Milk Chocolate and Jasmine Tea Eclairs

It's the rainy season in Jakarta. With it so dark and stormy outside, I'd resolved to work from home this day. The dreaded Friday traffic jams, coupled with rain and flooding is a recipe for a sure case of car-cabin fever. But enough talk about those gloomy things, let's talk about pastry.

Well, the eclair is still one of my favorites. The "cream-puff" oftentimes is one's first exposure to the wonderful world of pastry. To me it brings back childhood joys of savoring the crispy, buttery shell and sweet creamy center of "kue sus" (Indonesian-style cream-puff) my grandma used to make. During my stay in Paris, a trip to the neighborhood boulangerie for the daily baguette would more often than not include a sneaky purchase of dark chocolate eclairs I'd bite into, as soon as I step out of the shop.

They're so simple, nostalgic, classic and beautiful. But so hard to get just right! The shell has to be crispy with just the right amount of salt to offset the sweet pastry cream. The cream has to be thick and gooey with a balanced milky richness. Eclairs are usually finished with a generous layer of fondant, but the recipe I'm going to share with you today omits this and  puts in its place a "craquelin" crunchy crust. The "craquelin" popularized by Philippe Conticcini of Patisserie des Reves adds a gorgeous crunchy texture and "umami" element to these pastries. Made with flavorful sugar such as palm or muscovado sugar will make these eclairs dangerously addictive. Proceed to the recipe with caution, dear friends. You have been warned!

x Tal


White chocolate, Strawberry and Pomegranate

When I received the email bearing the offer to contribute a few recipes to Femina magazine, I couldn't click that reply button fast enough to say a big fat "YES". I'd been lucky enough to have recipes featured on a few publications, but for me Femina is very special. Why? Because it's the magazine that my mother has been getting weekly eversince I was a kid. It's the magazine I use to see lying around all around the house, and it's the magazine I would see her try recipes out of from time to time. I guess you can say that Femina holds a fair amount of my sentiment. So to not only be featured in the 2014 Annual edition of Femina but also be placed alongside my bold and talented friend Arnold Poernomo and the sweet Amelia Listianawati is pretty damn unreal! (And I don't swear that often on this blog)

So today I will share a variation of one of the recipes that is currently featured in the magazine. The White Chocolate, Strawberry and Pomegranate Tart. 

One cannot deny that the contrast of the red pomegranate over the smooth white chocolate glaze is super eye catching and intriguing. Perhaps it will entice you to give this recipe a go. 

x Tal


The Astrid

Hello my dearest kitchen dwellers, how are you all doing? I am writing this post filled with a lot of excitement, eager to show you all this latest cake of mine. I've been thinking a lot lately about how to construct a successful entremet. I've tasted some wonderful layered cakes in the past, but have also tasted ones that did not live up to their colorful promise. There are many factors that need to be weighed when deciding on components for an entremet. Structure, texture, balance and aesthetic all need to be considered individually, as well as how they would taste together in a bite. Each layer needs to have a function and needs to contribute to the overall taste and texture of the cake as a whole. For me, it was a fun challenge trying to balance pistachio, white chocolate and raspberry so that no flavor would overpower the other. I wanted the fragrance of pistachio, the acidity of the raspberry and the sweet, roundness of the white chocolate to work together in a nice tasty symphony.

The cake that I came up with is by no means perfect, but I am very proud of it. This cake was tasted by 15 foodie friends and most of them thought that the balance was right and that the flavors work well together. They found also that the pop-rocks in the "pistachio crunch" as a nice wee surprise and adds playful texture to the cake. I topped the cake with some freeze-dried raspberries and pistachio sand to add a burst of color and flavor while still keeping the decor simple and minimalistic.

The layers are as follows:
White chocolate brownie
Pistachio sand, pop-rock crunch
Raspberry cream
Raspberry jelly
Pistachio dacquoise
Vanilla Creme Brulee
White chocolate cream
White chocolate glaze
Pistachio sand and freeze-dried raspberries

Bon Appetit!

Feel free to talk to me or let me know what you think on twitter or instagram @TalitaSetyadi

x Tal

ps. sorry I've decided to keep the recipe secret for this one ;) 


Apple, Caramel and Walnuts

Dearest beautiful people, it has been too long since my last post. For that I do apologize, things have been pretty hectic down my way. It has indeed been a challenge juggling pastrying with postgraduate studies and work responsibilities. 

