Fondant cakes with edible figurines are now popular among cake lovers but how about a two-feet long chocolate-made elephant or a pastry decorated with 3D shaped flowers that resemble the real thing?
Led by international patissiers and chocolatiers, desi bakers are now experimenting more and more. French chocolatier Christophe Morel, a finalist at the prestigious M.O.F Meilleur Ouvrier de France (Best Craftsman of France) title says it is just the beginning for the bakery industry in India, unlike in the US where he has conducted several classes.
"The US is more into chocolates and bakery products. But the way people in India are specialising in this art of pastry making, I think in the next 10 years it's going to be a big industry in India.
"When I went to Kuala Lumpur 5 years ago, it hardly had good bakeries but now it has progressed a lot. For me, India's future in bakery is similar," says Chef Morel. Morel was recently at the Academy of Pastry Arts in Gurgaon recently to conduct demonstrations for local bakers in the art of chocolate making.
One of his lessons was sculpting an edible face of an elephant using huge quantity of chocolate. The chef carved with expertise, the folds in the elephant's trunk, including minor lines of the face that showed up prominently in the end product.
"The elephant that I have done may rarely be seen in bakeries because it's quite expensive, not only in the cost but also the quantity of chocolate. It has 8 kilos of superior variety of chocolate and a lot of hard work went behind creating it," says Morel.
Chef Dinesh Rawat, Director of Pastry studies at the Academy says that something of the scale of the elephant has is rare but with expertise bakers could begin to experiment.
"The world is getting smaller and smaller. And we have no choice but either to lead or to follow. So surely we will come to this level as well," says Rawat who has also been the Head Chef at the UK-based The Blue Boar Inn.
Rawat says that when he began, baking in India was all about bread and cookies but now there is a marked difference. During a cooking demonstration for young bakers, Morel dipped into shelves arranged with chocolate nuts and bars to whip up the perfect chocolates of hazelnut, peanut, coconut raspberry and other varieties.