Meet Pastry Chef of The Year, Aggie Chin

Bubble, Pop, Electric

Life is short…eat dessert first!  This is probably one of my favorite mantras.  Following this mantra is especially easy when you have Aggie Chin, creating delicious one-of-a-kind desserts in Capella Washington D.C., Georgetown’s The Grill Room.  But don’t take my word for it!  Chef Aggie, was just named “Pastry Chef Of The Year” by the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington.

Aggie RAMMY SelfieThe Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington (RAMW) is the regional trade association representing restaurants and the foodservice industry in the D.C. metro area.  The RAMMY Awards Gala honors exceptional ability and accomplishments of the hard-working individuals and the region’s restaurants.  It was truly a wonderful night witnessing Chef Aggie being honored for her dedication to the industry as well as celebrating her remarkable achievements!

Aggie Chin - RAMMY

Chef Aggie has been a mastermind behind delicious and delectable desserts for many years prior to joining our Capella Washington, D.C., Georgetown family.  Aggie spared no time adding whimsical and creative dessert menu options to The Grill Room, welcoming exotic flavors and fresh seasonal mixes to everyone’s palate.  To set a True Capella experience for everyone, Chef Aggie wanted to curate a unique experience for the evolving desserts menu, “My vision for The Grill Room’s new dessert menu matches the welcoming atmosphere of Capella while adding exciting elements reflecting the bustling diverse metropolis of D.C.”

Aggie Chin Headshot

We are all very proud of Chef Aggie’s accomplishments, so I am delighted to share with you an easy spinoff cocktail that draws inspiration from Bubble, Pop, Electric, one of her most popular desserts.

Bubble, Pop, Electric

Make At Home: Bubble, Pop, Electric – The Cocktail (or Mocktail!) – Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (8 oz) of strawberries. Clean and chopped
  • 5 cup of sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
  • A bag of pop rocks candy (Optional)

Preparation:

  • Add all ingredients in a blender and puree together
  • Disperse mixture in a popsicle mold (You can use ice cube trays as well)
  • Freeze in a freezer overnight
  • Rim glass with pop rocks candy
  • Add frozen mixture into a glass and pour over either sparkling water (for a mocktail) or champagne (for a cocktail)
  • Garnish with fresh strawberry

And of course, if you just have to have the real thing, come by The Grill Room and Chef Aggie will share some of her culinary magic with you.  Always save room for dessert!  Enjoy!

Summer Ice Cream Profiteroles

Ice Cream Profiteroles
Ice Cream Profiteroles

Ice Cream Profiteroles

What does summer tastes like?  When I posed this question to Capella Singapore’s Pastry Chef Sam, he didn’t have to pause to think twice.

“Ice cream profiteroles and summer are a match made in tropical paradise,” he shares.

This dough keeps well for three days in the freezer, so you can prep for a summer party in advance, or savour it slowly over a few days.  “Dessert is a luxury that should be enjoyed on a daily basis – not just reserved for special occasions,” he adds.  So get creative, and fill it with cream, ice cream or enjoy it on its own.

However, that is not the only reason Chef Sam is so fond of these little gems.  They remind him of the cream puffs his favourite aunt used to make for him in his younger days.  And they certainly take me back to my own carefree childhood as well.

The chef’s three tips for avid or aspiring home bakers: have patience, infuse a sense of warmth into your creations, and keep your flavours simple and well balanced.

And his tip for avid foodies such as me? Tuck in before it melts!

Pastry Chef Sam making gorgeous profiteroles

Pastry Chef Sam making gorgeous profiteroles

Summer Ice Cream Profiterole Recipe
Makes 20 servings

Ingredients
250g milk
250g water
3g salt
10g sugar
200g butter
300g all-purpose flour
10g baking powder
8 eggs
Ice cream or sorbet of your choice
Fresh berries for garnishing

Directions

1. In a pot, bring milk, water, salt, sugar and butter to a strong boil.

2. Add in sifted dry ingredients to the pot, stir and cook till mixture comes together into a ball without clumps.

3. Remove the dough from the heat and add half your beaten egg mixture, slowly stirring with a spatula.  Then, add the other half until the dough is glossy.

4. Pipe one-inch balls onto a sheet tray lined with baking paper.

5. Bake at 180ºC for 25 minutes.

6. Remove from oven, allow to cool for 5 minutes, and cut horizontally in half.

7. Fill with your favourite ice cream, and serve in a champagne saucer or on a plate garnished with fresh berries.

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To enjoy perfect profiteroles or other exquisite desserts, join us for a meal at The Knolls. Say ‘Hi’ to Pastry Chef Sam while you’re here! He helms Capella Singapore’s pastry team.

