Imagine not having to clean up your mess. App-taught, pastry chef-assisted baking studio promises a fun, hassle-free experience
We’ve all been there: spending hours and hours on end with our eyes glued on cake shows, observing pastry chefs as they scurry about to magically transform unassuming heaps of flour into dreamy desserts. We find ourselves transfixed, and sometimes longing to try our hand at doing such wonders in the kitchen.
If you’ve been going back and forth about jumping on the baking bandwagon because you are unsure whether you actually have the skills and budget (and patience) to create that cake, here’s the perfect place for you to test your mettle.
Go through the entire baking process at Bakebe, a co-baking studio at the second level of SM Aura Premier, where you can learn how to bake with the help of an app. Baking may be daunting to first-timers but Bakebe assures one of a fun and hassle-free experience.
Hong Kong’s first and only app-taught co-baking studio, Bakebe (pronounced bāk-bē) is the brainchild of professional food blogger Venus Chi. She wanted a space that would allow even those with zero baking chops to experience the joy of turning raw ingredients into mouthwatering sweets “with as little stress as possible.” Chi then sought the expertise of talented pastry chefs who have worked in Michelin-star restaurants to design Bakebe’s menu and foolproof recipes.
This writer’s experience was like stepping into Barbie’s bakeshop, with most of the space swathed in cotton-candy pink and a sweet caramel scent hanging in the air. Every corner is Instagram-ready. There’s even a flower wall of pink and yellow roses, with neon lights in the shape of angel wings and a sign that says “Bakebe Angel,” where successful “bakers” can proudly show off their masterpiece. Tabletop tripods are even available for those who would want to vlog about their entire baking experience.
But make no mistake about it, Bakebe is serious about letting you come up with that high-quality, do-it-yourself cake.
iPad and apron
After a quick tour around the Bakebe studio, you will be handed an iPad, plus, of course, an apron and a pair of gloves to complete your look. On your iPad, the recipe of your chosen cake is waiting, saved in an app that will serve as your baking instructor.
There are designated stations for ingredients, tools, electric ovens, cooling and stand mixers.
Everything you need is right here, from flour and flavorings to trimmings and topping cream. There are containers in the reach-in fridge with whole eggs, egg yolks, and egg whites. All you need to do is read the instructions on the app carefully and stick closely to them.
You need not fret if anything goes wrong. Bakebe has pastry chefs who are always ready to come to your rescue when the going gets really tough (like when this writer’s icing mix decided to have the consistency of Play-Doh that had been exposed to the elements). Kitchen assistants are also present to clean up your mess. Imagine baking and not having to wash and clean the gazillion tools that you use. What can be more hassle-free than that?
With a name that stands for “baking the infinite possibilities,” Bakebe goes by the motto, “Anyone can bake.” But to manage the expectations of clients, the level of difficulty of each product is shown on the menu.
Baking virgins might want to begin with Classic Creme Brulée or Serradura Bouquet, which are both ranked Level 1, or Unicorn Baby Cupcakes or Salted Egg Palmiel at Level 2. More confident bakers can choose from Hazelnut Alphabet Cake or Golden Chestnut Macarons (Level 3), Mermaid Atlantis Gem or Melt My Treat (Level 4), and Beer Papa or Shakespeare’s Chocolate (Level 5).
The co-baking space offers special packages, whether it’s for a birthday party, bridal shower or a team-building activity.
“Most of our customers are couples celebrating their anniversary, and groups of friends having birthday parties,” said Chef Clarisse, one of Bakebe’s resident pastry chefs.
Everything in the menu of Bakebe Hong Kong is available here but tweaked to match the Filipino palate. All of its pastry chefs underwent week-long training in Malaysia, where Bakebe’s first studio outside of Hong Kong is located. Contributed by Din Villafuerte
Bakebe, at 2/F SM Aura Premier, is brought to the Philippines by The Nextperience Group. Rates start at P999. Visit phbooking.bakebe.com. Instagram: @bakebe_ph and Facebook.com/BakebePH