Easter on a platter

Easter on a platter

Easter on a platter

My interest in cooking began when I was quite young. I saw a commercial on cooking and that made me keen to explore the art and science of it.

It so happened that when I went to a mind-reader much later, he told me that a profession in hotel management will be my career choice. Since then, I have taken up the profession very seriously and don’t regret it till today. 

I did hotel management from Christ University. Towards the end of my second year, I received a scholarship to complete a culinary programme in France. In my first assignment there, I learnt how I can bring together my scientific temper and artistic abilities for food. The French approach to commercial patisserie and boulangerie arts changed my outlook.

After coming back to India, I worked at different restaurants. I am also a bronze medalist in Bachelor of Hotel Management, Bangalore University, 2004 and have completed my MBA in Human Resources.

I also finished a short course in ‘Chocolaterie and Sugar’ at the Academy of Pastry Arts, Malaysia. After my return, I specialised in commercial baking science and patisserie arts. Now, I am a teacher and an entrepreneur. Dabbling in two arenas in the industry has taught me certain valuable lessons like discipline and patience.

 I have understood the different aspects within of the culinary arts itself such as knowing the history and culture of a place through cuisines, understanding the importance of detail and the value of presentation, texture, colour and palate.

 Apart from lending my proficiency to the art and science of baking and confectionary as an educationist, I also have a vast experience in the industry that spans through a number of years.

Testing the waters at various academies around the world and working with international bodies to develop curriculums have given me  a glimpse of  how the industry works. I love this industry because apart from  giving me my bread and butter, literally and figuratively, it has never put me down. Cooking and baking have become my habit and every single day proves to be a challenge.

 The industry, today, is a booming one and the approaches towards cuisines are becoming specialised. Today, students are seriously pursuing cooking and baking as a course rather than a hobby. People are appreciating the experience of eating, treating culinary art with respect and treating the industry as a wholesome experience.
The recipe that I am presenting, I owe to Chef Sebastian Frecol. It is the first recipe I learnt in Europe as part of my training.

 It was specially executed for Easter and was prepared for an Easter dinner. It’s a tribute to the teachers who have taught me the trait of cooking and confectionaries. I relate to this recipe more than I relate to eggs and hot cocoa during Easter.  I hold this recipe close to my heart as it changed my career plan. I consider every Easter as a day to thank all my teachers who encouraged me to become who I am today. 

 Cremeux du paques
(The Creamy Easter)
For Chocolate
Dacqouise
(Chocolate dessert cake)

Ingredients
n Egg white: 200gm
n Castor sugar: 50gm
n Icing sugar: 25gm
n Almond powder: 200gm
n Cocoa powder: 37gm
n Melted butter: 33gm

For Chocolate
Cognac Cremeux
n Dark chocolate: 200gm
n Fresh cream: 200gm
n Cognac VSOP: 30ml

Method
n Whip up the egg whites and sugar on a dry bowl to bring to a soft meringue.
n Fold in the dry ingredients followed by the melted butter.
n Bake flat at 180C for 12-15 minutes.
n For the cremeux, boil the cream and add in the chopped dark chocolate followed by the cognac. Mix till it forms no lumps.

For layering
n Soak the Dacqouise with sugar syrup.
n Layer with chocolate cremeaux equally in all three layers.
n Plate the cremeux on the top layer to give a rustic appearance.
n Finish with chocolate garnish.

Chef Avin Thaliath

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