 

Cinco De Mayo con Margaritas de Mango

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En México somos bien conocidos por nuestra naturaleza festiva y alegre, y sinceramente no podemos decir que no a ninguna excusa para celebrar la vida y a las personas cercanas a nosotros.  Como se aproxima el Cinco de Mayo, y hay muchas festividades planeadas principalmente con nuestros vecinos del norte, me gustaría tomar esta oportunidad para compartirles algunos de los planes que tenemos para celebrar esta fecha aquí en Capella Ixtapa.  Yo estoy principalmente emocionada con el cocktail creado específicamente para la ocasión por nuestro mixólogo Miguel, ¡Y no puedo esperar más para compartirlo con ustedes!

Hay mucho más que guacamole, nachos y tequila durante las celebraciones del Cinco de Mayo, que contrario a los que muchos creen no es el Día de la Independencia de México, el cual es en Septiembre 16.  En Mayo 5 se celebra a batalla de Puebla, la cual conmemora la victoria del ejército mexicano sobre el ejército francés.  En Mayo de 1862, un poderoso ejército francés avanzaba hacia la Ciudad de México.  Los franceses se encontraban bien armados, disciplinados y eficientemente habían destruido cualquier resistencia en su avanzar a la capital mexicana.  Sin embargo, al llegar a las afueras de Puebla, sucedió algo que nadie esperaba:  Soldados mexicanos, la mayoría de ellos sin ningún entrenamiento formal y con un armamento bastante deficiente, derrotaron a los franceses.

La verdad es, que el Cinco de Mayo es mayormente una fiesta regional celebrada en la ciudad y el Estado de Puebla, con un modesto reconocimiento a nivel nacional en México.  Sin embargo, aquí en Capella Ixtapa ¡no podemos decirle que no a ninguna celebración!  Nuestro mixólogo Miguel amablemente nos comparte su receta para uno de sus cocteles más populares, la Margarita de Mango:

mango-margarita-recipe-capella-ixtapa-mexico

Margarita de Mango

Ingredientes:

• 1.5 oz.  Tequila Maestro Tequilero reposado
• 1.5 oz.  Jugo de naranja
• 1 oz.   Cointreau
• Néctar de agave
• Jarabe o concentrado de mango
• Sal para escarchar

Preparación:

• Escarchar el vaso con sal y llenarlo de hielo.
• Añadir tequila, jugo, Cointreau, jarabe de agave y de mango en una coctelera shaker y agitar vigorosamente.
• Sirve el contenido sobre hielo (cubos o frappe).
• Decora con una fruta estrella o con una flor de bougainvillea.

Salud y feliz Cinco de Mayo!

Mother’s Day Macarons

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“Mothers and their children are in a category all their own. There’s no bond so strong in the entire world.  No love so instantaneous and forgiving.” — Gail Tsukiyama

Mother’s Day is around the corner and I am always look for special ways to thank my mom for all she does.  So, every year I bake or cook something for my mom on Mother’s Day.  For this year’s recipe I asked Breidenbacher Hof’s Executive Chef, Phillip Ferber, for his favorite Mother’s Day treat.  And trust me, you are going to love it.  The pink color looks fantastic and it is absolutely delicious.  It is Mother’s Day Macarons!

rsz_himbeer-makaron-1024x682Mother’s Day Macarons:

Ingredients

  • 150g icing sugar
  • 90g ground almonds
  • 30g sugar
  • 72g egg white (corresponds two egg whites)
  • Pink food coloring

Preparation
Mix together all ingredients and add as much food color as you need for your perfect pink tone.  Fill the dough into an icing bag.  Preheat the oven to 100°C and pipe both parts of the macaron (the upper and bottom surface) onto the baking tray.  The macarons should have a diameter of about 2cm. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes.  When done, let them cool down for about half an hour.

Rhubarb Filling:

Ingredients

  • 300g Ivoire Valrhona
  • 80g sweet cream
  • 60g stewed rhubarb
  • 500g raspberries
  • 500g blueberries

Preparation 
If you like to prepare the stewed rhubarb on your own,  I would recommend to mix 100g of rhubarb (cut in dices) with 3 table spoons of water and boil it for a while.

At the same time,  heat the cream in another pan and mix together with the chocolate until you have achieved a creamy texture.  Cool down the delicious cream in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.  Then, beat the cream to make it fluffy and fill it into an icing bag.

Building the Macaron
Take the bottom portion of the baked macaron and pipe the rhubarb filling onto the bottom layer.  Add fruit (I suggest raspberries or blueberries) and top with the other end of the pastry.

The macarons are not just a pretty present for Mother’s Day, but a delicious one as well.  So enjoy!  There is no better way to show your mother just how much you love her.

Muttertags Macarons

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“Mothers and their children are in a category all their own. There’s no bond so strong in the entire world. No love so instantaneous and forgiving.” — Gail Tsukiyama

Der Muttertag steht vor der Tür und ich freue mich riesig. Es ist die Gelegenheit, meiner Mutter für all Ihre Bemühungen zu danken. Jedes Jahr backe oder koche ich etwas Leckeres für meine Mutter zum Muttertag. Für das diesjährige Rezept habe ich unseren Breidenbacher Hof Küchenchef, Phillip Ferber, nach seinem Lieblingsrezept gefragt. Glaubt mir, Ihr werdet es lieben. Die Pinke Farbe passt perfekt und sie schmecken köstlich. Die Muttertags Macarons!

