The pandemic has gone to the dogs, and cats. Pet baker Shweta Batra of Doodle Over Poodle knows it too well. She bakes biscuits with doggie names. She makes mango, carrot and blueberry ice creams for the pooches. Getting a paw-sitive response are her cakes chicken carrot, chicken cheese, peanut butter carrot and even a banana coconut cake for vegetarians.
A not-so shaggy dog story goes thus: Once upon a time, young Shweta and Dhruv got married. They had a baby, which was named Doodle Over Poodle. The pair wished to share their happiness by offering the best quality pet services at reasonable prices. So they opened a pet business. They began by importing pet products and held exhibitions to get feedback from pet owners. The first Doodle Over Poodle was born in June 2019 in Punjabi Bagh, Delhi. It offered jacuzzi baths, massages and vet services for the hounds. Three months later, they opened a pet bakery in Neeti Bagh.
The idea for a pet bakery came after the lockdown. “In March 2020, we had to close our store in Punjabi Bagh. We had no other source of income. I stayed home with our two dogs and a Persian kitten. Suddenly, I had more time to spend with them. I decided to pamper them. The treats on the market have sugar and gluten, which are extremely unhealthy for pets,” recalls Shweta.
She messed around the kitchen with dog-friendly ingredients and created a new surprise treat for her three pets every day. Even the strays in the colony got their share of goodies. For the birthdays of her pet kids, Shweta baked dog- and cat-friendly cakes. “When I saw how much they appreciated the cakes, I decided to become a professional baker,”
The feedback has been overwhelming. Ever eager to please the real patrons, Shweta makes it a point to ask owners what their pets love to eat, about their medical conditions and allergies. She customises the taste accordingly. “Every order is special. The real magic in the kitchen happens when customers share their pet’s picture and ask us to bake a cake in the shape of its face literally a doodle over poodle. We use only cottage cheese, hung curd and peanut butter for the frosting,” she says. The bakery’s freshly baked in-house range includes cakes, pupcakes, personalised dog biscuits, peanut butter and carob brownies. The ice creams, and chicken and mutton bone broth are outsourced.
All products are free of sugar, salt and gluten, and contain no artificial flavours, sweeteners or preservatives. Has the Covid-19 second wave affected business? “Yes and no. I’m baking from home and delivering via courier. Hence our income is not really affected. However, had the outlet been open, I would’ve had more walk-in customers for readily available treats,” she admits. Shweta’s friends and family turn to her for birthday cakes. Sometimes a pet parent orders both a pet cake and a human cake to celebrate the happy day together. “I turn such requests down because honestly I’ve absolutely no interest in making cakes for people. There are many other bakeries for that.” But both are winners; cakes are her pet obsession and their pet’s obsession.
Carob and Peanut Butter Pupcakes (Serves two)
● Carob powder: 1tsp
● Freshly ground peanut butter: 2tbsp
● Rice flour: 1 cup
● Oat flour: 1 cup
● Coconut oil: 2tbsp
● Egg: 1
● Honey: 2 tbsp (optional)
● Lots of love (mandatory)
For the frosting
● Greek yoghurt
● Peanut butter
● Pre-heat oven to 160°C for 10 minutes
● In a bowl, add rice and oat flour along with carob powder. Mix well.
● Hug your fur baby
● Take a small bowl to mix all the wet ingredients
● Time to kiss your pooch now
● Add the wet ingredients to the flour mix. Add more water if required to form a rough paste.
● Grease your cupcake tray and pour the mix. Bake at 160°C for 20-25 mins.
● Insert a knife to check if pupcakes are ready. If not ready, bake for another 10 minutes.
● Decorate with Greek yoghurt and peanut butter mixed in 2:1 ratio. You could also use cottage cheese.
● It’s lick and gobble time!