The great Easter bake off
A Vakola resident is trying to keep the Easter spirit alive even in the lockdown with a range of delicious confectionaries
Bizman-author Stephen Covey once said, "If there's one thing that's certain in business, its uncertainty."
With the country battling the Coronavirus pandemic, self-employed persons are witnessing unusual and uncertain times. But that hasn't stopped Alisha Rodrigues, 25, from using her mixer, spatula and oven. For, Easter comes once a year. "I had to cancel all my workshops, which I hold one month prior to Easter every year. But I've decided to bake my way through self-isolation. It helps me keep sane and busy," says the Vakola resident who was "bitten by the baking bug" when she was 15. "My aunt is a cake decorator in Israel and my mother enjoys baking at home, but I didn't consider this a full-time job."
But a two-month-long course in cake decorating after Class X had her hooked. The next five years, until she graduated in 2015, Rodrigues baked cakes and cookies for her cousins, friends and family. Gradually, she started to take wedding cake orders. "When people started enjoying my baking, and encouraged me to take this up seriously, I went on to make two-tier, three and five-tier cakes."
Seeing her way through regular training workshops, she set up Bake Alish. Today, the young chef makes cakes, cupcakes, cookies, brownies, tarts, pies and more. "Mom used to enjoy making eggs during Easter. It is something I picked up from her. But in India, when you speak of Easter goodies, all you can think of are marzipans and meringues."
Rodrigues says because the competition is fierce, she tries giving a twist to traditional recipes. She has transformed the traditional almond marzipan and made it look like cake pop on a stick. "Not just are they a great gifting option, but easier for kids to eat, too."
½ cup butter
½ cup of castor sugar
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ an egg, roughly beaten
Baking powder 1 teaspoon
1 ½ cup flour and a little more for dusting
1 cup royal icing for decorating
Mix the baking powder and flour together, set aside. In another bowl, beat the butter, sugar, egg and vanilla extract together. Once done, add the flour mixture and form dough. Do not use an electric beater while adding the flour; form the dough using your fingers. Cling wrap and let it sit in the fridge for 30 minutes (not freezer). Next, sprinkle some flour onto a surface and roll the cookie dough, cut shapes using bunny cookie cutters and bake these in a preheated oven at 180 degrees C for 15-18 minutes. Decorate these cookies using royal icing.
Almond marzipan pop
Marzipan on a stick
100 grams powdered almonds
200 grams icing sugar
1 egg white (use as required)
2 drops almond or rose essence (optional)
200 grams coloured white chocolate, melted
Coloured sugar sprinkles for decorating
Add a beaten egg white to the essence in a bowl. In another bowl, combine the almond powder and icing sugar. Now, add the egg white a little at a time to form dough (use only as required). It's like making chapati dough where you add water only as required. Similarly, add egg white only as required to form the dough, you may not need all of it. Next, form egg shapes and push a wooden skewer through it. Dip these in melted chocolate and decorate using pretty sprinkles.
To order: 022 26671323
Price: Marzipan on stick (Rs 150 for pack of five); iced bunnies (Rs 250 for pack of five); meringues (Rs 70); Easter eggs (Rs 75 per egg)
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