melange Food

Pat a cake, a ciabatta, ’n’ a muffin

When its aroma comes wafting through the air, it is warm and comforting, and gives even a guest the feeling of being at home.

Whether reserved for Christmas or indulged in to rejuvenate oneself, it never fails to disappoint. When you spot a sign that reads, “You live only once. Lick the bowl,” you realise that baking will always be one of those activities that brings good cheer.

Over the past few years, a baking revolution is on. Tomorrow is World Baking Day, we track some of the most important trends.

According to Deep Mohan Singh Bajaj, pastry chef, The Ritz Carlton, Bangalore, “The baking industry has significantly evolved over the last few years with changing trends, techniques and guest preferences. Today’s guests are global travellers and know what to expect when they are served regional classic breads like ciabata, focaccia and the likes. However, the new age Indian multigrain breads with entrants like jowar, raagi and bajra into the mix are being noticed around the globe. Trends indicate that handmade artisan breads and bakeries that are free from chemicals are here to stay with a growing preference in the kitchens for organic and gluten free flour.”

Tanisha Ravindra, pastry chef, The Oberoi, Bangalore, points out: “Health and wellness is the key in today’s cooking and baking and although most products in the bakery are not exactly guilt-free, there is a growing trend toward making things a little healthier.

Watching sugar content, trying whole wheat flour and adding super-fruits and seeds (goji berries, chia, flaxseeds, green tea, pomegranate, etc.) to your tasty treats are a few ways we can make bakery a little better for you.”

She adds: “Almost everyone appreciates a little sweet treat after a meal, whether it is a cookie, fruit, or a scoop of ice cream. However, people usually avoid eating a whole portion of dessert due to health reasons /diet, etc.

Hence, there has been a sudden demand for miniature desserts/ bite size desserts just enough to curb the craving for sweet.”

Home bakers in the country have come into their own. Niveditha Rao, who runs The Dessert Island, says: “Home bakers in India are moving past cupcakes and cakes and into more delicate and detailed desserts like entremets.

The level of difficulty is being raised and many are trying out techniques and ideas that used to relegated to professionals alone. Across the globe, I would say that crisp and clean designs in terms of decorating and artisanal baking are finding new takers among home bakers. Also, the focus is shifting to local produce being the star in recipes and fresh fruits taking precedence.”

As far as popular baked goodies go, Chef Tanisha says: “It’s got to be cupcakes – they’re still growing in popularity. We’ve taken them to the next level with fillings and toppings. Chai spice, peanut butter and jelly, piña colada and caramel latte are some of my favourites.”

Say goodbye to “High calorie cakes, chemically enhanced flavours, essences, chemical colours and chemically processed factory made breads,” says Chef Deep.

Tanisha adds: “Apart from doing away with synthetic flavours, I feel very heavy desserts which are created with extremely traditional pastry making ingredients such as butter cream, are making way for healthier and lighter options like panacotta, baked yoghurt, etc.”

As far as the Indian sweet-meat scene goes, “Fusion desserts are becoming big. For example, gajar halwa with mascarpone cheese topping, saffron and cardamom flavoured crème brulee, pistachio and rose flavoured éclairs, and baked yoghurt with traditional Indian flavours and nut toppings, among other innovative treats, have been received well,” says Tanisha.

With so many delightful treats to choose from, one is naturally spoilt for choice but if you’re worried about piling on some weight, maybe this poster slogan would help- “Thigh gaps are for flamingos.

Have a cupcake. You will survive. (Promise)!”

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Printable version | Apr 10, 2021 9:00:10 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/Food/pat-a-cake-a-ciabatta-n-a-muffin/article6016475.ece

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