23 Nov Bollycakes & Bollycookies: Delicious Asian Wedding Fare!
Asian wedding videos would look far from complete without a truly majestic wedding cake – and we here at YSD have found someone who makes some truly spectacular baked goods, perfect for any Indian wedding. Her name is Usmaa Choudry and she’s the absolute mastermind behind Bollycakes, a Manchester-based bakery that specialises in Asian wedding cakes and cookies for discerning couples all over the UK. Apparently, the average wedding cake takes between two and five days to make, and cost from £300 – but if you take a look at some of Usmaa’s designs, we’re sure you’ll agree that they’re worth every penny! We caught up with the lovely Usmaa to find out more about her and her sweet tooth.] YSD: How long have you been a baker? UC: I have baked for about five years. I started as a diversion to studying for some professional exams and became inspired to pursue a career in baking instead! I am mostly self-taught but initially I went to college to complete a course in cake Decorating. The baking side of things has all been trial and error and using my family and friends as guinea pigs. YSD: Did you always want to make Bollywood cakes? UC: Not right from the beginning. But as I was pulling my business plan together and got some advice, I realised that having a niche would set me apart. Having a foot in two cultures helped me see the Bollywood trend from a different angle and I went forward from there. We cater for any of the multitude of events that can be part and parcel of most Asian weddings. Our cookies are very popular at henna parties because this is usually such a fun and colourful event and they seem to go down very well as wedding favours on the actual wedding day. Asian weddings can last for days so there are plenty of opportunities to provide cake and cookies to your guests! YSD: What cake are you most proud of? UC: I am most proud of one of my recent cakes that I made for a couple getting married at Kelham Hall in Newark. The brief was that the cake would have to make a big impact as the wedding was in quite a vast hall with very high ceilings. It was a large cake so quite challenging but the bride was delighted with the result. YSD: What makes your cakes stand out from the rest? UC: The feedback I continually get from my brides and their families is that they haven’t seen anything like my work. I didn’t set out to be unique but I seem to have developed a signature style which appeals to couples looking for something traditional and contemporary in one cake. My cakes are quite intricate with a lot of detail and colour. YSD: Has being a henna artist really helped you with your cake decorating? How? What techniques do you use? UC: My henna skills have certainly helped with my icing since it is an almost identical technique. I prefer piping icing onto cakes and cookies rather than piping henna on people because the cake does not need reminding to sit still! YSD: What are the most popular cakes? UC: They vary from season to season. Lately, the Pretty Paisley cake and Beaded Mughal cake have been very popular. A cake of mine won a gold award at Cake International last year and this is the design I now get asked for most often.
YSD: What’s the nicest bit of feedback you’ve had? UC: One of my brides recently wrote to me that I had made her dreams come true! It doesn’t get better than that! YSD: What would you say has been your career high so far? UC: Winning a gold award at Cake International was definitely a high point. Other than that, 2015 is proving to be a continual high. My wedding cookies have really taken off and I am getting orders from across the UK. I never get tired of hearing people say they have never seen anything like my cookies before. YSD: What does the future hold for Bollycakes? UC: The future definitely lies with our Bollycookies. They started out as something I made for the wedding of a family member. After I had put a photo on my Facebook page, I was inundated with requests from brides to make them something similar. Since then I have created a portfolio of cookies in different shapes and designs and added a mini-cookie range as well. I never would have imagined they would be so popular but I ship them out to London, Birmingham, Liverpool, Yorkshire to name a few places. I love creating something new that will be a talking point for the guests of my clients.