Celebrity chef Eric Lanlard: baking and patisserie – it’s chemistry

If proof had been wanted that the baking craze has hit the UAE, glance to this yr’s Style of Abu Dhabi, which has added a devoted Large Baking Tent to its line-up of ­points of interest. Presiding over a lot of the motion might be ­famous person chef and grasp ­patissier Eric Lanlard, who owns the preferred South West London store Cake Boy, is the creator of 8 books and a celebrity of Channel 4’s Glamour Puds and Baking Mad sequence. He tells us about collaborating within the Abu Dhabi match, coping with baking screw ups and why gluten-free isn’t the similar as nutrition.

Bakeoffs and bake-a-longs

Lanlard might be fascinated with a number of occasions throughout Style of Abu Dhabi, judging dozens of entries from native cake-makers as a part of the Large Baking Tent Bake Off, which takes position on Saturday from 6.45pm to 7.30pm. He’ll additionally lead a chain of 40-minute Baking Masterclasses, which can see 24 members attempt to observe his lead in creating a chocolate-chip cookie in a skillet. He expects issues to head awry.

“You’d be shocked, at the same time as simple as we attempt to stay it, with all of the elements able, how other folks set up to get it severely flawed,” he says. More often than not, other folks reduce to rubble their baking as a result of they manner it as they’d cooking – and they’re two totally ­other processes. “With cooking, you’ll be able to be moderately fixable and you’ll be able to move your personal manner, swapping elements you haven’t were given, that you just don’t like,” Lanlard explains.

“Baking and patisserie – it’s chemistry. You communicate in regards to the precision, you communicate in regards to the sticking to the recipe. In case you are a amateur, in case you are anyone who simply began, you’ll be able to’t simply make a decision: ‘Oh I’m going to place extra baking powder as a result of my cake goes to upward push upper and quicker.’ It’ll, however it’ll cave in even quicker.”

How one can bake

Baking must be approached with precision and organisation, he continues. “You’ll’t be rushed, as neatly,” he says. “I all the time say to other folks: ‘Get your entire elements able, get within the zone, benefit from the procedure as you move alongside.’ In case you are underneath power to do one thing, if the children are operating round, you’ll be able to make sure that one thing will move flawed.” Above all else, baking must be relaxing, enjoyable and rewarding. “That’s how I fell in love with baking when I used to be more youthful, to be truthful,” he says. “A large number of other folks use it as a remedy, individuals who have psychological well being problems, or baking teams.”

Or even then…

Screw ups occur weekly at Cake Boy, says Lanlard. The one distinction is they move flawed in large amounts; as an example, 20 trays of ruined brownies. “You understand, we’re like other folks at house, we don’t seem to be gods. You set the trays within the oven and you then flip round to transparent your desk and also you in finding the butter, or the sugar, nonetheless sitting in a bowl at the desk, or the baking powder,” he says.

When the chef and his crew make desserts for occasions and VIPs, they all the time convey extras – whether or not it’s icing, sugar plants or different decorations – and a back-up plan. He as soon as agreed to change a very powerful factor in a marriage cake on the insistence of the fame bride-to-be, figuring out it wouldn’t paintings. After they arrived on the venue, the entire icing used to be sliding off.

“We re-iced the entire cake totally,” he recollects. “I learnt the laborious manner that it doesn’t subject who it’s, if it’s no, it must be no.” Infrequently issues move flawed and Lanlard’s crew has no thought why – it’s simply a type of days. “When other folks come to our baking faculty right here, I’m all the time satisfied to place my arms up and inform them: ‘Don’t depression, do it once more.’ If the recipe is foolproof, it must be tremendous.”


Learn extra:

Style of Abu Dhabi 2018: Superstar cooks and most sensible entertainers in attendance

Gordon Ramsay: ‘Each most sensible chef on this planet needs to have a cafe in Dubai’

Is Instagram ruining meals? We communicate to a few of Dubai’s most sensible cooks


Forward of his time

Lanlard, one of the most first cooks to have a display about baking on tv, recalls a time earlier than it used to be stylish. It used to be about 15 years in the past, neatly earlier than The Nice British Bake Off become a phenomenon, that he began knocking on doorways of publishers, seeking to meet manufacturers and brokers. “They had been all like: ‘What? Baking? That is for the Ladies’s Institute. That is for previous other folks; younger other folks don’t bake desserts and no person eats candies.’ And blah blah blah.” Then the idea that unfold all over the place, a lot of it spearheaded through nostalgia and a craving for simplicity. “All at once and in no time, everybody had these kind of pretty reminiscences of baking with their mum or their ­grandparents, and licking the spoon and spending a while within the kitchen,” says Lanlard. “That’s how it began and we haven’t regarded again.”

Cake Boy does gluten-free and vegan, too

The Brittany-born baker reveals it humorous that the younger healthy eating plan mummies who come into his store in South West London appear to view his gluten-free choices as some form of nutrition meals. “For a large number of them, we use nut flour as a substitute of flour, so we’re in truth putting in place extra energy,” he says. “We attempt to remind other folks in a gradual manner, it’s now not that there are not any energy as it’s gluten-free.”

Veganism, however, is in reality beginning to take off in the UK, and Cake Boy, now fortunately caters to that crowd, says Lanlard. “We do a complete vegan afternoon tea, which is in truth doing really well, with a right kind devoted menu, which could be very great, ­as a result of vegan persons are used to being handled like second-class electorate. It’s virtually like an afterthought.

“So after they come to Cake Boy they usually see the afternoon tea and style it they are saying: ‘Oh, no we’re spoiled for existence, we will be able to’t devour desserts anyplace else now.’”

Cake does now not should be fattening

“As a result of I’m French, other folks all the time question me why French women are so thin, since they devour desserts at all times,” the chef tells me. Actually, French ladies devour small quantities of cake, generally of an excessively top of the range they’re keen to pay for, as it’s a deal with. “Perhaps you are going to move as soon as every week along with your pal to the patisserie and sit down down, however you are going to have one cake every week and that’s it,” he says.

Unrefined sugar, butter, the most productive, maximum herbal elements, small parts – those are the weather that move right into a scrumptious, guilt-free cake, he concludes.

Eric Lanlard might be at Style of Abu Dhabi, from Thursday to Saturday, at du Enviornment, Yas Island

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