Eric Lanlard is a master pâtissier. Since arriving in the UK 21 years ago, the 43 year-old Frenchman has changed the face of British Patisserie, earning a reputation for inspirational cakes and amassing A-list clientele from Madonna to Elizabeth Hurley. In May 2007 he expanded his business and launched Cake Boy – a retail emporium in South West London. But it his TV appearances, including Channel 4’s Baking Mad, that have introduced him to a wider audience. Now he gives us an insight into his kitchen…
Is there a restaurant that’s a home away from home for you?
Le Gavroche – it always feels like coming home – I started my career in London with the Roux brothers they are always so supportive and so generous.
If you could invite anyone to your home for dinner who would it be? And what would you cook for them?
Catherine Deneuve – she is my French Style Icon, Desmond Tutu for his wise thoughts and amazing sense of humour – he has a hearty laugh which I love, Richard Branson – he is inspiring and also enjoys a giggle and Elizabeth Hurley – to up the glamour factor! I would cook Oyster Rockefeller, steamed asparagus with hollandaise sauce, filet of lamb with fresh curd and baby vegetable and my my chocolate mousse with vanilla creme brulee centre.
What are your refrigerator essentials?
Champagne, cheese and chocolate.
Do you have a guilty food pleasure when no one else is around?
Baked beans and sausages!
How would you describe your cooking style?
What is your favorite dessert?
Pear tarte tatin
Which famous sweet recipe do you wish you had created? (for example, Sacher Torte, Macaroon, Cannoli…)
Choux pastry – it is so versatile. You can use it to create a simple éclair or an elaborate Croquembouche – a traditional French wedding cake.
Why are stylish looking cakes so on trend?
There are lots of factors – especially the reprise of entertaining at home – people can really get to ‘show off’ with a homemade dessert – it always blows guests away. Baking has become a big hit with TV audiences. The response to my own show Baking Mad with Eric Lanlard has been enormous. The rise and rise of the ubiquitous cupcake is also important. The fashion pack fell in love with it and it seems that every fashion show or launch now has a cupcake requirement– we are inundated with orders especially around London Fashion Week. Food, thank goodness is a pleasure, and it is now also fashionable so everyone can join in.
What is the most gorgeous and delicious cake you have ever cooked?
A Lemon and Yuzu tart. Yuzu is a Japanese fruit – it looks like an unripe lemon – it has the most incredible flavour.
What advice would you give to a passionate gourmet who would like to prepare not only a delightful but also a beautiful pudding?
I would say that you need to think about the cake you are making and the person that you are making it for. It’s really important for cakes to be personal. Use decorations in a creative and inspirational way. Less is definitely more so I would also advise not to over do it. You can’t go wrong with fresh fruit and an apricot jam glaze.
What other projects do you have in the pipeline?
I’m about to write my fourth book – it will take home baking one stage further concentrating on pies and tarts and I will be sharing some of my favourite savoury recipes too. Of course they’ll be glamour in their too which is after all my signature.
Eric Lanlard uses KitchenAid’s major domestic appliances to create the fabulous cakes and patisserie in his famous cookery school. For more information about KitchenAid’s products visit www.kitchenaid.co.uk