Vintage Recipes from around the World Revived in Goa
What happens when you discover a pastry chef who got trained in classic bakery and confectionery 50 years ago in Germany along with old family recipes that have been handed down to him from his mentors?
Vikas Palande, a hospitality entrepreneur from Goa discovered Master Chef Vijay Nagpal in the by lanes of his village and wasted no time in giving birth to a boutique bakery and confectionery in the bustling tourist hotspot of Calangute, called Artisan Bäckerei. After months of research, an intensively curated menu was designed and a team of passionate artisans were put together to revive some of the most famous and long forgotten recipes in bakery & confectionery. Be it the rare 16th century Zuccotto Fiorentino or the popular Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte (Black Forest Cake), Artisan Bäckerei now brings these classic and vintage recipes alive in Goa.
The artisanal dessert menu reads like a united nation of confectioneries. This includes the Smetannik Cake, a Russian chocolate cake with sour cream frosting, the Zuccotto Fiorentino, a 16th century Italian classic dark chocolate domed cake, the Bittersweet Chocolate Marquise, a rich Venezuelan chocolate dessert with crème de menthe and the Austrian Sachertorte, a dense chocolate cake with apricot jam and chocolate icing. Other global delights include the Dobos Torte, a Hungarian classic sponge cake layered with chocolate butter cream and topped with caramel, the Cream Cheese Amaretto Brownie, which is an early 20th century American recipe of a rich decadent chocolate cake and the Hummingbird, a 19th century Jamaican recipe with banana, pineapple, walnuts, spices and cream cheese frosting. The menu goes on and on with over 60 kinds of artisan desserts, 20 kinds of artisan cookies, and over 40 kinds of artisan breads & pastries.
A similar menu also extends to savouries, which has been curated and designed by his son and Master Chef Finalist Rajat Nagpal. From a Mediterranean Meatloaf to a classic Irish Shepherd’s Pie; from a Brazilian Feijoada Pie to a Cornish Tiddy Oggie, each of these delicacies also promise to transport you to a world of stories, some well known, some long forgotten.
The promise not only lends itself to techniques and recipes but also extends to the ingredients used. Each basket of delights is crafted with pure Belgian chocolate, low gluten wheat flour, fresh craft cheese and raw/brown/organic sugar; handmade with lots of love. All of this might sound that it may affect your pockets deeply but the prices too surprise for the quality ensured. Most of the delicacies are in the range of INR 120 – 160, making the experience also easy on the wallet. And guess what? If you are a resident of Calangute Village, you get an added 10% discount on your bill.
Artisan Bäckerei has a rustic, warm and romantic charm, with patents of baking instruments and paintings decorating the walls. There is comfortable seating outside, which gives a feeling of sitting in a European-styled cafe. As soon as you open the door, you get the aroma of freshly baked bread coming from the oven. The greatest part about the ambience is that the shelves are regularly replenished, which means you can get piping hot bread loaves straight from the oven. If you’re lucky you can even meet master chef Vijay in person and ask him to whip up your favourite choice of muffin recipe.
Master Chef Vijay Nagpal, who has been a visionary in the baking, confectionery and patisserie industry for over five decades, serving the likes of Oberois and Mauryas, makes Artisan Bäckerei his piece de resistance and a must visit for anyone visiting Goa.