Last week I taught 2 back-to-back pastry classes at Pantry Magic in Kemang, Jakarta. On the menu were Chai and caramel choux, thyme and mushroom gougeres, mango and mint tarts, strawberry and mascarpone tarts and green tea/raspberry financiers. Though I was utterly exhausted by the end, I had an incredible sense of pride and relief, surviving my first pastry classes in Jakarta in one piece.

Just when I thought I'd finally get some rest over the weekend, a friend of a friend asked me to prepare some pastries for her birthday luncheon on Sunday. Though usually I don't accept orders outside of direct friends and family, I was compelled to accept the request as I have been wanting to experiment making Apple Tatins! So here's a nice, shiny new blog post for you all, my rendition of a French classic; Pomme Tatin aux Noix Caramélisées.

Just to remind you again, you can find me on twitter @TalitaSetyadi and instagram @TalitasKtchn
Have fun with the recipe guys and girls.



Hello my sweet-toothed friends. I hope you've all been having a good a week as I have been having so far! I've just returned from a week's stay in my second home of Bali meeting some friends from New York and showing a buddy from Seattle around a bit. Bali is the place that I intend to open up my first cafe/bakery in a couple of years. So I've taken it upon myself to get to know the island well and visit as many of its awesome (and some not so awesome) restaurants, bakeries cafes as I can. So it's always a pleasure to show off the place to visitors, it really is still one of the most cultured and beautiful places in the world.

One thing that annoys me about being in Bali though, is that there is no oven installed in our villa. While that of course needs to be changed ASAP, I spent most of my idle times there fantasizing about the kind of cake to make upon my return to Jakarta, especially with my mum's birthday coming up the very next day. So, during my Balinese massage and full-body papaya scrub, this is the cake I came up with, something that I was sure my mum and family was sure to love:

Keeping the flavors classic and simple, I layered coffee-imbibed chocolate joconde biscuit with bitter chocolate ganache and caramel mousseline. As the French don't seem to like to make their cakes too high, the inspiration for this cake is the Indonesian delicacy "Lapis Legit" which translates to "sweet layers", a delicate cake composed of layers upon layers of delicious buttery sweet cake. So this cake is sort of like my version of a chocolate Opera cake x 3..
I think I'll call it the Whopera.

Eat eat eat...

x Tal


A Mango Cake

Hello dears, how are you all doing? So I've been back in Jakarta for about two months now, thought I'd give you a general update on how I've been faring. In a few words, it has been an awesome time! Last night a visiting French friend pointed out aptly to say that there is no recession here and everyone looks happy and positive. Though there are of course still many underlying problems in this country, the general aura of the masses is good. Therefore, returning to my birth country after 15 years abroad, I feel welcomed and optimistic. The people I've been able to meet in the industry so far have been so supportive and encouraging towards my passion, and I am pumped to finally start a career here.

Since I did my last post on the ubiquitous banana, today's cake utilizes another one of Indonesia's best fruits - MANGO! (Relax guys, it's not the durian post yet. Lol.) The mangoes in Indonesia are truly some of the best in the world! There are many different varieties such as the aromatic Harumanis, citrusy-sour Gedong and sweet Manalagi. Mangoes come in season when climate reaches its hottest and driest, so right now is the perfect time to make yourselves a mango mousse cake!

This mango cake is comprised of mango mousseline, vanilla syrup genoise, sour red fruit and hibiscus compote and crunchy almond and brown sugar layer. It is decorated with macaroons, for which you can find the recipe in my previous blog post. 

Before we go to the recipe, I'd just like to remind you that you can follow me on TWITTER and FACEBOOK and INSTAGRAM to be the first to hear about new recipe posts.

Thanks guys, enjoy the mango cake!

x Tal


Secret Macaroon Video

Hello sweetlings, how are you all doing? So, I've got to come clean about something.. I've been sitting on a French macaroon instructional video for several months…! I know, I'm sorry for holding out on all of you. You see, it was my first attempt at an instructional video and it contains many 'cringe' moments! But recently, I was assured by a Youtuber friend of mine that nobody's expecting perfection from a Youtube video as long as the content is good. So after some thinking, I've finally gathered the courage to let this video go live on the blog.. a lot of hard work went into it after all.

