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The Sweet End

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A meal that ends with a dessert becomes a celebration. Be it a birthday party, a wedding or a get-together, cakes and pastries have become a mandate for any celebration at home or office. Those delicious, crumbly, melt-in-the-mouth pastries add on to the festive mood.

With food delivery at doorstep becoming so common, one can have the luxury of planning a party even at a short notice. Many food delivery apps have made it very easy to order pastries online. Just browsing through the varieties of the yummy pastries available on these apps makes one’s mouth water spontaneously. Not only for parties, but even if a loved one lives in another city, one can choose to order pastries online and send them to give a sweet surprise.

The origin of pastries is so interesting. The word pastry comes from the English word ‘paste’ and the old French word ‘pastaierie’. As defined by the oxford dictionary, pastry means, ‘A dough of flour, fat, and water, used as a base and covering in baked dishes such as pies.’ Going with this definition, every part of the world has a traditional pastry dish that is original to its own country. In India, from the ancient times, we make the ‘puran poli’ for any festive occasion. This can also be classified as a pastry, as it falls well within the definition. Likewise, we have the sweet tortillas from the Mexico, apple pies from Europe, UmAli pudding from the Middle East, Wagashi from Japan and the list goes on.

One thing that is common amongst all pastries is the base, which is either made of fine rice or refined wheat flour. This is adequately blended with fat and a sweetener before it is mixed with water to make it into dough of desired consistency. The dough making needs to be carefully done as excess mixing might result in toughening of the pastry. With this as the base, many variations of pastries can be made. When you order pastries online, these details about the type of pastry and its origin can also be seen before you order.

In case of Black Forest pastries, the dough is made softer and baked. White cream and chocolate cream are layered in between the baked base. The top layer is then decorated with chocolate frosting using a piping bag and then finally grated chocolate is sprinkled. For Danish pastries and croissants, the dough is repeatedly rolled over, spread with butter and folded to produce many thin layers to achieve a flaky texture.

Nowadays in India and many parts of the world, the word pastry is used synonymously for cakes, pies, tarts, mousses and many other desserts. Apart from the traditional pastries, there is a whole new innovation in the world of pastries that are served as desserts. The chefs have gone a long way in making the most indulgent desserts with various combinations of bases and creams ranging from the traditional chocolaty sauce to Irish coffee lava and strawberry crush to cream cheese and what not. There is also an interesting fusion variant of mousse where the chefs have combined Gulab Jamun and creamcheese!  Even to imagine how it is done, creates a lot of urge to taste it at once.

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