Friday, 8 October 2021

Taste the Mediterranean: Masterclass with French Chocolatier Claude Krajner

October 8, 2021 - What better way to start the day than with a taste of handmade chocolates?  Thankfully, the Taste the Mediterranean Food Festival brings one of the best chocolatiers of France - Maitre artisan chocolatier Claude Krajner to Split. A look into his masterclass with 15 aspiring culinary students from Aspira University College.

The day was sweeter than usual in the building of Aspira University College where the brilliant creator of Le temps d'un chocolat in Marseilles, France, chocolatier Claude Krajner, conducted a special cooking workshop with students from Aspira University College. The class was eagerly attended by at least 15 culinary students and was organised by TTM Festival in cooperation with Aspira. Since Claude is French with Croatian descent, the workshop was held in French and Croatian. 

IMG_5376.jpgPhotography by: Princess Prkić

Claude Krajner received the title Maitre Artisan Chocolatier in 2015 and is recognisably one of the best chocolatiers in France. He is also a member of the prestigious Academie Nationale de Cuisine and Disciples Escoffier International. His passion for artisan chocolates began at an early age so he naturally pursued the culinary world and built his experience from working in the best restaurants in Paris and later on proceeded to the Canary Islands where he worked at Les Moulins de Paris in Lanzarote as a pastry chef. Chef Claude is also a permanent lecturer at Villa des Chefs, a highly-regarded culinary school in Aix en Provence where short courses and masterclasses are regularly offered by famous chefs and confectioners. The famous chocolatier also creates personalised chocolate products for big companies including Swarovsky, Palais des Thes, and Kartell. Since 2010, Claude Krajner has served as Vice-president of Chocolatiers et Biscuitiers de France - French masters in the art of chocolate and dry cookie making. 

IMG_5310.jpgPhotography by: Princess Prkić

The masterclass was not just a theoretical lecture, but the culinary students of Aspira were also hands-on in assisting the guest chef. At 4 PM today, Tonči Drije, the head of gastronomy and practical workshops at Aspira University College will also take part in "Learn and Make Your Dreams Come True", a panel event by TTM Festival, in Briig Boutique Hotel. This event was organised by Mediterranean Women Chefs, an international group dedicated to improving the role of women in gastronomy. Other panelists include pastry chef Tea Mamut of Patisserie O'š Kolač, Split, chef Deni Srdoč of restaurant Nebo Hilton, head of Raise the Bar Academy Kruno Rozič, and chef Nikolina Putica.

IMG_5389.jpgPhotography by: Princess Prkić

As part of the Taste the Mediterranean festival, French chocolatier Claude Krajner will also be a guest chef in an exclusive dinner hosted by chef Stjepan Vukadin of restaurant Zrno Soli which boasts a Michelin plate and 3 Gault & Millau toques. Other guest chefs include Chef Anastasios Paraskevaidis of restaurant Hotel Mount Athos in Ierissos, Greece, and Chef Jure Tomič of restaurant Debeluh in Brežice, Slovenia. 

To learn more about the festival's special events, follow TTM festival's Instagram page.

For more on lifestyle, follow TCN's dedicated page. 

For more about Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Sunday, 9 December 2018

Traditional Croatian Recipes: Splitska Torta

December 9, 2018 — The famous Split cake is undoubtedly the pinnacle of Dalmatian pastry making, though today it is prepared all along the Adriatic coast. Splitska torta is made with layers of nut-fruit meringue and a simple egg yolk buttercream. With dried figs, almonds and raisins as key ingredients, this traditional recipe perfectly reflects the essence of the Mediterranean.

A true Dalmatian favorite, Splitska torta is prepared for all kinds of festive occasions, and in our family, it is also an essential part of a traditional Christmas spread.

You can find hundreds of different recipe variations online, but once you nail down the basic technique, you'll discover that Splitska torta is really simple to make, and the ingredient list can easily be tailored to anyone's liking.

