Ingredient Focus: Pastry 2015

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Ingredients, F&b  new outlets, F&b industry, F&b managers, F&b market, F&b products, F&b technology, F&b trends
Ingredients, F&b  new outlets, F&b industry, F&b managers, F&b market, F&b products, F&b technology, F&b trends
Sofitel The Palm Dubai executive chef Olivier Chaleil reveals his recipe for the emulsion cake.
Sofitel The Palm Dubai executive chef Olivier Chaleil reveals his recipe for the emulsion cake.
JW Marriott Marquis Dubai pastry chef Herwig Knapen shares his secret recipe for the Caramel Crunchy Cake.
JW Marriott Marquis Dubai pastry chef Herwig Knapen shares his secret recipe for the Caramel Crunchy Cake.
Gelly Kalouta, cake artist, Cakes by La Farine at the JW Marriott Marquis Dubai.
Gelly Kalouta, cake artist, Cakes by La Farine at the JW Marriott Marquis Dubai.


Wonderchoc, from La Marquise, is the ideal product to create excellent quality fillings and decorations. Its main characteristics include: intense taste and optimal consistency; can be flavoured with fat-based pastes, water-based pastes and alcoholates; after whipping, the product keeps a soft consistency for a long time; does not require tempering; crunchy inclusions stay crisp for a long time; long shelf life; and is made with natural ingredients.

Marguerite Lemon Meringue
CSM Bakery Solutions recently launched a new product, Croquant Lemon Meringue, under the Marguerite Brand. The brand Marguerite stands for France and French tradition for more than 95 years. Croquant Lemon Meringue combines four ingredients in one product: real white chocolate, lemon paste, inclusions of meringue, and crunchy biscuit pieces. As with all products in the Praline Croquant range, chefs can rely on a consistent quality from this item.

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Launched by La Marquise International with IRCA, focaccia is one of the typical specialities of Italian tradition. It has been thoroughly studied by the IRCA R&D team to create a ready mix product that helps chefs make focaccia in a more convenient manner. The research team addressed all their efforts towards creating a very high quality product, as well as in selecting the recipe and the production process which would be the most suitable to make the final product exceptional.

Tegral Satin Moist Cakes
Baqer Mohebi brings Tegral Satin Moist Cakes — a complete mix, where chefs only need to add some eggs, oil and water. It is an opportunity for customers to give their business a boost by becoming the ‘go to’ source for layer cakes. This offers everything wanted and needed in a layer cake: moist texture, excellent shelf life, with endless possibilities for creations.

Robot-Coupe Cutter Mixers
Cited as the essential equipment for oriental pastry, with a capacity from two to 60 litres, Robot-Coupe cutter mixers have been designed to mix, grind, and knead all kinds of dried fruits: nuts, almonds, pistachio, dried apricot, and dried raisins with speed and efficiency, giving consistent right quality end-products in a few minutes for the longest preparation. A special coarse serrated blade has been developed for this type of application. Chefs can now make time to create gazelle horns, date makroudhs, macarons and baklava with the essential equipment — the cutter-mixer.

Get the perfect emulsion in a matter of seconds. Robot-Coupe’s latest stick blender, the ultra-compact MicroMix, is able to create high quality emulsions with its specially designed Aeromix accessory. With this new patented accessory, chefs can instantly produce light and airy emulsions that hold their shape. Switch to the blade accessory, and the MicroMix will make soups and sauces in a trice, thanks to its powerful and ultra-quiet motor. Ruggedly constructed from stainless steel, the tube and tools are built to last.

Amavita, from La Marquise International, is a complete mix of natural ingredients to obtain a bread with a low content of carbohydrates (6%), and rich in proteins (26.5%) and fibres (11%). Thanks to a mix of vegetable proteins such as wheat, soybeans and chickpeas, Amavita has a much higher protein content compared to a traditional bread. It allows an artisan baker to cater to customers who follow diets rich in protein and low in carbohydrates.

Deli Range
Deli is a top quality range rich cream filling preparation that makes good baking taste great. Each filling preparation follows an authentic and timeless recipe. Made from the finest ingredients, the result showcases a great texture and taste. With classic flavours such as Deli Citron and Deli Caramel, Baqer Mohebi has also launched the Deli Cheesecake which is a ready-to-use cheesecake base made of cream cheese and eggs.

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Top Trends

1. Presentation on top

Not just the taste, but the actual design and look of pastries is important. Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach executive pastry chef David Peduzzi says: “Today a lot of pastry chefs are focusing on design and visual aspect of the pastries or plated dessert — it has to look good and stylish. We are therefore able to develop modern techniques more, such as molecular, nitrogen, microwave sponge, which develops a concentration of taste and clean presentation.”

