Idle Hands Are The Devil's Bakery
Cuisine & Wine Asia|July - August 2020
One of the biggest things to come out of this lockdown is the amount of time people have to devote to things they’ve always wanted to do, which has included baking. In march 2020, a recent survey showed that the second highest selling product sold so far happened to be bread making machines, showing the interest of people deciding to bake fresh bread and desserts in their own home. We asked three people to show us the sweet desserts they are making at home and why.

Ninja Pastry Babat!

Basque burnt cheesecakes are a popular trend on social media. It’s baked at a high temperature to get a burnt exterior and a creamy centre, which makes the flavours complementary to each other. Chef Sasaki Sarifi, run by two enterprising women, has created the Basque burnt cheesecake to perfection with their signature Milo flavour. “[Chef Sarifi] came about after we felt everyone needed comfort the way we do in the form of food, especially with the Covid-19 outbreak being stressful on everyone,” explains Ms Skye Yaw, one of the founders of the company, in an email interview. Her partner, Chef Sarifi, worked with Ms Yaw to scour, develop and conceptualise the different flavours popular in the market today. “We were planning to do a few for friends and family and they spread the word because they enjoyed it and wanted to show some support.”

“[These cheesecakes] are the brainchild of much research and development,” she explains, “We realised that there were many Basque burnt cheesecakes out there but none with our signature crust base or a flavour like Milo that caters to the local sweet tooth.” One of the great marketing factors about this company is the fact that the company caters to a halal audience as well. “Since we do not use pork or alcohol in our products, this was a simple decision to make,” continues Ms Yaw.

Challenges that plague the home-based company has included, for a short period of time, on circuit breaker measures that have tightened the definitions of essential services. Ms Yaw admitted that the massive queues from other home bakers trying to scrooge for similar ingredients, as well as finding packaging that fit their requirements has been difficult. “These things are short in supply at our usual suppliers. We have had to source for alternative suppliers, while also hoarding them at home. Finding ways to store them has proven to be a challenge.” Another challenge that affected them? The announcement of home business operators being forced to stop operating for a short period of time, which had affected their business for a short while. Luckily, the restrictions have become fewer as the government then later rolled back on some decisions.

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