From Notting Hill to SoBo

Updated: Jun 02, 2020, 10:29 IST | Prachi Sibal | Mumbai

A patisserie chef due to open a cloud dessert kitchen later this year has been dishing out goodies from home for COVID-19 relief instead

Dark chocolate babka
Dark chocolate babka

A marketing and events management professional, Colaba resident Noor Mubarak was looking to start a dessert cloud kitchen around July-August this year. Then, the Coronavirus crisis rocked the world, and it put all the Cordon Bleu graduate's plans on hold. "I was supposed to be on a consulting assignment for a restaurant and that didn't happen," she says. Meanwhile, Mubarak was monitoring the migrant crises brewing in the country, and felt the need to lend a helping hand. She started baking from her home kitchen in mid-May and began to post about it on social media. "I wanted to help in whatever way I could without compromising my safety and felt that starting early would be a good idea," Mubarak adds.

Glazed doughnuts
Glazed doughnuts

Called The Notting Hill Bakery, all the proceeds from the first week of sales were donated to Quarancharity, a fundraiser for COVID-19. "For the next couple of weeks, I will donate the proceeds to my driver's family. He passed away due to COVID," she says, adding that in the weeks after, a percentage of her profits will continue to fund relief efforts. Mubarak offers indulgent desserts like stuffed brioche doughnuts, cracked pies, flourless chocolate cake, cookies and chocolate babka (the popular Jewish braided bread). She has catered to over 70 orders in the past two weeks and baked nearly 300 desserts. The name of her baking venture is inspired from her upbringing in London's Notting Hill, in an attempt to bring a piece of the colourful neighbourhood to Mumbai. "Most of the places I worked in after culinary school in London would do French pastry. I didn't want to restrict myself to just that," she confesses, adding, "I wanted my desserts to have a London or New York-style vibe."

Brioche doughnut
Brioche doughnut

With no website or delivery partners so far, Mubarak's was an impulsive decision fuelled by Instagram shares. She fulfils deliveries through local courier service WeFast for now. While the response she has received so far, has been overwhelming, Mubarak believes, it is also a product of the times. "It may not have taken off this way if not for the pandemic. Right now, everyone wants cake," she says. She plans to keep the operations small and continue with this approach for the coming months. The only hitch is the availability of baking ingredients. "The market in Colaba is shut, and I've had a hard time procuring even basics like eggs. Either I get delivered none or suddenly have 200 coming at once from different suppliers," she says.

Dark chocolate chip cookie
Dark chocolate chip cookie

Sticking to a limited menu for now, Mubarak will look at expanding it once a commercial kitchen set-up is in place.

Noor Mubarak
Noor Mubarak

Log on to @thenottinghillbakery on Instagram
Cost Rs 500 onwards

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