Skip to main content

An Apple A Day

It was in fact a lot of apples at Brown Paper Bag's Forbidden Fruit Workshop at JW Marriott this afternoon. Now I am generally a self taught kind of cook/baker. But I've been to BPB's workshops in the past and they are generally good fun. Plus tarts and pies have been a source of contention within me - I like the ones I bake but know they are not perfect - so this was just the chance to learn from a pro.

Chef Savio Fernandes is the presiding pastry chef at Marriott and he promised to spill some secrets in the three hours we spent baking. We started with the classic shortcrust. That's been my nemesis so far. So I watched the chef like a hawk, and I fully intend to copy his movements and get the consistency of the pastry where he got it the next time I bake tarts. We put the pastry to rest in the fridge and the chef moved to tarte tatin.

A French feast of caramized apples over puff pastry, the recipe starts with - horror of horrors - a dry caramel. I've burnt my hands, literally, trying to make this caramel without any water so that was the second scoop of the day. Chef Savio showed a technique that certainly falls in the realm of "interesting" and again, it's something that makes to my to-try list. There was, alas, no recipe for an easy puff as the chef suggested we save our sanity and use the store bought version.

The next two hours were quickly lost in baking a classic apple pie and two tarts. The rabdi and caramelized apple tart showed the fusion techniques of our pastry chef. The second tart is the one I would squarely put down as whimsical. You will have to wait for details on that one though as I am working on a variation myself.

Once the tarts were all in the oven, the folks at the restaurant brought out sandwiches and icecream. Coffee was on the table already and then trays after trays of the goodies came out. And we ate, well, a lot! My only regret is that the workshop was not very hands on. But some top secret baking tips, 15-20 amateur foodies and a whole afternoon spent in the middle of sugar and butter has left me very happy indeed!

Comments

Anonymous said…
Wow simran, being in a city like mumbai does have its plus points as u get 2 attend gr8 cooking workshops, have never prepared tarts or pie's at home yet......should prepare one in the coming days
simply.food said…
Sounds like afun day out.
Anubha said…
foodie social...jusss love the idea i used to attend such things in blr...i miss it bigtime...your write up adds so much more to the whole funn...keep writing:)

Popular posts from this blog

Farm to Fork in Chail

Back in 19th century, when Shimla was the summer capital of India, the Maharaja of Patiala got the British rulers riled over his dalliances and got banned from entering the city. Not the one to be put down so easily, he found a tiny little town about an hour from Shimla and made Chail his very own summer capital. Today, Chail still has the impressive Palace that the Maharaja built and the highest cricket ground in the world. There really isn't much more to the city apart from a small local market and a couple of hotels that get spillover crowd from Shimla in the summers. It's a pleasant little diversion but that's not why I went to Chail. I stopped nine kilometers short of the town to make Ekam my home for a weekend.

Sumeet Singal built this house on a cliff as his own weekend home. Today, even when Ekam is open as a luxury boutique resort, the cosy homely feeling remains intact. I asked Sumeet what there was to do during my three day holiday at Ekam. He told me that ther…

Mystery Fruit

This only happened a few times every year, just when the rainy season kicked in. A street hawker will come by, straw basket on head. He will yell "kaul chapni" and I will run out to buy a bundle of these. Stuck together like flowers, they looked like a bouquet. Every hole contains a little fruit. You break out the package, peel the tiny fruit that pops out and eat it. Done slowly, it can take you an hour to eat an head. Or did, when I was about 12 years old.

That was the last time I saw this fruit. I've never seen it again, didn't even know what it was called or where it came from. Three weeks back, Vikram Doctor wrote about a store in Khar that sells Sindhi foods. He described this fruit and I knew it came from my vivid childhood memories. And finally, I knew we were talking about lotus fruit.

Now talk about coincidences. Last weekend, I was passing by a lane in Bandra and for the first time in many, many years I saw the straw basket filled with my mytery fruit. It…

Of Brun and Bun Maska

There is more to Bombay's breads than the pao that goes into pao bhaji and vada pao. There's Brun. and there's bun. We will get there. First, you have to get to know the city's Parsis. And Iranis, who are also Zoroastrians, but came to city a little later, in the late 19th or early 20th century. And when they came, they brought with them these little cafes that dot the city.

I am no expert on Irani chai cafes. And I can't tell you whether Yazdani Bakery will provide you the best experience or Kyani's. But I can tell you a few things you need to ignore when you get there. Appearances don't matter; so ignore the fact that the marble/glass top tables and the wooden chairs look a bit dilapidated. Also ignore the rundown look the place sports.

Instead, get yourself settled. And order a bun muska. This one's familiar to you as a first cousin of the soft hamburger bun. It's similar, but just a tad bit sweeter. Maska, of course, is the generous dollop of b…