Chef Unnati Supekar Chef Instructor Culinary Academy Of India
There’s more to a plate of food than just the ingredients and the taste. Especially at the higher levels of cooking. An important part of a tasty dish is how it looks - and this is where food styling comes in. Food styling and presentation refers to how the different components of the dish are modified, processed, arranged, or decorated, all done to enhance its aesthetic and visual appeal to make the dish look more appetizing. There are many ways plating can be done with basic geometrical shapes or a more abstract interpretation of its components.
My theme with this dish is ‘Equilibrium’, and as the name suggests, it’s all about balance. Equilibrium is a state when opposite forces act on each other. When it comes to food plating, this term goes hand-in-hand with symmetry and shape.
The word symmetry has many meanings and symmetry is defined as being exactly similar to the eye of an observer. There’s usually a plane of symmetry, think of it as an axis, around which symmetry can be observed. In the real world, kaleidoscopes come close to bringing this concept to life.
As a naturally occurring theme, symmetry is often associated with balance and beauty. There’s an art to being exact. Much like a harmonious flock of birds flying behind a leader, symmetry is extremely captivating. When we talk about food plating, symmetry plays an extremely important role as it draws the eyes to the plane of symmetry and allows the customers to immerse themselves in the visual euphony of the dish.
While plating a symmetrical dish it’s important to think of halves and mirrors. A mirror projects an exact reflection, similarly, the first half of the dish must look the exact same as the second. There can be no change in the appearance of either half. This is a classical style of plating that allows for an interesting interplay between colors, shapes, textures, and ingredients. It is also a commonly seen technique with several famous plates and platters following this design language.
For my dish, I have used a prop, a gateau, and a base; all three of which have some classical elements and I worked around this to create a unique visual blend to make it look like a single shape. The gateau is a beautiful flavor balanced recipe made up of 5 different layers topped on one another and molded into different shapes.
When it came to the assembly and presentation, it was pertinent to show a balance of forces, and the final showcase just does that.
Gateaux Name: Velvetique
Caramel & Milk Chocolate Mousse
- Caster sugar - 75gms
- Cooking cream - 110gms
- Sugar - 20gms
- Caramel sauce - 80gms
- Milk chocolate ganache - 80gms
- Whipping cream - 360gms
- Gelatin - 16gms
1) In a pan, add the caster sugar and caramelize. To this add cream and gently mix it in. Keep the mix aside.
2) Now whip the whipping cream fold in the caramel mix.
3) Add gelatin and gently mix and keep it aside.
Orange Chocolate Sable
- Brown sugar - 75 gms
- Butter - 75gms
- Orange zest - 1no
- Almond powder - 25gms
- Potato starch - 45gms
- Flour - 125gms
- Cocoa powder - 20gm
- Salt - a pinch
- Egg - 45gms
- Cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy.
- Add eggs in parts and also small parts of dry ingredients while continuing to cream.
- Add the remaining quantity of eggs and dry ingredients.
- Gently mix them, add raspberry and refrigerate the dough.
- Remove and sheet it to 2mm thickness.
- Bake at 180℃ for 20 mins. Remove and let it cool. Crush roughly
- Passion Fruit Curd
- Butter - 100gms
- Sugar - 100gms
- Passion fruit puree - 75gms
- Egg yolk - 90gms
- In a bowl add all ingredients and keep it on double boiler.
- Gently mix and cook it for 20 to 30 mintues, till the curd is completely cooked.
- Remove and allow it to cool.
- Roasted Nuts
- Almonds 50gms
- Pistachio 50gms
- Roast both nuts.
- Once cooled grind them till soft in texture, add glitter powder and keep aside.
- Banana Chocolate Brownie
- Water - 30ml
- Sugar - 160gms
- Butter - 80gms
- Dark chocolate - 230gms
- Eggs - 2no
- Banana puree - 40gms
- In a cooking pan, add water and sugar and dissolve the sugar.
- Once dissolved add butter and boil.
- Remove from heat and allow it to be warm.
- While warm, add chopped chocolate and gently mix it.
- Add egg and mix till well incorporated.
- Add the flour and mix well.
- Gently fold in banana puree and pour the batter in mold.
- Bake at 180℃ for 30 - 40 mintues.
Chocolate Velvet Spray:
- Dark chocolate - 50gms
- Cocoa butter - 250gms
- In a bowl add cocoa butter and melt it.
- Add chopped chocolate.
- Strain the mixture using the muslin cloth.
- Add the mixture in a spray machine and spray on the chilled mousse.
- Pour a thin layer of caramel milk chocolate mousse and refrigerate.
- Once set, pour a layer of passion fruit curd and refrigerate.
- Again pour a layer of mousse and refrigerate.
- Once set, arrange the banana chocolate brownie.
- Pour another layer of the mousse and refrigerate.
- Arrange the sheet of raspberry crunch.
- Seal the mold with mousse and refrigerate.
- Demold the mousse on a cooling rack.
- Using a spray machine, spray the dark chocolate velvet spray on the mousse.
- Once sprayed pipe the vanilla cremeux.
- Garnish with chocolate.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2021 BrandCai
Syed Abdul Attique on May 25, 2021:
All aspects of preparation and presentation are thoroughly taught to each and every student at CAI.
Good job, work well done
Srikanth on May 25, 2021:
Working with chocolate seems to be easy, but not every climatic condition. Good work art and gateaux looks good.
Shiladitya Dutta on May 25, 2021:
Well researched write up.
Ak on May 25, 2021:
Good effort put in with a unique concept
SVNLaxmi on May 22, 2021:
Yummy cake ,and chocolate show piece is very good