Celebrity baker Juhi Pahwa shares her recipe for Apple Cinnamon Cake and gluten-free Chocolate Cupcakes
While her best-selling Jowari Dark Chocolate Cake has found a loyal buyer in Jacqueline, she especially makes buckwheat pancakes (not on the menu) for Katrina and Yasmin Karachiwala
While Bollywood celebrities Katrina Kaif, Jacqueline Fernandez, and Chunky Pandey's wife Bhavana are some of her regulars, her desserts have also reached Shah Rukh and Gauri Khan’s house, Mannat. Meet Juhi Pahwa, a 30-year-old self-taught home baker in Mumbai, who is making movie stars binge better. But what makes her everybody’s favourite?
“My desserts are free of refined flour and sugar,” informs Juhi, who specialises in artisanal cakes. She also offers brownies, cupcakes, cookies, and flavourful peanut butter, most of which are gluten-free, vegan, and free of butter and eggs.
While her best-selling Jowari Dark Chocolate Cake has found a loyal buyer in Jacqueline, she especially makes buckwheat pancakes (not on the menu) for Katrina and Bollywood fitness trainer Yasmin Karachiwala. One couldn’t help but asking if these desserts are zero-calorie considering her customers are some of the biggest fitness enthusiasts and have perfectly toned bodies. Juhi laughs, adding, “Jowar is still carbs and coconut sugar has calories but the former is easier to digest for your stomach and the latter has a lower glycemic index. So, while it has carbs and calories, it is better than what you would eat otherwise and this is the reason why I call my venture The Better Binge.”
Juhi, whose business runs primarily through Instagram, spends equal time ensuring that each item is Instragrammable and aesthetically pleasing. “I think you first eat with your eyes, so there can’t be any compromise on how these desserts look,” she adds before signing off.
If you want to bake your celebrity's favourite desserts, we have got you two recipes from the kitchen of Juhi Pahwa:
1. Apple Cinnamon Cake
Ingredients: Whole wheat flour - 1and 1/4 Cup | Powdered Jaggery - 3/4 cup | Baking soda - 3/4 tsp | Salt - 1/4 tsp | Cinnamon - 1 tsp | Soy/Almond milk - 1/2 cup | Lemon juice - 1 tbsp | Apple sauce (apple purée) - 1/4 cup | Vanilla essence - 1/2 tsp | Apple (peeled and chopped) - 1
● Preheat your oven to 180 degrees centigrade.
● Grease and line an eight-inch baking tin and set it aside.
● Mix the almond/soy milk with lemon juice and set aside for 10 minutes to curdle.
● To the curdled milk, add apple sauce and vanilla.
● Over this wet mix sieve your flour, Jaggery, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
● Cut and fold this together to make a thick batter.
● Dust the chopped apple with some flour and fold into that batter. Dusting with flour prevents the apples from sinking to the bottom while baking.
● Transfer the batter to the tin and bake for around 30-35 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
2. Gluten-free Chocolate Cupcakes
Ingredients (makes 12 cupcakes): Oats flour (very finely ground oats) - 1 and 1/2 cup | Unsweetened cocoa powder - 1 cup | Baking soda - 1 tsp | Salt - 1/4 tsp | Water - 3/4 cup | Milk of choice (dairy or non-dairy) - 1/2 cup | Coconut oil (use vegetable oil if coconut oil not available) - 3 tbsp | Jaggery - 1/4 cup | Honey - 1/4 cup | Vanilla extract - 1 tsp | Frosting - 2 cups good quality dark chocolate and 1 cup cream/coconut cream/almond milk
● Preheat your oven to 160 degrees centigrade.
● In a large bowl, mix your water, milk, oil, sugar, honey and vanilla extract.
● Place a sieve over this and sift in your flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
● Make a thick batter and fill into cupcake moulds up to 3/4 of the way.
● Bake between 16-20 minutes.
● Once baked, cool completely for 30 minutes.
● For frosting, whisk the chopped chocolate and cream/milk together on a double boiler or microwave till totally well incorporated into a ganache. Let it cool for about 1-2 hours at room temperature to thicken.
● Once the frosting is ready, transfer it into a piping bag and pipe on the cupcakes. Top with berries and enjoy.