The Art of Fondant Figures


Can you tell us about how you came to be where you are today, and what inspired you to follow a career in baking?

Divya Haldipur:- I worked for 8 years in the corporate sector as a trainer and manager. Towards the 7th year I felt I needed to search for my true calling and that landed me into the world of art. I began with paper quilling and beaded jewellery. I still wasn’t happy. That’s when my mom gifted me an oven for Diwali. My most beloved aunt and cousin used to bake our childhood cakes every single year for our birthdays. This oven brought back those sweet memories and made me try out baking for the first time. My aunt’s baking is what inspired me to take this path and I am glad I did.

 Do you have any dishes from childhood that you still love to eat now? 

Divya Haldipur:- I lost my dearest aunt last month. She baked our birthday cakes in a cake pot on the gas stove, and ingredients like butter, icing sugar, etc was made at home. They didn’t have hand mixers or any special equipment those days. They didn’t have even cake pans at home. It was pure labour of love and the taste was too good. I would love to eat that cake again and again to relive those beautiful memories.

Are there any particular career highlights that you can tell us about or any moments that have stood out for you? 

Divya Haldipur:- I have had my work being published in various newspapers like Indian express, The Times of India, and magazines like Femina, The Talk etc. In April 2016, Facebook started the first session of ‘Boost your business with Facebook’ in Bangalore. Amongst so many entrepreneurs, it felt like a dream to be chosen, along with 2 others, as panelists to share our success stories using Facebook as a medium for our businesses. I was made to address nearly 400 enthusiastic women entrepreneurs and it was a wonderful learning experience. I had women come to me and thank me for being an inspiration to them.

Which is the most popular of all your creations and why? 

Divya Haldipur:- I think the most loved creations are the fondant figures I create – animals and human. Each one is made with a lot of attention to details. People keep telling me they love my creations so much that they preserve them instead of eating them. 

What is the creative process behind your Itsy Bitsy Bytes – Homemade Customized Cakes and where do you find your inspiration? 

Divya Haldipur:- I love to pay attention to every tiny detail on my cakes whether it is characters I am working on or the cake decoration itself. Carving one doll can take a few hours at times too. Each detail is carefully handcrafted and added onto the cake to match the theme given. I use apps like Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook or YouTube to find inspiration for my cakes. I look at fellow bakers for inspiration too. Above all I wish to keep improving and doing better than my previous creations each time. 

Most people think that fondant cakes are less tasty, what is your opinion about this? 

Divya Haldipur:- Fondant is sugar and most people find it too sweet. For people who don’t prefer fondant, I give them options to have a cream cake instead and have fondant toppers on the cake. For customers who are very particular about designs and the look of the cake, fondant is an amazing medium. I think that if our base cake tastes good and the cake decoration looks appealing, the overall result would be a happy and satisfied customer. I get more of fondant cake orders and my customers love it.

Can you share any secrets with our readers for baking at home? Maybe tips on something most of us get wrong, or the one piece of kitchen equipment that you recommend we all have?

Divya Haldipur:- We have plenty of wonderful recipes and tips these days to help us start our journey of baking at home. Here are some tips I would like to give: Be patient and plan your baking ahead of time as some ingredients need to be at room temperature. On your oven, find out what the right baking temperature is, before you start baking. Use only fresh ingredients. Baking and decorating is an art and needs a lot of patience. Pay attention to details. 

A kitchen weighing scale is a must and I guess the whole baking process begins from there. That’s the one piece of kitchen equipment I strongly recommend.