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Kiwi dessert specials

The use of fresh and organic produce is what defines modern New Zealand cuisine. Chef Clinton Cooper believes health-conscious Indians will take to natural, organic food from his home country.

india Updated: Jan 14, 2011 14:59 IST
Shweta Mehta
Shweta Mehta
Hindustan Times

The use of fresh and organic produce is what defines modern New Zealand cuisine, and it is this feature that Chef Clinton Cooper believes will draw health-conscious Indians towards it.

“Being a relatively new country, it’s only been a while since we started to branch out and create our own unique style. We prefer to keep it natural and let the flavours speak for themselves,” he says, adding, “Guests are becoming more discerning of what they eat. They know what is good quality and what is fresh. The philosophy of modern New Zealand food has a place in India.” Relatively new to the country, the executive chef at Mumbai’s Four Seasons Hotel has already attached himself to The Vatsalya Foundation.

He has taken over the reins of a hotel apprenticeship program — a three-year culinary course that helps underprivileged youth enter the hospitality industry. And what does he do when he misses his native country? “Fish and chips, meat pies, pavlova and lamingtons are what I turn to,” he smiles.

Sponge cake:
2.5 cup self raising flour (625 ml) n 1.5 teaspoon baking powder (7 ml ) n Pinch salt (1 ml)
125 g butter
1 1/4 cup sugar (325 ml)
4 eggs

Chocolate sauce
1 1/2 cup boiling water (375 ml)
3 cups sugar (750 ml) n Pinch of salt (1 ml)
2 tablespoons cocoa (30 ml)
1 tablespoon butter (15 ml)
1 teaspoon vanilla essence (5 ml)
5 cups shredded coconut (1250 ml)

Sponge cake
Grease two square baking trays. Sift flour, baking powder and salt together.
Beat the butter until creamy. then beat the eggs into the butter. Fold dry mixture gradually into butter mixture.
Pour into trays.
Bake for 15 - 20 minutes at 400 deg F (200deg C).
Turn out to cool down. Cut into squares.

Chocolate Sauce
Mix water, sugar, salt and cocoa in a double boiler till sugar dissolves.
Stir in butter and essence. Take off the heat. Dip the cake squares into the sauce, covering all sides.
Roll in coconut and refridgerate.

4 large (120 grams) egg whites
1 cup (200 grams) castor sugar n 1 teaspoon white vinegar n 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch (corn flour)

1 cup (240 ml) heavy whipping cream n 1 1/2 tablespoons (20 grams) granulated white sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Fresh fruit of your choice.

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F (130 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, draw 7-inch (18 cm) circle on the paper.
Beat the egg whites in bowl with a whisk attachment, on medium-high speed until they hold soft peaks. Add the sugar, 1 tbsp at a time, and continue to beat until the meringue holds very stiff peaks.
Sprinkle vinegar and cornstarch over top of meringue and fold in.
Gently spread meringue on parchment paper and bake for 1 hour 15 minutes or until the outside is dry and pale cream in colour. Turn oven off and let the meringue cool completely. Whip the cream until soft peaks form. Sweeten with sugar and vanilla and put on meringue. Arrange fruit. Serve immediately.

First Published: Jan 14, 2011 13:06 IST