Grief is sometimes ‘sweet’ for this Chennai-based home baker

“With not much happening in the event planning scene during the pandemic, I wanted to explore and try something new, and so I tried baking. The first cake I baked was a dark chocolate cake. I gave it to my grandfather and felt it was too bitter,” she chuckles.
Grief is sometimes ‘sweet’ for this Chennai-based home baker

CHENNAI: Søren Kierkegaard, the Danish philosopher said, “The only way to overcome despair, to relieve this condition, is to surrender. There is an eternal by which to lose ourselves in. There is faith, and grief is the dark, marble door to belief.”

As fate would have it, after 24-year-old Nabeela Imran’s grandfather passed away in 2020 she began working on her grief through baking.

“My grandfather was always there for me, at my lowest and in my most joyous moments. He was the first person I’d run to, to share my happiness, success, ideas and even failures for that matter. The last conversation I had with him was about starting a baking business. I wanted to turn my grief into something else, so to honour his memory I started The Firahs Goodness, a palindrome of his name Sharif,” says Nabeela, founder of The Shiras Goodness.

Before venturing into baking full-time, Nabeela handled the operations for her father’s event management company, Glister Events. “With not much happening in the event planning scene during the pandemic, I wanted to explore and try something new, and so I tried baking. The first cake I baked was a dark chocolate cake. I gave it to my grandfather and felt it was too bitter,” she chuckles.

Having made a promise to bake a better cake for him, she started looking for recipes. Unfortunately, he passed shortly after. Unable to take the grief, she channelled her emotions through baking and came up with innovative desserts. “I would stay up all day and night thinking of interesting things I could bake. That’s how the pizookie (a pizza-sized cookie) happened. The reason also being I wanted to eat a giant cookie,” she laughs.

In 2021, her pizookie invention took the internet by storm and she slowly started experimenting with different flavours. “Up until then, I didn’t have a designated baking page. People started reaching out to me and I decided to do this full-time. I created an Instagram page and have been taking orders since then” she adds.

While her pizookie has a range of 15 flavours, ranging from cotton candy, cream and cookies, chocolate chip, etc, an eclectic variety of brownies, cake jars, cupcakes, cheesecake cups, mousse, and pastries are also a part of the menu.

She also conducts baking workshops for kids aged 5 – 17. “According to me, baking has layers. Planning, budgeting, and designing are part of the process and I think learning these skills through an immersive experience will be useful and fun for kids. I collaborate with local artists and other creators to share the joy of baking and art combined,” she smiles.

Talking about their upcoming workshop, she says, “We have collaborated with Abinaya of The Brush Affair and will be having another workshop soon. We will cover the basics of cupcake frosting and teach how to bake a simple cake, while Abinaya will teach painting with watercolours. I’m really excited and looking forward to this workshop.”

For details contact 9003975768.

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