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Muttertags Macarons:

Zutaten

  • 150g Puderzucker
  • 90g gemahlene Mandeln
  • 30g Zucker
  • 72g Eiweiß (2 Eiweiß)
  • Pinke Lebensmittelfarbe

Zubereitung
Alle Zutaten zusammenmischen und beliebig viel Lebensmittelfarbe für den perfekten Pinketon hinzugeben. Anschließend den Teig in einen Spritzbeutel füllen. Heizt den Ofen auf 100 grad vor und spritzt spiralförmige ca. 2 cm große Kreise auf das Backpapier. Den Teig zwischen 30 und 40 Minuten backen lassen, nach dem Backen die Macarons-Schalen auf dem Backblech abkühlen lassen für 30 min, sonst gehen sie kaputt.

Rhabarber Ganache:

Zutaten

  • 500 g Himbeeren
  • 500g Blaubeeren
  • 300 g weiße Kuvertüre (z.B von Ivoire Valrhona)
  • 80 g frische Sahne
  • 60 g Rhabarber Kompott (ohne Zucker)

Zubereitung
Falls Ihr den Rhabarber Komplott selbst machen möchtet, empfehle ich Euch 100 g Rhabarber, geschält und in Würfel geschnitten, mit 3 EL Wasser köcheln zu lassen. Der Rhabarber hat lange genug geköchelt, wenn er zu einer dickflüßigen Masse wird. Während der Kompott zieht, könnt Ihr die Sahne separat erhitzen. Nun die weiße Kuvertüre unter die Sahne mischen und das Ganze so lange rühren, bis es eine cremig Konsistenz bekommt. Anschließend für 30 Minuten im Kühlschrank abkühlen lassen. Die Sahne schräg schlagen um eine luftige Konsistenz zu bekommen. Sobald sie abgekühlt ist füllt Ihr sie in einen Spritzbeutel mit Sternhülle.

Fertigstellung des Macarons
Eine Macaron Schale von dem Backpapier lösen und auf eine Servierplatte platzieren. Gebt ein wenig von dem Rhabarber Kompott mittig auf den Macaron. Danach die Himbeeren oder Blaubeeren, was auch immer euch lieber ist, als seitliche Verziehrung verwenden und mit einem Macarondeckel vollenden. Ihr solltet vorsichtig sein und nicht zu dolle drücken, sonst reißt der feine Macaron.

Die Macaron eignen sich nicht nur ausgezeichnet für den Muttertag, sondern sie sehen auch fantastisch aus und schmecken fabelhaft. Die beste Gelegenheit, eurer Mutter zu zeigen, wie sehr Ihr sie liebt.

Recipes For Early Spring: Marinated Salmon with Orange Whiskey Sauce

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I would have never expected a perfect dish for the transition to springtime really exists – until our Chef, Philipp Ferber proved me wrong.  His Marinated Salmon with Orange Whiskey Sauce combines winter spices with springlike citrus flavor, which I was lucky enough to taste, strikes a perfect balance as the weather slowly begins to shift.  From the first bite I knew, spring was not only in the air, but on my plate and I couldn’t wait to share it with all of you!
rsz_lachs

Marinated Salmon ( for four people)

Ingredients:

  • 4 portions of 200g salmon filets
  • 40g star anise
  • 10g juniper berry
  • 6g bay leaves
  • 5g thyme
  • 10g fennel seeds
  • 10g coriander
  • 10g pimento
  • 5g black pepper
  • 20g mustard seeds
  • 1 clove
  • 600g sugar
  • 900g salt

Preparation:

Place all ingredients (except for salt and sugar) in a blender and add the sugar and salt bit by bit. When done, rub the salmon with the marinade (you need around 300g of the marinade for one side) and cover it with wrapping film. Now, the salmon needs to be marinated for 24 hours at 0-2 degrees Celsius. After 24 hours, take the salmon out of the marinade, wash it and dry it with paper towels.

Orange Whiskey Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 50 g sugar
  • 250 ml whiskey
  • 250 ml freshly pressed orange juice
  • Orange, lemon and lime zest

Preparation:

Heat the sugar in a small pan until it begins to caramelize and deglaze it with whiskey. Afterwards, add the orange juice, the orange, the lime and the lemon zest. Now, boil the sauce until it develops a creamy texture.

Depending on the occassion, I would recommend serving the salmon as in the picture. For my family, I will present the salmon on a pretty board with the sauce on the side and everyone can cut a piece of salmon and dip it into the sauce. Perfect for sharing!

Enjoy!