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Theobroma’s Kainaz Messman on The Christmas of Her Childhood

We caught up with Kainaz Messman of Theobroma, the woman who started a brownie revolution more than a decade ago.

If you look up the Top 10 dessert places in Mumbai (and now in Pune and Delhi NCR), Theobroma Patisserie would definitely find a spot on it. The woman behind the brand, Kainaz Messman, is the baker extraordinaire who started a brownie revolution in Mumbai, more than a decade ago. We caught up with the busy baker-cum-businesswoman to share some of her fondest Christmas memories. And there's a sweet little recipe for her indulgent French Toast recipe if you scroll right down. 


Memories of Christmas  
When Kainaz Messman was growing up, Christmas meals in her family would go on for hours because they would start early and then basically go on eating well into the evening. The end of the meal called for desserts and the Messman family was always able to work their way through another helping of a sweet dish. They would take a break from eating every now and then, but it was essentially an all-day feast with food and wine, says Messman.

The Theobroma founder spent many of her Christmas holidays in Nagpur with her grandparents. The kitchen was stocked with guava cheese, jam tarts, cheese straws and oranges (sacks full of them) from the local Jubilee Bakery and the local markets. They were simple treats that make beautiful memories, she recalls. 

Also Read: 6 Traditional Indian Sweets to Make at Home this Christmas

So what's her favourite Christmas treat?  
“When it comes to celebrating Christmas, abundance is a pre-requisite. It is the official day of gluttony and we make the most of it. The kids look forward to opening their presents and we make everyone’s favourite foods for a hearty feast,” says Messman, of Christmas day with family.

Her absolute favourite Christmas indulgence to eat all month long? Stollen. This traditional German bread, replete with nuts, spices and dried or candied fruits, is her favourite pick-me-up Christmas food. The heart and soul behind Theobroma, Messman bakes it only in December. 

Her patisserie celebrates Christmas with a special Theobroma menu that boasts of traditional cakes, tarts, gingerbread cookies, jujubes, marshmallows,
Christmas pudding, Christmas brownies and of course, Stollen.

Theobroma's French Toast story 
It doesn’t come as a surprise that Messman's home is filled with food and treats for an all-day gluttonous affair. “We have French Toast for breakfast on Christmas Day. It is not traditional, but it is something we do at home. Christmas lunch is always a little later than normal, so it helps to have a big and indulgent breakfast to keep us going,” shares the talented baker. 

“I don't make French Toast to a recipe. This is what I do,"she says, sharing her recipe for the popular item from the Theobroma menu:

Step 1 - I start by making a milk bath (whole milk, eggs sugar, cinnamon powder and vanilla extract). 
Step 2 - I soak stale white bread or croissants or brioche in the milk bath. Any bread but it must be stale and white. 
Step 3 - I fry the custard-soaked bread in a mixture of butter and vegetable oil till crisp on the outside but moist inside. 
Step 4 - I dust the French Toast with icing sugar and serve it with crispy bacon, maple syrup and caramelised bananas. 

Voila! Now you know how to make a Theobroma-level French Toast.

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