2. Novelty products in vogue

Personalised pastries and novelty items are all the rage. Gelly Kalouta, cake artist, Cakes by La Farine at the JW Marriott Marquis Dubai, says she specialises in personalised cakes for special occasions, mainly 3D sugar paste designs. “One current trend I’ve noticed is size and scale; people are now interested in huge cakes with many tiers, especially for weddings. We recently had a wedding where the couple requested an enormous cake to be lowered from the ceiling into the centre of Dubai Ballroom and their wedding party. It was a great spectacle and the guests adored it.” In addition, La Marquise pastry chef and IRCA brand manager Ben Amor reveals: “At the moment, people want unique shapes and designs of sugar dough, especially as they seek creativity in wedding and birthday cakes.”

3. The next big thing

Dominique Ansel started the cronut fad. What’s next? Magnolia Bakery chief baking officer Bobbie Lloyd says this forms part of two trends that are occurring simultaneously. She explains: “On the one hand, pastry chefs are looking to create the next big movement, much like Dominique Ansel did with the cronut. On the other, there are food bloggers and bakers taking classic desserts and recipes and infusing them with unique flavours and ingredients — making something old new again.”

Latest news

Baqer Mohebi Enterprises (BME) in co-operation with Puratos launched ‘The Innovation Centre’ in Dubai last year, and is attracting people from the hospitality industry across the UAE to learn how to quickly and profitably prepare a range of breads and pastries for their businesses.

This new initiative is a notable step forward in the competitive ‘in-store’ baking market, according to Baqer Mohebi marketing manager Mazen Marakebji.

“Puratos operates over 50 Innovation Centres globally and the UAE is one of the newest locations. These exist to apply new ideas, follow consumer trends, apply advances and provide hands-on interaction with customers,” Marakebji adds.

BME is also closely supporting Puratos’ programme of baking and pastry seminars in the UAE.

“These are valuable opportunities for our patrons to gain first-hand knowledge from visiting Puratos experts about improving their product knowledge and stimulating new income opportunities,” adds Marakebji.

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Sofitel The Palm Dubai executive chef Olivier Chaleil reveals his recipe for the emulsion cake.


• 2/3 cup egg yolks
• 1 cup sugar
• 1 cup flour T-45
• 3 tbsp cocoa powder
• 1 cup egg white
• 3 oz sugar
• 1/3 cup melted butter

• Make the sabayon out of yolk and sugar, and combine all the dry ingredients.
• Make the meringue and fold it in the mixture gently.
• Finally add the butter and place it on a baking tray.
• Bake at 176.67°C for (plus or minus) eight minutes.


• ½ cup milk
• 1/8 cup, 1 tsp fresh cream
• 1 cup bitter chocolate
• 1/8 cup unsalted butter

• Mix the milk and cream and bring to boil.
• Pour it over the chocolate five times to produce the perfect emulsion.
• Once it reaches 17.78°C, add the butter and blend it using a hand blender.


• ½ cup cream 35%
• ½ cup syrup [¼ cup sugar + ¼ cup water]
• 1 cup pâte à glacer
• 3 oz bitter chocolate

• Melt pâte à glacer and mix with the chocolate.
• Boil cream and syrup together. Pour it over the chocolate five times to get the perfect emulsion.


• The cake needs to be cut before glazing it.
• After applying the glaze, place the cake in the chiller until it sets.
• Place it on a suitable plate.
• Place the chocolate plank according to the photograph.

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JW Marriott Marquis Dubai pastry chef Herwig Knapen shares his secret recipe for the Caramel Crunchy Cake.

Honey Sponge

• 3 eggs
• 240g sugar
• 115g butter
• 300g flour
• 75g walnuts
• 60g honey
• 9g baking soda
• 5ml lime juice


• Whip the eggs and sugar until of fluffy consistency.
• Melt the butter with the honey in a saucepan.
• Fold the flour into the eggs mixture in alternation with the hot butter and honey.
• Mix the lime juice with the baking soda and pour into the above mixture.
• Sheet into trays with a thickness of 1cm and bake at 170°C for 15 minutes.

Caramel Butter Cream

• 300g condensed milk
• 275g soft butter

• Simmer the condensed milk one day ahead.
• Put butter in a pastry mixer and whip until smooth and creamy.
• Slowly add the caramelised condensed milk to the butter and whip once again to a smooth caramel butter cream.
• Cut the sponge into a 20cm square and apply the butter cream in between the layer.

