Bak­ing joy

A sum­mer of man­goes and gu­lab ja­mun cheese­cake

The Hindu - - CHENNAI - :: VARUN DI­NESH

For choco­late afi­ciona­dos, the first bite of a clas­sic Theo­broma cake is an ex­er­cise in he­do­nism. There is choco­late ev­ery­where — white merg­ing with milk, cream meld­ing into coco dust, the bit­ter­ness of deep, dark choco­late soft­ened by the rich­ness of cake.

“I be­lieve in ex­cesses. If I am eat­ing a straw­berry cake, I don’t want to have to look for the straw­berry,” laughs Meghana Karthik, its maker.

Karthik, the owner of Fresh Baked Good­ness, a bak­ery lo­cated in East Ab­hi­rama­pu­ram,

My­la­pore, says she has al­ways loved bak­ing though “those early cakes turned out to be dis­as­ters”. But then, she says, life hap­pened and she stopped.

While she was on a six-month break from work, she revisited her old pas­sion. She be­gan by bak­ing for friends and close fam­ily. They loved what she pro­duced, she says, and en­cour­aged her to start sell­ing what she baked. The or­ders came flow­ing in, mostly through word-of-mouth, and she never looked back.

Her first store — lo­cated in Ab­hi­rama­pu­ram — was opened in 2012. She also re­tails at pop­u­lar restau­rants, the most re­cent be­ing the newly-opened Mother Cluck­ers Cafe on Khader Nawaz Khan Road.

Her reper­toire in­cludes reg­u­lar desserts like tarts, brown­ies, cup­cakes and cheese­cakes, as well as eye catch­ers like a fu­sion­style gu­lab ja­mun cheese­cake. She’s pop­u­lar for her banof­fee pie and mango-themed sum­mer cake, per­fect for this scorch­ing sum­mer.

“Ev­ery cake is made from scratch. I try to keep it very nat­u­ral,” she says. She does not be­lieve in mak­ing a cake “toy­ish”, even if it is for a child, say­ing she can­not re­late to a cake loaded with added colour and preser­va­tives. All her prod­ucts, she says, are real.

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