Address: 12/F, 28 Hung To Road, Kwun Tong, Kowloon, Hong Kong
CHEFS (Chocolate & Culinary School) is the cooking school opened by Chef Koo, the mastermind behind the popular cake shop black n white (see my first, second and third reviews on their desserts). Besides chocolates and desserts classes, CHEFS is now offering cooking classes for savoury foods as well, and I was invited last week to join a baking class taught by Reko, a newly joined teacher. We will make a “calzone” in this class, but do note that this is a Hong Kong-style “calzone” and not the authentic Italian one!
You could apply for classes by sending your name and contact number to firstname.lastname@example.org, and a member of the team will get back to you on it. You could also check CHEFS’ Facebook page for more information. The cooking class costs $380, and there will be a maximum of 16 persons at the class.
The venue of the cooking class is bright and modern, so we had plenty of space to make our masterpiece.
You do not have to bring anything to the class, and all the ingredients were neatly arranged on the table when I arrived.
During the class, Reko firstly did a demonstration to us at the front, and then she and a few other staff walked around the classroom to help out the students. There is a large mirror right above the teacher’s table so you can get a view of what she is doing from various angles. The class was taught in Chinese, but you could request for English translation in advance.
Reko is a passionate and energetic young lady, and she has recently published a book on tasty homemade desserts, pictured below.
(1) After a brief introduction, we started off by preparing the pesto sauce, which was a no-brainer really! We just put 75g-85g of basil, 100g of roasted pine nuts, 55g of grated parmesan cheese, 2g of sea salt and 8 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil into a blender and blended until the ingredients were reasonably smooth.
(2) We then began making the dough for the calzone. We put 200g of flour, 110g of cold water (the amount of water might need minor adjustments depending on the temperature and humidity of the day), 4g of dried yeast, 4g of sea salt, 6g of sugar and 12g of olive oil into the mixer. We started off with low speed on the mixer so that the flour wouldn’t get everywhere, but as soon as a dough was formed we turned it to high speed and kept mixing the dough with the dough hook until it was smooth. It is not a problem at all if you don’t have a mixer at home, as you can easily mix the ingredients and knead the dough with your hands!
(3) After that, we let the dough rest in room temperature for 15 minutes.
(4) We divided the dough into 50-gram portions, and rolled out each portion. We brushed a thin layer of pesto on the dough, and then put some salami, dried mozzarella cheese, cherry tomatoes and mushrooms in it as the filling.
(5) We then folded up the dough, which was the most critical part of the preparation! We had to make sure that the calzone was completely sealed, otherwise the ingredients (especially the cheese) might spill out of it during baking! After sealing the calzone, we tugged at the edge of the dough and folded it over gently, making nice little twists around the calzone.
This is what my calzone looked like. Not perfect, but looked pretty good in my opinion!
(6) We brushed some pesto over the calzone’s surface before it went into the oven to give it more colour. You can brush as much pesto on it as you like.
(7) We baked the calzones in the oven at 230°C for 15 minutes. This is also the perfect time to socialise with your classmates.
(8) Voilà – the finished product were piping hot and ready to be eaten!
You could of course put more cheese in it if you like, but you just have to be extra careful when sealing the calzone, as some of the calzones we made during the class had cheese bursting out of it.
The calzones were definitely best to be eaten when still hot, but a paper box was given to us so that we could take the calzones home after the class.