Meeting Pennyhill Park’s head pastry chef Sarah Frankland
PUBLISHED: 14:33 17 October 2018
With The Great British Bake Off back on our screens the nation is falling in love with baking once again. Head pastry chef at Pennyhill Park, Sarah Frankland, tells us about what it takes to make it as a professional
What first inspired you to become a pastry chef?
I was first inspired to become a pastry chef by working in a chocolate shop as a Saturday job. I was always really creative and enjoyed art, I decided I wanted to know how to make these beautiful and delicious creations. So, I went on a one-day pastry workshop and I was hooked.
What do you enjoy about working at Pennyhill Park?
I started working at Pennyhill Park two years ago, after 12 years working in central London it was like a breath of fresh air moving to the countryside. I love the fact that we have our own bee hives and relish working with the honey for our afternoon teas.
What is your culinary ethos?
I believe in seasoning in desserts, a lot of pastry chefs forget that we also need salt and acid seasoning in desserts to create a well-balanced dish which is delightful on the palate. I base all my dishes on invigorating as many of the senses of taste as possible, sweet, salt, bitter, sour and umami.
Do you have a signature bake?
The signature dish at the hotel is the textures of chocolate on the banqueting menu. It has four different types of chocolate in various creations like, chocolate brownie, milk chocolate malt mousse, white chocolate whipped ganache and a miso and caramelised white chocolate ice cream.
What advice or tips would you give people wanting to take up baking at home?
Be meticulous because pastry is chemistry. The balance of ingredients in a Victoria Sandwich, for example, are such that adding more baking powder to make it lighter will not work. It will rise, but the structure of the recipe cannot hold the activity in the baking powder and it will sink in the middle.
The chefs at Pennyhill Park create a variety of speciality breads and patisseries for the main menu and afternoon tea and high tea menus.