Executive pastry chef Jackie Li and chief baker Kevin Tee from Carlton Hotel Singapore whip up a sweet storm in the kitchen with coffee cherry with poached pear verrine and chocolate orange brioches.
Coffee cherry with poached pear verrine and chocolate orange brioche
Tiramisu is the first thing that comes to mind when one talks about coffee flavoured desserts, but if you are looking to expand your baking repertoire, the chefs at Carlton Hotel Singapore have the recipe for you. Imagine bright cherry foam crowning coffee-flavoured panna cotta, cradling a poached pear compote and a pistachio sponge. Executive pastry chef Jackie Li demonstrates how to execute the layered dessert’s myriad components and transform it into a showstopping dessert.
“Pastry making involves a lot more than just mixing together sugar, butter and flour. Small details make a big difference,” says Li. “For example, instead of using instant coffee granules in the coffee cream component, crushing fresh coffee beans adds more depth and a stronger coffee flavour.” The Baileys used in the panna cotta should only be added to the mixture at the last minute to avoid burning off the alcohol. “Invert sugar for the ganache cannot be substituted with regular sugar, as the former is a concentrated sugar syrup used to keep the pastry product moist and prevent it from looking dry. Similarly, (liquid) glucose should have a water-like consistency and should be loosened in the microwave oven if it’s too thick,” advises Li. Macadamia nuts, an ingredient in the making of caramel macadamia candy, should be warm so that the hot caramelised sugar doesn’t seize or clump together on contact with nuts at room temperature; warm nuts allow for smoother coating of the sugar.
And for the foam component, sosa whip (milk protein hydrolyzation) is used to speed up the process of incorporating air into the cherry pureé when whipped, so that the resulting foam is light and riddled with air bubbles. Coupled with egg white powder, the resulting foam is stronger and holds more body for a longer period of time.
There are few things as wonderful as the aroma of freshly baked bread wafting through the kitchen. Kevin Tee, chief baker at Carlton Hotel Singapore divulges his tips for making light-asair chocolate orange brioches. “Making bread is a time-sensitive process, one that should not be rushed. For example, the step for making homemade orange peel should be started two to three days before, so that the peel absorbs maximum flavour.” Most bread recipes call for yeast only for the fermentation and rising. But using bread improvers is important to stabilise the yeast and allow it to rise better, rendering a lighter loaf. Giving the dough enough time to rest between shaping and punching it down before kneading again all help in activating the gluten and making the bread softer in each bite. Finally, while it is important for the dough to rest in a covered prover, letting the dough air-dry before baking is also critical to ensure that the crust is crunchy and dry when baked.