It’s always tough to pursue another profession alongside an existing profession. However, if you have the will and the love for something that you eagerly want to pursue, then, situations become quite easy. Thasni Mariyam Wahid is one such person who is involved in multiple roles in her life. And, in every role, she has embraced significant success. Thasni is an Embryologist by profession and works at ARMC IVF Thrissur as a Junior Embryologist. For the love of baking, she is a home baker and is the proud founder and owner of her Thrissur-based home baking venture Cakestronomique. At home, she is a responsible Mother to two lovely kids, a Wife and an able Home Maker.
Thasni Mariyam Wahid started Cakestronomique in May 2014. Over the period of next few years, she gradually established herself as a successful cake artist. And, she is quite happy with the progress that she made in this creative field.
In todays interview session, the Thrissur-based talented home baker Thasni Mariyam Wahid joins us to share her inspiring story. She also reveals how her baking venture Cakestronomique has given her so many many friends for a lifetime!
Hi Thasni, welcome to conflatingVisions. Please tell us a few lines about you.
I am an Embryologist by profession and home baker by passion. I did my Masters in Biotechnology from GRD College of Science, Coimbatore. Currently working as a Junior Embryologist at ARMC IVF Thrissur. Blessed with two kids. I am also a foodie who loves to cook, travel across the globe and definitely like to meet people from different cultures.
When did you start baking? How was your feeling when you first baked something?
I used to just love the smell of fresh bakes since childhood. The aroma used to give me so much positive energy. Like many others, my first decorated cake was done for my son’s first birthday. I launched myself into the world of Cakes and Bakes at the age of 16 and my Aunt was my Mentor/ God Mother who showed me the light and helped me expand my horizon of interest in baking.
When did you decide to go professional?
I love exploring and experimenting new flavor combinations. I always wanted to do different themes on cakes. The response from my friend’s, family and colleagues overwhelmed me. By viva voce, people approached me for both designer cakes and other baked products. For me, it was an opportunity to explore the vast world of baking and cake decoration. At the same time, it also helped me to serve high-quality homemade bakes to wannabe customers.
Tell us about your baking venture Cakestronomique?
The idea of starting a Facebook page was originally initiated by our dear friend Mr. Fazal Rahman. CAKESTRONOMIQUE – Classic Bespoke Cream Cakes was born in May 2014. The specialty of the Cakestronomique is that we do only fresh whipped cream cakes and harbor to a wide range of exotic flavors. I make sure that my cake designs are unique and the designs are not repeated.
How were your early days as a professional baker?
People often asks me how I balance embryology job, family chores and baking passion. Frankly speaking, it’s a tough job. But you know, we always find time for the things we love to do. Planning and giving priority is the key. During the initial days, I focused on standardizing my cake flavors and improving my skills. I was lucky enough to be trained from the best teachers in this field. Getting branded products was herculean task but now a days there are lot many vendors.
How is the scenario at present?
Very encouraging. 60% of my customers knows about the hard work behind customized cakes. Now a days people are celebrating their special days and festivals with customized cakes. And this trend is here to stay.
Being creative is very much important in baking. How do you incorporate your creativity in your baked products?
Good question. Almost everyone in my family loves whipped cream cakes only. So fondant covered cakes was not my league. Whipped cream cakes are very case sensitive and has lot many limitations with regards to decoration and transport. So I took up the challenge to upgrade simple cream cakes to the level of fondant ones, both in perfection and neatness. We have less information from books and internet, so I learned the hard way, trial and error method. Looking back am so happy in achieving super sharp edges/smooth finish on different shaped cakes, how to handle fondant toppers on cream cakes, stack extremely moist sponge 3-4 tier wedding cakes, transportation tricks, developing my own unique flavors, adapting fondant designs to suit cream cake decorations.
What are some of the Cakestronomique signature items?
Chocolate Kinder joy Cake, Mexican Tres leches cake, Butter scotch cake, Almond mawa cake with Dulce de leche, Chocolate Ferrero Rocher cake, Red velvet cake with white Chocolate Mousse, Cinnamon and Walnut streusel cake.
Thasni, how satisfying has been your journey as a professional baking artist?
I am 150% satisfied. Baking gave me friends for a life time. Response from customers, family and friends are mind blowing. I am lucky enough to be a part of their beautiful memories. I was featured in India’s first cake magazine – Sugar. All this was possible because of my family’s support, especially my husband who is a Radiologist by profession, is also my personal food photographer. Thanking Almighty for all this blessings.
Narrate some of your experiences from your entrepreneurial journey?
No profession is smooth without hiccups. My main difficulty is handling last minute orders. People request for 2-3 tier, 3+ kg cake, with all sort of fondant figurines to be delivered within a day hardly realizing that all homemade theme based cakes involve 2-3 days’ hard work.
What are your future plans for Cakestronomique?
The backbone of Cakestronomique is our repeat customers. My only wish is to maintain the service and the quality that I provide. If God willing, I would like to conduct whipped cream master classes.
Anything else you want to share.
To all those newbie whipped cream artists – in order to achieve perfection you have to focus on 3 P’s – Practice, Patience and Perseverance. Never compromise on the quality of ingredients used. If your work and flavor is good, trust me people will come back to you.
And, one final question of this session Thasni, if you have had one wish…
To visit Quenary Academy, Malaysia with my whipped cream buddies Michelle Salam and Ruby Rajagopal.