Baking for a cause

Amrita Prasad
Monday, 11 February 2019

A chocolate making workshop was held in the city, the proceeds of which will help address the problem of malnutrition and other critical health issues faced by people in rural Maharashtra

The Social for Action, a not-for-profit Maharashtra-based initiative which attempts at mobilising the young urban community to make a positive difference in the world, organised Choco-Craft & More — a fundraiser chocolate making workshop on Saturday. Chef Aanchal Sapra, owner of Reve Patisserie, demonstrated and taught participants how to make four different types of cookies (Chocolate Chip, Oatmeal Raisin, Peanut Butter and Sugar Cookies) and cupcakes (Chocolate, Vanilla, Coffee and Oreo). The proceeds from the workshop will be used to address the problem of malnutrition and other critical health issues faced by people across 35 districts in rural Maharashtra. 

The workshop, which was held in three batches, was attended by enthusiastic women across age groups. Sapra, while making the cupcakes and cookies, said she wanted to introduce a little variety, so that the students coming in, got the maximum out of the class. “I decided to do Chocolate Chips because it is a classic dessert. I included Oatmeal Raisin cookies because they are on the healthier side and people love the combination. Keeping in mind the Valentine’s season and the fact that love is in the air, I made heart-shaped Sugar Cookies to make it more romantic. Peanut Butter is an all-time favourite, so it had to be in the list,” she said.  

Sapra, who was overwhelmed with the participants’ interest and enthusiasm, said, “They asked a lot of questions during sessions which meant they were interested in the process. They were all paying attention to the minute details and nuances of baking and baking-related ingredients. It was so much fun meeting people who are passionate about cupcakes and cookies!” The youngest participant was an eight-year-old, while the other end of the spectrum included senior citizens. 
The chef added that one of the best things about baking is that one can conjure something nice with simple and basic ingredients. “Butter, sugar and egg can be found in our kitchen. With these simple ingredients you can make something so delicious that it can light up someone’s day,” she added.
Speaking about her association with Social For Action, Sapra said that the NGO helps people dealing with anaemia and  malnutrition in rural Maharashtra and that she loves the way their entire programme works. “It is not a place where you donate the money and the funds go somewhere else. The team is working in close association with Zila Parishad schools and teaching children the importance of nutrition and how they can incorporate it in their daily diet. I am happy to be associated with this cause,” she said. 
Sharing a few important tips on baking, Sapra said, “Invest in a weighing scale and do not use measuring cups because weighing the ingredients is the most important step in baking. For example, if a recipe calls for 50 gm of sugar, never put 60 gm, it can alter the taste of the dish you are making. Try to follow the recipe as much as possible to get the desired taste and feel. If a recipe requires a certain kind of sugar (say brown), use brown sugar and not white, especially in your first few attempts. Once you have baked enough, you can experiment with ingredients.”

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