Vizag-based home baker Preeti Kaushik has been adding sweetness to the city's people during their special occasions. Because of bakers like her, Vizag, which once reserved cakes only for birthdays and anniversaries, now indulges in them for almost any celebration. Preeti, with her home-based venture, Preetilicious, has created a niche for herself. While most of the aesthetically appealing cakes, muffins, and cupcakes are visually attractive, the ones prepared by her are equally satiating to the taste buds.  

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In an exclusive interview with Slurrp, she shares that although it wasn't a cakewalk for her, she stayed committed to it. After all, half-baked efforts don't lead to success.

1. What made you get into baking? 

Initially, I started baking for my family as a hobby. A significant inspiration behind it was motherhood. The child's health and eating habits are the priority for a mother. That's how my journey began. It's been almost seven years of baking experience now. 

2. When did you start your home-based baking venture?

The thought popped up long back. However, it was only in 2018 I could translate my dream into a reality by launching Preetilicious, a home-based baking venture. 

3. Did you do any courses in baking? 

I have pursued a few short courses from some professionals in Delhi. Of course, learning and upgrading our skills are a never-ending process. It's the practice which brings out the best in you. 

4. How easy or challenging is it to run a business like this?

Since it involves a lot of work and effort, it isn't easy at all. There are no shortcuts. As the adage goes, you need to have your finger in a pie. Moreover, as a woman, you have to manage both your house and your profession.

5.What are the recent trends you are observing in baking?

 Nowadays, customised cakes are in vogue. It can have photographs, memories, and themes representing the bond between the giver and receiver. People prefer it, as such personalisation allows them to express their feelings and emotions aesthetically. 

Customised cake, Image Credit: Preetilicious

6. What is your signature style in baking?

I cannot mention just one signature style. Rather, I would say that I ensure every baked goodie is made with pure love and unmatched detailing. 

7. What is the most popular item on your menu?

They are chocolate walnut brownies and chocolate truffle cake. My brownies are loved for their supple and moist texture. They are loaded with chocolate and nuts. I proudly share that I have been receiving compliments from my patrons for my brownies. 

8. Anything unique or exotic that you have introduced in the city?

Yes, a wide assortment of sharbats. One gets to choose from an array of flavours. All the recipes are mine. They are homemade, and I have ensured they are preservative-free and natural. There is no added colour or essence. These Sharbats can be stored at room temperature. The demand soars up during the festival time, especially Holi, Ganesh Chaturthi, Navaratri and Diwali.

9. How do you anticipate the future of baking in smaller Indian cities like Vizag?

I see a great future ahead. People in such small cities as Vizag have hopped onto the cake trends. The demand for customised cakes has been increasing steadily and rapidly. The Vizagites appreciate these pieces of edible art and don't hesitate to pay a high price. Going forward this food segment will have much fancier fads and there would be a constant rise of fans for such newer baked sweetmeats. 

10. Where do see yourself in a few years?

I have already set goals. I aspire to own a big baking studio where I can practice and pass on this beautiful art to my students.

11. If you have limited ingredients and time, which dish would you choose to bake?

Definitely, I would go for the most delicious and easy-peasy bread pudding. It takes less time, few Ingredients and is worth the effort. And I want anyone with a sweet tooth to try it. Hence, I am sharing the recipe. 

Easy-Peasy Bread pudding

Bread Pudding, Image Credit: Preetilicious

Ingredients

  • 8 slices of  milk bread
  • 100 gm Amul salted butter 
  • 500 ml full cream milk
  • 2 tbsp corn flour 
  • 1/2 cup or 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 cup mixed chopped nuts 
  • 2 tbsp pineapple chunks  
  • 2 tbsp pomegranate 
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp tutti fruity 

Method

  1. Chop the corners of the bread and apply butter on both sides.
  2. Keep them in the fridge till the next step.
  3. Add cornflour to the milk and let it boil until it becomes thick. Keep stirring continuously to prevent settling in the bottom. 
  4. Add sugar and boil for another 2 minutes. 
  5. Switch off the flame. Let it cool down for 5-10 minutes.
  6. Take a glass (preferably square or rectangular) serving bowl. Place four bread slices as the base of the pudding. 
  7. Spread half of the milk on these bread slices.
  8. Add half of the nuts and fruit chunks to the layer.
  9. Repeat the process for the second layer.
  10. Decorate it with remaining nuts, tutti fruity, brown sugar, and melted butter.
  11. Bake it for 20 minutes at 180 degrees.
  12. Use fruit chunks to garnish once it's baked.
  13. Serve hot with chilled ice cream.