We had the opportunity to ask top pastry chef Ravneet Gill a few questions about her new book “The Pastry Chef’s Guide.”
We love your book. What was the trigger to prompt you to write it?
I have spent years collecting recipes, working with them in restaurants and adjusting as I go. They are housed in a HUGE orange folder that used to intrigue a lot of my fellow chefs.
I wanted to write this book so I could get those recipes out there and really share them with the world. Breaking the world of pastry down without the price tag of culinary school
Who did you write this book for? Who do you think is your typical reader, if such a person exists? Who would you love to read your book?
The book is for anyone who loves desserts, puddings, cakes, biscuits and more. For those people who really want to learn the theory behind pastry in a friendly way.
My hope is that someone who is considering culinary school but can't afford it picks this book up and really goes to town on their learning of pastry, practices a lot and uses it to further themselves.
How do you like to unwind? Do you have any other creative outlets as well as your baking? If not, what would you like to try?
I love working out whenever I can, it gives me energy to focus and work to my full potential. I read a lot and enjoy long walks.
I obviously love baking and the most relaxing is on my own in the evenings with slow chilled R&B music, that's my favourite.
What was your favourite book as a child?
A Little Princess - Throwback!!
What are you reading at the moment?
Thank you very much for answering our questions, we wish you every success with the book!
Ravneet let us have one of her delicious recipes from the book, so feel free to have a go at it yourself!
Lemon loaf (Makes 1 loaf)
225 g/8 oz/1¼ cups caster (superfine) sugar
75 g/2⅔ oz/¾ stick unsalted butter, softened
100 ml/3⅓ fl oz/scant ½ cup double (heavy) cream
180 g/6⅓ oz/1⅓ cups self-raising (self-rising) flour
pinch of fine salt
grated zest of 3 lemons
75 g/2⅔ oz/scant ½ cup caster (superfine) sugar
100 ml/3⅓fl oz/⅓ cup plus 1 tbsp water
freshly squeezed juice of 2 lemons
200 g/7 oz/1½ cups icing (confectioners’) sugar, plus more to taste
freshly squeezed juice of 1–2 lemons, to taste
Preheat the oven to 160°C fan/180°C/350°F/gas mark 4 and line a 900-g/2-lb loaf pan with baking parchment.
Put the eggs and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer or a mixing bowl. Beat together at a medium speed for 3–5 minutes until pale using the paddle attachment or a hand-held electric whisk. Don’t go mad and overwhip as this will affect the rise of the cake.
Melt the butter completely in a saucepan, then remove from the heat and stir in the cream.
Pour the cream and butter mixture slowly into the egg mixture and stir to by hand or at a low speed combine.
Sift the flour and salt together, add to the egg mixture and fold through. Finally, fold in the lemon zest.
Pour into the loaf pan and bake in the oven for 45–50 minutes until risen and golden and a skewer inserted comes out clean.
Meanwhile, to make the syrup, put the sugar and water in a saucepan and heat gently, stirring a little, until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice. Allow to cool slightly.
Allow the cake to cool in the pan until it’s no longer hot to the touch but is still slightly warm. Poke multiple holes in the top of the loaf with a skewer and then pour over the warm syrup evenly. Allow to cool completely in the pan.
Make the icing by whisking together the icing sugar and lemon juice, adding more of less of each to taste. Brush this over the cooled cake and leave to set for 10 minutes. Turn out and serve! Store the loaf in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month.
The featured recipe is from The Pastry Chef’s Guide by Ravneet Gill.