This Easter, celebrate with boozy desserts

Chef Deepak Bhanu

Starting a career in the hospitality industry wasn’t really an option in my family. But my mother was the one who encouraged me to pursue my dreams. With absolutely no connection or friends in the industry, I sent out to Delhi in 2012 to start my career. It wasn’t a great job as one would expect; I started off as a kitchen help. And that was a major turning point in my life.

Though my family has only seen generations of farmers, I’m happy and proud to say that I became a chef instead. Since then, some of my cousins who followed are not working with a few top brands in Delhi.

I think it’s the freedom of expressions that I love the most about my job. Unlike others, I get to express through cooking and baking. It’s a liberating experience, irrespective of whether the dessert I put on the table is a hit or a miss.

When I discovered my interest in baking, there was no looking back. I love the amalgamation of art and science. I wasn’t used to measuring every ingredient so meticulously. It was difficult to maintain the accuracy of the quantity of ingredients of a classic recipe. Couple of burnt and botched sponges were a part of the learning experience.

I still remember my first attempt at baking break. There was a child-like excitement in seeing the dough double in size, and then in cutting, portioning and shaping the dough – that was the highlight of my back-breaking long hours in the kitchen.

While I have experimented with many ingredients before, when managing director Rekhansh Karamchandani suggested that we use craft beer in desserts, I was quite reluctant. I have used wine and other spirits but beer has a very different body and flavour of its own.

Long story short, there was a lot of trial and error and litres of beer went to the pan instead of my system, but I am glad that the final outcome was well received.

It took about a month and a half to perfect the ‘Smoke Ale Brownie’. I realised that the trick to making a good one was to soak the nuts in beer for a month to get the flavour.

Different beers have different carbonation level, hoppy bitterness and additional flavour created by the brewmaster. Combination of flavour profiles could be dicey if not difficult to match. For example, adding beer without reducing it when making a sponge can be quite tricky as it could result in uneven fluffiness of the cake.

This Easter, try the traditional recipe by infusing beer in it. The brownie is a great dessert to experiment with. 

Recipe: Smoke ale brownie


Smoke ale brownie

Ingredients

- Dark Chocolate, 150 gm

- Egg, 2 numbers

- Flour, 80 gm

- Butter, 120 gm

- Coco Powder, 20 gm

- Sugar, 100 gm

- Vanilla Essence, 1 ml

- Smoke ale beer, 150 ml

- Baking powder, 3 gm

Method

- Whip egg and sugar together in a bowl until fluffy.

- Melt chocolate in a double boiler or micro oven for 2 minutes.

- Add butter in melted chocolate and beer (smoke amber ale).

- Take the fluffy egg and sugar mixture and fold the melted chocolate and flour into it.

- Bake at 180C for 25-30min. This recipe is for 5 portions.

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This Easter, celebrate with boozy desserts

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