CHENNAI: Do you find solace in a bag of flour? Does measuring ingredients, pouring, stirring and kneading improve your mood? Well, I am envious! Thanks to my lack of kitchen competency, my desperate attempts at trying my hands at indulgent baking has almost always only made me more anxious (Unpopular opinion?). However, two days ago, after a long workday, I decided to bake some comfort cookies. But this time, I didn’t have to worry about the recipe, scale the ingredients, agonise over the process and/or the consistency. I wore my oven gloves, spread the parchment paper over the tray, laced it with perfectly pre-formed cookie dough balls (with chocolate chunks!), slid it into the oven and waited. In 15 minutes, the sweet smell of rich chocolate, cocoa, butter, vanilla and sugar filled the room and 10 minutes later, I was busy biting into the decadent cookies — crunchy on the outside, chewy in the middle with bits of chocolate chips and chunks melting in my mouth. While mastering the art of mindful baking is on top of my to-do list this year, The Dough Co, Chennai’s first frozen cookie dough company, has now taken me closer to my goal.
Twenty-five-year-old Aswini Srinivasan, the brain behind the enterprise, says one of the primary intentions is to enable anyone and everyone to experience the joy of baking but without having to spend hours sourcing the right ingredients, converting cups into grams and most importantly, finding the perfect recipe. “The process of sourcing and buying quality ingredients, baking and storing it could be taxing for many. With these dough balls, delicious cookies will make its way from the freezer to the plate in a matter of minutes,” she explains.
Though the concept is quite popular in the West, the idea is in its nascent stages in India. “My nephew is fond of the cookies I bake. During one such day, after I baked for him, there was some leftover dough. So I kept it away in the fridge and almost forgot about it. Over a week later, I baked the frozen dough and they tasted good! In fact, during that period, the ingredients had integrated well and the texture was much better. That’s when I realised that this could potentially become a food commodity,” shares the entrepreneur, who has a diploma in baking and patisserie.
In March, when the lockdown was announced, Aswini found herself presented with the time and opportunity to experiment and develop the idea into a feasible model. Mixing ingredients, testing recipes and perfecting it were how she spent her days in quarantine. “It was quite exciting, to say the least. Baking has just caught momentum in India. While everyone wants to try their hand at it and indulge in home-baked goodies, many don’t have the time to go through the entire drill. So I decided to take care of the process,” she shares.
With safety and sanitation concerns growing in the pandemic-riddled world, Aswini vouches that everything is prepared under hygienic conditions. “There are mothers who are always on the lookout for dishes and products that will not only satiate their child’s craving but are also fresh, of good quality and with no added preservatives. Here, from procuring the best quality ingredients, being mindful of what goes in, preparing the dough balls to packaging the product, everything is done at home under hygienic conditions. So all one has to do is store the re-sealable packs in the freezer, pull out as many dough balls as they want, bake and serve them hot,” details Aswini, who is also the co-founder of 80 Degrees East cafe.
While several households now own a convection oven/an OTG, it’s still an investment that many are not willing to make without a real purpose. “My mom bakes in a pressure cooker and I wanted to cater to that segment too. So, the frozen cookies dough balls don’t necessarily need an oven. They can be baked in a cooker too,” she shares.
Aswini currently prepares eggless cookie dough balls in two different flavours — Double Chocolate Cookie Dough and Chocolate Chunk Cookie Dough. “I will soon be launching a set of healthy, organic cookie dough balls too. I am looking to cater to all kinds of eaters through my venture. The larger goal is to make this into a retail product and to make it available in stores. I am working towards it,” she adds. The Dough Co’s pre-formed, ready-to-bake frozen cookie dough balls are now open for pre-
orders. “They are made in small batches every day and delivered at the customers’ doorsteps. Over the last couple of days, I’ve received over 30 orders and have been getting positive reviews too!” enthuses Aswini.
For details, call 9962555294 or visit Facebook page: The Dough Co. India or Instagram page: thedough_co