London, Paris, Mumbai
When Shaheen Peerbhai was in Paris as a student at Alain Ducasse Education, she’d spend her free time visiting patisseries. "I’d scribble down notes about the different layers of each pastry I ate — what I liked, what I didn’t," says the 29-year-old Mumbai girl who is currently working on a cookbook based on her experiences of running a pop-up restaurant in France for two years.
Next month, she will be here to conduct classes from February 14 to March 6. "The recipes are a result of the research on the streets of Paris, and also inspired by my recent experiences as a pastry chef in Michelin-starred London restaurant, Lyle’s in Shoreditch. I come to Mumbai about twice a year to conduct my classes," says Peerbhai, who will take five classes for different levels from first-time hobbyists to professionals. Priced at Rs 4,800 to Rs 6,500, the classes will be held at a kitchen studio at Pali Hill (Register at http://classes.purplefoodie.com).
The recipes include a simple and comforting orange and almond loaf cake, a slightly elaborate chocolate and maple mousse with caramelised pecans and also intricate pastries composed of four to five layers. "For example, the Pommier is made up of different layers including brown sugar breton, caramel mousse, apple compote, mirror glaze, pecan crumble and honeycomb," says Peerbhai over an email from London. She has also introduced a hands-on desserts-in-jars session.
"My recipes have French roots. Some are classics, like the fraisier (strawberry and cream cake), while some are modern creations where the focus is on layering different textures and flavours."
The book, expected to be out in 2017, contains recipes, drawings, stories and a lot more. "You’ll find recipes for small plates, sharing platters, creative desserts, and contemporary drinks," says Peerbhai. Lastly, we ask her to list three mistakes bakers made: "Using cup measures instead of scales, not turning on the top and bottom heating coils in the oven and using poor quality ingredients, such as compound instead of good chocolate or artificial vanilla essence instead of real vanilla beans."