Mastering on Rustic Textures
Like any industry, the world of desserts has trends. What are you seeing as a trend today?
Rhian Franklin:- I have seen a gradual increase in textured patterns on cakes. I’m personally in love with the concept of rustic textures on designer cakes myself.
How do you see dessert evolving—in restaurants in general and in your own approach?
Rhian Franklin:- People are more aware of desserts today than before. From healthy options, flavour pairing, latest trends etc. It’s not just ‘Indian methais’ or sugar syrup-soaked sponge cakes. Now we’ve got entremets, mousse, pastries, pure Belgian chocolate etc. The availability of the best quality raw materials today v/s 5 years ago have an immense difference. It’s only because people are now exploring newer and more inventive ways of baking & cake decorating.
What’s a typical day for you as a Home Baker?
Rhian Franklin:- I’m a home baker, but I also spend most of my time conducting wedding cake designing workshops across the country. I’m usually very organised because of my travel schedule and hence, every element of my dessert/ cake I keep them ready well in advance. I’m a mother of two and thanks to my mom, who helps me with her upbringing I’m able to focus most of my time on baking. I start my day by listing the items to be purchased and payments going out to vendors. A brief synopsis of income from the previous day. Then I move on to preparing my meals. In the afternoon I bake the sponge, fillings, etc for the next day’s order. Depending on when my product needs to be delivered I decide further whose order should be completed first. I divide the work for each cake for 3-7 days depending on the size and design. This gives me enough time to spend with my kids, do my work and complete my orders. But sometimes, you don’t get the sleep at all. Some orders no matter how prepared you are will take the life out of you & in those times coffee espresso shots keep me going.
For beginners who want to get a little more serious about their pastry skills, what are some essential tools?
Rhian Franklin:- I always advise my students to invest in the bare minimum and try and make the most out of it. Just because it looks fancy does not mean it’ll do the job right. Some basic tools required are an oven, bowls and whisks, spatula, a hand mixer, a cutting mat, 1 set of modelling tools and a rolling pin.
Tell us, your best part about Cake Designing?
Rhian Franklin:- I get to express my self through it. Every cake is unique and my creativity at its best. It’s a therapy, it’s something that comforts my soul. It’s worth breaking your back for the hours spent designing the cakes when you see the final reaction from your customers.
Who were some of the mentors that had an impact on your career?
Rhian Franklin:- Chef Rumana Jaseel, Sugar flower artist Alan Dunn.
What unique techniques and flavour pairings have you learned as a baker that you’ve incorporated unexpectedly into your cooking today.
Rhian Franklin:- Working with couverture chocolate. Jaconde or other sponge made with almond flour, Mousselines etc. & my favourite by far is the Madagascar orange cake and the Match Teacake.