The Hindu

Baking joy

A summer of mangoes and gulab jamun cheesecake


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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