Attended a Sunkist event at Cookyn Inc, where I learn to cook, bake and eat at the same time.
This was actually my first-ever cookout experience. I am a “kitchen disaster” in reality but I am so glad that I completed the entire cookout session in one piece, and thank god I did not messed up anything haha.
Met some mad-friendly and fun-loving PR professionals posing candidly with the orange props. Thank you so much for inviting me to this Sunkist event, we had so much fun and you guys put a big smile on our face.
This is where all the fun and cooking started. Cookyn Inc is more than just a cooking school, it is a place where private cooking parties and corporate team building events were hosted. To have a look at the programme offerings, please feel free to visit their website for more details.
Moro Blood Oranges
Available January – April, Moro oranges are small to medium sized with a thin skin and few or no seeds. Slice open a Moro and you’ll see a dramatic and beautiful bright red to deep maroon interior. This intense orange have hints of fresh raspberry taste.
We started off at the Sangria station where we became mixologist of our own drinks.
After seeing the demonstration from the Cookyn Inc trainer, it was a pretty easy task for everyone. First, squeeze the cut oranges into a empty glass and leave the oranges in the glass.
Next, pour about one third of red or white wine into the glass. For those who prefer a stronger content, you may consider doubling the recipe and then add some ice to chill.
Top it off with Sprite for some sweet flavours, or you could use other sodas of your preference. It is really hard to add the “wrong’ ingredients, as it depends on how you like to spice up the drink with your own additions.
Lastly, mix it well with a cinnamon stick. For those who like to go without the cinnamon stick, you can actually use a stirrer or just a straw to mix.
To add a pleaser to the crowd, you can stick a parasol in the glass. It comes out perfect every time, especially when you are preparing the drink for a lady. Voila…!
The easy start of the event was over, and here comes the fun part. We moved to our cooking station after being assigned to our group. Our group was Team Cara Cara, named after one of the Sunkist Oranges. We were then presented a number of ingredients and kitchen utensils.
Ahhhh…recipes. We need that badly since most of us in the group are amateurs in the kitchen.
Our first dish was to prepare the Smoked Salmon with Sunkist Valencia oranges. The Cookyn Inc trainer gave us a very detailed demonstration, and we were pretty confident that we will do a good job.
Using salmon steaks, cut to approximately 120gm each with the skin off. Rub the sea salt, pepper, dill and olive oil all around the salmon; then leave to marinate for 20 minutes before putting it into the preheat oven with 180 degree celsius.
Woodchips have been laid all around below the grill rack, then cover it tightly with aluminium foil. Place the covered roasting pan over a fierce flame until you see the aluminium foil bloating or smoke starting to appear from any loose openings. Next place the roasting pan in the preheated oven and roast for about 10 minutes.
While the salmon were sitting in the oven; we skinned, peeled and cut the Valencia oranges into segments. Note: Reserve all the juice that you might get from doing this.
Ten minutes had passed, we removed the salmon from the oven and let the fish rest for a couple of minutes.
While waiting, we went on to prepare the yogurt dressing for the salmon. Placed the yogurt, collected orange juice, mustard, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper in a plastic container with sealable lid. Cover it tightly and shake until its well emulsified.
Lastly, we carefully dressed the salad with the yogurt dressing that we prepared. Season the fish with additional salt and pepper if desired.
Presenting to you my work of art, the Home-Smoked Salmon with Sunkist Valencia Orange Salad and Yogurt Dressing.
Happy and satisfied with our first dish, we went on to prepare for our second. Instead of wedging the oranges into segments, we cut the oranges into thin slices and the key ingredients that we used for the second dish were the Sunkist Cara Cara oranges.
Under close supervision and guidance from the Cookyn Inc trainer, we attempted to fire our own oranges with the blow-torch. This was really easy to manage, but with a note of caution; never point the blow-torch at someone or angled it widely. Just aim at the centre of the plate and swing it sideways slowly, until you achieve the caramelisation. Let the plate to cool for a few minutes, if you don’t want to burn your hands.
Next, we quartered 200gm of cherry tomatoes. Diced a shallot, minced a garlic clove and about 10gm of Italian parsley. Added a pinch of salt and pepper to taste, and mixed all these ingredients together for the salsa.
While setting aside the salsa, a bundle of poached prawns have already been prepared.
Lastly, comes the assembly part. Place the torched orange slices on a plate and dot around with some tomato salsa. Place the prawns on the orange slice and garnished with some sprigs of chervil. Carefully squeeze some whipped cream cheese around if desired.
Now we are ready to serve! Thinly-sliced Torched Sunkist Cara Cara Oranges with Poached Prawns and Whipped Cream Cheese.
How do you like my plating? I actually rated myself 7/10 for a first timer.
The third and final dish, which was the most challenging part of the cookout. We were presented a “Mystery Dessert Box” with the ingredients (Sunkist Valencia and Cara Cara oranges, Dark chocolate and Greek yogurt) and tasked to prepare a dessert item.
We were allowed to use the ingredients from the central pantry, but the biggest challenge was that we have to complete the dessert under the stipulated time with minimum guidance from the Cookyn Inc trainers.
This challenge was a friendly baking competition with the other teams. All the teams will be judged based on 4 criteria – Taste, Creativity, Marketing, and Punctuality.
The most interesting segment of these judging criteria was the Creativity, which we have to present the dessert in a platter, and “Tell a story” using Sunkist Moments Marketing Campaign.
Team Cara Cara had a quick discussion on what we want to prepare and present for the Mystery Dessert challenge. The girls then stormed off to the central pantry to collect the key ingredients.
What dessert we want to prepare shall remain as a mystery for now, but you will eventually find out the answer after you read on.
While the girls were busy collecting the ingredients from the central pantry, the boys were working at their station with the most important ingredient – Sunkist oranges.
At the beginning of the challenge, every one of us seemed lost and disorganised. But eventually, we got all things sorted out and running smoothly thereafter.
At this point of time, you probably would have guessed what was baking out from our team. And we will be announcing any moment now.
Here’s our final product – Sunkist orange-inspired cupcakes, but they were not the initial and original dessert platter which we wanted to present. Our “master bake” came out late as someone accidentally opened the dessert oven, resulting our bake not able to achieve its desired form.
Nevertheless, the persevering Team Cara Cara managed to pull it off with these lovely cupcakes from the dying moments of rushing time.
I will not be able to share the recipe and preparation for the dessert, as everyone were busy at their station, there wasn’t any photos taken.
The judging panel hearing our “side of the story” on how we started, what we did in the process, until to the ending on how we present the dessert on the platter.
After tasting our cupcakes, the judges moved on to Team Valencia and their creation – Sunkist orange-inspired crepes which looked good to me.
Next up, was Team Navel. Everyone of us including other teams came over to their station. We were naturally attracted by the pretty looking cupcakes and its owners.
Last but not least, was Team Moro. I did not managed to get a good shot of their orange drizzled cake, as I was standing further away. But I thought this was a nice photo of their team leader, Gerald whom apparently was one of the organising committee for this Sunkist Moment Campaign.
While the judges were deliberating on the final result for the Mystery Dessert Box Challenge, our team Cara Cara “masterbake” just came out of the oven.
Everyone of us thought that it looked great in every way, as this was a combined effort of every team member in Cara Cara, which leads us back to where we started.
We ended our Saturday afternoon on a sweet note, “painting a beautiful picture” in our life, gaining new knowledge, meeting new friends, and lastly leaving happy.
Thank you Sunkist Singapore, Edelman Singapore and Cookyn Inc for sharing this beautiful moment with us.