Friday, September 06, 2013

Sift. Pipe. Glaze. Garnish.

I stumbled upon Le 15 Patisserie's Choux a la creme video on youtube today and literally held my breath for all 1 minute 20 seconds of the video. 
Downright gorgeous.
Here are my favourite videos from Patisserie s across the world.

Disclaimer: I am not to be blamed for any sudden sugar cravings following this. 

Go to the link and watch the video.
It's worth it.
I promise :)


Patisserie Mori Osaka, Thailand


Nadege Patisserie ,Toronto

                                                          La Maison Patisserie, Indonasia

Admit it, That was awesome.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Dulce de leche Eclairs- Bouchon Bakery

Every now and then you hit upon a pure dose of inspiration.
Push-you-through-the-crazy-days kind of inspiration.

If you are a sugar baby like me, that might definately be, Thomas Keller's Bouchon Bakery.
I had heard of Thomas Keller way back when, but for some reason I had never ever heard of Bouchon Bakery. When a friend (Thank you so much Shibu!!) told me that she had a copy and I just HAD to take a look at it, I could'nt resist.I had'nt even got past the foreward and I knew I was going to be hooked.
 I wanted one of my own.
 One to cradle to bed with me.
 And stretch out lazily with on afternoons off.
 (I know it might sound like I'm talking about a baby here; but stay with me, I'm still talking about the book !! :) ) So thanks to an older brother who completely spoils me, I got one for my birthday!! :) 
That's not to say that it didnt come with an "Eh, you better make me all of the stuff in that book huh.." condition .

This is how cookbooks should be written. Filled with memories, inside stories and words that make you sure that the person/people who wrote it have nothing short of a love affair with all the recipes in the book.
It's the perfect cross between home baking and  professional baking. 
And the pictures, dont even get me started.
Everyone likes to pretend that we don't buy a book based on the pictures, but really now, who are you kidding?
Big. Glossy. Step by step pictures of Raspberry palmiers and Florentines and Eclairs getting built up.
Inspiration at it's best.

I decided to start with something easy.
Eclairs and Choux pastry.
Mostly because there is a centerfold page with step by step assembeling of these eclairs ,that just blew me away.

They're gorgeous.
The choux pastry gets a really nice light biscuity outer shell and soft, hollow inside when dried out properly. 

I didnt have pecans as in the recipe so I replaced them with toasted candied almonds.

And layering dulce de leche with vanilla creme chantilly . (ALWAYS a brilliant idea!)
It's exactly what you need. 

Tried out two different chocolate garnishes for the eclairs- Mini dark chocolate plaques and little chocolate fans.

Oh, and these are little mini eclairs. 
Two bites, and they're gone!! 
Don't be intimidated by choux pastry. It's pretty easy actually!
Happy baking!!

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Red Wine Marshmellows

When we 're younger, all our dreams are usually centered around what we're going to be when we get older. "Im going to be an airhostess, or an astronaut or a teacher and whatnot." (or in my brother's case,-a clown!!).
I've been through my own list of what I've wanted to be over the years but it was'nt until I was very much older till I even considered wanting to be a pastry chef. Somewhere along the way,between all the lazy afternoons of baking, late nights of putting together gumpaste figures for an order and endless kitchen disasters with the oven (and my fingers!) it struck me that this was what I could do for the rest of my life.
Crumb coat.
Roll out.
Layer and stack.


Sometimes, your love for something ,it blinds you.
You don't consider the drawbacks, the downside.It's hard to admit that something you love so much could have an ugly side. Baking for work is miles away from baking in the comfort of your own kitchen. 
There are deadlines, you can't sit down while you cake is in the oven, sometimes, things get done by shortcut in order to keep up with the high demand, running from the oven to the deep freezer will confuse the heck outta your body.

See, making 20 croissants at home sounds lovely. Now having to make 200 croissants in the span of some 30 minutes; it drives you a little insane sometimes.

I remember the first day I walked into the pastry department at the hotel I was training at. I didnt know which side to look. And ,the walk-in cooler...Whoa!! Trays and trays upon racks filled with pastry cream and frangipane and gulab jamuns and blueberry filling . 
So even though it means long hours, and working on holidays, and irregular shifts, baking for work gives me a lot of things I'd never have access to at home.
Ingredients .Techniques.People who are so good at what they do.It teaches you patience, and perfection, from making the same thing a billion times over.

Once in a while,when you manage to get your head above all the sugar, and clingwrap and copious amounts of flour, you realise that it isn't so bad after all. :)

 The original recipe for these marshmellows used Champagne but I decided to substitute it with red wine instead.
Be d, Marshmellows can be a little bit tricky, mostly because you need to get the correct consistency of the sugar syrup before whisking it. But these are totally, absolutly worth it. You can use white wine too. But try and stick to drier varieties since the rest of the recipe is essentially only sugar.

Red Wine Marshmellows
Adapted from bravetart
Makes about 30 pieces.

