For those with a sweet tooth

Rare Combination

And it was keeping this in mind that Anurag, the pastry chef at the Oberoi, has launched his new ‘Dark and Dreamy’ menu from September 7 to the end of the month, which comprises exclusively chocolate-based desserts. However, Anurag was determined to steer clear of the traditional brownies and ice-creams that most dessert menus have to offer.

“The idea was to create something original. We’ve tried all kinds of unique combinations in an effort to keep it different,” he explained. And he isn’t lying.The menu boasts of several relatively unknown dessert options, such as baked chocolate custard; a bitter chocolate and orange flower melange based on an almond macaroon; and a chocolate and candied ginger tart. The desserts are accompanied by an array of unusual ice-creams, including those flavoured with blue cheese, lavender and even avocado.

“These are some extremely unusual combinations but I believe that international cuisine these days is moving towards such flavours. For example, now even children know that chocolate and oranges go well together,” said Anurag.

His personal favourites, he maintained, were the lavender and avocado ice-creams. “These took some time to develop. A lot of effort went in to reaching this point. These are tricky flavours — especially lavender; it’s an acquired taste, and people may either love it or hate it,” he said.

However, Anurag has also appeased traditional chocolate lovers by incorporating an item called ‘Textures of Chocolate’ in his menu. “This is basically a tasting platter, with a liquid centre pudding, chocolate mousse and a chocolate sorbet. We’ve played around with different textures and temperatures with this dish,” he explained.

The second menu being launched at the Oberoi this month is ‘Coffee Infusions’, created by Devika, the bartender at the Polo Club. Devika explained that the menu, which comprises hot coffee brews and spirited cocktails, was concocted since the weather is turning cooler. It includes both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, all flavoured with coffee.

“For the non-alcoholic selection, we have focused on single origin coffees. This refers to varieties wherein in the grains are grown in a single soil and conditions of growth, which gives them a particular flavour or taste. We’ve chosen three of these varieties, based on easy availability as well as flavour: ‘Columbian Supremo’, which has a bitter, strong taste because of the cloudy climate it is grown in; ‘Mysore Nuggets’, a popular Indian variety which tastes of caramel, and ‘Ethiopian Sidamo’, which has a chocolate flavour,” said Devika.

The alcoholic drinks concocted by her are made with a variety of liquors. Ranging from classics like ‘Irish Coffee’, which has a Jameson’s whiskey base and ‘Black Russian’ to slightly more exotic options such as ‘Brazilian Coffee’, made of rum and ‘Tia Maria’, they present a variety of flavours and levels of sweetness. The menu also offers an ‘Espresso Martini’, which is a shot of espresso and vodka with a dash of brown sugar to balance the taste.

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