Artists go beyond their limit to create something special


Please share with us your experience at Lavonne Academy of Pastry and Arts?  

Shubha Kushalappa:- My experience with Lavonne Academy of Baking Science and Pastry Arts has been amazing. I was a novice when I signed up for their classes in cake decorating, and chef Joonie Tan honed my skills and mentored me to be a cake decorator. I was introduced to the best of equipment and cake decorating materials and was taught every minute details. I believe there is no ending to learning and, fortunate to have been upgrading my skills on a regular basis at Lavonne, a world-class institute. 

From childhood, you were very creative… can we say that baking has elevated your crafting skills? 

Shubha Kushalappa:- Yes. Loved painting and was a creative child. Baking and cake decorating has elevated my crafting skills for sure. It is one thing to paint on fabric and when you are supposed to bring a flower or a unicorn alive in multidimension on a cake, it is a very different thing. It pushes an artist beyond their comfort zone into creating something they probably never imagined in their wildest dreams! 

What according to you, is the underrated part about bakers and what growth do you see in the Bakery Business? 

Shubha Kushalappa:- A home baker is probably one of the most creative people you come across, and, we at times put 18 to 20 hours of nonstop work on a single cake to perfect it. In fact, we are more of cake designers. I feel it is unfair to compare our prices or lead times to any popular large-scale bakeries. What is encouraging however is the demand for bespoke cakes, the ones that express the giver and the receiver. The challenge is to maintain the finest quality, flavors and uniqueness that makes customers come back to celebrate with us.

Please tell us what techniques are most important in preparing a baked item? 

Shubha Kushalappa:- Preparing the ingredients is key. I prefer a lot of mixing and groundwork myself and use store-bought products cautiously. The right oven, temperature and a few tricks you pick up as you move from a beginner to a comfortable baker is important. A technique I have mastered is non-fondant cakes which have the same finish as fondant cakes, 

People eat with their eyes first. So, the finesse, design, elegance and artwork must be precise. 

When you’re not at work, where do you go for great pastry? 

Shubha Kushalappa:- Lavonne cafe is my go-to place for great desserts, they offer something new every time. Amande is another place I love. 

Tell us, which brand is your go-to place for any requirements needed for baking? 

Shubha Kushalappa:- It’s hard to name just one as I use several brands and always look for something new, something nice and something local. I could still name a few. Dainty Flavors Bangalore, New Arife Lamoulade Bangalore, Omkraft, Confect, Ultimakes; These folks have always been very supportive. A text message from me will get the baking ingredients at my doorstep. 

Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that has happened to you since you became a baker? 

Shubha Kushalappa:- Once I had to bake a cake for an engagement of someone who my family knew. It was a very detailed and intricate one and had to travel overnight to a remote town nearly 250 kilometers away. As anyone familiar with working with cakes, icing and fondant would know, cakes like these are very sensitive to constant vibration and temperature changes. Hence, I asked the folks who handled the delivery to treat it like a baby. Fingers crossed, I just hoped the cake would retain its shape and “Wow factor” until it was cut by the couple the next morning. My worst nightmares were inspired by the cake bloopers (Which I admit I watch once a while) where beautiful baked sculptures are reduced to edible rubble by the time they reach their destination. 

The next morning, the folks who delivered the cake sent me a photograph as per my instructions just before the cake was handed over to the intended recipient. Lo behold! There was my cake in the rear seat of the car nestled amidst pillows, and a blanket! They took my advice literally and indeed carried it like a baby! And thankfully the cake reached the engagement hall with all its glory intact!