Ashwini Hebbar is a cake artist from Bangalore. She worked as a medical coder in three different companies for 6 years before she ventured into baking.
1. Hi Ashwini, welcome to the interview session of Annie’s Blog . To start with, we would request you to tell us a few lines about yourself.
Hi I am Ashwini Hebbar, A cake artist based out of Bangalore. I would describe myself as a creative , highly determined person, an avid traveler and an adventure seeker.
2. How did you get started with baking? At what age did you bake your first cake?
The first cake I did was for my husband’s birthday in 2014. It was a Harley Davidson cake with a 3D bike topper. Everyone who saw and tasted the cake appreciated it. For a newbie like me this was the biggest motivation. I quit my job soon after and ventured into baking full time.
3. How was your first baking experience?
The very first cake I did was for my husband. It was the first time I baked a cake and the first time I decorated a cake as well. It was a simple vanilla cake filled and frosted with chocolate ganache with a bike theme. I strive for perfection in whatever I do. It took me almost a week and 3 attempts to get the bike right. All in all, first baking experience is always special and it becomes even more special when it’s done for a loved one.
4. How did you learn baking?
I learnt basic baking from a fellow home baker. However I am a self-taught artist when it comes to cake decorating. I watch videos and keep myself updated with the current trends in baking and decorating.
5. When did you decide to become a professional baker and start your baking business? What was the inspiration behind the decision?
I always wanted to do something different from a young age although becoming a professional baker was not in my mind then. The biggest inspiration came when I successfully executed a 3D bike cake on my very first attempt on cake decorating. It was then I decided to quit my job and start my own venture.
6. Please tell us about your baking company Icings- The Cake Boutique.
Icings-The cake boutique is the name of my home baking venture. It was
born out of a natural love of art, designing and passion for baking. All my goodies are baked fresh on order using premium ingredients as I believe quality is of utmost importance. I do custom cakes, cupcakes and cookies for all occasions.
7. What are some of the challenging cake ideas that you performed till date?
I feel every cake is a challenge in itself as no two cakes are the same. However 3D cakes are more challenging when it comes to execution. It requires carving and a lot of detailing. Another big challenge I faced was a huge order which I got during my initial days. It was for a first birthday. I had to make 250 cupcakes, A 3 kg tiered cake and 100 cookies( all themed ). I worked for 48 hours straight and pulled it off single- handedly. In the end the feedback which I received made all the effort worthwhile.
8. What are some of the signature products of your company? Which one is your personal favorite?
My signature cake flavors are Pinacolada, Banoffee, Raspberry red velvet
and Guava. But my personal favorite is Coconut cake with cream cheese.
9. Being a baker, you must have had to overcome challenges. Please tell us about them.
I take care of everything single handedly right from buying the ingredients to baking and decorating the cakes, so managing both this and my family is always challenging. There is no fixed timings or limit to the number of hours I work in a day. So I always make sure I plan everything before hand and dont stress myself with last minute orders.
10. Narrate some of your success stories.
A small scale home baker who used to do only around 2 to 3 cakes a month to
someone who does more than 5 cakes a week now shows how far I have come. Clients coming back for repeated orders and people appreciating your work. For me there is no biggest success story than this. It has been a long, progressive journey achieved through sheer determination and hard-work.
11. What plans do you have to scale your business operations?
I am planning on opening my own studio where I can take classes both for baking and cake decorating.
12. Your advice to those who wish to take up baking as a profession.
Proper understanding of the basics is utmost important in baking. Practice does
make a man better if not perfect. Make sure to take feedback from clients. That is how you better yourself every single time and build up your career.
13. If you have had one wish.
My wish is to do a professional baking course from a top culinary school.
Ashwini Hebbar: Founder of Icings- The Cake Boutique.
Facebook Link: https://www.facebook.com/Icingscakeboutique