A warm crumble cake loaded with edible flowers may be the epitome of joie de vivre, but achieving that perfect Instagram moment takes hours, if not days of work. Just ask a cake designer or sugar artist how long it took them to design your custom meringue and you will be shocked. In 2021, the world of artisanal production is more demanding than ever. With a plethora of home bakers and independent kitchens popping up like mushrooms across the city, seasoned professionals have to work hard to set themselves apart. We spoke to five pastry artists in the city about their artistic priorities, their favorite ingredients, their tips and exactly what makes them tick.
Anindita Mitter’s label Bit of Batter specializes in fondant work, but the pastry artist had to come up with a few tricks to work with this delicate sugar and water icing because humidity can make the fondant roll. fairly sticky or too soft.
“Fondant is expensive, and Kolkata weather is not favorable to fondant and it affects the taste. But the fondant really works for themed cakes and makes them look great, so I make sure the cakes are fresh, ”shares Mitter, a self-taught baker who has a day job as a manager.
Some of her more elaborate masterpieces suggest that the 35-year-old pastry chef has a sense of color and form, and isn’t afraid of intricate designs. A good example would be his Japanese origami cake, for which the baker uses a real mold and a palette knife.
“Each cake takes hours and hours of research and homework, and I’ve spent many late nights going through ideas and color combinations, as well as customizations to make them really special,” Mitter revealed.
This personalized Harry Potter cake transported us straight to Hogwarts.
Mon Petite’s artisanal double barrel cakes have a cult following in the city. This two-tier cake trend is a social media hit, due to its sleek and stylish design, but remains a novelty in the city. “When we launched Mon Petite in 2018, no baker in Calcutta was making large cakes. We wanted to focus on texture and layers while retaining the taste. We experimented with crunchiness, incorporating honeycomb, praline, crumble and biscuit, ”explains Manila Nad who met co-founder Radhika Kauntia from the Lavonne Academy of Baking Science and Pastry Arts, Bangalore.
The art of cake is almost as exhausting as it is rewarding; sometimes it may just need hours of site work or hauling niche equipment on a tight schedule. “We flew to Chandigarh to design a 40 pound cake for Gul Panag’s brother’s wedding party. It was crazy to say the least, carrying five suitcases with all the sponges and garnishes, traveling for two days and assembling everything on site, it taught us a lot about this job, ”recalls Manila.
Fun fact: Mon Petite allows you to dedicate a song to your loved ones in the form of a personalized cake. Don’t believe us? This is how it is done.
Cake It Away
Fans of Great British Bake Off will know why the younger generation of bakers are gradually moving away from fondant and moving towards more versatile options that require less vigilance. Cake It Away’s Surabhi Birla is causing a stir with its fondantless cakes. “I’m not a big fan of fondant, it alters the flavor and experience of the cake. Our cakes are rich in mousse and covered with whipped cream or pure dark chocolate ganache, ”says Birla.
In June, the baker made a whimsical, 3-tier, no-fondant wedding cake with a 7-layer choco hazelnut filling and oversized flowers. She even designed a 7 foot tall wedding cake with just four days to prepare it!
The former Le Cordon Bleu, Australia, is exploring a number of bases and formats, which is a big USP for its clientele; a good example would be his pop-art cake, or his double cake set, featuring twin bento-sized cakes filled with flashy floral and themed accessories or even his experiments with isomalt candy toppings. .
The piñata carriage cake was designed for a baby announcement party. The cake is filled with a variety of mini treats.
Butterfingers by Preetanjali
Butterfingers’ Preetanjali Pasari goes for the most whimsical ingredients. His Bailey cake, for example, is made with Blue Tokai coffee. She even reinvented a Merlot sangria using strawberries and chocolates and used Twix and Maltesers for a one-tier chocolate cake.
“I don’t use fondant or buttercream. I want the layers and toppings to be visible and everything used on the cake to be edible. None of my cakes are too sweet, I source honey from my farm in Assam. Everything is 100% organic and chemical-free, ”explains Pasari, 27, former Le Cordon Bleu. The former film student also revealed that her cakes are often tributes to fashion, cinema and art.
No one in town makes sugar peonies and edible flowers like Pasari; her Instagram suggests how sharp, color-conscious eating style can boost a brand’s presence. But it’s not always about picking the right stand or lighting Charlie, food crafting needs several last-minute fixes and clever glam-ups. For example, cascading macaroons or mini meringues are a signature style of Pasari, especially when it comes to layered cakes.
“An extremely memorable experience in my pastry journey was when I designed a wonderful table for afternoon tea adorned with a magnificent arch of handcrafted sugar poppies and a range of delicious petit fours inspired by our favorite fairy tale characters from The Wizard of Oz. ”the baker shares.
Whipped and Baked by Harshita
Whisked And Baked is known for its mind-blowing and artistic cakes.
Founder Harshita Chandgothia is an Academy of Pastry and Culinary Arts, alum of Bangalore. The 23-year-old full-time baker grew up watching her mother cook and sees her as the inspiration behind her brand. Some of his iconic pastries opt for deconstructed visuals that add significant sophistication to his recipes; like the vanilla passion fruit dessert from its August menu which includes a tart filled with passion fruit jelly topped with a dome of milk chocolate mousse that was made with a vanilla sponge and fruit jelly.
“I am a very creative person and the idea of a regular nine to five job has never appealed to me, it works for me because baking has no set hours and I am constantly thinking to new ideas and to new challenges, ”Harshita shares.
The home baker offers a range of designer cakes loaded with luscious toppings. Our favorites include the Chocolate Caramel Truffle, Nutella Hazelnut, and Baked Mango Cheesecake. Harshita’s also makes gluten-free brownies which are loved by its customers.
This unique four flavors in one cheesecake is ideal for those of us who can’t choose and want a taste of everything. The cake includes NYC Baked Cheesecake, Nutella Cheesecake, Biscoff Cheesecake, and Blueberry Cheesecake.