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Baking Maniac is the name to know when it comes to show stopping baking creations that look like they would require a team of 10 professional pastry chefs to put together. From designer cupcakes, to fondant cake sculptures to confetti coloured cake pops to frosted cookies, there is nothing this team of 2 can’t tackle baking-wise.
Before we jump into our Q&A where he shares his free-from baking secrets, here are 10 Things You Should Know About The Baking Maniac Co-Founder Ankrish Gidwani:
- His co-founder is his mother. Aww…
- He has been baking since he was 8 years old.
- He has been running a successful baking-on-demand business since he was 12 years old.
- His clientele includes WeChat, Rabo Bank, Nespresso, BT, Dolby, Cisco, TedX, Lane Crawford Calvin Klein, Harbour City and Ralph Lauren on top of the hundreds of private birthday cake clients he has worked with.
- He scours the world for his ingredients and most of them are organic.
- He is only 18 years old. Yes, you read that right.
- He is currently getting his degree in Hotel Management whilst running Baking Maniac.
- His dream is to become a patisserie chef in Hong Kong.
- The hardest cake he has ever taken on was a 8 tiered, 32 color shade, hand-piped affair for The Discovery Channel.
- He once spent over 50 hours creating over 100 edible jeweled gems for a birthday cake order.
What is gluten-free flour options works best for baking?
We use only Doves Gluten Free Plain White Flour. At first, we tried mixing flours ourselves but we weren’t very happy with the results. We have had great results with Dove’s premixed flour blend.
What is your preferred healthy sweetener?
Since we use only natural products, we stick to just organic raw sugar or organic brown sugar.
What ingredients do you use for your non-dairy creations?
What is your favorite egg substitute?
Yoghurt and vinegar work really well.
What non-dairy milk works best in baking?
Definitely Aussie Dream organic rice milk.
What is your most common free-from request?
We get a lot of gluten-free requests, but also many dairy free and egg-free requests.
Do you ever make raw vegan creations?
Yes sometimes: we made raw vegan coconut date balls and we also tried out an avocado chocolate mousse. Both turned out really well!
What’s your favourite free-from treat?
Our vegan chocolate cupcakes, definitely! It’s hard to believe but they’re even more moist than the regular cupcakes!
What really doesn’t work in terms of substitutions and free-from cakes/desserts? Any disasters?
Tiramisu is hard, because I can’t figure out how to successfully substitute the mascarpone cheese.
What overall advice do you have for free-form bakers?
Don’t be disappointed if your first try doesn’t work out. Experimentation is normal. There have been plenty of disasters while trying to experiment along the way! Gluten-free baking can be very tricky at times… That being said, gluten-free, dairy-free and egg-free baked goods can taste really good- it is possible, I promise, so keep at it.