Earlier this year I spent a lovely evening at the St Regis Hotel in Abu Dhabi and whilst enjoying the sun at the pool the next day I remember picking up a new follower on Twitter, the very lovely Eric Lanlard. Yes ! Eric Lanlard someone who I had admired for a long time was actually following me on Twitter and not only following, but he was tweeting to me about my stay too – amazing ! It truly made my day and explained the smile on my face as I basked in the sun that day enjoying beautiful mocktails as well as our beautiful weather.
If you are not in the know, Eric Lanlard, also known as Cake Boy – is a Master Patissier and a Chef who has written five cookbooks and is also featured on TV. If you are lucky enough to be in London he has Cafe which serves a legendary afternoon tea and a whole collection of patisserie items baked by Eric and his time, in the meantime, and to tempt you further, take a look at some of the images I took recently at #SocialHourWithEric on his recent trip to Dubai.
Since his initial twitter follow, Eric has followed me on Instagram and I’ve followed him too. For those not in the know, Instagram kind of turns you into a celebrity ‘stalker’ in the nicest possible way as you get to have an insight into people’s lives virtually through the images they choose to share with their followers. I’ve seen photos of Eric’s relaxed Sundays at home, his trips abroad and his baking of course and in a way it feels like I know him through this.
A few weeks ago Eric was in Dubai, where along with book signings and cooking classes and of course, Taste of Abu Dhabi, he also hosted an intimate gathering of guests at the Sheraton Hotel for #SocialHourWithEric. I was lucky enough to score an invite and got to enjoy a selection of cakes and sweet treats made by Eric and the team as well as to sample some cocktail and mocktails which had been prepared to be paired with the desserts. The desserts were great and the pairings were a great treat, whilst the cocktails looked good, for me there’s no substitute for the real thing so I indulged in some amazing cocktails which added to the experience.
A few days prior to Eric arriving in Dubai I baked one of the recipes from his book Chocolat – Peach and White Chocolate Muffins which were beautifully moist and very moreish. Whilst I love following recipes, I’m also a bit of a ‘freestyler’ too and love adding my own touch to recipes where I can. The recipe called for the muffins to be topped with crushed fresh raspberries, but I decided to make a lemon and white chocolate butter cream which I piped on the top and which made the muffins truly indulgent and added a good 500 calories to each muffin I’m sure ! Being the social foodie that I am I shared this image on Instagram. Imagine my surprise at the event, on chatting to Eric to find out that he manages his own social media account and not only did he see my image of the muffin which I had customised, but he remembered that I had done it too ! #Akward #Eeek #Embarrassed #Blush
If you want to follow in Eric’s baking footsteps I took the recipe from his most recent book titled Chocolat. His other books include : Home Bake, Totally Chocolate, Couture Cupcakes (with Patrick Cox), Tart it Up, and Master Cakes plus he has a new book planned for 2015 called Cake Boy which promises to deliver some foolproof tips from Eric who is a master Patissier.
For those of you who find books difficult or clumsy, he has recently released an interactive App which allows you to use it in handsfree mode so no more turning pages over with sticky fingers, and also a ‘substitute’ button which is great for ingredients substitutions. I got this is the UAE PlayStore for 25/AED and it currently has over 60 recipes.
If you like following recipes on line then take a look at one of my favourite recipes as Eric makes Peanut Butter Blondies – subscribe to the Baking Mad Monday YouTube channel for further inspiration.