Dark secrets

Sakshi Aggarwal says she is an inveterate foodie and a hyperactive one at that. This month,Valentine’s Day had seen her dishing up chocolate fondues and cakes by the dozen for private parties and corporate clients...

Written by Paromita Chakrabarti | Published:February 22, 2009 1:36 am

Sakshi Aggarwal holds workshops in her Pitampura home on the art of making chocolates

Sakshi Aggarwal says she is an inveterate foodie and a hyperactive one at that. This month,Valentine’s Day had seen her dishing up chocolate fondues and cakes by the dozen for private parties and corporate clients,but Aggarwal is far from tired. “People think that I am mad,but honestly,there’s something soothing about mixing the batter and seeing the cakes come out all soft and spongy. My mother was great at making confectionaries and desserts and I remember asking her to teach me as well when I was around 16,so I could surprise my friends. It kind of stayed on with me,” says the 27-year-old management graduate,who now runs a chocolate boutique,Chocolate Studio,besides conducting chocolate making workshops at her home in Pitampura.

At the workshops that Aggarwal hosts,a small group of about four to five people get their hands dirty,learning the difference between couverture and compound,between Callebaut and its cheaper counterpart Selbourne. “People don’t really know the difference between the various kinds of chocolates available in the market. The general mindset is to make do with the cheaper stuff,because they think it’s just chocolates. But good chocolates can make so much of a difference,” she says,in between one of the workshops,where she has been filling her students up on tricks to make crunchy praline and imitation Ferrero Rochers and After Eights. “I always prefer a smaller group because you can’t learn to bake unless you do it yourself and at my workshop I insist that people do everything on their own,” she says.

Chocolates are not her only forte though. Besides two-day long bakery courses and the day-long chocolate making lessons,Aggarwal also hosts workshops on Indian,Chinese and Lebanese cooking besides customised classes for elders. In between she also finds time to host art and craft classes,teaching people the finer tricks of making candles and soaps and Jaipuri kundan painting and parchment craft. “The funny part is that I get more foreigners than Indians for the craft classes because they say it’s much cheaper to learn it here in India than back in their own countries,” she says.

You would imagine with so much on her hands,she wouldn’t find time for much besides,but Aggarwal is putting her management training to good use,with corporate training workshops as well. “I have a one-and-a half year son,who is just as hyperactive as I am,but I like interacting with people,so it’s less work and more an opportunity to meet with new people,which is probably why I can manage time for so many things,” she smiles.

For details on workshops,check Aggarwal’s website,www.passiontree.com

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