Ross Sneddon, the Executive Pastry Chef for the Balmoral Hotel (The Grand Old Lady) in Edinburgh since 2015, produces elegant, beautifully decorated creations which are especially full of flavor. And for this pastry chef, who has worked in Paris, New York, and London, all you have to do is “put the flavor and ingredients first, then you always get the best product”.
A philosophy that is reflected in so good # 23, after the visit of our correspondent chef Santiago Corral, through pieces such as this delicious creation for his afternoon tea. This is how Sneddon describes this snack: “Blairgowrie in Perthshire, Scotland, produces what we absolutely believe to be the finest berries in the world; we only use Scottish strawberries here at The Balmoral for the choux pastry. The little wild Scottish strawberries are an added bonus and are hand foraged by our pastry chefs. The sweet strawberries play off against the bitterness from the grassy green matcha. This particular ceremonial grade of matcha we use is called Tencha, it is shade grown, deveined and destemmed before being ground on traditional ceramic stones. Two truly world class ingredients made into a simple but incredibly delicious tea pastry”.
Blairgowrie strawberries, ceremonial grade matcha
- 280 g Eshire butter
- 15 g Tate and Lyle sugar
- 300 g Highland spring water
- 375 g whole milk
- 15 g Maldon sea salt
- 375 g Moul bie T55 Or
- 560 g organic free-range egg
Bring the butter, water, milk, sugar and salt to the boil. Add in flour and cook out. Place in mixer and start to turn on low speed until the dough has cooled slightly. Stream in the eggs and beat until shiny and cool. Pipe the choux to 13 g pucks.
- 444 g Eshire butter
- 444 g panela wild sugar
- 3 g Maldon Sea salt
- 515 g Marriages all-purpose flour
Mix all ingredients together until they form a dough. Pin out between two sheets of silicon paper. Freeze and cut to the required size.
- 500 g whipping cream 38%
- 175 g Felchlin Edelweiss 36% white chocolate
- 4 g gold leaf gelatin, hydrated in approximately 40 g cold water
- 10 g ceremonial Grade Matcha (Tencha)
Warm the cream with the matcha to 80ºC, do not boil. Add in the Edelweiss white chocolate and the soaked gelatine. Bamix the cream and set in a flat tray with Clingfilm on the surface to prevent a skin forming. Set overnight and whip as required.
- 500 g Felchlin Edelweiss 36% white chocolate
- 50 gfresh as freeze-dried strawberry powder
- 1 g citric acid powder. As needed, spot of fat-soluble red food colour
Temper the Edelweiss and add in the strawberry powder, acid and the red colour. Spread between two guitar sheets and cut disks the required through the plastic.
- 700 g blairgowrie strawberries
- 50 g panela wild sugar
- 10 g Louis François pectin x58
Puree the strawberries and pass through a fine sieve. Weigh 500 g of puree and place in a saucepan and warm gently. Mix the pectin x 58 with the sugar and whisk into the puree. Cook for 1 minute to activate the pectin. Set in a shallow tray with Clingfilm on the surface to prevent a skin forming. Use as required.
- 1000 g Highland spring water
- 300 g Tate and Lyle granulated sugar seeds from x 1 pod Tahitian vanilla pod, split and scraped
- 30 g Louis Francois Pectin NH
- 100 g Tate and Lyle granulated sugar
- 10 g lemon juice
Place the water, vanilla and first amount of sugar in a saucepan and start to warm gently. Mix the pectin with the second amount of sugar and whisk into the pan. Bring to the boil whisking continuously and boil for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and add the lemon juice. Cool and use as required.
- Blairgowrie strawberries/sliced into disks, wild strawberries, alyssum flowers.
Place a disk of the craquelin on each choux. Bake at 160ºC until cooked and golden. Cut the top 1/4 off each choux. Sit the base of the choux on a disk of strawberry chocolate, pipe in a little matcha cream. Pipe the strawberry gel into the centre of the cream. Top with a second disk of strawberry chocolate. Pipe a generous rosette on the second disk. Top each rosette with 3 or 4 slices of strawberries. Glaze the cut strawberries with the nappage to prevent them from drying. Decorate each pastry with 8 wild strawberries and 4 of each blue and white Alyssum flowers.