21 gms gelatin
155gm Red Wine
155gms Liquid Glucose/Corn syrup
225gms Red Wine
396gms grain sugar
1/2 tsp  salt
optional: 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped and pod reserved for another use

Sifted icing sugar + cornflour for dusting

  • Lightly grease a 9inchx 9 inch square pan. 
  • Combine the gelatin along with the 115gm Red wine in a bowl and set aside. If you are using a stand mixer, combine these two in the stand mixer bowl. 
  •  Pour the 225gms or red wine in a pan and reduce it to half the quantity over medium heat. Weigh the red wine after redcing it to make sure it is now 113gms. If you reduced it a little too much add a little red wine to bring it back to 113gms.
  • In the same pan,to the red wine reduction add the corn syrup, sugar, salt, and vanilla bean scrapings. Set over medium heat and stir gently until the sugar melts.
  • Once the sugar has melted, allow it to cook, without stirring until the mixture reaches 240 degreesF on a candy thermometer. i.e the softball stage.
  • Once it does, take it off the gas and let it cool to about 210 degreesF. If you proceed to the next step while it is too hot, it will prevent the gelatin from setting properly.
  • Next, Pour this mixture into the gelatin/red wine mixture and whisk on medium until the gelatin has melted.
  • Then turn up the speed to high and allow it to whisk until the mixture almost triples in volume.
  • I know this seems a little bit impossible, but don't worry, IT WILL HAPPEN!
  • Shut off the mixer and pour the marshmellow mix into the greased tray quickly. ( Don't be in a such a hurry to  lick the whisk. You can do that later :P )
  • Hit the pan against the table top once or twice to disperse and air bubbles , dust the top with icing sugar, clingwrap and refrigerate overnight.

To demould the marshmellows,run a knife along the side of the pan, reach in with you fingers and gently pull the marshmellow sheet out onto a icingsugar+cornflour dusted cutting board.

  • Dust the top  as well  as the sides.
  • Using a clean knife cut thick strips and immediately roll those in the dusting mixture and set asid.
  • Keep washing and drying the knife between each cutting to make sure you get clean, sharp, even cuts. :)

  •  Finally, cut into suares and dust. Store in the refigerator or eat all at once (Not recomended for your tummy!)


Serving suggestion :
Chocolate cake + toasted marshmellows:)

I cannot resist toasting marshmellows, Burnt on the outside, melty on the favourite!!

Sunday, December 09, 2012

German Christmas mela

 It is late. I'm pretty tired.
All pictures today, no talk.

This one is easily my favourite picture:) Perched on top of dada's shoulders is always the happiest place :)

Sunday, December 02, 2012

The banana pancake- birthdaycake.

Jack Johnsons Banana pancakes was perfect for today.
After an endless week of catering to parties at the hotel (and putting up with demands such as  "I want my sausages more crispy :s ) it's finally sunday.
Jack Johson sure knows how to live it up.

But banana pancakes for me, are more about the song than the food, these days. So since I could'nt actually make a cake( I'm living without an oven!!!!!!!!!! Let's not even go THERE :/) I made banana pancakes with a little something something  to say happy yappy birthday!!
They're so simple...
Stack the pancakes.
Layer em'.
                                                            And all done!!!\

Happy birthday to a very special boy:)
For 5am conversations,
For long hours of hoodie shopping,
For unecessary acidity advice,
For weird flavour combination ideas,
For tolerating endless photo sessions,
For quiet glances,
For letting me eat the last bite of cake,
For the sand between my toes,

For 4 page long text messages,
For letting me fall asleep during movies,
For making me happy,
 everyday .

Thank you :)

Our tomorrows might seem to be a little crazier than our yesterdays, so let's go kick some culinary butt, okay?? :)

Monday, November 19, 2012

The monkey incident.

It has been one of those weeks.
Living in Delhi has started to feel like I stuck my head in the freezer and cannot manage to get it out. Which is probably why I now go to work every morning in my thickest sweatshirt ad a scarf wrapped around my face looking like a ninja while everyone else jogs along happily in shorts.
Also I've run out of hankerchiefs and cannot find the entire packet of washing powder I bought yesterday.
My (not so happy) tooth is pounding away at my head  and the dentist here suggested I get implants!!!
Tooth implants. Really???
 No. Freakin'.Way.Mister
Also, I've recently figured out that being an adult includes cleaning the gunk at the bottom of the sink ,paying my own bills and dealing with vagabond monkeys.
Yes, I said monkeys.
Apparently, when I signed on to this I was'nt adequately warned.
 I was making breakfast alone at home in the kitchen and all of a sudden a spot a shadow from the corner of my eye.So, I look to the left,and there it is.
A monkey.
Staring at me.
 I screech and run into the hall and well, there are two more monkeys.
One is holding an orange.
Hilarious, I know.
This is delhi people, anything can happen.
I screech some more.
They look at me like I'm retarded. Then, run out into the balcony.
I try and lock the balcony door. With my luck so far, I fumble.
The monkeys sit in the balcony and finish the orange.
My hands are shaking.
I call up the roommate, the first thing she says is "Seriously?? But I just bought those oranges yesterday!!"

I want to bang her head against the wall and laugh at the same time.

Watching endless episodes of Greys anatomy and moving our living room furniture into the hall to drink tea and eat squid masala keep me sane.
Atleast so far.
Sigh. Real life. Does'nt get better than this, eh?