A Haunted Halloween Spread

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October could possibly be the most beautiful month of the year, when the scorching heat of summer finally decides to say goodbye, leaving a pleasant climate behind before the winter kicks in. As the weather is changing, I was planning to do some fall recipes before the busy Christmas baking season starts but Shruti and Paul from our creative team clearly had something else in their mind.

PROJECT HALLOWEEN!

Yes, they demanded a creepy dessert recipe for Halloween. Since the theme Halloween itself calls in for a lot of drama, I wanted to keep the dessert as simple as possible. I decided to do a coffee almond cake with vanilla icing and some extra elements such as mini pumpkins with witch & ghost hats, a scary fall tree and a graveyard to give that Halloween look and feel.

Apart from all that, it was our Barista instructor Sam Tan’s Halloween drinks and the extra effort she put to make the drinks look as spooky as possible completed the whole show.

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And, I have to mention the most fun part of the shoot was having all that Halloween props around, especially the laughing witch that Chef Sally happened to have with her made the entire shoot into a storytelling experience.

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Coffee Almond Cake

Almond spongeAlmond paste, 65%    150gm

Icing sugar                    54 gm

Egg yolk (cold)             100gm

Egg (cold)                      60gm

Flour                      45 gm

Cornstarch           45 gm

Egg white            135 gm

Caster sugar          54 gm

Butter                       45 gm

 

For Vanilla Icing

Ingredients

Sugar                   200 gmWater                    40 gm

Glucose syrup          7 gm

 

Egg white                150 gm

Salt                    1/8 tsp

Vanilla extract           2 tsp

Butter                  450 gm

 

 

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Method

For the Coffee almond cake

  1. Place almond paste, icing sugar, cold whole egg and egg yolk into kitchen processor and pulse it until smooth.
  2. Pour it into a large mixing bowl and whisk it with a hand whisk until pale in color.
  3. Make French meringue from the egg white and caster sugar and melt the butter separately
  4. Sieve cornstarch and flour together and add to the marzipan-egg mixture.
  5. Add the meringue to the marzipan base in 2 additions and add the melted butter.
  6. Fold until just about to combine.
  7. Scale 4 x 300 gm layers to 4 pieces of lined cake frame (200 x 200 mm).
  8. Spread it briefly and bake the 4 sheets at 160°C for 10-12 minutes.
  9. Allow them to cool down in the frame and cut them out.

For the vanilla icing

  1. Cook sugar, water and glucose syrup to 118°C.
  2. Foam eggs and egg white.
  3. When the syrup has reached the right temperature, add it, like at the Italian meringue.
  4. Foam it for a few minutes, until the temperature goes down to lukewarm.
  5. Add room temperature butter little by little. Mix until smooth

Vrushali Jadhav

Developing a strong affinity towards cooking food as a child, made her pursue her passion to graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in Hotel Management from IHM Goa and also become the best outgoing student in Culinary Arts. Her dedication and commitment to excel has made her a name in the Culinary Fraternity in the UAE. Her professional career started with the Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts spotting immense talent in her made her a part of the pre-opening team at the prestigious Madinat Jumeirah Hotel in 2004. She has taken challenges and opportunities as they came, moving from the Jumeirah Group to the Dusit Thani and then to The Palace Down Town, where she worked as the Head Pastry Chef, making the hotel a famous F&B offering in Dubai. In her journey as a Pastry Chef she has traveled to Switzerland and Malaysia, to work with world class master-chefs.

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