Getting Candid with Proprietor of, 'The Midnight Baker', Sneha Padnani

Sneha Padnani, is one of those who dare to dream to different and follow it wholeheartedly. What more can vouch for this than the fact that she left her full fledged job to be a home baker because that is where her passion lies.

Serving Amdavadi’s with delicious and yummy desserts, Sneha in this interview talks about what baking and desserts mean to her. Read the entire candid interview with her only on All Plate Dishes. 

Q1. When and how did you ventured into baking/being home baker?

Sneha: Into baking when I was in grade 8. Haha! The first thing I ever made was a cake unlike the other kids who would step into the kitchen with some basic things like daal and rice. Professionally, I started off in November 2013

Q2. What sets your cakes apart? 

Sneha: Though my brand name suggests me to be a baker, I am more of a dessert-person; clinging to pies, cheesecakes, puddings, fudge, jar desserts and cakes! The key difference is the stark variation of flavors I offer with both, the cakes and the rest of the desserts.

Q3. You say you are more into desserts that baking so, how important are dessert to you?

Sneha: Let me be candid here. As a person you will never see me hogging on desserts. Never! A bite or two of any dessert is enough for my sweet tooth. But what I find very important in any dessert is firstly, the right amount of sugar. It’s a big turnoff for me even if it is tad more sweet. And secondly, why I love desserts are again because I feel there’s a lot these little goodies can show up when treated right.

Q4.  How do desserts form an integral part of our day-to-day lives or any feast?

Sneha: When you look at the scenario in India, at every other home a meal is concluded by sweet something. Not essentially, a pastry or piece of cake but something as small as having chocolate or a piece from the box of our traditional sweets. 

Apart from this, we are known for being a land of festivals; where currently the trends are shifting from gifting a box of ‘mithai’ to chocolates or cupcakes on various occasions.

Q5. What makes your desserts/cakes different from others?

Sneha: Starting with the very basic understanding :- the word dessert itself is an umbrella term. It includes many, many things -cookies, pies, tarts, cheesecakes, pudding, custards, donuts, cakes, dessert shots. Sadly, for many of us dessert is only restricted to cakes and pastries. 

Though the brand name I go with specifies ‘Baker’, I cater more to desserts (cheesecakes, pies, tarts, fudge, panacotta,jar desserts)

From the cakes point of view, honestly I feel the fondant based cakes are overhyped. What matters to me in anything when it comes to food are the flavors.  Unless you get the flavors right nothing works for me! 

Hence when I started off baking I wanted to do something unconventional. I believe a simple piece of cake if made right can taste magical. I absolutely love experimenting with flavors. Understanding them and executing into the desserts. That’s how the idea of the cake with sauces was born.
Usually the heavy cream or fondant takes away the charm of the cake. So why not have a cake with a blast of flavors and a sauce to compliment it.

Q6.  Speaking about flavours, how do you play or compliment/blend them together?

Sneha: Tough one. I think it only comes with how open you are to experimentation. The more you experiment, the more you learn. Of course, there are masterkeys and disasters too. For eg. Saffron can never go wrong with cardamom but ever thought of a Chai flavored cake with Saffron-Coconut sauce? But the same saffron if you use with dark chocolate, the flavor will sink!

Flavors are sensitive. If you do not give them the required attention and observation, you will never be able to understand them.

Q7. What is value of food in your life as a home baker and as a foodie?

Sneha: As a home baker: What more does one want when your passion becomes your career!

As a foodie overall: I belong to that bunch for whom at the end of the end all that matters is food, good food! By good food I do not mean to say the food restaurants sesrve, it might be a simple subzi or a lavish dessert, the definition of good food then differs for me with the mood ;)

Q8. Any tip to fellow bakers or foodies reading this

Sneha: Read. Read. Read.

Nothing in the world can help you better. Read  food magazines,  cookbooks,  read up blogs, articles, about chefs, anything and everything that adds on to your knowledge about food. We seriously need to step out of the 4walls of Sanjeev Kapoor and take a look at the world. 
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