Bake & Blog: Caroline Radhakrishnan

So you love to bake. Who doesn’t like the whiff of freshly baked aromas emanating out of the kitchens. There’s a lot that one can say through food. Baking is an art, a passion, a metaphor for life. And if you’re the one who can bake like a pro and also blog actively alongside, then only sky’s the limit for you. Meet some of Bengaluru’s baker bloggers whose baking blogs will inspire you to move beyond picking up ready-to-eat, boxed bakes that throng the stores.

Text: Namita Gupta

Name: Caroline Radhakrishnan

Blog Name: www.currylines.com

Balancing the act of baking and blogging: I engage in several food related activities such as food reviews, conducting baking classes and organising food based events. My blog is a space that I have created as a repository to document my experiences. My tryst with baking is 15 years old and over the years this obsession has led me to experiment with different ingredients and create my own recipes. The flurry of bakes that I produced, needed people to consume them and this in turn led to put my passion to good use by taking orders and conducting classes.

Specialties: I’m passionate about teaching and I like to pass on my knowledge and tips and tricks. I receive orders primarily from my friends and those whom they refer me to by word of mouth and at times I have also catered to health food brands by supplying them with my multi millet bakes.

Doing it differently: I have attempted to move away from refined flours and sugars and have also reduced the fat and increased the usage of fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts in my products. My focus was to debunk the myth that healthy is not tasty and I worked towards making whole grain bakes sufficiently alluring. My emphasis is on using whole grains and alternate flours that are locally available, especially whole wheat, oats, barley, amaranth, flax and different varieties of millets. I also use nuts and seeds like sunflower seeds, pepitas, melon, poppy and chia. Fruit and vegetable pulp or puree, make for healthier substitutes and I use them liberally in my cakes. My cookies too are unique and have been created by combining exciting ingredients like candied gooseberry, pineapple, ginger, orange peel with whole grain flours. My masterpiece is a cookie that I baked with jackfruit seed flour.

Baking trends: While I’m not into cake decoration, I see a lot of work happening in this area. Exquisitely crafted cakes are the rage nowadays and some of them are admirable works of art, using fondant, sugar paste and even bean paste for modelling shapes. I also notice a leaning towards baking healthier with ‘naked’ cakes becoming popular, with none of the fancy embellishments. Also trending are the bakes using whole grain, oats, amaranth, buckwheat and our ancient grains like millets. Vegetarian (egg free), gluten free and vegan is steadily going too. There is a use of raw banana flour, potato flour, water chestnut flour and even raw jackfruit flour as alternatives. There is a leaning towards Sourdough bakes, since it’s a natural form of fermentation.

Flourishing and how: The home baking business has grown exponentially as people prefer buying from them as non commercially produced food has a greater chance of being healthier since it contains high quality and wholesome ingredients, uses less artificial additives and is easier to customise. There’s also a demand for healthy cakes and cookies as school snacks for their children.