Healthy Gooey Chocolate Cake https://t.co/tOapwKfE0c pic.twitter.com/9KKnL86YqF— Pooja Khanna (@2blissofbaking) February 10, 2017
Healthy Gooey Chocolate Cake https://t.co/tOapwKfE0c pic.twitter.com/9KKnL86YqF
On December 3, 2014, a day she remembers well, Pooja was in the club with her husband and a family friend, who suggested that she should start a blog on food as she is so interested in this space. She called it 2 Bliss of Baking because according to her, “Baking is a happy space, and my audience also relates to the bliss when baking”. Somewhere at the back of her very active mind there is an idea brewing for a book, though that will happen later on. “I want to tell stories of ovens in home kitchens. Baking is a tradition and families come together over food. A family that cooks together sticks together.”
Keeping it healthy and happy
Baking is not just about calories and sugar, insists Pooja. “I try to take health into consideration for every recipe.” After all, she will be the one eating it, as and when she bakes for her blog. But she does add a little less sugar than the recipe has indicated. “That is what I do when baking for home. But at the same time, you can’t skip on fat and sugar completely. Moderation is the key when indulging.” Her blog includes a few healthy recipes that use no refined flour and no refined sugar, but incorporates interesting substitutes for unhealthy ingredients. “My absolute favourite are raagi cookies. I indulge in them very often to satisfy my sweet tooth. There is always is a jar of raagi cookies at home.”
Rules for new bakers
Pooja suggests that every new baker follow a few simple rules:
A lot of this she has learned by experimenting in her kitchen. Her idea is to make every recipe easy to replicate, even by a novice baker. As she says, “I enjoy doing it. Interesting sauces, pizza muffins, healthy brownies, healthy cookies, my own version of Panforte, gingerbread man, chocolate tart and few more dishes have come out of my oven in this quest.” And the oven is the centre of her creative world - she has a secret desire for a wood fired oven, where all the food bakes slowly and the flavours are unique, though for now “I would love a bigger oven from say Siemens.”
Delicious treats that delight the senses
Modern cuisine is not a bad thing, Pooja feels, but ‘fusion’ is a balance that is not easy to achieve. “Fusing different cuisines together can be really successful and exciting, but becomes so much more noticeable if you get it wrong. There is a very fine line between getting it right and overdoing it.” Instead, traditional desserts tick off all the boxes on her sweet list. “A tres leches cake, also known as pan tres leches (three milks bread) is an absolute delight. A very light sponge with many air bubbles in the texture, it is soaked in three kinds of milk (evaporated milk, condensed milk and heavy cream). It has a distinct texture without a soggy consistency,” and is absolutely delicious, she says.
What the heart needs
Pooja firmly believes that if someone cannot decide to be a chef or something else, the choice is clear. And no, it is not a career in the kitchen. “Listen to your heart. Do what you enjoy most,” she advises. While her career choice was simple, her strongest support comes from her husband. “All the credit and appreciation goes to him. I am very lucky to have him as my life partner.” And their children? “My daughters are my little elves whose hands appear in my photographs!” says the proud mother.
Do you bake? Tell us about your favourite treats hot out of the oven…