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Pastries are definitely very popular in the region, with bakeries, pâtisseries, cupcake shops, cake stores and macaroon-focused concepts popping up everywhere, and events like Salon Culinaire at Gulfood showcasing the range of abilities from the region’s pastry experts. We talk to a few industry gurus on what they think about the market right now.

Is the pastry industry in the Middle East a lucrative business?

Magnolia Bakery chief baking officer Bobbie Lloyd says: “Based on the number of requests we get for franchises in the region, I would say yes. Currently, we have three stores in the UAE with two more expected to open in 2015; one store in Qatar, with another opening in 2015; two in Kuwait, with one opening this year, and two in Beirut with a third opening this year.”

But it’s not just about stores, it’s also about the culture, which tends towards sweets and pastries. Gelly Kalouta, cake artist, Cakes by La Farine at the JW Marriott Marquis Dubai says: “There will always be a demand for pastry here because of the local custom to bring sweets and cakes as a gift, because of the prevalence of statement cakes at big events, the growing café culture, and interest in nostalgic concepts like afternoon tea.”

But ingredients play a big role in this as well. Kalouta continues: “Pastry in the Middle East is definitely a lucrative business as long as the produce is consistently high quality. With good quality pastry you can build a reputation for excellence and a loyal customer base. In Cakes by La Farine, we have loyal followers, especially big local families, who publicise us through word-of-mouth.”

La Marquise pastry chef and IRCA brand manager Ben Amor adds: “In the Middle East, the pastry business is growing day by day and as a result, pastry professionals and business owners increase their innovation expectations and quality demands.”

Are pastries offered in this region affected by global trends?

We’ve already spoken about trends, but it’s an obvious question: how do international trends affect the local market? For example, after the rise of the cronut, we saw many pâtisseries in the UAE spring up with their own versions. Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach executive pastry chef David Peduzzi explains that when it comes to the pastry world, the local market is still behind Europe, some Asian cities and the US. He adds: “The Pastry World Cup is a good reference for established or emerging countries in that area.”

And with a well-travelled customer and chef base, it’s only natural that international experiences affect what is demanded and created locally. Kalouta says: “This region is affected by the global trends, as more locals travel the world to witness new innovations that they also then want to experience in their own city. All of the most recognised pastry brands now have a presence in the region, like Ladurée and Angelina Tea Room.”

Amor agrees and says the Gulf region has definitely been influenced by several global trends. He cites the growing demand for healthy pastry products. “Customers are seeking healthier options which include low-fat and/or gluten-free pastry products.”

Sofitel The Palm Dubai executive chef Olivier Chaleil has a different take on international vs global, and says there has been a shift in the sourcing of food and using more organic and local produce. He says: “I personally try to source and use only local products from close proximity. I have also encouraged our international suppliers to consider opening factories in Dubai.”

What training is essential for handling pastry work?

Pastries are an intricate craft, one often likened to architecture. Chaleil says experience is essential. “It is also very important to understand the difference between pastry and cooking — you are following a recipe for both. However, scaling and weighing ingredients is very important for pastry, while creativity is required for cooking recipes to enhance flavours and taste. It is also important to have knowledge of the products available for pastry work, such as special sugars and machinery for processing.”

Kalouta stresses that essential training is required to understand ingredients, their quality and how best to prepare them. Additionally, she says, it is important to have proper hygiene training.

Lloyd, however, explains that it depends on the type of pastries being offered. “At Magnolia Bakery, we can train a baker without a pastry degree or certification to make the most of what we offer, as our recipes are classic American style. Cake icing and special decorative work requires a more highly trained and skilled pastry chef,” she says.

Technology versus traditional methods in pastry?

There is a fine balance between technology and traditional methods of cooking, and the same applies to pastry work. Lloyd says: “Again, it depends on the type of pastries. But all baking is based on the fundamentals of cooking. Having a full knowledge of ingredients and techniques will allow any pastry chef to be creative and interchange products to come up with something unique.”

Kalouta agrees: “Technology is making great advances; we have printers that can print edible colours, which is great for creating logos on icing paper. I also use an app called ‘Tiered Caker’ which enables me to calculate construction dimensions, amount of slices it will yield, and cost per piece.”

Chaleil adds: “It requires a bit of both — you cannot make a traditional bread recipe from 200 years back and expect to make profit. Everything was done by hand, nowadays we have machinery available for mass production.”

Peduzzi concludes: “Technology adds tools to explore our creativity, challenge our limits and facilitate our daily tasks. It also helps us to be more efficient but will never replace the traditional methods as those remain the foundation.”

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