The Perfect Profiteroles Recipe

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I have a confession to make.  I have a sweet tooth and easily succumb to delicious treats made with milk, butter and most importantly sugar.  Given that, you can only imagine my sheer delight when Capella Singapore’s Pastry Chef Sam called me into his kitchen to share the new profiteroles recipe he is working on for The Knolls.

I was very grateful that Chef Sam took time out of his busy schedule to teach me.  According to Chef Sam, “I always believe to teach is to learn twice. By teaching I get to learn a second time, and also it gives me insights on ideas other people may have, which could eventually become part of my next idea for a new creation.”

Chef Sam’s profiteroles were indeed heavenly and they were surprisingly easy to make.  They were light with a slight bite and with a rich golden brown colour.  The profiteroles were sweet at first bite, but with a mild salty aftertaste perfectly complementing the chocolate sauce we made.

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Profiteroles
Serves six

Ingredients:
50g Milk
50g Water
¼tsp Salt
1Tbsp Sugar
50g Butter
60g All Purpose Flour
2.5g Baking Powder
2 Eggs

Method:
1. Mix the milk, water, salt, sugar and butter into a saucepan.  Bring to boil allowing the butter to melt.
2. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder.
3. Remove from heat and pour the flour into the boiling liquid and cook until a smooth dough forms and it pulls away easily from the sides of the pot.
4. Put the hot dough into a mixing bowl. Continue mixing while adding in 1 of the eggs to cool it down immediately.
5. Add in the second egg and continue mixing until the dough forms a smooth shiny consistency.
6. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
7. Pour the mixture into a piping bag and pipe onto a tray lined with baking paper.
8. Bake in oven for 15-20 minutes until dark golden in colour.
9. Remove from oven and once cooled on a baking rake, refrigerate in an airtight container for up to two days.
10. Once chilled, poke a hole into each profiterole and pipe in ice-cream and serve with chocolate sauce.

Chocolate Sauce
Makes 1 ½ cups sauce

Ingredients:
½C Water
⅓C Sugar
2Tbsp Corn Syrup
¼C Cocoa Powder
100g Dark Chocolate Chips

Method:
1. Bring water, sugar, corn syrup and cocoa powder to a boil in a small saucepan.
2. Remove from heat and quickly whisk in dark chocolate pieces.
3. Stir until smooth.
4. Strain through a fine mesh sieve.
5. Allow to cool slightly before serving.
6. Pour generously over profiteroles.

I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!!!

Johnny Iuzzini Talks “A Taste of Capella”

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Less than a month until our Food and Wine Festival at Capella Pedregal, and I am already getting chills when I think of all the culinary delights and fun we are going to have this July!  There will be something to satisfy the discerning palette of any food and wine lover – be it the “grill and smoker” style of cuisine as provided by Chef Kent Rathbun, the delicious steaks by Kevin Rathbun, the fine Mexican dining with contemporary touch by Capella Pedregal’s Marco Bustamante, or some of the ingenious desserts by Chef Johnny Iuzzini.

Chef Johnny Iuzzini gave me a glimpse on his food and activities at the upcoming Food & Wine Festival, and I am already counting down the days to be able to taste some of his tasty creations.

Hi Johnny, I am very pleased you are joining us at the Food & Wine Festival at Capella Pedregal. Can you tell me what can the festival’s guests expect from the event?
I am very excited to have been invited and I am planning on doing a cool modern pastry demonstration as well as making some super tasty desserts for two other events within the festival.  I think the guests will get to try a bunch of amazing food from some really talented chefs as well as hang out with us and talk food, drink and life!

To which part of the event are you looking forward the most?
I have never been to Cabo so I am excited to check out the local restaurants as well as meet some local chefs to learn more about the culture and flavors of the region.

How would you describe your cuisine?
I am a modern American pastry chef with a strong foundation in French pastry.  I like to make desserts that are not very sweet and often use vegetables.

Where and how do you get inspiration when creating new dishes?
I am a hands-on kind of guy.  When I am working on a new dish I usually focus on one ingredient and then build from there with other ingredients that compliment as well as contrast with the original ingredient.  I am always looking to integrate lots of texture as well.

What is your favorite ingredient to cook with? Do you use any Mexican spices or ingredients in your day-to-day cooking?
I really love using really ripe fruit in my desserts.  That said, I am also a serious chocolate guy.  I am always looking for new ingredients that I am not familiar with and try to use them in my cuisine.  I like using chipotle, chili peppers and jicama.

Do you like Mexican food? If yes, what is your favorite dish?
I love Mexican food.  I am a texture guy so I like dishes that have crispy shells with a really delicious cooked me, fresh vegetables.  I have a small thresh hold for heat so I stay away from the super spicy stuff.

Do you prepare any Mexican influenced dishes?
I always have some version of a flan, also I like making a different version of “tres leches” cake, probably my favorite Mexican dessert.

Have you been to Mexico before?
This will be my first time to Cabo San Lucas, I have been to Cozumel, Cancun and a couple other spots.  I have heard so much about Cabo and the pictures look so beautiful, I can’t wait to be there.  I am a scuba diver so I am going to try and get a few dives in.

Thank you to Chef Johnny Iuzzini for taking the time to answer my questions!

P.S. If you’d like to learn more about our upcoming Food & Wine Festival, you can get more information and make reservations here: http://www.capellahotels.com/cabosanlucas/food-and-wine-festival-,dining_viewItem_43-en.html  Hope to see you there!

Rhubarb Tart with Breidenbacher Hof’s Pastry Chef

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Summer time is rhubarb time.  For our Pastry Chef Marc Witzsche this means creating many tasty treats featuring this delicious plant.  My favorite is the Rhubarb Tart and lucky for me, Chef Marc invited me to visit him in the kitchen in order to bake it together.

And of course I am sharing the recipe with you:

Rhubarb Tart

Dough:
1 egg
100 grams butter
120 grams powder sugar
200 grams flour

Blend all ingredients thoroughly until you have created firm dough, wrap it up in cling film and leave it in the fridge for about 2 hours.  Then take it out of the fridge and roll it out so that in the end you have reached a thickness of about 5 millimeters.  Grease a tart or pie pan and place the dough into it so that the dough reaches up to the edges.  Press the pastry lightly into the baking dish.  Fill the dish with dried beans and bake the dough for 15-20 minutes at 190⁰C until it is golden.  Allow it to cool take out the beans.

Rhubarb filling:
400 grams rhubarb
200 grams sugar
30 grams butter
1 vanilla bean
7 gelatin plates

Peel the rhubarb and then dice.  Slice open the vanilla beans along the length.  Then blend all ingredients in a pot except for the gelatin.  Cook everything slightly until the rhubarb reaches a soft texture.  Take out the vanilla bean.  Place the gelatin into cold water and leave it there for a couple of minutes until it is soft.  Then blend it into the cooked rhubarb.

Tip: if you insert a couple of raspberries while cooking the rhubarb, the filling gets an even brighter color.

In order to prevent the dough from becoming soggy, cover the inside with liquid white chocolate.  Fill in the rhubarb and place the tart into the fridge for another two hours.

Meringue:
100 grams egg white
100 grams sugar
A sprinkle of lemon juice

Mix up the egg white and add the sugar in small amounts.  Once the mixture is stiff add the lemon juice. Using a piping bag, cover the entire tart with the mixture.  Then using a kitchen torch, slightly flambé the meringue.

Et voila!  I hope you have a much fun making this delicious Rhubarb Tart as I did!  (And trust me, you will enjoy eating it even more!)