Baking Zara Hatke!


Can you define Desi Firangi By Nasima Singh for us and our readers? How did you come up with the name Desi Firangi? 

Nasima Singh:- Desi Firangi is all about using the best quality ingredients, providing the best craftsmanship and best flavour. When I started Desi Firangi, it was with a savoury dish that I had kept at a food fest. After that I participated in a couple of more food fests at colleges, and the cupcakes I had kept there were fusion flavours like Rasmalai and Gulab Jamun and hence we came up with the name Desi Firangi, not sure, what way I wanted to head towards. 

Congratulations on introducing standing bottle cake! How and where did you get the idea of making the standing bottle cake? 

Nasima Singh:- When I was still too new in the market, one day I got a request from a first-time client to do a bottle cake for her husband. She was not sure how she wanted the bottle to be incorporated. She asked me if it was possible to do a standing Glenlivet bottle. As a matter of fact, I let her know that I have never done one before, but that I was good to try, if she was willing to risk it with me. She was more than eager to let me try it out and this is how I successfully made my first standing bottle cake which was all hand carved. The review from the client and her husband gave me the confidence to try out different standing bottle looks which were mostly life sized ones. 

You were a finalist in the Indian Cake Award 2019, Cream Cake Category, please tell us about your experience at Indian Cake Award and how these competitions are useful as a baker? 

Nasima Singh:- The experience of being a finalist at the Indian Cake Awards 2019 is something very difficult to sum up in words. Being into the industry for less than 3 years at the time of being nominated and getting nominated alongside your guru for cream cakes – Michelle Salam, was the proudest moment and I couldn’t have asked for anything more. Competitions like these, allow us new bakers to get noticed, and boosts our confidence to do better and push our own boundaries by coming out of our comfort zones. 

You have expertise in cake painting on whipped cream so please tell us how is it different from decorating any other form of cakes? 

Nasima Singh:- Whipped cream is a medium which is always very moist. One can neither trace, nor erase while painting on whipped cream. Hence, one has to be very sure of how the painting will be executed, without any tracing or guidelines. Painting on cream is also difficult as it’s a very soft medium, and even a slightest amount of extra pressure will scrape off the cream from the cake. Plus all edible colours are mostly meant to work with other drying or crusting mediums like fondant and buttercream. Hence, making these paints to work on whipped cream without too much fading, bleeding and spreading in itself is a huge task. Over a period of time, I have developed some techniques to overcome all these challenges of painting on non-dairy based whipped cream.

Is the packaging of cakes a very important aspect, please tell us your most favourite cake boxes company? Or do you customize your cake boxes by yourself? 

Nasima Singh:- I consider packaging as an important aspect from a sturdiness point of view, rather than the aesthetics. I buy my cake boxes from local vendors and I use my brand stickers to go on it. I do not get any boxes customized as that increases the cost burden on the client. 

Bakery world is not only about cake and cupcakes”, please tell us how to justify this statement and what is the most unknown bakery item? 

Nasima Singh:- Baking is beyond cakes and cupcakes. It’s a huge arena which includes various types of sweet and savoury items right from cakes, cupcakes to breads, cookies, croissants, tarts, pies etc. Sourdough breads though have recently gained popularity in India, till a couple of years ago was not even heard of in the Indian market. 

What are your favourite types of dishes to make yourself and why? Sweet or Savoury? 

Nasima Singh:- I enjoy making both sweet and savoury dishes at home, though as a family we have a massive sweet tooth. Our comforting bake is a good fudgy, gooey, and warm dark chocolate brownie. 

When you paint on whipped cream, do you use normal whipped cream or do you prepare any other whipping cream? 

Nasima Singh:- I use the regular non-dairy whipping cream. It’s all in the way and the consistency of how the cream is whipped. I do not add any setting or stabilising agents to the cream.