Purple Foodie. The Size Zero Baker

I'd settled down with the Mid Day at Gloria Jean's on Saturday morning. I turned the pages to look for an article on food blogging that they had featured. Suddenly saw the picture of Shaheen Peerbhai beaming at me from the newspaper.

I'd come across Shaheen's blog, The Purple Foodie, a while back. It is quite popular and features prominently on Google searches. Hers is largely a bakery blog. I am not much into recipe blogs unless they have a personal touch which The Purple Foodie has. I don't bake. But I revere people who can create bread. The photographs that Shaheen takes of her creations, more than anything else, are what got me hooked to her blog. They are some of the most testosterone stirring pictures of breads and bakes that I have ever set my sights on.
I met Shaheen recently for the first time. This was at the Food Bloggers Dinner. I was stunned when I saw her. This sorceress of butter, flour, cream, icing and chocolate looked as if she had never tasted a grain of sugar in her life. A Size Zero Baker if there ever could be one. The newspaper article told me that this popular blogger and enterprising pastry chef is all of twenty three years old.

I was slim when I was twenty three too. But that's before I got married and begun to share a kilo of Birdy's Dutch Truffle cake, a litre of Snowbite's ice cream, a large pack of Damodar's gulab jamuns or a large box of Ferrero Rochers after dinner. Then my partner in crime turned 'size zero' herself after helping me discover my Bengali sweet tooth. I never looked back.

The Mid Day article mentioned Shaheen's phone number, 9820995543. That she lived at Andheri and delivered up to Bandra. It was Kainaz's birthday the next day (22nd August). The perfect time to redeem the ridiculously high rents that we pay to live in Bandra.

We exchanged a few clandestine SMS's while K picked up coffee.

"She likes dark chocolate. No alcohol in desserts. Or raisins. A small cake"

"OK. The mud pie would be perfect. It is four to five inches thick with Belgian dark chocolate'.

A few surreptitious phone calls, and after I nudged the missus towards a mall, the cake was delivered at our house. A few hours after I first got in touch with Shaheen. During which time, I believe, she also whipped up brownie cheesecakes and hazelnut crunches.

I realised that there was a problem the moment the delivery guy entered our flat with the cake. A heady devilish aroma of chocolate wafted through the house. It promised pleasures of the flesh. Sinful. Illicit. Forbidden. Heady. Intoxicating. Unrestrained. Something that a worshipper of cocoa was bound to sniff out the moment she entered the house.

I opened the cake box and feasted my eyes on the most seductive cake ever. It was moist on top. Very sensuous. The sort of thing which should be banned by the Moral Police. I am sure that the recipe was written down in the Kama Sutra. One look at the layer of melted chocolate on top and you knew that it was the end of innocence. It was a cake which should come have with an A for adult certificate.

The clock finally struck twelve. I took out the cake. K was duly surprised after she was in tears at the thought of nothing sweet to eat to bring in her birthday. She took a bite and her first reaction summed up what I just tried to express in so many words.

"Fuck this is to die for".

It took me a while before I managed to get a bite of the cake myself. It was worth the wait. It had taken me a lot of restraint to not do what I did on my brother's first birthday. Eat up half the cake from the fridge before the guests arrived. I was nine then.

I got rewarded for waiting today. You sunk into a steamy bed of melted chocolate as you bit into the cake. Then you came across a slightly saucy crunch of the chocolate base. And you then lost yourself in the embrace of the soft, moist, brownie'ish honey trap. With each bite you felt like screaming out in orgasmic joy and grabbing your next piece of ecstasy. Gosh, was this decadent or not? The sort of indulgence that caused the fall of the Roman Empire. The end of the Mughals. You knew it was wrong for you. That you should stop. That no good could ever come from such unbridled joy. And yet you continue to give in and eat. This was after all the Lady Chatterley of cakes.

