On her baking inspiration
I've always been passionate about food, especially pastry. Baking for me is very cathartic and I would always find myself in the kitchen experimenting with different flavours and combinations. It's the most amazing feeling to have your family and friends appreciate and love what you've made for them.
In terms of people in the field that inspire me, I would say I look up to chefs such as Delia Smith, Adriano Zumbo, Pierre Hermé, Heston Blumenthal, Anthony Bourdain and Raymond Blanc. I would love to recreate Zumbo’s V8 Cake which has eight heavenly layers of vanilla Chantilly, toasted vanilla brûlée, vanilla water gel, vanilla macaron, vanilla almond crunch, vanilla dacquoise, vanilla ganache and vanilla glaze.
Pictured Here: Alyssa filling in her profiteroles with fresh cream
On her favourite sweet delights
My favourites include salted caramel cupcakes, profiteroles and opera cake. Right now I'm going through a phase of experimenting with salted caramel – sweet, smoky and salty; nothing can beat the holy trinity of fat, sugar and salt. It's Aristotle's golden mean in food form.
Pictured Here: Alyssa’s Profiteroles
On tips and tricks for the home baker in you…
Make sure you weigh out all your ingredients carefully as baking and pastry is a precise art form and the slightest variation can ruin a recipe. Most importantly put a whole lot of love into whatever you’re making!
Pictured Here: Alyssa finishing up her tarts with sea-salt.
On healthy dessert options for the weight-conscious
Things like oatmeal cookies, low-fat muffins and desserts that are made with artificial sweeteners (sugar free) would work best.
Pictured Here: Alyssa’s Salted Caramel Tarts.
On her most creative dish thus far
One of the most creative dishes I've made would have to be a sugar sculpture that we had to make for one of our final exams at Cordon Bleu, where we had to showcase different types of sugar techniques and design a visually stunning sugar centrepiece. This involved heating sugar, water and glucose to 162° Celsius, and moulding our sugar into different shapes using techniques such as feathering, casting, imprinting and bending. It was brilliant to see the different colours and shapes that were created from such a basic ingredient like sugar.
Pictured Here: Alyssa dusting her cheesecake with cocoa powder.
On the perfect sweet for a dream date
I would create an entremets: a multi layered, multi textured cake. A pistachio dacquoise base with a white chocolate mousse and strawberry jelly, encased in a perfectly cooked almond joconde sponge.
Pictured Here: Alyssa’s Baileys Cheesecake
On the perfect location to open up her own bakery
London as it is one of my favourite cities in the world and where I studied to be a pastry chef. I would name it Elsa's Patisserie.
Pictured Here: Alyssa Chesson with her baked goods and biggest fan, Chanel.
To order Alyssa Chesson’s pastries and other sweet treats write to her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Written by Nazneen Joshi on Jul 11, 2014