Chef Ashik Mohsin takes us through his 29-minute meal
Describe your personality. I’m a simple person who can be described as quiet and always in deep thought. I’m a perfectionist, so I always think of ways to ensure everything is done efficiently. I open up to people, but, like an oven, I need some warming up.
Describe your personality in the kitchen. I’m actually more talkative in the kitchen, but I’m more serious and focused and sometimes may come across as quite strict.
Describe you cooking style. Clean and simple – I don’t like to confuse things. Of course, [food] has to be pleasing to the eyes and pleasing to the palate as well. If you had to sum up my style with a motto, it would be: ‘Don’t work hard, work smart’.
What’s in your fridge at home? Water, orange juice, milk, a chocolate bar, a loaf of bread, peanut butter, raspberry jam, and a few eggs.
What was the last dish you cooked for yourself? I don’t really cook for myself, but the last dish I cooked for myself was my very own egg fried rice. What one dish could you happily eat for the rest of your days? Chocolate! Anything with chocolate. I love chocolate!
Which dish would you be happy never to eat again? Braised crocodile meat. I went to an exotic restaurant back home in Singapore because I was curious what they were serving. The meat was really white, with the taste and texture of chicken. It wasn’t so bad, but the thought of it made me never want to eat it again.
What dish would you be happy to never have to cook again? Chinese mooncakes: the Chinese chefs who make really good ones don’t share their recipes! I haven’t perfected making mooncakes because I haven’t got hold of a traditional recipe, so until then, I don’t want to make them.
Italian or French? In the early years of my training I was under French chefs. They’re strict about everything, and I’m the same – I’ve developed that discipline. They also continuously develop new techniques and are stylish in presentation, especially their desserts.
If you weren’t a chef, you’d be… It’s been my dream to become a pilot. If I had a lot of money, I’d go for it.
Chocolate tart with sable breton and vanilla ice cream
‘I learned to make this dessert when I was working in Raffles Singapore. It’s simple to make, but truly enjoyable – you can never go wrong choosing a chocolate dessert. All the ingredients for this recipe can be found in most supermarkets in Dubai.’
Ingredients (for two) Chocolate tart filling 500ml whipping cream 5 egg yolks 500g dark chocolate 25g sugar Sable 185g unsalted butter 100g icing sugar 200g flour Chocolate tart filling 1 Whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl. 2 Place the chopped dark chocolate in a separate bowl. Boil the cream in a saucepan and, when bubbling, pour it over the chocolate – this is the ganache. 3 Add the egg-sugar mixture to the ganache and mix. Store in the fridge.
Sable 4 Beat the butter and icing sugar until smooth. 5 Mix in the flour to form the dough. Wrap in cling-film and set aside in the fridge for 10 minutes. 6 Roll out the chilled sable dough to around 3mm in thickness. 7 Form the rolled dough into the tart shells and place in a preheated oven (160˚C) for eight minutes. 8 Set the sable tart aside to cool. Once cool, pour in the chocolate tart filling. 9 Bake at 180˚C for five to seven minutes, or until the filling sets. 10 Remove from the oven, let it cool slightly and serve warm, with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream.