AFTER the very first successful Zeelandia's Baking Seminar in Cagayan de Oro by Pastry Chef Sunindra Itka Satya of Indonesia at the Grand Caprice

Restaurant and Convention Center, the second Baking Seminar in the Philippines was recently held at Linmar Apartelle in Davao City last July 17, 2010.

I was tasked to do the honors by Mr. John Alexander Uy, general manager of Zeelandia Philippines. And it was a fantastic experience using most of the available pre-mixes, custard creams, fruit fillings, muffin mixes, glazing agents, bread shine, whipping cream, bread improvers and others.

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The 80 plus eager participants came in as early as 12:30 p.m. And since we have pre-baked goodies (varieties and different sizes and shapes of bread with fillings and toppings, donuts, cakes and pastries) already displayed in the venue, the participants took the opportunity to take several pictures of them.

By 1:30 p.m., the venue was already filled with smiling and excited faces as the seminar begun.

Delicious soft, Asian sweet breads was demonstrated by Mr. Felix Oracoy, Technical Sales Executive, as the very first recipe was introduced with me doing the "talking," using Super Soft (bread improver) as several "polo" (cofi bun-type breads) made waves. And while the bread dough was being proofed, I started doing what I do best, baking cakes and pastries.

Cheesy Blitz Torte, a butter-based cake with a layer of meringue in between a layer of RAP (ready-to-use custard filling) was next in line. The cream tasted really good, not too sweet and is bake-stable. All time favorite Cream Puff was another sinful creation using RAP as a filling with crunchy caramel on top.

It was time to start making the donut from the easy to use premix. By just adding eggs and oil, several soft and yummy confections were produced. After frying them in hot oil, it was time to dip them in the many prepared donut glazes (available in vanilla, strawberry, mocha and honey). It was fun decorating them with chocolate drizzle, sprinkles and marshmallows. It definitely made the donuts look very festive and very appealing to both young and old alike! Just heavenly!

Another very easy to do luscious cake, Chocolate Mousse Cake, was made with Steam Tiramisu and Steam Brownie Mix as cake base. But this time, instead of the usual baking, both cakes were steamed that made the cake even more moist! Bio-Bianca, a whipped cream in powder form and with the addition of cold water need just a few minutes of mixing and voila! a mouth-watering frosting is ready to be used! And mind you, it doesn't have any after taste like the other commercially prepared brands. It is also stable in cool temperature and doesn't need to be refrigerated.

All participants were given slices of all the breads and desserts and some were even luckier, because they get to bring home either a layer of the decorated cakes or the soft breads. Edesy Meat Floss (Bahoo in Chinese), courtesy of Ms. Dorothy Du, was also used in several bread varieties. One need not go to Manila anymore because they can make their own Floss Bread now after attending the seminar!

Like any other seminars I have attended or conducted, there are several nice people we have to thank for. Because if not for them, it would probably take us days just to bring in all the necessary equipment needed for the activity. First and foremost, to Mr. Emmanuel Ramirez, together with Guadalupe and Randy Magallanes of the famous Charlie's Bakeshop for letting us use their baking room, to Moises, Nanding and his son and the other wonderful staff of Charlie's

Bakeshop for assisting us during the pre-baking of our delicious breads, cakes and pastries, Ms. Arni Aviles of Bakers Basket for picking me up at the Davao International Airport and who is the authorized distributor for our Zeelandia's quality bakery ingredients in Davao, Mr. Vincent and Ms. Donnah Rodriguez of the

Davao Baker's Association for helping us in inviting the participants, Ms. Joan

Reyes of Ma-an's Bakeshop for the use of the working table and mixer used during the live seminar, Ms. Beth Llavi, who helped us in the registration of participants, to the owner of COKTEK for the oven used, but most especially to all the fantastic, enthusiastic and amazing audience who took time out from their daily schedule just to be with us that afternoon.

Needless to say, it was a magnificent afternoon spent for me teaching new techniques and skills to all the willing bakers and soon-to-be bakers of the beautiful and fantastic people of Davao City. Here's hoping to see you all again in the very near future. Happy baking to all! (Email: potsnpans1976@yahoo.com; website: www.potsnpans1976.weebly.com)