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Meet The Dessert Queens From Goa

29 Nov, 2016 by Nolan Mascarenhas

Meet The Dessert Queens From Goa

We all love to eat cake. It is the piece de resistance for every occasion at hand. From weddings, birthdays, office celebrations, bachelorettes, christenings and festivities, the celebrations are not complete without a cake. Here are a few home baking queens who tire restlessly to give you mouthwatering treats and delicacies.

Sweetopia by Medha Desai, Colaba

When did you get into baking?

Sweetopia started in Mumbai in 2011 and came to Goa with me in 2013. A friend requested I help out with a cake for her three-year-old child. It was a complex design, which was not being interpreted by people she asked so I got into it. 

Your most sought after cakes: Children cakes, whimsical designs and chocolate hazelnut cake

What else does Sweetopia make: Cheesecakes, sugar cookies, breads and dry mixes (brownies in a jar) 

Best Challenge so far: A Mini Cooper cake that had to be designed for a friend who has the car. There was also a dolphin cake and a horse barn cupcakes creation, which was very intricate.   

Advice for aspiring bakers: Baking is a relaxing process. Just follow your heart and go with the flow. Do not over analyse it and think too much. 

Your favourite go-to dessert at home: When I need to unwind, it is a batch of hot fresh baked brownies for the family. It is always an instant hit.  

Nicolla by Nicole Illa, Siolim

When did you get into baking? 

As far as I remember I have been observing my mother bake in the kitchen since I was a child. However in Germany right after school the education system allows one to learn a craft alongside studies. I worked as an apprentice in a traditional pastry shop for a year. After coming to Goa and working in the hospitality sector for a while Nicolla was born in 2014. 

Your most sought after cakes: It would hands down be the Belgian chocolate cake

What else does Nicolla make: Cheesecake, sache tortes, red velvet cupcakes, donuts and breads, which are baked on order

Best Challenge so far: These days’ orders are getting bigger by scale. That proves a challenge; also the referrals given to conceptualise cakes from a 2D picture to 3D requires a lot of understanding and patience. 

Advice for young bakers: one must take their time to learn the craft. After 25 years I am still a student of the trade. The most important thing is to get the basics right. Also one must not take short cuts on the ingredients used as it defines your product. 

Your favourite go-to dessert at home: The family loves my baked fruitcakes and fresh strawberry with cookie base crunch. It is a sort of German cookie with seasonal fruit – very light indeed.  

Caked by Vanda Pereira Rodrigues , Dona Paula 

How did you get into baking? 

I have been baking since the age of 10 learning by observing my mother. On a sabbatical post marriage I decided to try my hand and create a few cakes for friends and family and in 2012, Caked was born 

Your most sought after cakes: Chocolate fudge 

What else does Caked make: We are known for our wedding and kids party cakes with flavours ranging from red velvet to cinnamon. Most of our cakes are butter cakes and we specialise in dessert tables for kids party (matching cookies, parties, cake box etc.)  

Best Challenge so far: While every cake comes with a challenge of its own, the most challenging would be car/bike cakes to get the mould and the design right. Also my biggest nightmare is the transportation of these cakes.  

Advice for aspiring bakers: I am a self-taught baker learning under the tutelage of my mother. However, I believe technical training is paramount these days. One has to focus on techniques and education through experts and classes, to get the desired product. Invest time in those skills.  

Your favorite go-to dessert at home: Philadelphia cheesecake is the one sought by all at home. 

Cake Girl Goa by Kripa Kamath, Miramar

How did you get into baking? 

It would primarily revolve around my passion for desserts in general. I thought to myself if ‘I can eat it why not make it?’

Your most sought after cakes: Fondant & Ferrero Rocher cake 

What else does Cake Girl make: Cupcakes, brownies, lava cookies, mousse, serradura and puddings. 

Best Challenge so far: A themed cake of any order is a challenge due to the hand moulding and sugar art process. 

Weirdest request till date: Bachelor/bachelorette orders. They mostly revolve around the focus on one’s private parts. 

Advice for aspiring bakers: One has got to keep experimenting and never stop learning. You always get better with your next creation. 

Your favourite go-to dessert at home: It has got to be brownies for the entire family. I love to bake a good batch of gooey peanut butter dark chocolate brownies

Rasna’s by Rasna Furtado, Porvorim

When did you get into baking? 

In 1997 a close friend was celebrating an occasion. She requested me to help out with a cake. It was a simple home baked cake with no frills. Since then I have been baking cakes for family and friends. 

Your most sought after cakes: Baileys mousse cake

What else does Rasna’s make: I make a variety of cakes and desserts ranging from hazelnut fantasy, chocolate chip desires and orange liquor mousse.

Best Challenge so far: It would have to be the transportation and weather experienced in Goa. Being very humid, one has to think of ways to preserve the cake without too much damage.    

Advice for young bakers: It is important to know that this is a passion and one must not compromise on quality. In the age of modern themes and designs, keep focus and track on the core of your creation- the cake itself.  

Your favourite go-to dessert at home: Lemon crumble is a family favourite and sought after by one and all. 

Written By

An award winning photojournalist, Nolan is torn between food & travel. Having held multiple exhibitions across- he loves to capture the essence of a meal or moment through his lens. Known for his love of food he believes in making viewers salivate over drool worthy pictures, titilating their palates over social media. His photography added vivid dimensions through his contribution to the book The Culinary Heritage of Goa which won the Gourmand Best in the World for Historical recepies in 2015. Author of the ever popular food/travel blog, many have commonly referred to his wit or 'twit'iness. A recepient of the prestigious REX Karmaveer Chakra award by UNESCO he spends most of his time divided between sampling the various offerings of the gastronomic world and his unending quest for new and far flung places.

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