Patisseries and porcelain

( China Daily ) Updated: 2015-07-11 08:16:23

Patisseries and porcelain

Ginger profiterole. [Photo provided to China Daily]

China World Hotel Beijing is cooperating with the French porcelain brand Legle France to create afternoon teas featuring French patisseries made with Chinese ingredients, presented on lotus-themed plates.

The two elegant lotus afternoon tea sets feature nine types of French patisseries made with Chinese ingredients, including macaroons made with red bean paste, chocolate pralines with Sichuan pepper, and sables with hawthorn and hazelnut.

Jonathan Wu, the hotel's executive pastry chef, says the most difficult to make is the gateau made with Sichuan chilli and cream cheese.

"The difficulty lies in how to balance the flavours of the chilli and cheese. The taste of chillies should not overpower the aroma of cheese, but has to still to be distinctive," he says.

One of the creations Chef Wu is very satisfied with is the profiteroles made with ginger, vanilla flan and crispy rice.

"In a visual sense, it's very appealing with vivid colors. As for the taste, ginger is very recognizable and has long been used as an important herbal ingredient in traditional Chinese medicine. The subtle earthy, pungent taste of ginger also complements the fluffy texture of profiterole."

The pure-white porcelain of the plates the patisseries are served on represents the delicate petals of blossoming lotus. This blossom is delicately depicted against the edges which are painted with vibrant green, evoking the floating leaves of the lotus.

The elegant design is a reminder to slow down and be calm, and it helps quieten the mind and heighten the senses. Just as the flawless lotus rises above the soil and water, so tea-timers can rise above the chaos of the world.

The lotus design was painted by the Hungarian artist Erika Albrecht, who hails from the town of Herend, Hungary, which has been celebrated for centuries for its hand-painted porcelain.

Although Albrecht applies the ancient ways of painting and her work is mainly focused on flowers, birds and fruits, her creative use of rich colours and lines help many of her pieces carry a modern appeal.

"Porcelain is a beautiful, exclusive material which deserves to be updated in a modern way; it doesn't belong just to antiquities, " she says.

These dainty desserts will be served with Chinese tea, including 1998 fermented ripe Pu'er tea, premium Tieguanyin oolong tea, and Dahongpao, just to name a few.

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