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Updated: May 21, 2014 16:35 IST

Recreating the Taj

SHONALI MUTHALALY
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ROMANCING THE CHOCOLATE Chef Adelbert Bucher. Photo: R. Shvaji Rao
Tamil Nadu ROMANCING THE CHOCOLATE Chef Adelbert Bucher. Photo: R. Shvaji Rao

Exhibition Watch the monument of love in white Lindt chocolate

Of course, there's chocolate. Trays of fluffy muffins, as dark as sin. Plump spheres of dark truffle rolled in fresh, sweet coconut. Bowls of little chocolate chips, cool and snappy. And, Lindt's finest bars, laid out in a row to display their strengths and differences.

Before chef Adelbert Bucher, Lindt master chocolatier, agrees to settle down for a chat on chocolate, he insists on packing away his gleaming instruments carefully. “People will start fiddling with them otherwise,” he mutters, rolling his eyes. Then, he sits down, and asks for a cappuccino. He's needs the caffeine. He has a habit of setting himself formidable tasks.

Quite a challenge

At the Courtyard by Marriot, chef Bucher's been flexing his muscles and working on recreating the Taj Mahal. Only, his version is in white Lindt chocolate.

He's started work on the moulds well in advance, since he made each one himself. The mini monument was quite a challenge. “It needs at least 12 hours of work each a day,” he says. “It's one-metre across and 80-centimetre high.”

It's also one of the toughest projects he's undertaken so far. “It's like building it in stone. Only smaller.”

Far more intricate than his last creation, executed for Mumbai. “I made the Sea Link,” he smiles, adding: “In Hyderabad it was the Charminar. But the Taj, that's tough. As tough as the Golden Gate Bridge I did for San Fransisco.”

Chef Bucher's been fascinated with the monument for a while now. Fascinated enough to create it in an even more unusual medium a few years ago — “I did it with sugar cubes!”

The Taj Mahal in white chocolate, built with the help of pastry chef Selva from Muffin Tree, is at the Marriot for public viewing till November 22.

Even if you've seen the real thing, this should be worth checking out. Which brings us to the question, has chef Bucher been to Agra yet? “Unfortunately, not. I'm still planning to go. Lindt's promoters in India, the Narang Group, instantly promised to arrange it. In the world of chocolate, it's all happy endings!

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