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Hardip Pabla is the renowned baker and cake designer behind Berkshire's Perfect Lovely Cakes; here Your Berks,Bucks & Oxon Wedding finds out all about her story and passions.
Where did your journey into baking begin? Hardip says: As a child I loved to do crafts like knitting cross-stitch and making cupcakes. I didn't bake in the traditional sense with my mother or grandma. I grew up in a time where our mothers made Indian sweets and savories at home. My real experience and love for all things cake started in my 30s when I joined an evening class on sugar flowers at a local school. I worked in a successful but stressful corporate role, everyone in the class was retired and enjoying their love of the craft so they were a calming effect on me. What did I pick up from all the ladies in my life? The emotion that you put into your cooking comes from the good mood and thoughts you have whilst making the food. I see the professions of cakemaker and baker as two very separate art forms. Doing both makes you a caker! I am definitely a caker by training and being a good baker is a part of the process my clients expect me to be good at.
What's your favourite part of wedding cake designing/making? In my corporate roles I had to make events happen for product launches or to motivate teams from various backgrounds. I know how much effort and anticipation goes into any type of event. So as I become involved with a couple the whole process of working on their special day is an amazing part of the job. The buzz and excitement that comes from the initial meetup to the reveal on the big day, for me, is like watching your kid in the run up to Christmas. No two cakes are the same, so I love the fact that I get to use skills like Royal Icing work, sugar flowers.
What's been your favourite cake design so far/why? Not sure I have met my favorite. I love the challenge of each cake. The classic white on white cake leaves you nowhere to hide. This season has been all about colour, bold with Reds, Blues , with height using stands and spacers. Flowers either fresh or sugarcrafted. I am lucky that I have clients who range from the traditional right through to something unusual like gravity defying cakes.
Top wedding tip for couples? My Top Tip for any client... there are many! You have to know , like and trust your supplier.It is so important to take your time to team up with a professional who also then takes the time to demonstrate their ability and that they take away any hassle. This is especially true when you work with creative personalities. Everyone knows a 'someone who makes cakes' and it's easy to get caught up in the craft. This is a day that your and your guests will remember so from the smallest, simplest design to the most extravagant, it doesn't matter who you work with for your day, the team of suppliers will at some point between booking and delivering and will disappear into their professional world. You need to feel that you are in safe hands, not forgotten and that on the day you are given your WOW factor.
What's your go-to comfort-eating dessert? Tough one! I have to say that given the chance I find it hard to say no to something like a fresh warm doughnut or churros spliced with cinnamon. Followed very closely by the classic lemon sponge cake and Indian sweets like Barfi/Besan/Gulab jamun ... these are the sweets my mum makes so they evoke emotions. As you can see I love a lot of puddings!
Check out http://www.perfectlovely.co.uk/