Kitchen confidence! How these pre-teens are cooking up delights

Saachi Pasari found her life’s purpose at a friend’s birthday celebration six years ago. The 12-year-old has vivid memories of the baking competition held at the party. “The kids were split into teams, and asked to prepare a dish.” The team with the most delicious treat took home a prize. Pasari doesn’t recall winning, but the cupcakes she made convinced her of one thing. At age six, Pasari wanted to be a baker. The kitchen soon became what the doll house was to little girls. When she wasn’t doing homework or attending ballet class, the Class VI student of Hill Spring International School, would be whisking away brownie and cookie dough. The pandemic made everything more real.

When the lockdown was announced, Pasari found herself with too much time, and too little to do. Fortunately, the school announced a hobby project early on in March. Each child was given a mentor to guide them. Sensing her passion for baking, Pasari’s mentor and teacher, Kanjal Ahuja, suggested that she start a baking page on Instagram, where she could share pictures of her kitchen experiments. Bake My Day (@bake_my_day_by_saachi), soon evolved into a home delivery service, with a delectable menu comprising macarons and a variety of brownies, cakes and tarts. Every new dessert she prepares, now gets added to Pasari’s growing menu, which she enriches by researching food sites and attending online workshops. “I try multiple versions of a dish and come up with my own recipe for it,” she says. Her vegan macarons are a hot-sell (box of six for R550). “I make the macarons either using aquafaba [made of chickpeas] or potato protein. Aquafaba is a replacement for eggs, but doesn’t work well in humid conditions, because it catches moisture easily. So, when it’s humid, and I get an order, I use potato protein with home-made almond powder, and caster and icing sugar,” she says. Her fillings vary from caramel, strawberry, Nutella sea salt, tiramisu to cookie and cream. Since she gets an order almost every day, she spends close to three hours in the kitchen, post school hours. “After baking, I go and chill on the terrace for a while,” she says. That’s when she winds down.

Saachi Pasari, 12, started her page, Bake My Day, on Instagram during the lockdown, and has been taking orders for macarons, brownies and tarts. All the proceeds from the sale go to charity
Saachi Pasari, 12, started her page, Bake My Day, on Instagram during the lockdown, and has been taking orders for macarons, brownies and tarts. All the proceeds from the sale go to charity

Where Pasari wishes to join Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, 10-year-old Sai Harish Thakkar of Swami Vivekanand International School in Kandivli dreams of being a YouTube cooking star. “Did you subscribe [to my page] and press the bell icon?” she asks this writer, before the interview. Thakkar is enquiring about her recently launched YouTube page, Cook With Sai. Her mother Trupti says she would crawl into the kitchen when little and learn the names of vegetables and fruits. When Thakkar had grown tall enough to see the kitchen counter, she started making tea and coffee.

In the lockdown, she

Read more