For our Science of Cooking class, we learnt about dry ice and about how we could incorporate its usage in the Kitchen/Bakery.
To get us interested in the topic, our professor Mr.Prabakar Shastri, conducted a competition where in we had to use dry ice to prepare anything we wanted.
We realized that we could use the dry ice as a quick setting agent for a cold dessert. So we froze basil leaves using the dry ice and then crumbled it. We then infused it into sweetened hot cream along with gelatin and cream cheese and sped up the setting process by whisking it over a bowl filled with dry ice to create a Sweet Basil Cheesecake.
We made a salty herb biscuit crumble, praline bits and a sweet tomato coulis to go along with it.
In Bakery Class, we were presented with a bread challenge. We had just finished learning about all kinds of breads and our bakery professor, Chef Vasanthan Sigamany challenged us to create a bread of our own, that was inspired by something typically Indian.
So I put my thinking cap on and tried to recollect everything I learnt in my Indian cuisine class. But no matter what flavours I came up with, nothing seemed to really stand out; just ordinary bread with a mixture of spices. A friend of mine then suggested I try doing something sweet, like an Indian sweetmeat addition or something of the like as pastry is my forte. So after a bit of brain storming, I came u
p with the idea of using Masala Chai as my inspiration.
All over India, people of all social strata share a thing in common: their affinity for Chai. A common accompaniment to this would usually be some glucose biscuits.
And so I set to work.
I made a rich dough using milk as the only liquid component, but I stewed tea leaves and spices like cinnamon, clove, anise, cardamom and ginger to infuse the flavour of Masala Chai.
I then made a paste by crushing glucose biscuits (Parle G) and adding melted butter to make a smooth paste. I rolled out my bread dough and laminated it with this paste, rolled it up and then snipped away using a pair of scissors to create a unique design to the bread loaf.
To accompany this loaf, I created a sweetened milk reduction called rabdi(another classic Indian dessert sauce). It complemented the bread beautifully and I got extra credits for it.
I went for a French Patisserie course at APB Cook Studio when I was 16 as I was eager to learn as much as I could about the pastry arts. We learnt to prepare numerous classical French desserts and pastry over a span of a month. At the end of the course, the various batches were gathered together for a contest.
We were told to prepare a dessert, with mousse as the main component. Not having much experience back then, I tried the best I could to complete the challenge.
I prepared a chocolate and coffee mousse between layers of chocolate cake, glazed it with chocolate ganache and added some meringue swirls for decoration. The mango cardamom sauce that I decorated the plate with added a contrasting flavour and added colour to the dish.
One of the judges was the owner of the famous Theobroma Patisserie and Boulangerie, Kainaz Messman and she loved the flavour of the contrasting sauce with the chocolate dessert.
Finally, the results were out and I won second place.