Last week I was one of 20+ bloggers and food media invited by Sharp to the Sydney Fish Markets Cooking School for a cooking challenge using their latest release of microwaves. For someone who doesn't even have a microwave that was going to be interesting.
Once we arrived, we were given a brief rundown on the new releases. I'm impressed with the convection microwave which has Inverter technology for even and controlled cooking and Sensor technology that takes all the guessing out of cooking (we were soon to discover how this works).
I was also impressed with the R34DM model which is very stylish and has its own built-in weight scale! So cool!! I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw the presenter demonstrate weighing food on top of the microwave. You can use this built-in scale either inside the oven or on top and it makes defrosting perfect as the microwaves precisely defrosts on the exact weight of the frozen product.
Now on to the challenge! 5 groups with four 'chefs' per work station. We were given a chef's hat and apron plus all the tools and ingredients we needed. Our group consisted of myself, Arrnott Olssen, Rafael Ruiz and Renato from the PR Company.
Raf - Arrnott - Renato
Challenge Number One: Make Brownies
There was a catch to this one. Each one of us had two minutes to memorise our part of the recipe because this was really a team challenge. We were given a black envelope with four pieces of paper each containing part of the recipe. I struggle remembering anything at the best of times so I needed full on concentration from me. We managed to put it all together except I put the cinnamon in the cake mix rather than the mixed spice (the cinnamon was actually for the icing) and Renato left out one of the main ingredients in the wet mix - the Milk! However the finished product was tasty and looked mighty fine if you ask me.
We used the R34DM model for these cakes.
Challenge Number Two: Make Cupcakes
This challenge was a little easier because we were given the recipe sheet, it was up to us to delegate tasks to the team. At one point I laughed when Raf said "Renato has disappeared and Deb is busy putting on makeup" - true!
Once again, the team managed to pull it off, and our cupcakes came out of the convection microwave looking and smelling great. I ended up with the task of decorating the cupcakes with the help of Renato who decided he'd decorate his as "The Game of Thrones"...hmmm sort of fitted in with my red and chocolate theme.
Challenge Number Three: Make a Pizza in the Convection Oven
We had a bit of help here as the Dough was already risen and ready for us to roll out. I took on the task of rolling the base and we all decided to make it a cheese-stuffed crust. Whilst I did that Raf took on cutting up the veggies, Arrnott took on making the pizza sauce, I also cut up the bacon and Chorizo and Renato disappeared. LOL Actually Renato did help me stuff the crust with cheese. Renato also got in trouble for eating some of the cooking chocolate that was set aside for our next challenge. By now we were having a great time.
The ingredients chosen for the pizza were: bacon, chorizo, mushrooms, pinenuts, cheese, capsicum, red onion. The sauce: tomato paste, chilli, garlic, onion simmered in a pot. There was quite bit of sauce left over so Arrnott decided to grab some mince and make a bolognese sauce. We then decided we had to call him Head Chef! After 25 minutes this was the result.....
Fourth Challenge: Chocolate Cake
As our pizza was cooking away the final challenge was to make a chocolate cake. Again we all took on tasks to make the batter and prepare the cake. Once the cake was finalised Raf and Arrnott took on the role of decorating it, and I have to say they did a marvellous job! This cake was cooked in the R34DM.
That was the end of the cooking challenge. It was a great day and we finished off by all the teams sharing their food with each other over lunch and a glass of wine.
Product: R995DST Recommended Retail Price: $1,199 AUD Product: R34DMBK/W Recommended Retail Price: $329 AUD www.sharp.net.au Stockists: All major Electrical Retailers Availability: June, 2016