Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Simply Fabulicious People - Pastry Chef Christophe's Baubles, Trees and Other Delights

We’ve known about Hilton Singapore’s best kept secret for some time now, and we figured Christmas and the year-end holidays is the best time to throw the limelight on the hotel’s super creative Executive Pastry Chef, Christophe Grilo. So we caught up him just earlier this week with a candid, never-before-seen exclusive interview right here with SimplyFab. 

A master of whimsical confections who clearly spins sweet treats with a lively sense of humour, Chef Grilo’s Christmas confections are quirky and cute. They have a childish fun about them which makes them such winners. We recently had a preview of his lemon tart disguised as a Christmas tree – tangy, smooth and comforting yet not too sweet – and a golden chocolate Christmas bauble filled with tiramisu, all gloriously 3D in form, and as delicious as they are gorgeous. If you want to throw a peerlessly tasteful party for the yuletide season, SimplyFab ladies just have serve up these lighthearted confections, one for each guest. And because SimplyFab had a chance to, we squeezed in some probing, sugar-coated questions for Chef Christophe, just for you ladies….

SimplyFab: Your pastries are very creative and distinctive. How do you get these wonderful ideas and what do you want your customers to get out of it?

Chef Christophe: I feel inspired after two beers…! :) I am always curious and I like to try new things. It is not easy to create a new pastry, so I like to reflect on what has been done before and experiment with new ingredients and sometimes prepare a pastry in a different manner and get wonderful surprises. The pastries that evolved should be elegant and easy to eat. I hope you will feel good seeing it and enjoy it.

Lemon Tart disguised as a Christmas tree

SimplyFab: SimplyFab readers are sophisticated ladies who have been there, done that and bought the diamonds. What sort of confection would you recommend we serve as a suitable dinner party dessert that reflects our luscious spirit and lifestyle?

Chef Christophe: Fresh berries and raspberry sorbet in a shallow crispy meringue spherical eggshell, served with a light vanilla cream will be perfect for the ladies.

Christmas Panettone
(Not the Supremo though, but also yummy)

SimplyFab: What should we buy back from Hilton's Checkers Deli and serve for a Christmas party that will knock the socks off our guests?

Chef Christophe: The Supremo Panettone with High Quality Fruits made with one-year-old yeast and imported fruits from the south of France. To enjoy this bread, you should first lightly toast the slices and have it with a good vanilla ice cream.

Golden bauble tiramisu

SimplyFab: How should we eat the 3D lemon tart and golden bauble in a way befitting our elegance? Break it up from top down? Pull it apart piece by piece?

Chef Christophe: To eat the golden bauble: First, gently remove the top half of the golden sphere with your fingers, thereafter you can scoop up the tiramisu with a dessert spoon. To enjoy the 3D lemon tart, work your way up the Christmas Tree with a fork from its base.

Chef Christophe makes 3D cakes too, like this luxe handbag orange choc cake

SimplyFab: Oooo! We love to work our way from the bottom up all sorts of our just desserts! So what confection do you suggest we seduce someone with? How can you help us?

Chef Christophe: I will prepare an elegant crispy dark chocolate cake shaped in a perfect cube. Ensconced in a thin dark chocolate (66%) is soft hazelnut sponge with layers of chocolate and coffee cream and V.S.O.P. caramel.

SimplyFab: Lovely! And can you share with us a simple recipe we can whip up in our kitchens for post-dinner playtime?

Chef Christophe: Here’s the recipe for the One-Minute Espresso Tiramisu with a Vodka Shot. You should be able to prepare this in 1 minute.

One-Minute Espresso Tiramisu with a Vodka Shot
By Executive Pastry Chef, Christophe Grilo
Hilton Singapore
(Serves 6)

100g Digestive biscuit crumbs
250g Mascarpone cheese
25g Sugar
1/2 tsp Brown sugar
6 pcs Ladies fingers (biscotti)
20g Liquid Cream
2 shots Espresso
Vodka shots, as many as you like
1. Hand-whisk mascarpone cheese, liquid cream and sugar for half-minute.
2. Lay out 6 espresso cups and apportion some biscuit crumbs (don’t use all) into the cups.
3. Fill the cups ¾ full with the cream mix (from Step #1).
4. Add more biscuit crumbs into the cup
5. Add ½ tsp brown sugar into the double-shot espresso.
6. Break the ladies fingers into two and soak the lady fingers into the double-shot espresso.
7. Stick the soaked ladies fingers into the cup of tiramisu and serve with vodka shots.
8. To enjoy, down a shot of vodka and have your tiramisu. Repeat the process with vodka shots as many times as you like!

PS. You can get hold of his baubles and tree at Checkers Deli at the Hilton Singapore from now until 24 Dec.

- Ee Waun


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