A sweet temptation

A sweet temptation

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A sweet temptation

I’ve always been fond of cooking ever since I was a child. It is one of my passions. Before, it was just a hobby but now, I’ve turned it into a career. I know most people don’t turn a hobby into a career, but this was my dream.

I am originally from Mysuru but I studied in Welcomgroup Graduate School of Hotel Administration. From there, I got placed in ‘Oberoi Centre for Learning and Development’. After joining ‘The Oberoi’, I travelled across India as a chef — Kolkata, Delhi, Agra, Mumbai, and now Bengaluru.

Desserts are something that appeal to me because I have always had a sweet tooth; I like eating desserts. But there is more to a dessert than just that. Showcasing and creating it is an art in itself. I have to make it appealing to the eye so that the dessert catches attention when on a shelf; it should make a person want to eat it.

This is an exciting task.
I like any dessert which is coffee-based because coffee is like a king to me! I love the flavour of it. Also it is not too bitter when it has mascarpone in it, which gives it a neutral flavour.

‘Tiramisu’ is my speciality. It is a very creamy dessert which is nice to eat and not necessarily something you have to make only at hotels. I learnt how to make this from my mentor, and this is his way of doing it.  A lot of guests appreciate it because it is comfort food and easy to make at home.

Coffee, cream, kahlua — these three make a really good combination. You can add ‘savoiardi’ or ‘cat’s tongue cookies’ as the base — just soak it in coffee and layer it with the ‘tiramisu’ and sprinkle cocoa powder. You can also have a biscuit or a sponge base.

The ‘tiramisu’ mixture is traditionally made from egg yolk, mascarpone, cream and coffee. If you want to omit the alcohol, you can do without the kahlua and add coffee decoction instead. You can also make an eggless ‘tiramisu’ by making a simple custard, and then adding mascarpone and cream to it.

From a chef’s perspective, I would say that if you remove the eggs, it wouldn’t make much of a difference, but if you remove the alcohol, the taste of the ‘tiramisu’ is gone. But you can still manage a nice one with Nescafe decoction.

To make the mixture and base, it will take about 45 minutes, but you will need to let it set it in a cooler for two hours after that.     

Bhuvan Ravishankar
Senior Kitchen Executive
The Oberoi
(As told to Ananya Revanna)

Ingredients:
Egg yolk - 10
Castor sugar - 200 gm
Water - 75 ml
Gelatine leaves - 3
Kahlua (coffee liqueur) - 90ml
Coffee concoction or Espresso - 60ml
Mascarpone - 750 gm
Amul cream - 500 gm

Method:
Soak the gelatine leaves in ice cold water for 15-20 minutes. Combine the castor sugar and water in a saucepan and allow to cook till 112°C-115°C. This is called the soft ball stage in cooking sugar.

Now simultaneously, whisk the yolks in a medium-sized bowl for five to seven minutes till it becomes pale in colour. Once the sugar is cooked till desired temperature, gradually add the syrup whilst whisking the yolks and continue to whisk until the yolks-sugar mixture is lukewarm and not hot.

Now gradually add in the mascarpone cheese and whisk well to incorporate the same. Add in the kahlua, now in a separate bowl whip the Amul cream and incorporate it into the mascarpone mixture.

Finally squeeze out the water from the gelatine leaves, melt it in a microwave safe bowl. Now this gelatine needs to be added gradually by mixing some of the tiramisu mixture into the melted gelatine or else lumps will be formed. Repeat this process of adding the tiramisu mixture into the gelatine 2-3 times and finally add it into the tiramisu.

Allow the mixture to set for two to three hours in the fridge. Now, fill it in glasses/jars as its in the trend these days and alternate with sponge soaked in coffee decoction. Traditionally, savoiardi or cat’s tongue cookies are used to layer the tiramisu. A minimum of two layers make it taste the best!
Finally garnish with cocoa powder and serve chilled.

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