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It's all in the layers

“Delicious Pastries” demystifies the world of pain au chocolat and filo tartlets, within the confines of your kitchen



FILLING INThe book is for both seasoned and shaky pastry chefs

There's nothing like a good pastry to satisfy your sweet tooth. Soft or crispy, plain or iced, rolled or piped… you have your pick. More bakeries are coming up, presentations are becoming more and more elaborate and flavours more complex. Trying to cater to this new interest is Parragon Books, which recently published a book “Delicious Pastries”.

The 96-page book, priced Rs.195, has recipes for both sweet and savoury pastries that can be tried at home.

It is divided into four sections — Perfect Puff, So Choux, Fancy Filo and Short & Simple — each dealing with a different kind of pastry base. If, all this while you've been busy picturing chocolate swirls or the pain au chocolat in your mind, you can quickly flip through the Perfect Puff section. There they are, with full-page illustrations alongside an easy method to prepare the same.

Even if you aren't that inexperienced a pastry chef, you can still be tempted with exotic new recipes like baklava, pistachio pastries or the filo tartlets with avocado salsa.

“The book took around four to five months for its compilation and it is a collection of all-time favourite recipes of Europe. As people are willing to experiment more and more with different culinary fares, these are now becoming popular in India, too,” says Vineet Sharma, Managing Director, Parragon Publishing India.

For those who can't be egged on to pastry making due to apprehensions about using gelatine and whisking egg whites correctly, there might be a a little disappointment, for there are hardly any tips on the same. Nevertheless, the book does come with a set of general guidelines to help you with the right technique for the right dough.

“Pastry chef superiority should not deter anyone from trying basic pastry-making methods. Getting it right is no mystery. Success is very easy to achieve if you follow a few golden rules,” states Sharma as he goes on to share a few tips. “A cool environment and a light touch help avoid tough dough. Also, allow chilling time when necessary for dough that is easy to roll.”

But, how does he plan to serve an audience that is more calorie-conscious than ever?

“We have several books for the health-conscious readers. There is a series of ‘100 Best Health Foods', ‘Vegetarian Bible', ‘The Low-Carb Cookbook', etc. which cater to them,” mentions Sharma.

Lending him an ear I continue to flip through the hard-bound book, fixing my eyes on the photographs, my imagination drooling in that creamy-chocolaty world. And there is nary a thing on my mind but profiteroles with chocolate sauce.

S.M. UMAIR

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