That’s what I wanted to know from Tobias Schmitt. The 29-year-old is sous-chef and patissier in the Michelin 2-stars restaurant Lafleur in Frankfurt where he conjures up with ease vegan desserts that are on one level with the classic alternatives in the menu. In this portrait, he reveals which combinations he particularly likes and 6 simple tricks to surprise your guests at home.
I met Tobias about one year ago while I was making a story about his boss Andreas Krolik and the work behind the scenes of the Lafleur restaurant. His vegan pralines, petits fours and dessert creations with unforgettable juicy, intense fruits fascinated me so much that I wanted to introduce him.
By the way: Thanks to Tobias and his previous colleagues in Amsterdam I discovered the Patisserie Holtkamp, about which I reported here.
In my opinion, he makes the best vegan desserts in Germany. Those who live in Frankfurt or the surrounding area, are business or private travelers, should not miss to try them. The comparatively inexpensive lunch at the Lafleur is already an experience. In combination with a walk through the adjoining botanical garden, it’s the perfect one-day vacation from everyday life.
But don’t worry: Even for you at home Tobias reveals great tips to up-level your desserts!
In addition, two ingenious recipes, with which you can easily refine any dessert – available with my next post.
For Tobias, the great love for patisserie started unscheduled and with a thrifty furnished room in a ghetto of Amsterdam. “It was the total cliché,” he says. ‘Did you know that last week one was shot here? ‘ was one of the first questions I’ve been asked. ” Luckily a more pleasant dwelling was found later.
The La Rive, in which he wanted to work, had only one place in the patisserie at that time. “I was nervous because apart from the fact that I was filling up biscuit racks and cleaning the cream dispensers in Brenners Park Hotel, I had no experience.” He must laugh at the thought. “But chef Rogér Rassin, a super nice guy, was relaxed and said: ‘Then perhaps now the right time has come’.”
Vegan desserts, playfully created?
This is how Tobias, who was born in Wiesbaden and already as a child loved to work in the kitchen with his dad, a cook himself, learned about patisserie Fundamentals: Basic recipes, classic desserts with a modern twist, nicely arranged.
With all the new skills in his luggage, he was the best fit for the Lafleur patisserie at the start about two years ago. No one had as much knowhow as him, he says, winking. “No, seriously: For me, the offer was a huge opportunity. For the first time, I could build something from zero, organize everything. This has set in motion an incredible development process. I notice how I’m having more and more fun, feel free, and how my creativity unfolds. Meanwhile, I find making desserts is a bit like Lego-building: In the end, you know what it’s going to be. ”
As the only Michelin-starred restaurant in Germany, at Lafleur Andreas Krolik offers a purely plant-based menu.
Don’t tell me that you develop vegan desserts like this strawberry mango composition as playful as the classic ones?
“By now, yes, only with baking I don’t feel as comfortable as I’d like to. But honestly “says Tobias:” At the beginning, I had no idea at all. I grabbed the recipe folder of Andreas and worked it through, looked at how he was setting up vegan desserts, creams, petits fours etc. What are the basic principles? How do you make a ganache with alcohol without curdling? I felt left with questions!”
Pralines and pate de fruits
Today, his chocolate pralines, with and without alcohol, are classic. Good to know: The chilled and molded ganache – like this strawberry dream – is carefully wrapped with liquid cocoa butter before air-brushed with chocolate – with a paint gun from the DIY store, by the way. For pro-results you may want to try one or the other trick at home, the effects are really awesome!
The pate de fruits, fruit jelly, is also established. “As an exception, I use a lot of sugar preparing them as it turned out that this is marvelous to exceed the taste of the whole dessert.”
Creams, Sorbets and Ice Cream
“Basically, in this kitchen, we focus on working with products as naturally as possible. The only binding agents I use sparingly are Xanthan, Guar Gum, and pectin. Creams, like in my dessert with mango and passion fruit, can be wonderfully stabilized by a small proportion of silk tofu and pressed tofu – both finely mixed and pressed through a sieve.
When I think flavors are matching, I also like to use finely grated, pressed coconut, which I also press through a microsieve.”
Sorbets like the summerly-fresh lemon-cress sorbet were never a problem. “But also cream ice cream can be produced well on the basis of soy or oat milk. I personally like a vegan vanilla ice cream for which I am boiling up oat cream, soy milk, sugar and Tahiti-vanilla pods, bind this mixture with guar gum and then flavor it with a little bit of miso paste. ”
Naturally, seasonal, maximum taste
The recipes for Tobias vegan desserts are based on the best possible seasonal ingredients, which are convincing by a maximum of their original taste. They meet the high demands of chef Andreas Krolik. Every fruit, whether strawberry, rhubarb, mango or pineapple, unfolds through cleverly thought-out processing, a flavor that remains present.
His more than 24 hours in a broth of lime, sugar, mint and cilantro-tea marinated pineapple, burned with brown sugar was my first, unforgettable experience. Mara de Bois strawberries, soaked with their own juice and the mango pieces, covered with rasped, Ras el-Hanout spiced macadamia nuts the next.
Behind desserts that are so nicely done, I suspected sketches in the kitchen as a template. “That’s what you actually do, I know,” says Tobias. But he has none, the plating procedure exists just in his head.
Look at how this plate becomes more and more beautiful!
This is how a star-rated vegan dessert arises
6 pro-tips on how to make wow-worthy vegan desserts
1. Find favorite combinations
“I personally like it classic: strawberry and rhubarb with almonds and white chocolate, chocolate and passion fruit or raspberry, strawberries with pecans or hazelnuts.”
2. Add unusual flavors
“The macadamia nuts, spiced with Ras el-Hanout are the absolutely divine and combined with mango simply irresistible. Basically, I think that hearty flavors, skillfully used, are a great counterpoint. Also good: pineapple and curry.”
3. Boost Tension
“Not only with aroma but also with different textures and temperatures, you can easily create tension: creamy and crunchy, hot and cold – opposites are always good.”
4. Create small stocks with great effect
“I like nuts on my desserts. And any kind of crumble! I always have supplies. The preparation is simple and you can sprinkle it sometimes coarse, sometimes fine, over everything.”
On a side note: I am allowed to publish two super tasty recipes for your supplies from Tobias next week. If you don’t want to miss them, sign up for the newsletter!
5. Highlight with colors
“Herbs are always an eye-catcher and suitably selected, they round off the taste of your dessert. Try the combination of mint and cilantro to strawberry and mango or cress and lemon. But also wild herbs like sour sorrel and clover are great, there are so many possibilities – try them out. ”
6. Plate pretty
“At home or when I cook with friends, I like bulbous glasses, tumblers, and bowls. They are perfect to uncomplicatedly layer any dessert and serve your guests with wow effect.”
Thank you so much, Tobias, for enriching Sweet Café International with so many great ideas!
Could we inspire you too? What tips do you like best? Do you want to know more about how vegan desserts are prepared with a certain extra? Write me a comment, I’m really looking forward to it!