Whether it is balancing the taste of unsweetened cocoa or the sourness of a lemon, cream is the most essential ingredient in most desserts, especially in cakes and pastries, where it is used as a binding agent as well as for decoration. A good product of cream enriches flavor in both savory and sweet dishes.
Since cream plays multiple roles in improving the taste, texture, binding and presentation of food, an umbrella organization of France’s dairy industry — CNIEL and the European Union — has embarked on a three-year global campaign to raise awareness of French dairy cream.
Under the theme “Cream of Europe”, the campaign will allow top chefs and professionals a chance to learn a variety of methods and techniques by which they can use European cream to complement their pastries and other desserts.
Following the campaign launch, a workshop was held in Dubai with two exclusive masterclasses dedicated to pastry professionals in Saudi Arabia. The first workshop took place in Riyadh and a second one in Jeddah at Le Concheur, where several top Saudi food bloggers and chefs in both the cities attended the successful event.
Ludovic Audaux, a complex executive pastry chef at The St. Regis Dubai, W Dubai and The Westin Dubai Al Habtoor City, hosted the master classes and presented his personal version of the Brest, a French dessert using European cream and discussed the benefits of choosing the cream for cakes, pastries and desserts.
Chef Ludovic shared his expertise, saying: “The Paris-Brest is one of the most famous traditional French desserts, created by Chef Louis Durand in 1910 and it continues to provide inspiration to the best pastry chefs who constantly seek to reinvent it. Besides its popularity, choosing Bret for the workshop was to promote the dairy cream that is the key ingredient in it.”
He stated that cream is an essential ingredient in every sophisticated pastry and European cream responds perfectly to it. The delicate taste of the cream and its outstanding performance in cooking, or any preparation, embodies the French tradition and authenticity.
Chef Ludovic grew up in France and started baking when he was just eight-years-old. His passion continued into his teenage years, and he started working in a bakery, aged 15 where he discovered the charming world of the French patisserie.
“Being the key ingredient for any kind of sweets and pastries, the cream used in it needs to be 100 percent natural, especially while replicating the French patisseries or desserts. The flavors added to it need to be original,” he said.
He mentioned that usually the desserts and pastries use creams that are made with vegetable oil, which changes the taste and consistency considerably. It is important that the food industry and gourmands learn that the French dairy creams are 100 percent natural and its consistency remains the same after long-life pasteurization. The French patisseries or desserts are described as silky, creamy, smooth and shiny texture due to the smoothness of the natural dairy cream.
“Natural means 100 percent cow’s milk and because of that the qualities are really natural and doesn’t even change the flavor or quality of any kind of French cream at all,” says Chef Audaux.
During the workshop, attendees were taught how to whip cream and how to bake with it while showing different qualities of cream and emphasizing the fact that better quality makes a difference in the end product.
“The main problem is that many of them here use blended cream with vegetable oil as it’s cheaper. Besides it’s not natural and highly processed, which reduces the quality and level of taste. Through this campaign we are trying to educate local chefs and food industry professionals and are also educating the buyers. We want French pastry to remain the highest quality all over the world.”
Ludovic Audaux has worked in prestigious establishments in France as well as in Qatar and the UAE. Currently he works at The St. Regis Dubai, W Dubai — Al Habtoor City and The Westin Dubai — Al Habtoor City following two years as Complex Executive Pastry Chef at Dubai’s Westin Mina Seyahi and Le Meridien Mina Seyahi, where he oversees the entire pastry and baking operations for the hotel’s 18 outlets while bringing creative flair, an abundance of passion and unparalleled expertise in French patisserie to his role.