Indian Chef Chronicles: Indian Pastry Chefs Whipping Up A Storm
India is a land of sumptuous sweets and die-hard foodies. We can actually boast having blessed the world’s gourmet map with some iconic and famous sweets such as the succulent rosogolla, hearty and filling laddu, luscious halwa, the Indian cake ghewar, the rich peda, and the list goes on. Apart from these, the prominent and noteworthy entry and acceptance of baked items have also been remarkable. Indian chefs are leaving no stone unturned to make a dent in the world of confectionary too. From extravagant pastries to out-of-the-world cakes to cookies – every delicacy will blow your mind away.
The famous pastry chefs we are going to get acquainted with today, have earned a name for themselves by years of persistent hard work, undeterred courage, passionate spirit, unrivaled creativity, and oodles of patience. As Duff Goldman, the legendary pastry chef says, “The great thing about cakes is it doesn’t feel like work. You forget about work...that’s the magic right there.”
You will agree that this is indeed the mark of a real artist. We have here some of such expert pastry chefs – creating magic everyday.
Let us meet the famous chef bakers of India. Get ready to wipe the drool off your mouth as you scroll down to some of their most inviting offerings. Also gear yourself up to try all the recipes given below.
What started as a passion for food – which pushed this beautiful chef into trying her hands at some baking recipes – took a larger-than-life shape soon enough. It all began while Shivali was still busy making a career in the marketing and communications field at Accenture. Her love for baking led her into making absolutely stunning and delicious baked goodies for friends and family. And, the day she baked and sent a cake for Vivek Oberoi’s newborn daughter came as a turning point in her career. There was no looking back thereafter. Her one-of-a-kind dessert parlour – Pop’z Kitchen – created a big buzz amongst lovers of baked delicacies in Bangalore and beyond. The young entrepreneur now proudly delivers cupcakes and more to stars such as Hrithik Roshan.
The proud owner of the famous NYC restaurants Graffiti and Metaphor – Jehangir Mehta – gave a larger-than-life shape to his childhood dream. As a child, he could not stop himself from getting pulled towards desserts. He was also curious about went in making them. And this inquisitiveness made him come up with unique creations every day. Today, his preparations are inspired by the Indian taste and that is also his unique selling point for sure – adding an Indian twist to the divine European and American desserts. And this impressive runner-up of the second season of the famous TV cook show, “The Next Iron Chef” has even found mention in the top-sellers of Unites States including Bon Appetit, Daily News, New York Post, Vogue, and Gourmet.
Watch the star giving away a unique yet easy recipe here.
Sooner or later, destiny does lead you to what you were always meant to do. And top chef Jeneva Talwar’s life is the perfect example of that. From being a flourishing Assistant Director, to an actress having performed in hits such as Guru and Slumdog Millionaire, to finally what her heart craved the most – a chef, she’s done it all. Interestingly, a day without her maid led her into the kitchen and that is when she realized her heart’s calling was somewhere else. And she could not wait to discover the pastry chef in her and start catering to everyone’s sweet tooth in the most delicious way. If you happen to visit Delhi, do make sure you visit this star chef’s La Di Da – where she blends the best of her Indian and French sensibilities and taste to bring out the best in every preparation. While there, don’t forget to gorge on their Cupid’s Carrot and Coco Chanel besides other delicacies and say hello to the world of exquisite baking.
The recipe is so easy to make, you will surely want to try it.
- 1 cup cold water
- Dry yeast: two spoons
- Flour: 2 cups. plus some extra for later
- Whole wheat, rye, or other type of flour (optional)
- Salt: 1 teaspoon
- Sugar: 1 teaspoon
- 1. Pour the water into a mixer bowl and sprinkle about 2 teaspoons of yeast. Let stand for a minute or two. Add flour on top of the water-yeast mixture. (If you want to make whole wheat, rye, or any kind of alternative-grain bread, use half bread flour and half other flour)
- Add salt and sugar. You can also throw in any cheese, seeds, or dried fruit you want in the bread at this point.
- Attach the dough hook to your mixer and start mixing on low until the dough comes together. Turn the mixer to medium and knead for 8 to 10 minutes. If the dough sticks to the bottom or sides of the bowl, add a bit more flour, a handful at a time, until it doesn't stick anymore.
- Pull the dough out of the bowl and shape it into a ball. Put back in the bowl, cover with a towel, and let rise until doubled. This can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, depending on temperature, humidity, and the age of the yeast.
- Punch the dough, remove the air. And shape it into a ball again, and put it back in the bowl to rise until doubled. This second rise is optional, but it gives the bread a tangier flavour.
- Punch the dough down again, and shape it however you want.
- Turn the oven to 450 degrees C and preheat for 10 to 15 minutes.
- 9. Put the dough in a loaf pan. Place on a baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
- Slash the top of the dough with a serrated knife.
- Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. You know the bread is done when it's a nice deep brown and it sounds hollow.
This executive chef at Radisson Blu, Kaushambi believes that sticking to the recipe as accurately as possible is the secret to good baking. Texture and volume of the cake is determined by how perfectly you beat your batter – without over or under beating it. Don’t try to jump a step – follow the recipe step-by-step with patience and your dream cake will be ready for sure. With over 15 years of experience in the industry, there is not even a single day when he does not push his limits to come up with something better every day.
Roy’s favorite recipe:
- Butter 225 g
- Caster sugar 225 g
- Refined flour 350 g
- Orange marmalade 25 g
- Egg baking powder 10 g
- Almond powder 100 g
- Dry fruits soaked in alcohol 575 g
- Tutti frutti 100 g
- Rum 30 g
- Caramel colour 100 g
- Blanched almonds 225 g
- Put the almonds into a small bowl and pour over boiling water to just cover.
