Shaheen Peerbhai is a chef classically trained in French cuisine and pâtisserie at Le Cordon Bleu Paris and London and Centre de Formation d’Alain Ducasse in France. She has worked at 3-Michelin starred restaurants in London and has won four prestigious culinary scholarships. She has taught baking to thousands of amateurs and professionals since 2012 in Europe and India. Her cookbook Paris Picnic Club with Barnes & Noble (New York) releases in April 2018. She lives in London and blogs at purplefoodie. She is one of the most famous organic bakers in India with almost 10,000 followers on Instagram. According to her, “The Indian market is very ripe. Indians are receptive to a more conscious way of living. With increased travel, social media, and general awareness, regular baking is bound to turn its focus to organic baking with a focus on prime ingredients and better nutritional value.” She feels that using organic ingredients are better for us and better for the planet.
She uses organic ingredients as far as possible in her baking. “My base ingredients are organic, or near organic ingredients like flour, eggs, milk, and sugar. I sm still waiting for organic butter to make its way into my Indian kitchen,” says Shaheen.
Shaheen’s most famous recipe is the Vanilla Madeleines. The recipe for this is as follows.
1 vanilla bean
100g plain flour
4g baking powder
To the butter, add vanilla bean. Melt and then set aside to cool slightly.
Sift the flour and baking powder together.
In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, and sugar.
Add the dry ingredients into your egg mixture and fold gently till well combined, followed by the melted butter. Mix until just homogenous. Transfer to a piping bag and let it chill for two hours or longer.
Preheat your oven to 200°C. Grease the madeleine pan lightly with melted butter then dust with flour. Pipe into the mould and bake for seven minutes until the hump appears then turn down the temperature to 180°C, rotate the pan and bake for another four minutes.