Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 7 December 2019

Six days to make chocolate version of Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

A chocolate replica of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque has been made by chefs at The Hilton, Abu Dhabi to mark Ramadan and Eid festivities.
The Hilton’s award winning executive pastry chef, Praveen Kumar, right, and his team have created a replica model of the Grand Mosque to mark the holy month of Ramadan. Mona Al Marzooqi / The National
The Hilton’s award winning executive pastry chef, Praveen Kumar, right, and his team have created a replica model of the Grand Mosque to mark the holy month of Ramadan. Mona Al Marzooqi / The National

A hundred hours spread over six days. That is how much time it took chef Praveen Kumar and his assistants to whip up an enormous white chocolate replica of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, to mark Ramadan and Eid Al Fitr festivities.

The chocolate structure, allegedly the largest replica ever made of the mosque, weighs 130 kilograms and is 90 centimetres tall.

Mr Kumar, the executive pastry chef at The Hilton, Abu Dhabi, and his assistants measured their kitchen and estimated the size of the replica to be sure it could be carried out of the doors. The base on which the model sits is 200cm by 120cm.

“After a brainstorming session in which the chefs and the management participated, we decided to make a replica of the Grand Mosque as it is iconic of Abu Dhabi,” Mr Kumar said. “This is our gift to the people of the city on the occasion of Ramadan and Eid.”

The chef and his team visited the Grand Mosque and took pictures, which they referred to in order to accurately depict the minute details of the mosque’s facade. After work in the hotel’s kitchens during the day, they spent their nights creating the sculpture.

The chocolate structure is on display to the public in the lobby of the hotel. It has been on show since the eve of Ramadan and will be exhibited there until the end of Eid.

Afterwards, it will be melted down.

“The replica is made entirely of white chocolate. We did not want to make a cake this time, so we did not use icing. The reason behind this is that the replica needs to be in perfect condition for a long time,” Mr Kumar said.

The structure should be sound for 45 days, and will not melt at room temperature.

The hotel collaborated with Masterbaker Marketing, which provided 40 per cent of the chocolate required to build the model. The Hilton hotel provided the remainder of the chocolate.

“Hilton Abu Dhabi’s pastry team has showcased a huge amount of talent in building something of this scale with such precision and detail using our ingredients” said Ronnie Khajotia, chief executive at Masterbaker.

Mr Kumar’s team for the project included Sumit Gomes, Tak Bahadur, Kumarappan Manohar, Rajesh Chauhan and Sriram Ramachandran.

Mr Kumar, who has worked at The Hilton for two and a half years, has a history of making lavish and intricate cakes. For the last National Day celebrations at Mushrif Palace, he baked a huge cake featuring Ferrari World, the World Trade Centre and a smaller Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.

arizvi2@thenational.ae

Updated: July 23, 2014 04:00 AM

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