For example, instead of using just almonds, I like to use a mix of almonds, hazelnuts, and cashews, but also macadamia and pine nuts, if available. And if you want to add some extra chewiness to the meringue layers, along with dried figs, try using dried apricots. My last recipe rendition included a mix of dried pineapple, papaya, and mango — nothing to do with Split nor the original recipe, but it was delicious nonetheless!

Here is the basic recipe for Splitska torta:

9 egg whites
pinch of salt
9 tbsp crystal sugar
150g almonds
150g dried figs
150g raisins
3 tbsp all purpose flour

9 egg yolks
9 tbsp powdered sugar
250g unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
lemon or orange zest, if desired

1) Beat the egg whites until frothy and forming soft peaks. Then add a pinch of salt and start gradually adding sugar while mixing them until stiff, glossy peaks form.

Tips: Make sure you separate the eggs without leaving any trace of yolk in the whites as the fat in the yolk can prevent the whites from developing the desired volume. For a foolproof meringue, after the sugar, add a splash of acid like apple vinegar or lemon juice to the mixture, as this helps to form a stable foam and it also makes meringue crisp on the outside but soft and sticky on the inside.

2) Heat the oven to 180°C/356F. If available, use a food processor to coarsely chop almonds (and/or other nuts), dried figs and raisins. Add flour and mix well. Lastly, combine the nut, fruit and flour mixture with meringue. Spread in a finger-thick layer over a pan lined with parchment paper. Bake for about 15-20 minutes, until golden brown.

3) To make the cream, combine the egg yolks with powdered sugar and mix over a bain-marie until thick and frothy. Add a splash of vanilla extract and lemon or orange zest, if desired. Leave to chill. Meanwhile, soften the butter at room temperature, and then cream it until smooth and foamy. Combine creamed butter and chilled egg yolks; mix well.

4) Once the meringue is baked, allow it to cool completely before cutting and/or transferring it. When ready, cut the meringue in 3 equally sized strips. To assemble the cake, spread about 1/4 of cream on top of each strip and gently stack them on top of each other. Use the remaining cream to cover the sides. Put in the fridge and leave to set. Decorate as desired.

Tips: Soften the butter just enough that your finger easily leaves a dent when you press it. Adding 1-2 tablespoons of granulated sugar will help cream the butter faster and form a uniform texture.

For more delicious recipes, make sure you follow TCN's dedicated gourmet page.

Friday, 2 March 2018

Gourmet Croatia: Michelin Guide to Split

On the 1st March 2018, the highly-esteemed Michelin announced their 2018 Guide for Croatia. They have awarded two new restaurants a Michelin-star and 5 restaurants in Split have been recommended.

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Gastro Get Festival: Advent 2017 Edition Announced!

On Tuesday 5th December 2017, Gastro Get (Mazzgoon, Uje, O'Zlata, Galerija, Rodrigo) held a press conference in Mazzgoon restaurant to announce the upcoming event which, for the first time, has support from the Tourist Board and City of Split.

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Split ‘Restaurant Week’ Rundown of Restaurants and Menus

'Restaurant Week' begins next Friday 13th – 22nd October 2017 around Croatia, here is a look at what Split has in store.

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Mazzgoon Food; Beautiful Dining Experience in the Heart of Split (Photos)

Mazzgoon Food, is without a doubt, an exceptional dining experience in the heart of Split.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Gourmet Split: Have You Checked-In at Terminal F?

Terminal F officially opened its doors on Saturday 3rd June, 2017; another fabulous addition to the F-Group portfolio and Split gastronomy scene.

Thursday, 30 June 2016

Gourmet Split Ends This Weekend

This week has entered the last week of Gourmet Split 2016 at Kino Bačvice, making it your last chance to check out what the party organizers have prepared for street food, live music, and affordable drinks. This second edition has really taken off to be a hit, with the new location proving to be a guaranteed success.

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Gourmet Street Food Festival Returns to Split in June

New location and new dates but familiar cosy atmosphere with plenty of concerts and events.