A sweet start
The lockdown gave these four Mumbaikars the impetus to start their own DIY baking ventures from home. Hit them up for tasty treats
A tenant who lived in her parents' building in Jaipur sparked Yeshi Chaudhary's interest in baking when she was all of 10 years old. "The lady used to bake cakes for her son's birthday, and figured that I could help. She'd ask me whether I wanted to sift the flour or whip the chocolate, for example, and the first proper birthday cake I learnt was a fresh cream and pineapple one that she had taught me," Chaudhary says.
Over the years, Chaudhary expanded her repertoire, thanks to the level of expertise she attained. And when the firm she was working for folded up in April due to the lockdown, she decided to monetise her skills. Chaudhary started My Butter Half, her DIY baking venture, from her home in Juhu. Her top-sellers include almond and raisin granola, coconut cake and banana Nutella muffins. The 33-year-old says she is a one-woman army, and her culinary artillery can be viewed in the Instagram handle linked below.
Log on to @mybutterhalf on Instagram
Tamara D'Lima is a teacher from Malad who suddenly found herself with a lot of free time in hand when the lockdown started. That's when she decided to expand her mother's home-baking venture by adding her own desserts to the menu.
"The soufflés and chocolate éclairs are a big hit," D'Lima says, adding that her dream is to open a shop of her own one day. "It's still a far-off idea, but I do see myself opening up a little place for desserts, ideally a homely space with chairs and a small garden," she says. Here's hoping that the plan reaches fruition one day.
Take a bake
Abhishek Thukral loved to cook since childhood, but he'd shied away from baking for a long time since he thought it would be tedious. It's only last year that he took the plunge, after he realised that it's much simpler than cooking since the process has a method-oriented science behind it. He started polishing his skills and putting up photos of his efforts on social media. Then, during the lockdown, a friend of his based in New York asked him to surprise her mother with a cake on her birthday. She later encouraged Thukral to start delivering on a more regular basis, which got the ball rolling for Mr Whimsical Baker, the venture the 32-year-old has started.
His signature dishes include a lemon ricotta cake and a gin-and-tonic version. He tells us that his father, who is in the restaurant business, wants him to open a commercial kitchen. "But let's see, I will take it as it comes," says the Andheri resident who started with only three items on his menu, before expanding it to 18.
Log on to @mrwhimsicalbaker on Instagram
He's only 23 years old. But Kris Fernandes is already an expert baker who works as a pastry chef at a five-star in the city. The lockdown meant that his workplace temporarily downed its shutters. "I was getting bored at home. So, I started making videos of recipes and people showed interest. That's when I thought of starting deliveries as well," Mahim-based Fernandes says.
He adds that it's a challenge adjusting to a small oven-toaster-grill at home from the massive oven in the hotel, where he'd bake 10 dishes at once. Still, his coffee cake, hazelnut berry cake and coconut Bounty cake sell like, well, hot cakes.
Log on to @kris_fernandess on Instagram
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