The advantage of ordering a cake from Shaheen is that it comes with a little spiral candle, edible confetti to pour on the birthday baby and a personalised note. Don't scoff at this. Don't forget that when you order a cake from The Purple foodie you are ordering a hand made, customised cake baked by a celebrity Size Zero Chef.

(It was raining hence the smudged writing).

Her number, once again, is 9820995543. Her Blog is Purple Foodie.  It is the highest ranked food blog on Indiblogger right now. Now you know why.

Happy birthday K. Wish you many happy returns of the cake.

Most of us put up Google ads when we begin blogging. A few Dollars and many months later you realise that it is close to impossible to make money directly from ads. In this case Shaheen's blogging led to media spotlight leading to orders for bakes. In my case blogging has put me under the radar of the odd journalists leading to an occasional article. It has helped me connect with food lovers. And most importantly given me some very wonderful friends. 

Which brings me to the point that blogging can be a means to an end but rarely an end in itself.


Rushina said…
WOW WOW WOW! K you have surpassed yourself with the writing in this one! It is SO beautiful! And I love the SIZE ZERO BAKER title for Shaheen! Happy (Belated?) birthday to K. And now triply inspired I shall settle down to a day of working on my book! I have till the 5th to finish.
Unknown said…
Kalyan you kill me with this article. Shaheen I want some of that cake. Is it remotely possible that Kainaz might bring a bite of that cake to work. I would love to taste it.
Oh where are my manners- Happy Birthday Kainaz!!!
Shaheen said…
"I was slim when I was twenty three too." a now you look like someone's biology professor! Hehe

Jokes apart, I am SO happy to read this. I read it many times over! Thank you so much. I'm thrilled that you chose a cake from me for your celebration! :)
Poonam said…
Lol I love the 'size zero' title for shaheen!! and happy birthday kainaaz :)
Srivalli said…
That cake sure looks sinful!..
Sunshinemom said…
Ha ha! A very good read. I like that part that says your wife went to size zero having fed you to life's delights! And I also love the part about rewards of blogging:). For me, just hearing from my regular readers is a high!
Scarlett said…
Oh man! Sensuous? It's bloody orgasmic! I can't bear to look at it!!! How come you're surrounded by so many mindblowing bakers, Kalyan? Not fair!!!!!
Scarlett said…
Oh yeah, Happy Birthday to Kainaz! I'm sorry I forgot to wish in my previous comment but I can't be blamed for it :)
Kalyan Karmakar said…
@Rushina...this was the first comment that I read in the morning as rushed happily to candies. Thanks so much. No, not belated :) Can't wait for the book

@Curry Spice...what made you think that there is any left? ;)

@Shaheen... no, thank you. Good show. Well, Bachchan was quite a thin Botany Prof in Chupke Chupke:)

@Poonam, thanks

@Srivalli, thanks

@Sunshine Mom: Comments are what keep me going too

@Scarlett: Good food Karma I guess. Pun intended
Anonymous said…
Hi,Visited your blog for the first time yesterday,and have read it quite a few times since then:-).
Enjoyed the birthday post a lot,read it many times too.
And love all the pics on mumbai.
Sassy Fork said…
The last photograph is so sweet!!
Kainaz must have just melted with your gesture!
I am sure Size Zero Baker is even more flooded with calls after your blog post!
k said…
merci beaucoup
Kalyan Karmakar said…
@Saf: thanks :)

@Sassy Fork: Yeah she did melt and shared a peice of the cake :)

The Size Zero Baker deserves them all and more

@K: thanks for sharing the cake. Eventually
Anonymous said…
The Purple Foodie is a size zero??? Goddamit. Oh well, Happy Birthday Mrs. Finely Chopped.
Kalyan Karmakar said…
@Debjani, who said life's fair :)
Keri said…
Interesting Post. Great discriptives, I Hear You!! blogging is just fun. and the people are great.


Anonymous said…
This is the most AMAZING description of a cake! EVER!
And the cake is so deserves all the attention! Its the most amazing gooey yummt thing I've ever laid eyes on...