We don’t just speak for ourselves when we say that one of the things we love about Christmas is the food! And lots of it.
This year marks the first year that genuine artisan bakery Halva is open in the nation’s capital. Owned by French-trained pastry chef Lila Sarhang, the independent bakery has become one of the go-to places in the capital.
Lila spent ten years in France and developed such an affection for French pastries that she opted to get professionally trained as a pastry chef.
Lila said: “I grew up around pastry and have fond memories of gigantic pastries being produced at home for special occasions, such as birthdays and wedding.
“I spent 10 years in France and became a huge fan of French pastries, which made me decide to get professionally trained as a pastry chef. It was during my training that I developed a passion for bread in particular working with forgotten flours like spelt, applying complex and interesting baking methods to bring the bread to life.”
Halva opened earlier this year and has already caught the eye – and nose – of locals with the freshly baked breads and pastries prepared from scratch on the premises every day. With Christmas now just around the corner, we wondered what artisan treats were in store for customers.
“We are absolutely thrilled about our first Christmas, and team at Halva have been working very hard on our delicious festive offerings.” Lila told us.
“We have special Christmas Igloo, which consists of almond flakes biscuit with a centre of caramelised milk chocolate, topped with a hazelnut mascarpone mousse and a light Tonka bean ganache.
“We also have a great selection of chocolate truffles, Santa Claus, and Polar Bear chocolates which all are handmade on site by our pastry chef who is also a fine chocolatier.”
Lila and her team pride themselves on using traditional baking techniques and reinventing classical French pastries. Only the finest ingredients will do and the use of seasonal ingredients is also something Halva try to take advantage of as often as possible.
So of all the Christmas offerings, which is Lila’s favourite?
“Definitely the Mont Blanc,” she says.
“It is traditionally only made during the festive season. It’s made using seasonal ingredients and its design is meant to resemble a snow capped mountain.
“Our own version of the Mont Blanc is a choux pastry filled with mandarin compote, a meringue and a fluffy mandarin cream, topped with a rich French chestnut cream.”
Combining lots of flavours while remaining unique with their products is a mantra that Halva are keen to stick to. So, what would Lila recommend having a go at baking ourselves, should we fancy it?
“In France the festive season stretches on till mid-January until the epiphany festival, during which the renowned Galette Des Rois (King’s pie) is baked (pictured above).
“The pie is made of 2 layers of a crumbly puff pastry with a layer of a frangipane.”
You can check out Halva’s website at the link below.
Recommend some Christmas food locations to us!
If you know of any interesting or different businesses near you whose Christmas offering you think we should know about, drop us an email at email@example.com.