Never judge a book by its cover. And, always judge a cupcake by its icing. When we first went through Choco Fiesta owner, 37 year-old Farzana Mehta’s cupcake bouquet pictures on email, the colourful icing of pink, red, purple, yellow and sky blue made our mouths water. We still chose to eye it with suspicion and waited for our taste buds to take the decision.
Next day, I was off to her workshop in Agripada, Mumbai Central to pick up our share of tastings. Mehta used to work on the front desk of a city five-star hotel and “it pays to have chefs for friends”, she laughs. “I am a self-taught baker. All I did was discuss my goof ups with my chef friends, who stepped in to correct me,” smiles Mehta, offering me a Chocolate Truffle. As Belgian as it can get, the filling was a whirlwind of gooey chocolate. Like a movie that goes back and forth in flashback and present, her goodies had a similar effect on our conversation. Every bite numbed my senses in a chocolate trap.
Next up was a warm chocolate-chip cookie that had just been baked. Back to the bouquet, Mehta stumbled upon this quirky presentation while experimenting with miniature cupcakes a few months ago. “Everyone does chocolate bouquets and I was fed up doing the same thing for my customers. The idea struck me while I was trying to place the miniatures in a bowl,” says Mehta, who creates two sizes of bouquets. “The smaller one has 25 miniature cupcakes and the bigger one has 50.”
The base of the cupcake is available in three flavours — vanilla, red velvet and chocolate. The icing flavours include butter cream, chocolate ganache, vanilla and choclate. “Mocha, strawberry and lemon can be customised according to the client’s preference,” says Mehta.
First, we tasted Red Velvet Chocolate cupcake. The icing was delightfully light, packed with a not-so-sweet-just-perfect butter cream topped with sugar-made confetti. The base of the cupcake was rich and gooey, though we wish it was a tad bit more moist.
The vanilla cupcake — decorated with a blue butter cream that reminded me of the Juhu beach gola and the sore throat it gave each time I had it as a child — was surprisingly not a hardhitting taste of sugar but deliciously buttery; the base moist enough to melt in the mouth.
The last one we tasted was Chocolate Cupcake, which was the best of the lot. With a gooey filling that waded on to my palm as I dug in for a greedy bite, a bite-size of this in a bouquet form is bound to impress. Lover’s tiff, proposal, impress boss, cool down wife — here’s one solution for all.
The flashback struck again, as it once again transformed me into the land where chocolate rules. Just one practical question brought me back into the present — while you can’t pack these bouquets, how would you take it in a Borivali or a Virar bound-train?