all: we simply had to whip the cream and sugar until they were stiff.
The Creme Patissere was then mixed in with the Creme Diplomat to make the cream meant for filling the cookie cream puff.
By this time, the buns were already baked and looking beautiful fresh out of the oven. Extremely excited, we proceeded to slice the buns and pipe in the cream. Just before popping them in our mouths, Ms Mayumi also dusted them with some icing sugar to enhance the flavours. It might be my ego talking but I thought they were simply the best cream puffs I’ve ever had!
I had a really great time at Providore Cooking Studio and I believe that anyone who would love to improve on their cooking skills would, too. With the quality of lessons provided, I feel that their courses are pretty affordable. Our course was priced at SGD$120 NETT.
Should you have any enquiries or if you feel like booking a lesson for yourself, feel free to contact the cooking studio via their email: [email protected].