Fantasy desserts: Beauty with brains
Molecular gastronomy geniuses, such as Heston Blumenthal, are known for adding magical touches to their dishes, including desserts
Molecular gastronomy geniuses, such as Heston Blumenthal, are known for adding magical touches to their dishes, including desserts. As a result of this, they created futuristic, jaw-dropping meals that seemed to have landed on your plate right from a sci-fi movie.
Chefs across the world have relied on molecular gastronomy to create something out of the box. Closer home, we see the comeback of fantasy desserts in a big way, with chefs presenting them with all the fanfare they deserve. The last one to arrive on the table, desserts are being crafted in such a way that they leave a lasting impression. After a long period of pandemic-induced gloom, guests seem to be loving the idea of wrapping up a meal with a dollop of surprise.
From an edible helium balloon, which looks exactly like a balloon and can change the voice for a while after consuming it, to a mushroom look alike chocolate mousse and much more, chefs across the city are experimenting with desserts. “At House of Ming, we have recently revived our menu. Some of our creations hardly look like desserts. For instance, one of our desserts, called Nature, is a tree made with candy floss. The idea is to surprise our guests and bring back childhood memories. Another is Citron, that looks like a lemon but has a burst of multiple flavours,” says Arun Sundararaj, director of Culinary Operations , Taj Mahal, New Delhi.
Vietnom’s special red bean and rhubarb dumpling in ginger syrup is yet another unique dessert. It’s a slow preparation of red bean sweet paste, wrapped with a chewy tapioca starch with rhubarb cooked in sweet ginger syrup. Another attraction is Chocolate Mushroom Belgian Praline at Ophelia. “The idea is that it should appeal to the eyes and melt in the mouth. The USP of innovative desserts is that they stay in your mind and mouth both. The Mushroom Belgian Praline, shaped like a mushroom and topped with chocolate batter, is something that people like to take photos of before they devour it,” says Omer Levent, chef from Cosy Box and Ophelia.
At Saga, Gurugram, Agra Ka Petha has got a glamorous makeover. The humble dessert is presented in a foam-based cloud style, a perfect amalgamation of traditional flavours with modern presentation. “We have married two different dishes into one. We have merged the flavours of petha with a twist of rabdi in the form of foam. It has rose and orange jellies hidden in the foam, and every bite is a surprise,” says Kush Koli, head chef at the outlet.
The trend is not just a part of the Delhi-based food industry. Mumbai offers an equal amount of quirk and flavours. Reetu Uday Kugaji, culinary expert from Mumbai, says, “Desserts are rarely predictable now. Chefs are reviving molecular tricks and fun elements to add a twist to your last meal. The Tropical Dome served at Yauatcha, Bandra Kurla Complex is a meticulously prepared delectable dome-shaped mango dessert with a top layer of white chocolate mousse. This is served with a Pina colada sorbet and passion fruit. Tamarind Twist, Rajbhog, Pani Puri at Apsara Ice Cream (Navi Mumbai) is an unusual and delectable spin on the dessert. At Bayroute Cuffe Parade, Baklava and Lotus Drama are must-try desserts. The crunchy Iranian pistachios with almond and gulkhand ice-cream, with the play of nitrogen and dried rose have taken the humble Baklava to a whole new level. ”
Agra Ka Petha
For Rose Jelly:
Water 100ml, Rose Syrup 100ml, Gelatin 1g
For Orange Jelly:
Orange Juice 300g, Gelatin 1g, Sugar 20g, Lemon Juice 4g
Petha 4tbps , Tuti Fruity 1tsb , Rabdi cloud 4tsp, Chironji 1 tsp
Pista 1tsb, Almond flakes 1g, chandi work , Tuile 1tsb
For Rabri cloud:
Rabdi 200g, Toned Milk 30g, Condensed milk 25g
Kewra Water 10ml
For orange and rose jelly:
- Take a heavy bottom pan, start heading rose syrup and water together, till reduced to 30%
- Add gelatin and keep it to cool
- Repeat the same procedure with orange juice, sugar and lemon juice
- Add gelatin and keep it aside to cool
For rabdi cloud
- Take a heavy bottom vessel, condense the milk till the required rabdi consistency is acquired
- Add sugar to it and let it cool
- When the mixture is cooled properly, make a fine paste out of it
- Infuse crème charger into it to make it light and fluffy
Take a bowl, place jellies and petha to it
Pour over the cloudy rabdi on top
Garnish with tuile, chironji, almond flakes and pista
Add gelatin at the last minute, when the rose jelly is reduced at 30%. Add lemon juice to orange jelly, also the same way when reduced by 30 %
While pouring rabdi cloud, make sure it is cold.
(By Kush Koli, head chef, Saga)