Pastry Chef Himanshu On His Love For Making Chocolate Sculptures
- Ayandrali Dutta
Updated : September 20, 2022 08:09 IST
Chef Himanshu admits that traditional Indian sweets have a special place in his heart as it brings back my memories
Himanshu Swaroop, is a ‘Pastry Chef’ who is enthusiastic about adding a modern twist to classic baked goods. He specializes in producing cookies, cupcakes, special cakes, paleo/gluten-free cookies and cakes. As a Pastry Chef at Conrad Bengaluru, he says that there are many aspects of this field that I love; however, cakes, plated desserts, and ice creams are his absolute favorite. He also believes that deciding whether to offer your guests a sit-down catered dinner or a buffet isn't just a matter of personal preference.
He simply loves making chocolate sculptures and find then the most creative and patient skill. He admits saying “Pastry is truly my passion and I'm always looking to learn more and better perfect my techniques”
What’s the worst modern twist to classic baked goods you have tasted?
The worst modern twist was Peanut Butter and Jelly Snack Bars. As per me, if you are looking for an even easier way to enjoy your healthy treat. Made using rolled oats, coconut sugar, and roasted peanuts, this convenient gluten-free treat works great for those who are on the go. You can say it is a bite of healthy happiness.
What has been your USP/ best creation when it comes to giving the classics a facelift
I always consider my USP to good starting point with 5 Cs: like chocolate, citrus, coffee, custard or cheese and caramel. Take classic, popular desserts (hot soufflés, crème Brule, lemon tarts, etc.), prepare, and present them in a clean, straightforward manner. As per me, classics are classics for a reason. They are great dishes, have wonderful contrasts, and are comforting. They can remind customers of times past and conjure the great memories that accompany them. A dessert that is simple, but executed perfectly is very satisfying on many levels.
My best classic creation name: citrus crème Brule torte.
Traditional sweets vs European delights. Your take?
Being a pastry chef, my training and work have been cored in European desserts. I am mostly constantly innovating with pastries art. As per me, traditional Indian sweets have a special place in my heart as it brings back my memories when I was a kid. As a chef, it is a satisfying to give a twist to traditional mithai recipes. But being a European working hand in practice more I will take the international European delights.
Desserts have become super creative, how do you keep evolving with the trends?
Yes, it is very important to be with the current flow of trends and the palette of your patrons. Beyond the visual appeal, chefs are rethinking the basic elements of desserts to offer diners tastes and textures that may not be familiar, but are a catalyst to a new type of flavor experience. Knowledge adds creates and built confidence as many times some super creative dishes demand a lot of courage. These most often hold a special place in customers’ hearts, reminding them of past moments in their lives, family or maybe even a sweet, guilty pleasure.
When conceptualizing a new dish what are the few things that you always take care of?
While conceptualizing or innovating a new dish the following points have to be considered:
• Should be the latest in trends; understand the fundamentals of the dining experience.
• Considering the good quality of materials
• Choose to focus their skills and knowledge into one dish that is so well executed, it can stand up to any of the trendy pastries any day.
How easy or difficult was for you to understand the Indian palate and create accordingly?
Being an Indian it’s not that difficult for me to work on Indian palates. These days we are more demanding in terms of tasting more international flavors and local flavor. Yes, me and my guests are more food influencers, I know what my they want from me and I deliver the same.
Three things to take care while baking?
• Color and appearance
• Last one is my favorite that is aroma
What is your fav meetha Memory and the recipe of your fav creation
Blackberry white chocolate dutches with current jello
• 3 sheets fine-leaf gelatin
• 300ml tub double cream
• 150g white chocolate, finely
• 150g blackberries, plus extra to decorate
• 2 large eggs, separated
• 50g caster sugar
• 350 grams white chocolate
• 150 grams water
• 300 grams sugar
• 200 grams condensed milk
• 1-tablespoon vanilla extract
• 8-gelatin sheet
• Optional food dye for colored mirror glaze
• Cover gelatin with cold water and set aside for 5min to soften. Gently heat the cream and chocolate in a pan, stirring, to melt chocolate. Lift out gelatin, squeeze to remove excess water and stir into chocolate mixture to dissolve.
• Set aside to cool for 10min. Meanwhile, in a small pan, cook blackberries with 2tbsp water for about 5min, until mixture resembles jam.
• Squash with the back of a fork to help them along. Push through a sieve into the chocolate pan, discarding any remaining seeds.
• Mix. In a separate bowl, whisk egg whites until they hold soft peaks. In a separate large bowl, whisk egg yolks and sugar until pale and fluffy.
• Add the chocolate berry mixture to the egg yolks, beating quickly to combine, then add egg whites and fold through. Add in moulds and keep in freezer for least for 8 hours.
For Mirror glaze
• Heat the water, sugar, and condensed milk. When the sugar is fully dissolved and the liquid is hot, turn off the heat and stir in the gelatin. Pour this mixture over the chocolate Wait about 5 minutes for the chocolate to melt.
Using an immersion blender or a regular blender, blend this mixture until smooth. Strain this through a sieve and allow to cool, gently stirring every so often to prevent a film from forming on top.
• Depending on the container you are using and your starting temperature, the cooling can take up to 2 hours, which an ice bath can accelerate.
• When the glaze is between 90°F and 94°F (32°C - 34°C), it is ready to be poured over the cake. At this point, be very careful not to introduce bubbles since the glaze is very viscous and they will not pop on their own.
• You must manually pop them or strain the mixture through a sieve. Pour the glaze over the frozen cake you can pour starting at the sides in a circular motion working towards the center, or start from the center and work out to the sides. Allow the glaze to chill on the cake for a few minutes Once it is poured, it is done!
• There is no fixing a bad poor on mirror glaze unless you rip off the entire layer and refreeze the cake. If all goes well, you should have a smooth top and sides.
• It may take some practice to get a feel for how to pour the glaze, or it might come out perfect on the first try.