An establishment in its own right, Sari Delicatessen is a haven for classic sweet treats and exciting new creations for dessert lovers in the city.
Visitors to Sari Delicatessen are usually drawn by the wonderful aroma of freshly baked treats wafting out of the shop located in Sari Pan Pacific Jakarta hotel lobby. First-time visitors will marvel at the wide variety of pastries and sweet treats that the deli has to offer. Baskets full of authentic rustic breads and baguettes are available, warm and freshly baked from the oven. An assortment of scrumptious cookies, melt-in-your-mouth meringues and luxurious palmiers are wrapped in beautiful packaging, enticing browsers to pick them up and take them home for the whole family. Small slices of decadent chocolate cakes, colourful fruit tarts, fragrant traditional lapis and fancy éclairs sit patiently behind chilled glass counters, awaiting selection. A smattering of glazed Danish pastries, buttery croissant rolls and delectable handmade chocolates rounds off the mouth-watering line-up, which would satisfy the staunchest sweet tooth.
A star-studded cast of heavenly cakes is available to be purchased outright, popular for fancy events and intimate gatherings alike. The delicatessen’s Black Forest cake has been the hotel’s signature dessert for the past 40 years – an elegant assembly of chocolate sponge cake, dark chocolate shavings, whipped cream and candied cherries. For those looking for something lighter, the delicate and vibrant fruit cheesecake comes highly recommended. Chocolate addicts looking for a little sinful indulgence would be remiss not to try the delicatessen’s famed St Eloi, a decadent dark chocolate creation made with imported French chocolate.
We had the privilege to sit down with Sari Pan Pacific Jakarta Executive Dessert Chef Indra Gunawan and have a chat about what inspires him as a dessert chef, what it takes to run a successful kitchen and sharing the recipe for his favourite sweet treat.
E: How long have you been with Sari Pan Pacific Jakarta and how did you end up here?
Indra: I’ve only been here for one month. I’ve worked in Mandarin Oriental in Singapore, Harris Hotel and Resort in Batam, Hotel Kempinski and JW Marriott in Jakarta, and Bulgari Resort in Bali before ending up in Sari Pan Pacific Jakarta.
E: Why did you become a dessert chef, was it always a passion of yours?
I: Actually I started out as a Chinese chef! Somehow I found myself helping out with the desserts, but I loved it so much I ended up staying. I’ve always had a passion for desserts, and I’m the type of chef who is restless. With desserts and pastries, there’s always some extra detail to work on.
E: In your opinion, what’s the most important quality in successfully running a dessert kitchen?
I: You need to pay attention to details and you need to be creative. Besides that, you just need to put in the hard work.
E: What parts of your job do you love?
I: What I love is how quick-paced the desserts industry is. There are always new trends like cronuts, nitrogen ice cream and so on. There’s always something exciting around the corner.
E: Where do you get your inspirations for your desserts?
I: I’ve always been able to visualise what I want to create and make it. Maybe it’s a gift?
E: What’s one dessert that visitors to Sari Delicatessen should definitely try?
I: Definitely the Black Forest. It’s Sari Delicatessen’s classic and has been around for 40 years. If we took it off the menu there’d be uproar!
E: Can you tell us a little bit about the desserts we’ll be savouring today, what’s unique about them?
I: There’s the Pink Pleasure, which is our Valentine’s specialty, it’s bright and cheerful. We also have the Forest Noir and White Blanc, which are two of my renditions of the classic Black Forest cake.
E: I understand you’ll be sharing a recipe with us today for one of your favourite desserts?
I: Yes, I’ll be sharing the Forest Noir recipe. I hope you like my version of the Black Forest!
A marvellous new creation by Indra Gunawan
- 175g fresh milk
- 175g fresh cream
- 70g sugar
- 140g egg yolk
- Combine milk and cream in a saucepan; bring mixture to gentle simmer.
- Meanwhile, whisk sugar and egg yolk together.
- Gradually whisk half of hot milk mixture into yolk mixture.
- Strain egg yolk mixture and mix it into remaining milk and cream, while whisking quickly.
- Heat mixture to 85°C
Dark Chocolate Mousse
- 180g hot anglaise mixture
- 330g dark chocolate
- 270g soft whipped cream
- 3 gelatin leaves
- Melt dark chocolate in bain-marie.
- Add gelatin leaves into hot anglaise and mix well.
- Pour melted dark chocolate into hot anglaise mixture.
- Softly fold in soft whipped cream.
- Mix well.
- 230g flour
- 350g sugar
- 150g butter
- 3 eggs
- 10g baking powder
- 5g baking soda
- 300ml warm water
- 100g cocoa powder
- Whisk all ingredients well till foaming.
- Bake in cake tin at 180°C for 15 minutes.
- Slice devil sponge into two halves for cake assembly.
- Prepare clean 20cm cake ring.
- Fill base with slice of devil sponge cake, soaked with rum.
- Spread layer of dark chocolate mousse.
- Add another slice of devil sponge cake, soaked with rum.
- Spread another layer of dark chocolate mousse.
- Top with candied dark cherries.
- Place cake overnight in refrigerator to set.
- Once set, finish cake with dark chocolate shavings.
- Decorate with chocolate and red cherry jellies or red currants.