So charming! "Ottolenghi Baker, Helen Goh, shares her inspiration

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Helen Goh has many achievements to her name: she has successfully pursued two careers: in psychology (she completed her PhD in 2014 and has only recently stopped practicing) and bakery (she is the mastermind behind the desserts of the chef's superstar, Yotam Ottolenghi restaurants in London); she and Ottolenghi have co-authored a successful cookbook, named by James Beard Award; she has a recipe column Australian newspapers Sydney Morning Herald and The Age; and she's starting the New Year in style – cooking with Martha! Goh is a special guest of the premiere of the "Martha Bakes" season, devoted to British desserts.Take a look at the premiere of season 11 of "Martha Bakes"The episode is also a personal event for Goh, as it was Martha's cookbooks she turned to when she started cooking. Goh was born in Malaysia but grew up in Melbourne, where, after an unsatisfactory stay in a pharmaceutical company, she opened a cafe called Mortar & Pestle with no experience in baking – what she calls "the thing the stupidest you have ever done. " Goh does his best to learn at work, reading and cooking all the time. On the set of Martha Bakes, she showed Martha a photo of a gingerbread house she had made from Martha's Christmas book. "I followed every detail," says Goh. Martha's books and magazines have been helpful: "There was always something you did not think about or expect. They were ambitious and achievable at the same time. "Learn how Martha became a first name Although coffee received all sorts of praise, Goh was eager to learn more, in a more traditional setting. She began her apprenticeship at Donovans Restaurant in Melbourne and spent seven years there. She quickly worked to become a pastry chef. She moved to London in 2006 and went from preparing salads in Ottolenghi cafes to making dessert recipes for the entire restaurant empire. Ottolenghi is known for its eye-catching windows full of colorful bakery products, and Goh describes the development process as a way to handle the tension between the traditional and the new. "There is comfort in tradition," she says, "but you do not want too much comfort; you also need this sensation of discovery. Unlike many pastry chefs, she is not interested in originality for reasons of originality. While she loves surprises in desserts, it must make sense in terms of flavors, like ras el hanout that she added to a classic fruit cake for "Martha Bakes." She is more focused on obtaining breadcrumbs, texture and sugar. level just right. "It may sound subtle," says Goh, "but 50 grams of sugar can make the difference between wanting a second piece of cake and feeling like you can not eat cake for a year." She appreciates simplicity but stresses that it is not simple. easy – it takes a lot of work to get there.Get the recipe for Helen's Moroccan fruit cake In the first place, it is guided by the fruits of the season. She explains that the trick is to bring out the best of this fruit without spoiling the structure of the dessert. "Think of blueberries in a lemon cake – an instant color, an instant call," she says, "but you do not want them to flow or that the dough is crying." The inspiration also comes from sources as disparate as parsnips of a Sunday roast. dinner (which led her to make a wonderful parsnip cake) and a pair of summer sandals with the most beautiful green pearls. "Green made me think about the sugar crystals and how to color them," says Goh, "so I whipped the basil leaves with sugar and sprinkled them on a cake to nectarine. "She is also driven by the desire to preserve the art and cooking ritual. From a psychological point of view, she finds the therapeutic act. "People who are depressed or anxious tend to worry about the future and be obsessed with the past, but baking allows you to be present and attentive because you have to be very attentive to the process," he says. Goh explains. "It's a very powerful way of being connected to yourself." It's also a way of communicating with others – we seldom cook for ourselves, we cook to share – which can be just as restorative . Positive associations with cooking begin with Goh's notes with birthday cakes. "This is one of our first memories," she says. "They make you feel special and neat, so I do not think it's a coincidence that we associate with baking, giving and loving." This message is reinforced by celebrations marked by baked goods, from Christmas cookies to Easter pies. The process always gives her the same joy as when she started cooking. "For me, cooking is magic. It's transformative. It's an alchemy, "she says. "When you put a chicken in the oven, a chicken comes out. But with a cake, you put butter, eggs, flour – something that looks completely inedible – and you get that glorious result. "And while Goh feels more confident than ever in cooking, she's always open to new ideas, and her goal for 2019 is to deepen the ingredients she grew up with in Malaysia (and are now easier to find). in the United States, United Kingdom and Australia), from pandan leaves to cassava root to tapioca flour and blue pea powder. "I want to be more courageous in the integration of puddings and cakes from Southeast Asia to my repertoire, "she reveals." It will be neither traditional nor authentic, but I'm ready to be daring. "Peden + Munk's images are reproduced with the permission of Sweet: Ottolenghi's Desserts of London by Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh, copyright © 2017. Posted by Ten Speed ​​Press, a print of Penguin Random House.