This vid was shot at my house in Auckland by some good friends of mine Clinton Chang and Martin Paris. I wrote the song playing in the background, and it's called "This Winter". It is performed by my band Teacups and recorded by another buddy of mine David Parker. If you like it, you may download our record here.

So here's my "Secret Macaron Video" for all of you lovely readers..


Plantains and bananas

The origins of the cuisines of the world really fascinate me. Just like how different species of animals evolve in response to their habitat, cuisines develop depending on the kinds of produce available in each part of the world. 

One of my favourite fruits in Indonesia is "rhino-horn plantains" or "pisang tanduk" in Indonesian. In Indonesian cuisine, plantain can be prepared in a myriad of ways: fried in batter, baked into breads/rice cakes, boiled in sweet porridges, fried into chips or simply steamed. As I dug into a plate of steamed plantains a couple of days ago, I began thinking of ways of how to turn it into a new dessert. So I saved a few segments and went on to design a rhino-horn plantain and banana tart. 

In the tropical country that is Indonesia, most desserts and sweets are comprised of a combination of these three main ingredients: coconuts, bananas/plantains and palm sugar. I decided to make a coconut "crème légère" using coconut cream crème pâtissière folded through whipped cream. I included a dark chocolate ganache to balance the all the sweetness with a little bitterness. Presentation-wise, It took me a while to think of a way to present bananas in an appetizing manner on a tart. But staying true to a method I picked up in France, if in doubt.. CARAMELIZE! 

So at the end this is what I came up with:

Rhino-horn plantain and banana tart with coconut and dark chocolate!

It might be a little difficult to find rhino-horn plantains in some parts of the world, but you can easily substitute the steamed plantains for normal raw bananas!

So here's the recipe if you want to give these a try at home:


So Good #10

Hello again. Long time no see! I feel like I've just logged back in to my long dormant neopets account to find all these poor hungry pets waiting to be fed. Apologies for the long hiatus, hopefully I can make it up to you all with a gorgeous new recipe today.

It has been a pretty interesting few months to say the least. I've just returned to Jakarta from a sojourn in New York City where I braved its frosty winter to gather inspiration and study restaurant management at ICC. It was surreal to finally visit the bakeries and restaurants I've been dying to check out from my nightly stalkings of grubstreet and eater. It was 5 glorious months of bagels, pretzels, pork buns, cupcakes and cocktails with a little shopping and bootcamp on the side to balance it all out.

Babycakes, Momofuku Milk Bar, Magnolia Bakery, Georgetown Cupcake, Dominique Ansel's CRONUTS.. Oh, it sure was hard to leave the 'States. But with all the sweetness and indulgences of New York City, it was Tartine Bakery in San Francisco that truly stole my heart with the best d*mn toasted sandwich and croissant of my life.

Talking about amazing foods, I trust that you all are familiar with So Good magazine by now? A biannual publication aimed at professionals of the pastry and dessert industry, it remains as the best source of inspiration to me. The magazine's features of the best pastry chefs and their recipes is an indispensable resource for us kids just starting out. Through the step-by-step explanations and interviews, we can learn about the man/woman behind the wonderful desserts and their creative processes.

Now, after hearing how amazingly important this magazine is to me, imagine my reaction when I received an email from them about featuring me and my blog on their next issue about 6 months ago. I think I frantically called about 4 people to freak out about it before realizing I may have been jinxing the good fortune by blabbing about it (haha). So I put the phone down, knocked on a bit of wood, and just smiled giddily for the rest of the night.

Months of nervous days and nights ensued in anticipation for the release of So Good #10. But now that it is finally out, I am grateful and excited! I can't believe I was given the opportunity to be able to be in the same issue as my idols Philippe Conticini and Frank Haasnoot, both of them are legendary pastry connoisseurs. Though I am unworthy of such honor, I will work hard to one day be more deserving of such recognition.

Here's the recipe that was featured in the magazine. If you want to read about the story behind this cake, you can buy the magazine HERE and read the article for yourself, eh. They ship around the world, and they're not a huge company or anything, just some girls and guys really passionate about pastry. They would be very appreciative of your support of their publication.

OK. Talk again soon, buddies. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

x Tal