The festive season is here. Chef Rushina Munshaw Ghildiya and chef Anees Khan at APB Cook Studio have inspired us to do something creative with the desserts during this festive season.
In India, the month of August is a harbinger of festivals, and when we talk about them, the melange of colours in the camaraderie and the unity with which people celebrate and come together as one during this time is a delight to watch. My words stumble over the enthusiasm which people demonstrate during these glorious days, and as I think and preach about them, a gentle reminder to you all that the festive season has already begun.
And here comes the most important part: Desserts. They are like the treasured assets, the linchpin of our happiness, and Achilles’ heel; they expose our vulnerability, make us look weak, and we languish at their sight, flashing our most vivid childhood memories. Festivals and sweets go in tandem with each other; this is a strong aspect of our rich culture.
However, things have drastically changed in this contemporary world. Customers these days look for creative and distinctive styles of presentation in desserts; they crave for innovative techniques in terms of gifts and are no longer satisfied with the run-of-the-mill concepts. Novelty is high in demand, and this, indeed, has become challenging.
But sky is the limit in terms of creativity, and this was evident in my recent encounter with “the fusion of cupcakes with Indian desserts” masterclass. The joint endeavour of the dessert maven and patisserie chef Anees Khan of Star Anise Patisserie with the talented Rushina Munshaw Ghildiyal, who is one of the pioneers in launching the first state of the art kitchen studio known as APB Cook Studio, was a fine demonstration of innovation combining the elements of baking and Indian desserts. A session of fun and learn with a plethora of artistic dessert techniques was unique in its own way where the brilliant chefs showcased their finesse in metamorphosing mundane things into creative work.
We started with coconut and jaggery flavoured Modak cupcakes. The coconut icing on the top was modulated to perfection, and the soft texture along with the wonderful presentation were spot on. Gajar Halwa cupcake with Orange jelly, vanilla frosting, and Star anise represented the perfect marriage of desserts with spices. The gooey jelly enrobed in the smooth cupcake further enhanced the experience; however, I missed the taste of Gajar Halwa. I could have been mistaken in my expectations, but the very name of the cupcake forces your taste censors to expect the strong flavour of Gajar Halwa. The talented chefs also showcased the innovative techniques to plate Indian sweets at the APB Cook Studio. For example: the art of presenting different layers of sweets (Indian desserts) in a jar piqued my curiosity indicating that there is so much creative stuff in this world of desserts.
The following cupcakes will be available for this entire festive season. The customers can also place orders for home delivery. Please note that the delivery areas are: Bandra, BKC, Khar, Vile Parle, SantaCruz, Kurla West, Ghatkoper, Chembur, Andheri.
1. Gajar Halwa cupcake with orange jelly, vanilla frosting and star anise pod.
2. Banana caramel chocolate cupcake with chai masala, caramel sauce & butter scotch frosting.
3. Modak cupcakes with coconut & jaggery filling, topped with coconut cream.
4. Pineapple cupcake with bay leaf, pepper and vanilla frosting.
Location: StarAnise Patisserie, 263, Linking Road, Bandra West, Mumbai.
Cost: 500 INR for 10 cupcakes.