Swiss chef Fredy Andermatt is in Kathmandu to teach Nepalis the fine art of bakery
Sixty years after Swiss development expert Toni Hagen taught Nepalis how to make yak cheese, a baker from Berne is trying to show Nepalis the finer points of making the perfect croissant and apple strudels.
Fredy Andermatt knew he wanted to be a baker since he was 12, and followed his passion to become a world-renowned bakery and pastry consultant travelling the globe to share his knowledge.
After training bakers all over Europe, Africa and West Asia, 56-year-old Andermatt is in Nepal for a month of classes on making 40 varieties of bread, and 30 kinds of pastries and desserts at the Rana-era former cowshed that has been turned into a state-of-the-art bakery at Dhokaima Cafe in Patan.
“I only train interested people because when you bake, it should come from inside your heart,” says Andermatt, who has worked with Nepali chefs in Doha and Dubai and had always wanted to bring his knowledge here.
It is not as easy as it sounds to get the crust of a Swiss apple strudel just right, or to make an apple crumble that crumbles as it is supposed to. Or vanilla and chocolate banana pies, oatmeal cookies, cream tarts, baguettes, mille-feuille, and varieties of mousse cakes that smell and taste like the originals.
Andermatt has hobnobbed with world leaders at G-8 Summits, been to 70 countries, and says he enjoys training bakers more than baking by himself. In every new country he visits, Andermatt firstly tries to understand the culture and lifestyle and tailor-make his baking accordingly.
The winner of Chef of the Year while working on a cruise liner based in Miami and a frequent contributor to American culinary magazines, Andermatt brings a Swiss predilection to perfection to his work.
“Like in every profession, discipline and passion are more important than learning the skills,” says Andermatt, who has never given up learning and is trying to improve his craft and come up with new recipes.
One morning in the week, Andermatt is busy with hands-on training of the chefs from [Dhokaima Café](Dhokaima Café ) and other bakeries in Kathmandu. He is happy that Nepali consumers will soon be able to savour a wide range of bakery items even after he leaves. But he is happy to share his favourite recipe:
Chocolate mousse cake
Baking powder: 10g
Wheat flour: 300g
1. Whip egg and sugar till mixture is white.
2. Add flour and baking powder and put it in a cooking ring, greasing base with butter and dust it with flour.
3. Bake at 175 degrees for about 25 minutes.
4. Cool and make two sponges, each one cm.
Whipped cream: 500g
1. Cook cream with small pieces of chocolates to make ganache. Cool it down and mix it with whipped cream and gelatin.
2. Moist the sponge with sugar syrup before filling whipped cream mixture and add brandy.
3. Freeze for two hours in deep freezer
4. Take it out and put layer of warm ganache on top again.
5. Put it back in the fridge again for 15 minutes.
6. Decorate with your choice.
Baking hot, Paavan Mathema
Dhokaima Café, Cynthia Choo
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