Secrets of the Masters- Studio 4, GMA 7

I was uber excited when Mama told me we would be watching Secret of the Masters with Tita Heidi and Maane. I’m fond of watching cooking shows and this time I got to watch it live.

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Host Issa Litton and Appetite Magazine's Editor-in-chief J. Lorraine Belmonte

As instructed, we went to GMA around 10 am to meet Mico. We were asked to stay in the canteen until it was time to start taping. Big thanks to Tita’s daughter Astrid and her friends… we got the front seats.

Three episodes were taped that day but we only stayed for the 1st one. I didn’t know it would take 6 hours to tape a 40-minute show. I’m not complaining or anything…but sometimes waiting isn’t just my thing (or was I hungry that time).

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Chef Avelina Florendo shares her secret.

Chef Avelina Florendo was the featured chef for that episode. She’s a renowned chef whose expertise in baking and cake decoration has made her ICES’ Hall of Fame awardee last 2005. At 77, she has created a great number of masterpiece that brought delight and satisfaction in every occasion. No doubt…she’s  an institution when it comes to baking!

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Chef Avelina demonstrated how to create natural looking flowers and leaves cake decorations using Isomalt. Isomalt is used as a sugar substitute in decoration. It is edible and very durable;  Isomalt is effective in areas where heat or humidity is a concern.

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Chef was very mindful about the temperature; Isomalt is a bit expensive and cooking it above the required temp is like putting money down the drain. The hardened isomalt mixture is warmed in a collapsible warmer made by her son, Chef Jun. According to Chef Avelina, she has to wear two layers of gloves (1 latex and 1 cloth) since the mixture is very hot.

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Issa Litton joins Chef Avelina and her assistants in making porcelain cake decorations.

Next, Chef showed us how to make decors using porcelain…this time it’s not edible. Different ingredients were used and mixed together. Chef and her assistants painstakingly rolled, pulled, and molded the porcelain. According to Chef Avelina, the mixture is clay like and  can be recycled by melting it and molding it again into another decor whether a flower, leaf, bow, or anything imaginable. 

I could remember chef telling Mercy (one of her assistants) to be careful… “huwag mong pilitin”. It was really funny because she kept on calling and telling Mercy what to do while the cameras were rolling.

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Porcelain flowers for the audience to keep

And the result… was a very elegant looking masterpiece. Chef was really patient and creative, at her age, to make something extravagant like this. NICE!

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Her son Chef Jun Florendo also showed his skills in baking. He made a fondant cake and decorated it using the porcelain flowers made earlier.

For the finale, Chefs Avelina and Jun Florendo together with their assitant Mike made TRES LECHES cake. The name itself means a cake composed of 3 kinds of milk. This is the first..and the only dish we got to eat that afternoon. It was definitely worth waiting and keeping myself seated for hours just to eat this tres leches. I can’t wait for the quatro leches, Chef Jun!

Sorry guys, I wasn’t able to take photos of this cake; we were asked to eat it right away once served (to capture how we savor the dish). It was totally delish! To describe you how it was… think of it this way… eating a light and creamy cake with a pudding like texture covered with fluffy marshmallow like icing with the right amount of sweetness. Mmmm…

Everyone got to taste the tres leches that left us speechless for a minute or so. So scrumptious!!!

The said episode will be aired sometime November, probably the first week.

Watch Secrets of the Masters, Sundays at 7pm.