By Jagmeeta Thind Joy
‘Meethe main kya hai?’ Isn’t that something you always end up asking post a meal? Especially when the family has just eaten a rather insipid meal which includes vegetables like lauki, tinda or tori! Growing up as a fauji brat, I was accustomed to be being served ‘puddings’ post meals, even if it meant a quickly rustled up fruit cream. But now with hectic work schedules and deadlines to meet, making dessert, even occasionally, seems an arduous task. But cravings for dessert can be cruel and no one knows that better than Chef Anubhav Sawhney.
A new brand is born
The award-winning chef – she was awarded ‘Punjab’s best bakery lady chef’ by the prestigious Chef’s Association of Five Rivers last year – Anubhav has been plating out specials from her bakery in Chandigarh for over three years now. Co-founder of AJ Foods with her entrepreneur husband, Jasmeet Sawhney, the chef is now all set to satiate your sweet cravings with a brand new offering.
‘The Cake Story’, a new venture by AJ Foods steps into the retail arena as an online bakery. According to a recent news report, the online food delivery market in India is “expected to be more than US$ 5 Billion opportunity by the end of year 2023.” And the launch couldn’t be more well timed.
Having had a successful run with the bakery business – AJ Foods supplies a smorgasbord of bakery products to leading restaurants and food outlets across the tricity – the team decided to launch their own brand. “But the menu at The Cake Story will be different from what is already available in the market,” assures Chef Anubhav when we meet her and her team at their swanky new kitchen.
Research and Development
There’s never a dull moment in the kitchens of AJ Foods. Cupcakes are being prepped, there’s a fresh batch of bread being baked, cheesecakes are being boxed for delivery and every department looks organised and in the thick of action.
“We spent a lot of time researching on what foodies really want when it comes to desserts. Topping the list of demands is delivery of desserts at home,” informs Jasmeet who holds the reigns of the administrative and business work at AJ Foods along with Anubhav’s brother, Gunraj Singh, who is also a part of the team.
“The Cake Story menu has been put together after a lot of trials with new recipes and fresh ingredients,” mentions Chef Anubhav, a self-taught chef whose recipe for success includes hard work, passion and a hunger for perfection.
Partnering with Zomato, The Cake Story will deliver a range of decadent desserts and cakes all across the tricity starting mid May. The line-up of specials includes unique cheesecake cupcakes, éclairs, cookies, hampers, pound cakes et al. “We would also be launching a range of ‘Cake for Two’ cakes that are small cakes ideal for two people. According to our research, not everyone wants to be buy a full 1 kg cake at one go. We would be introducing a whole new range of flavours,” explains the chef.
For those of you who relish éclairs, you are in for a treat. The Cake Story will dish out a variety of flavours including the much recommended mango cheesecake éclair. Someone who uses fresh and natural ingredients to the maximum, Chef Anubhav still frowns upon using fondant. “Our cakes will highlight the flavour. We have also introduced cheesecakes in a cupcake concept,” says the chef as she plates up a lip-smacking slice of Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake. Speaking of cookies, The Cake Story will also offer a range of cookies including a really healthy 8-grain cookie.
“We would also be offering in-house specials like mutton pickle, tomato chutney and a breakfast hamper that would include a range of breads and flavoured butters,” says the chef who feels that menu improvisation will be a continuous affair at The Cake Story. Sounds delicious to us.