Come the Christmas & New Year season people and I mean serious bakers start planning months in advance. The soaking of fruits, making wines and planning the festive menu has become a part of the modern life. Each one wants to do something unique or different and add their own twist.
Recently I attended a Dessert Baking Workshop By Chef Saptasri Parswanath, dessert chef , J W Marriott. It was conducted at Godrej's Nature Basket, Koramangala courtesy J W Marriott. The young chef who had been trained in a pastry institute in Malaysia displayed her skills to the audience by baking the unique Vanilla Kipferl and also mince pies.
Vanilla Kipferl is a crescent shaped vanilla cookie, native of Austria, though well known across Europe. They are a part of Christmas traditions in Europe and it definitely takes a pair of skilled hands to bake the fragile cookie dough into a horse shoe shape.
Chef Saptasri easily turned these into perfect cookies, all the while patiently answering the audience queries, regarding baking. The chef also demonstrated to the audience how to make quick fruit mix for making mince meat filling.
Mince meat is a mix of dried fruits, spirits and spices. This in olden times used to have beef suet and hence the name. The modern version has only dried fruits mixed with spices soaked in brandy/rum and even orange juice for non alcoholics for atleast two days upto a month. Now you know why the preparation for Christmas baking starts in advance.
The chef displayed the making of the mince meat pie from scratch and also served mini mince pies baked in muffin cups.Its unique way and kudos to the the chef for avoiding the very common fruit cake.
Given below is the Vanilla Kipferl recipe.
500g Castor Sugar
1 tsp Salt
2.5 tsp Cinnamon Powder
Lemon zest of 5 lemons
10 numbers of Vanilla pod
500g hazelnut powder toasted
Cream the soft butter until smooth. Add sugar, salt, lemon zest and scrapped seeds of vanilla to it and mix well. Add the flour and toasted nut powder. Knead/pat gently into a dough. Rest it in the fridge for 45 minutes.
Take ut and knead it wel. Divide it into 20g balls and gently roll it out into crescents. Do not overwork the dough. The dough is fragile and you should just lightly touch it. Bake att 190C until light golden brown.
Dust with icing sugar while still hot.
What are you waiting for , Its just few more days for Christmas, Put on your baking hat and get on with it. Make something different yet traditional.
J W Marriott conducts baking workshops mostly at their hotels or our sponsored locations. Do keep an eye on their web site and keep yourselves updated.
Baking workshops for kids are also conducted. Their 'Cutest Crismiss Party' for kids is also today. Other Christmas activities and events are also happening.
J W Marriott
24/1, Vittal Mallya Road,Bengaluru -560 001