Hello cupcake!

As Kochi moves on from themed candies to artistically-crafted desserts, we speak to those who are spearheading the movement

We’re often told that the key to baking is attention to detail. This week, we’re catching up with a new crop of pastry chefs who take this advice quite literally. From symmetrical buttercream bouquets to éclair-topped designs, these entrepreneurs are exploring the possibilities that lie hidden with the humble cupcake. Read on.

Creamy update
If a simple frosting isn’t enough for you, opt for these cream-filled goodies from Sugar Bowl. An invention of Candida Rodriguez, these Irish vanilla base cupcakes feature a pipette filled with Irish cream made in house. “New additions to our menu includes coconut cream filled treats topped with vanilla buttercream swirl. Dried coconut shavings and Raffaellos are added as a finishing touch to these,” says Candida.`120 per piece. At Roshan Lane, Banerjee Road. Details: 7736597833 

Over the top
Creating delicate structures have been a trademark move associated Fluff In A Cup ever since its launch in 2013. Their eclair experiment is a fine specimen born out of Sarah Zia Adeel’s efforts to keep up with the brand’s eclectic tradition. “Basically it’s two kinds of textures blend together in the form of a cupcake and eclair,” shares Sarah, adding that the cream custard vanilla cupcakes are adorned with eclairs sporting gooey whipped cream and a dash of chocolate ganache.`150 per piece. At Kadavanthra. Details:9995783528


Floral update
For Ahana Rahin, who runs Pavis Baking Studio, cake-making is a way of creative expression. Her take on the goodie basket left us speechless as it’s designed like a symmetrically-arranged flower bouquet as opposed to a conventional ‘six in a box’ code. “While the available flavours include apple-oats-cinnamon, blueberry-vanilla, and desiccated coconut, the bouquets are mostly done with buttercream frosting as it provides the perfect finish,” explains the engineer turned patissier, elaborating that each order takes up to two to three days.`750 to `3,000.  At Vennala. Details: 9995222906 


Out of the box
Floral accents never fail to impress. However, Bhavana Maliakkal’s two-year-old bake shop, Sugar Sifter, takes the idea to a whole new level with her 3D detailing. An expert in intricate petal designs, this baker mostly works with dense chocolate bases, while the fillings include raspberry and salted caramel. “Flavour-infused ganache is another option that we provide here,” adds Bhavana, who’s also known for her pop-up dessert shop services featuring a spread of customised macarons, mini-cakes, and jar desserts. At Ernakulam South. `90 onwards. Details: facebook.com/thesugarsifter


The third dimension
Themed cupcakes get an adorable update as they reach Tina Avira Tharakan’s kitchen. Unlike the customised desserts we have seen before, the fondant figures on her cupcakes aren’t flat on the surface, but standing.`75 per piece. At Kathrikadavu. Details: 8129180715

Going desi
Miniature clay art showcasing Malayali breakfasts had many of us drooling over it. If you wish to savour one of those in real life, be sure to pay a visit to Baker’s Walk right away. The eatery has whipped up banana-flavoured cupcakes topped with fondant plantain leaf breakfast miniatures (think idly and vada). At Kaloor. 10 pieces from `800 onwards. Details: 4066570


Pizza mania
Since the launch of Out of the Oven in 2015, Nandita Pai’s creations have been the talk of the town. With options ranging from ‘nutella burst’ topped with Snickers to banana and caramel flavoured ones, her experiments continue. However, our favourite from her unique designs is this pizza-topped chocolate cupcake.`60 to `80 onwards. Details: facebook.com/outoftheovenbites

Hands on
For those yearning to learn these intricate details, here’s our list of baking schools in Kochi. 
*De Pastry by Vinoshnee Shanker offers a five-month-long diploma in baking and pastry arts. At Kakkanad. Details: 9633166077.
* Art of Cooking by Raju PV provides one-day sessions as well as a six-month-long diploma for students planning to learn baking. At Tripunithura. Details: 9744480246 

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