Jelly so pretty they make your heart go bloom
The class of eight chattered constantly as they stirred coloured liquids in cups. Instructors walked round, answering the students' queries and guiding the students in their art work.
The classroom was a kitchen in Toa Payoh Industrial Park. Most of the students were middle-aged women.
These students were creating a 3D jelly cake, an art piece made out of konnyaku jelly. It is an edible dessert that looks like colourful flowers suspended in clear gelatin.
The classes are conducted twice a month by baking and cooking school The Vanilla Bean.
Ms Janet Su, 55, who started the classes in March this year, said the jelly cake was first made famous in Vietnam in 2014.
A clear jelly is made as the "canvas". Using special tools, the students carve out petal-shaped holes in the jelly. Different coloured jellies in liquid form are injected into the holes, forming the flowers.
One of the students at the Tuesday afternoon session was retiree Wendy Heng, 64.
PRETTY: Ms Janet Su (left) admires a jelly peony made by retiree Wendy Heng (right). TNP PHOTOS: CHOO CHWEE HUA
Speaking in Mandarin, Madam Heng said she found out about the jelly cake from her friend, who was also in the class.
She said: "I feel proud to be able to do it and I want to go home to surprise my children with my jelly creation."
PROUD: The students and teachers with the finished art pieces. Each student creates two pieces every lesson. TNP PHOTOS: CHOO CHWEE HUA
Another student was craft teacher Jenny Hoo, who is in her 50s.
Shelearnt about the lessons after seeing her friends' pictures of their jellieson Facebook.
"It is very interesting because it is both a food and an art piece. Looking at it, I actually can't bear to eat it," she said.
Each session, which is about 3½ hours, costs $150 a person. The classes are taught by Ms Annie Neo, a full-time sales consultant. Ms Su, an administrative executive, assists her.
She said 100 students have attended the lessons so far.
CAREFUL: A student lifts up her container to check on her jelly art. TNP PHOTOS: CHOO CHWEE HUA
Ms Su first learnt about the jelly cake from a friend last year. She then helped Vietnamese 3D jelly artist Miss Tran Thi Hoa Truong organise two lessons here in March.
DETAILED: Instructor Annie Neo injects green liquid jelly into the holes to form leaves. TNP PHOTOS: CHOO CHWEE HUA
Ms Su said: "I thought it would be a one-time event, but inquiries kept coming, so I decided to conduct more lessons.
"I draw a lot of satisfaction when I see my students' faces sparkle after the lessons."
THINK PINK: Ms Jenny Hoo draws jelly into a syringe before she carves out the shape in the jelly. TNP PHOTOS: CHOO CHWEE HUA
It is very interesting because it is both a food and an art piece. Looking at it, I actually can't bear to eat it.
- Ms Jenny Hoo on the 3D jelly flower cake