Calling all home bakers to send in your entries for Think Out Of The Shell Baking Challenge. Closing date is on 16th October 2012.
Don’t be scared by the word “Pastry”. According to Wikipedia, “Pastry is the name given to various kinds of baked products made from ingredients such as flour, sugar, milk, butter, shortening, baking powder, and/or eggs.” Now, you suddenly realize you are already doing that at home? So it is time to be recognized and rewarded for your passion in baking. Joining the Think Out Of The Shell Baking Challenge is a great opportunity for you to show off your baking skills.
Here is a note from the Organiser:
“Hello to all Home bakers,
All home cooks and bakers are invited to participate in the Think Out Of The Shell Baking Challenge organized by Nutriplus from Saturday, October 26th, until Wednesday, October 31st 2012, at Aeon One Utama. This baking challenge is open to amateurs who love to bake or have been baking at home. The mission of this challenge is to provide an opportunity to home bakers to showcase and share their passion with the public.
Workshops from professional coaches will be offered for selected contestants to help them refine their recipes for the competition. There will be awards in the forms of Iphone, I pads and RM 3600.00 worth of workshops provided by The Academy of Pastry Arts Malaysia during the World Pastry Forum in Nov 2012, this will be a great chance you to meet with world renown pastry chefs engaged in professionals methods of cakes, chocolates, sugar and etc.
We believe that you have what it takes to pursue further in the skills and knowledge of patisseries, as our coaches and judges here are ready to meet up with you and provide you the short-term training if you require. But most importantly, we believe that you will be playing a part in promoting the interest of baking to the Malaysian public.
I hope to receive enquiries from you. You may send emails to me at email@example.com. It will be a valuable educational experience for all of us as we, from the industrial will get to know those who bake from home and vice versa. If you would like to know more about the rules and regulations, please log into "Think Out Of The Shell" facebook page where there is a website you can submit your recipe.
P/S: The sooner we hear from you, the better we are able to promote this event on youtube, facebook or even recorded in a short video which will be made into TV show.
I really hope to hear from you all.
It is really not as hard as you think to bake something as an entry to the challenge. I just whipped up some spiced fig bars this morning. These are great snacks to have around the house. Nothing fancy or complicating but they are pastry right? Remember, I am not a pastry chef nor I had any formal training in baking. I am just a amateur home baker who started to take baking more seriously 2 years ago. If I can do it, you can too. Join in the challenge and you will be so pleased that you did.
Spiced Fig Bars
For the dough:
½ cup unsalted butter
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ tsp salt
1 large Nutriplus jumbo egg yolk
2 tbsp milk
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¼ tsp baking powder
For the filling:
7 oz dried figs (I use Turkish figs), quartered
1 ¾ cups water
½ tsp ground cinnamon
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
¼ cup packed dark brown sugar
2 tsp lemon juice
pinch of salt
In a large bowl, beat butter with sugar and salt using electric mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, approximately 2 minutes. Add egg yolk and vanilla. Beat till well mixed. Add milk and beat till blended. In a bowl, whisk together flour and baking powder and stir into wet ingredients in two batches until a soft dough forms. Wrap dough in cling wrap and put in the fridge for one hour.
To make the fig filling, place the chopped figs, water, cinnamon and nutmeg in pot over medium heat. Bring to the boil and then reduce heat to simmer. Cover pot for 25 minutes. The figs should be soft and swollen but there should still be some liquid left in the pot. Add brown sugar and lemon juice. Cover and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes until thickened. Remove from heat, set the mixture aside to cool before puree in a food processor until smooth. Let filling cool completely at room temperature. Put it in an airtight container and let it set in the fridge.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
On a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough out into a 15x12-inch rectangle. Use a ruler to slice the dough into three strips so that you end up with 3 long thin rectangles that are 5 inches wide and 12 inches long.
Spread one-third of the fig filling along the center of one of the strips of dough. Gently fold one long side of dough over the fig mixture and then fold the second side to overlap the first. You will now have a long tube of dough enclosing the fig filling. Press down gently at the seams. Be careful not to squish out the filling. Repeat this with the remaining two strips of dough.
Slice the logs into 1½-inch pieces and transfer the cookie bar to the baking sheet with the seam side facing down.
Bake until slightly puffed and lightly golden, about 15-20 minutes. Transfer cookie bars to a wire rack to cool.