Superwoman replicating Char Minar into a Cake


Can you tell us about how you fell in love with baking and how did you begin to transition that into your career?

Aashu Shah:- I am a creative person and always loved to decorate things since my childhood that is how I got in Fashion designing and started my a Tailoring Unit of my for women and also started designing uniform for Hotels, Food Chains, Retail chains etc but had to take break when my daughter arrived and we had relocated to Kolkata. After a few years, when I thought I should get back into action, is when my love for baking started as I saw it as another opportunity to use my creativity and passion for decoration and I began to experiment with baking. I remember that I used to bake and decorate 6 to 8 cakes in one day, all for practice. My first cake which turned out good enough to be a professional one was a fondant cake, which I made for my daughter’s birthday party. It was a hit among our guests and that is where my journey began as a home baker and orders started pouring in. It was the start of a journey with cakes which the world now knows as Cakes A’Fair…!!!

You’ve been awarded under India’s Best 50 Home Bakers, what advice would you like to give to budding bakers?

Aashu Shah:- It is an absolute honour and a great joy to be awarded under India’s Top 50 and Hyderabad’s Top 25 Home Bakers. I have thoroughly enjoyed my journey and happy with what I have achieved. My advice to the budding bakers would be:

Never stop learning: the Baking world keeps evolving and we see. New techniques and innovations crop up every day so keep learning…!

Deliver the best: Never compromise on the quality of your ingredients, as it is quality and taste of cakes which will bring your customers back to you.

Never give up: This is a demanding journey and you will face your set of failures but be prepared to put in hard work as it will always translate into success sooner or later.

As a home baker what challenges you face & what is baking to you?

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Aashu Shah:- For any home baker of the biggest challenge is to market and price my product. When compared with the market products by home bakers are seen as expensive but the amount of effort which goes into customising the cakes and high-quality ingredients used are seldom noticed. However, there is also a segment which now supports home bakers and that is what keeps me going. Baking is my ultimate passion and hence I keep learning newer things and always take up challenging work.

Have you ever had a ‘soggy bottom’ cake accident?

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Aashu Shah:- Yes I did have ‘Soggy Bottom Accident’ a couple of times during my initial days as a baker when after finishing the cake when I moved the cake off the turntable, it just collapsed. But fortunately, it all happened while still baking so saved me embarrassment. But surely memorable events which helped learn the right techniques and progress ahead.

You created really appealing Char Minar Cake with such finesse can you please share your vision behind it?

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Aashu Shah:- Well, it was the first time I participated in a Global contest, the Indian Culture online contest and I decided to step out of comfort zone and create something which I never did before. So I enrolled in the Sculpture Cake Category. Being a born Hyderabadi, the cultural identity of this wonderful city, the CHARMINAR was the first that came to my mind and I started visualising the finished product already. I created everything used to make the cake myself… The structure, the elements, Gum Paste, Fondant etc. Without any special training, I tried to create this piece and hope I did justice to it. It was an awesome experience while making it and I learnt a lot many things.

How Cakes A’fair is unique from other bakeries?

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Aashu Shah:- Being the perfectionist I am, at Cakes A’Fair, I ensure that my clients get ‘Nothing but the best…’ Best on all fronts i.e., the taste, the quality, timely delivery and above all the level of customisation they want. I devote as much time as is required to understand the requirement of my clients and also suggest different options for them to choose from and try to deliver an experience and not just a cake..!! We want to be unique more than being different from other bakeries.