- Leave for 5 mins then drain in a sieve and leave to dry.
- Preheat the oven to 170 C.
- Put the butter in a large bowl and beat well until soft.
- Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
- Stir in the orange zest and apricot jam.
- Sieve together the flour and baking powder.
- Add the eggs to the creamed butter and sugar, a little at a time, beating well between each addition.
- If the mixture starts to curdle, stir in a little flour.
- Add the remaining flour and ground almonds and mix well.
- Mix in the caramel colour and then add the dried fruit and tutti frutti, and mix gently together.
- Put the mixture into the prepared tin and spread using the back of a spoon.
- Arrange the almonds close together in neat circles on top of the cake.
- Bake in the oven for 45 mins.
- Lower the oven temperature to 160 C and cook for a further 60-80 minutes.
- Check the cake after 50 minutes by inserting a wooden or metal skewer into the cake.
- Check every 10 minutes - it's important not to overcook this cake so the centre will be a little soft.
- When cooked, remove the cake briefly from the oven, put the rum and sugar syrup into a small pan and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved.
- Brush over the top of the cake and return the cake to the oven for 2-3 mins.
- Remove and allow the cake to cool in the tin.
- When quite cold, remove from the tin and wrap in foil and keep for at least 2 days before cutting.
Spreading the joy of perfectly baked goods from the bylanes of Juhu, Mumbai – Smriti Mehra is surely leaving no stone unturned to make sure your craving for something heavenly is taken care of. Her brand Parfait literally means perfection in French and her creations are surely as perfect as could be. Besides divine taste, the chef’s primary focus is on coming up with something new – something that appeals to the sight as much as the tongue. And this is evident in her out-of-the-box creations. She firmly believes in bringing in a little bit of art in her work everyday to make it more interesting and appealing. With edible flowers, bears, moustaches lingering here and there in her preparations, she is surely mind-blowing in her unmatched creativity.
A strong contender in the World Pastry Cup held at France every two years, this talented chef is an expert at Indian and French-style pastry-making techniques. And what comes out when he puts the best of both into a recipe is unsurpassed heavenliness. The super-talented patissier and chocolatier is right now the executive chef at L’Opera Delhi – making fantasize-worthy pastries and chocolates for the ardent dessert lover in you. The star chef’s Instagram feeds are enough to make anyone go weak in the knees. Try checking them out at your own risk.
An ardent foodie to the core herself, Kishi Arora went on to graduate from The Culinary Institute of America. Her natural flair with recipes encouraged her to never look back. Delhiites – especially those with a sweet tooth – swear by the delicacies served at ‘Foodaholics’ in Delhi – Kishi’s brand that caters to your sweet cravings and more. She has many accolades and honours in her kitty – she has worked at the iconic Four Seasons Hotel in Singapore and California, a number of first-rate bakeries all over the world, is a TED Fellow and has bagged many awards too, she has also been honoured with the Lakshya Bhartee Foundation (LBF) Visionary Award, and her creations have also been recognized by Burrp as the best desserts in town. It is time to get your share of one of the most superior confectionaries now.
Led by her strong love and passion for cooking, food styling, as well as photography, Rajpal found her calling in baking. The prime focus of her baking lies on making use of sustainable and seasonal ingredients. This not only gives her recipes a whole-new look and appeal but also adds to its health quotient. She loves making generous use of whole grains instead of refined flour as much as she can and also is a great fan of using sliced fruits – making her creation look absolutely irresistible. She adds to the dramatic look by including props in her images. Have a look yourself and you will know what we are talking about.
Check out her blog and some awesome recipes here
Deeba’s favourite recipe : Mango frozen yogurt
- 650 g mango, diced (frozen)
- 250 g hung yogurt (homemade with 2% fat, hung in fridge for 3 days)
- 100 g powdered sugar
- 2 tbsps honey
- Place all ingredients in a thermomix bowl and run at speed 10 for about 3 minutes, scraping the sides if required, until smooth and crystal free.
- Transfer to a freezer-safe bowl.
- Serve immediately or store in freezer (makes approximately 1 litre)
If making in ice cream maker, chill both mangoes and hung yogurt well, and process all ingredients till smooth and well blended. Adjust sugar if need be. Turn on the ice cream maker and prepare as per manufacturer's instructions.
This chef made a prominent place for herself in the world of baking by making extensive use of her home kitchen and, hold your breath, Tata Nano. In the initial days, her tiny white car strutted around Mumbai – catering out-of-the-world cookies and other baked goodies to locals. Mumbaikars instantly fell in love with the delicious and exclusive offerings and found themselves waiting for the cute white Nano – which she named Sweetish House Mafia. And this encouraged her to add more items in her inventory. Today, the setup has grown by leaps and bounds.
The most popular haunt for lovers of fine cakes, pastries, and other delicacies – Sugarama, Delhi – is known for its unique, divine creations. Having trained at the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu in Sydney, Rama Chadha’s prime focus is to make pastries and baking fun and interesting. He experiments with cool patterns, textures, and designs – constantly trying to give his customers something new. If you get a chance, do try some of his signature creations such as lychee banana banoffee, nutsore velvet, walnut and nutella tea cake, and oh heavenly lord. There is so much more that will totally drive your crazy.
I am sure, like me, none of you can wait to try the delicacies prepared by these skilled pastry chefs of India. I would like to close with two quotes – “Count the memories not your calories”, a famous pinterest line and, “Where there is a whisk there is a way”. So show your love for these chefs by liking and following their social media pages – after all, they are doing their bit in making the world a sweeter place to live in.
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