Food

Golden-brown and gooey

A fresh batch of golden-brown Florentines has just come out of the oven. Next to it lies a tray full of green tea brownies, and some pista-cranberry chocolate biscotti. Sleight of Hand, a two-decade-old bakery in Mumbai, is bathed in the heavenly aroma of just-baked delights.

“I was a big disaster in HAFT. I just couldn’t bake,” laughs Aadore Sayani, who started Sleight of Hand in 1998. Sayani now bakes 36-plus varieties of brownies, and a host of other goodies. With the scent from her bakery spreading far and wide, she now has clients ordering from all over the country and from the US, UK, Germany and Australia as well.

After a diploma in HAFT (the hospitality and food programme at Sophia Polytechnic, Mumbai) in 1995, Sayani studied French cooking techniques at The French Culinary Institute, New York (now known as the International Culinary Center). “I worked in different bakeries there and got plenty of experience,” she says.

After returning to India, she wanted to start something on her own. All it took was one gooey brownie that she baked for her grand-aunt’s birthday. It was a hit and her uncle suggested she should start selling them. So she did, and Sleight of Hand came to be.

“I just can’t stick to a recipe,” says Sayani, adding, “The proportions really matter, but you can play around with the ingredients.” Sayani is always trying to create new desserts. She’s just made Bournvita biscotti. “Sometimes I just get visions, at other times I get suggestions from my clients. I am happy to customise,” she says.

The list of popular brownies includes orange curd, hazelnut sense, shortbread chocolate and cappuccino. The hot chocolate sticks are a huge favourite among kids, as are the cookies, chocolates and biscotti. She is working on vegan as well as a range of gluten-free, sugar-free products. “I am also making energy bars and a booster range that has ingredients such as granola, almonds, prunes, flax seed, oats, dates, walnuts, sesame... It’s like a meal in itself,” she says, adding, “I love food and I love chocolate and I love that what I do lets me combine both.”

(Sleight of Hand delivers across the country. It’s also available on websites such as Place of Origin and Food Memories.)

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Printable version | Aug 14, 2020 4:30:10 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/food/feel-like-having-a-brownie/article23838232.ece

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