MEHVISH KHAN

Essex Life - - ESSEX CHRISTMAS -

Three years ago, award-win­ning baker Mehvish Khan, founder of Heron's Nest Cakes in South Wood­ford, went from bak­ing cakes at her home to un­ex­pect­edly cre­at­ing a suc­cess­ful cake busi­ness. Her overnight ven­ture started from of­fer­ing her bak­ing ser­vices to a lo­cal cof­fee shop that ur­gently needed sug­ary treats but she has be­come a bak­ing master­mind, cre­at­ing be­spoke, home­made and ve­gan cakes for all oc­ca­sions.

Do you bake at Christ­mas? If so, what do you make?

I hope so, but I am cur­rently so busy with cus­tomer or­ders for oc­ca­sion cakes, I am not sure what I am do­ing at the mo­ment. It is a crazy, but ex­cit­ing time! I have friends and fam­ily who visit my house and they ex­pect there to be cakes, but there never is!

Why do you think there has been such a high de­mand for ve­gan recipes?

Eat­ing plant-based foods is be­com­ing in­creas­ingly pop­u­lar for many rea­sons in­clud­ing nutri­tional value, pro­tect­ing the en­vi­ron­ment, no pro­cessed in­gre­di­ents, great health ben­e­fits and much more. I am mak­ing more ve­gan cakes than any­thing else at the mo­ment and the de­mand is high, so I think I have found my niche! Even if my cus­tomers aren’t ve­gan, they want it be­cause it tastes ex­tremely good.

How would you en­cour­age our read­ers to try ve­gan bak­ing this Christ­mas?

Ve­gan bak­ing does frighten a lot of peo­ple. I think it is be­cause peo­ple aren’t fa­mil­iar with all the sub­sti­tute in­gre­di­ents, but this shouldn’t be the case as it can be very sim­ple.

Ve­gan bak­ing is great be­cause it is quicker to make ve­gan cakes com­pared to non-ve­gan cakes and they are re­ally tasty. Try my sim­ple choco­late Christ­mas cake recipe, it is easy to make and there is noth­ing scary about it!

Why do peo­ple be­lieve ve­gan cakes have no taste?

Peo­ple just pre­sume be­fore they have tried. They be­lieve the flavour is go­ing to be bor­ing and taste­less, but they couldn’t be more wrong! I have a ve­gan pop up stall at the beau­ti­ful Mak­ers Mar­ket in Wanstead (next one Satur­day, De­cem­ber 1) and I do get vis­i­tors who are neg­a­tive be­fore they have even tried the cakes, but they al­ways leave con­vinced! Each cake of mine has its own per­son­alised touch and I dec­o­rate them with but­ter­cream or ve­gan frost­ing and not fon­dant, which peo­ple seem to like too.

What is so spe­cial about Es­sex at Christ­mas?

I am re­ally look­ing for­ward to the fes­tive sea­son. I ab­so­lutely love this county at Christ­mas be­cause there is a real sense of com­mu­nity with so much go­ing on. It is that one time of year where ev­ery­one is very happy, it is re­ally spe­cial.

GET IN TOUCH Heron's Nest Cakes 07961 198703 heron­[email protected]­snest­cakes

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