Thursday, April 10, 2014

Featured Foodgoddess of the week - Pooja

The Queen of Cakes

You are already aware of the old adage 'Having your cake and eating it too!'

If this can fit to describe a person then its none better than Pooja a twenty something beauty, a fellow member on the cooking tribe where we showcase our food among much camaraderie and goodwill.Well, readers eat your hearts out and if  her diva like demeanour is what you are focussed on right now then let me reveal to you she is a doctor by profession and to top it all she creates such lovely cakes. Her cakes caught my eye and I decided to feature her and she very graciously accepted to answer all my questions despite her busy schedule.So, now, you'll know why I call her the queen of cakes.She is blessed with beauty, brains and creativity something that is central to the foodgoddess theme                                                                                                                                                                                             
Tell us a little about yourself?
"I am a doctor and was practising until I took a break to prepare for my exams.I love doing creative stuff,baking and decorating was one of them.I always liked to participate in creative activities, since my undergraduate years.I am always curious to learn something new and internet is my best friend.I believe everything is possible and never give up till I get it right".

How did you get started?
"I started baking on my own trying out recipes from books.I took it to another level and  got a 4 star wilton certification".
She almost credits her mum for the inspiration she lent while baking fabulous cakes and delicious desserts herself.However, her mom kept her out of the kitchen and this sparked her curiosity to an extent, she would try out her own recipes and made sure she never left a trace or clue for her mom to find out.Her father was her best bet when it came to tasting followed by her neighbours.I can almost vouch for that if she showed up with an experimental dish none would refuse it owing to her gorgeous looks

 Tell us about your memorable experience?
"I was probably in fifth or sixth grade when I took a fancy to making a miranda cake and snow balls.My partner in crime was my best friend Priyam.We started off with the snowballs following a recipe book but much to our dismay the snow balls turned out into cricket balls with a burnt crust.They were so hard that we decided it was more fun throwing them in the pond.My mom hadn't the slightest clue about our misadventure and to someone like her who considers her kitchen a temple it was a test cleaning up"she says.

She reiterates good bakers must be good cleaners or atleast pay someone to do so.Later, her education and rigorous routine of studying medicine kept her away from baking until recently she began giving vent to her creativity.She loves watching cake shows and paying attention to intricate details.
I bet this is true because of the level of precision that comes with using a scalpel, has been adequately channelised into her cake decorations.

What has you going ?
"I am always attracted to creative cakes and believe you have to satisfy all senses.The presentation should have a high  regard for neatness and perfect finish.When we cut the cake the layers must be perfect and the knife should slide through perfectly and one bite should almost have you hooked on by the moist melting touch on your palate.This is what I always work towards" she says 

 What are the most popular cakes and trends?
"The most searched for and to die for recipe is the super moist Red Velvet Cake or Cupcake.It's truly one of my favourites"I totally agree there is nothing like it, heaven on a plate or rather your palate".

What to keep in mind while baking cakes?
The biggest rule is to preheat the oven to the correct temperature and to make the cake on the same day as the batter.The secret to a moist cake lies in the first step of mixing butter and sugar to a creamy consistency.She points out that while adding flour it should be done in parts alternating with the liquids as it lends in better chemistry".She also cautions never to rush the icing as its better to be late than sorry.Always follow the recipe to the tee is her next advice.

"She insists that the best cakes are made with lots of love and the simplest decor.For her, baking cakes has been a stress buster and she is happy to observe that it almost always brings everyone to the table at home.She adds that most often her cake is missing even before it can be decorated.She also points that there are lots of cakes that can beat a chocolate or a red velvet cake which happen to be her favourite.Having said that she also maintains that gluten free cakes too taste awesome".

Do you plan to take it to the next level?Any future venture of a cake business or tutorials?
"I am not sure how far I would take this but its always going to be my most cherished talents.As of now I enjoy teaching my friends family and look forward to learning more I hope to make a wedding cake one day and that's my mark for now and I will never be satisfiied" she reiterates as it's a journey of baking she relishes as much as the taste.

So how do you strike a balance with the doctor and the cake thing?
"Its my pursuit of creativity that lends a passion to it she says.To all doctors and other professionals her advice is it's never difficult to pursue other interests,just make time".

"It's four in the morning and I am trying to make sense of it all" she gushes and signs off by saying that baking is one sweet and irresistable adventure for her and I truly agree with that and she sure is one hell of a hard working girl who balances her profession with her creativity and yet cherishes being that simple young girl, loving and joyous and I am sure she will go a long way, her good looks well as I told you is an icing on the cake.Prince charming are you listening? Well, best of luck Pooja you are a true foodgoddess at that.

Photo credits: Pooja
Featured Cakes:The cakes are redvelvet magnolia recipe. The last cake is red velvet and white vanilla  in layers.The purple and pink buttercream cake is humming bird cake,the fondant cake is red velvet  with gumpaste decile flowers.Pink buttercream cake and cupcakes are supermoist chocolate cake .The cupcakes aer of 6 varieties namely red velvet, black bottom cupcakes, vanilla cupcake , blueberry and lemon, humming bird cupcake, chocolate cupcake. All with buttercream icing.

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