Naomy Antony is ready for the festive season with a 90-year-old wine recipe that her grandfather left behind. The student of fine arts says baking and wine making have always been on the cards for her and she credits her mother for being her inspiration.
“I grew up watching my mother bake, and I started baking when I was in the eighth grade,” she says. It’s been a year since she started her label Hey Sugar. “I’m passionate about baking and I started Hey Sugar to take it to the next level. The response has been brilliant,” she shares.
Importing nuts and spices for traditional plum cakes from Dubai, she says that treacle is a special ingredient that she adds to the mix along with cinnamon, cloves, ginger and almond powder. “I have a personalised recipe for plum cakes — I add treacle, a sugar-based ingredient to the mix, along with exotic fruits and nuts. Garam masala is also something that I add to enhance the flavour,” she adds. “I start receiving orders from November through Facebook,” she says. Having baked over 25kg of cakes for her customers, she says that cake tastes better as it matures. “I bake it and keep it aside for time to take its course,” she shares.
Naomy claims that some recipes have artificial ingredients which enhance the colour and taste, but are unhealthy. “Wine loses its originality when the natural process is hindered. I don’t add anything artificial and my recipe is 100% natural,” she says. What kind of wine do customers prefer? “Most people ask if my wine has alcohol, and surprisingly, this time most orders are for non-alcoholic wine,” she says.
Naomy also bakes cookies, butterscotch cakes, coffee-walnut-butterscotch cakes, cappuccino cakes, caramel-date cakes, date- carrot and a lot more. She customises her cakes according to customers’ suggestions. Her most recent customisation was a cake in the shape of a castle. So how does she juggle between her studies and passion for baking? “It is hectic and the subject I study demands a lot of patience and time. I love baking and art, and until I have a deadline for my college work, I’m not under pressure,” she laughs.
She plans to get into baking full-time after she graduates, and wants to open a workshop. “Right now, my hands are full with orders and college assignments. But I can see future in baking,” she adds. Does she have any tips for amateur home bakers? “Measurements are very important in baking. They have to be perfect and all the ingredients have to be at room temperature before you start baking,” she says.
Cakes at Hey Sugar are priced from `275 onwards. Wine is priced at `400 per litre. For orders, contact 097919 43983.