Today we are featuring Shazneen Afshar ,Founder and baker at Indulgence, one of the Cochin’s best cake baker.Let’s get to know Shazneen in her own words!
1. Tell us a little about yourself and your family.
I am Shazneen, a homemaker by default and a homemaker by passion!!! Daughter of Mr. Mohammed Ali & Mrs Haleema Ali, Wife of Mr. Afshar Majeed and mother to three little darlings Azwa-10, Azim-9 & Azah-3!!
I have an elder brother, Shazin and a younger sister, Shahza. It’s been 5 years since I have started following my passion. I have a page on Facebook called Indulgence.
2. How did you end up doing what you do? Tell us your story!
Being a homemaker, I had a lot of free time and used to get frustrated once kids started school. It was during that time that we moved into our new house where I had a lovely kitchen and slowly I started trying out fancy dishes and bakes mainly desserts that I had learnt from a few classes and also from books and internet. I found baking therapeutic and used to indulge in it frequently. I attended a lot more classes and found that it was truly my passion. My family constantly encouraged me and baking for family slowly extended to orders from their friends and their friends! And there was no looking back from then, it’s been an exciting journey ever since!
3. When it comes to baking, how would you describe your style, your mentality?
I personally prefer Elegant, Vintage and Classy designs which is quite evident from the colors and designs that I do for my cakes. I love working with pastel shades and subtle gold sheen. As far as flavors are concerned I have a set of good recipes that I work with but I also try and incorporate new flavors and combinations.
4. From where do you find inspiration for each cake decor?
Inspirations can be from a piece of fabric, a picture, a painting, colors or any other elements. I do take inspirations from the vast array of cake designs available on the internet. I adore the work of a lot of artists out there and sometimes try and include a few elements from their designs but I do make it a point to bring in my personal touch to all my designs unless the client wants an exact replica, in which case the due credit to the artist will be mentioned.
5. What are some of the tips or words of advice you’d give to beginner bakers to improve on their baking?
Baking is not Rocket Science. If you have, the passion for it will be a medium that gives you a lot of joy and pleasure.
- Try to learn the properties of the main Ingredients like eggs, butter, flour, sugar, leavening agents, liquids etc. then you will be able to know why the recipe has so many eggs or so much of liquid etc. this will also help you to pick out the good recipes from the many ordinary ones that are available.
- Always go for weight measurements than cup measurements.
- never try and hurry a process like baking or mixing which will definitely alter your final product
- know your oven well, each oven differs from another; if possible try to buy an oven thermometer so that you know if your oven heats upto to the right temperature.
6. What is a day in a life of you like?
Like any other mother, my life revolves around my family. A typical day would start with packing tiffins, bags, getting kids ready for school. My husband leaves for work soon and then I start off with my baking and cake work. Luckily, I have maids who does the household chores. Evenings are devoted to supervising the homeworks and studies with my older kids who are in 5th & 4th.. And once they are all off to bed I get back to work again for that’s the most peaceful time to work for us bakers! Not to mention till then my little one who is just three will be like my tail, following me around , trying to help with my work etc..
7. How do you balance work and motherhood?
Since I work from home and at my own pace, I have the freedom to work at my convenience. So when kids have exams or if they are not well, I try and avoid taking orders unless those committed earlier, so that I can be a full time mom and tend to their needs. Having our presence around does really have an impact in their lives..
8. What is the advice you would like to give our readers who want to follow your path?
If you have the passion and talent then please don’t hesitate.. It does need a lot of patience and hard work but at the end of the day it’s all worth it when you see your finished work and it gets appreciated.. Only thing is find your style and leave your mark in all your creations..
9. What do you do to recharge? What are your other interests?
I take frequent breaks. Going to movies relaxes me, going shopping relaxes me and I love to read books, spend time with friends and family..
10. Suggest an idea or a trick that has made your parenting easier 🙂
How I wish I had an idea or trick to make parenting easier!!! Lol!!