The healthy cookie

The healthy cookie

The healthy cookie

There are numerous bakers in the City who churn out elaborate fondant goodies, gravity defying cakes and customised, designer desserts. But what Simran Oberoi Multani does with ‘Ovenderful’ is more niche. She bakes delicious cookies and cakes by giving them a healthy twist. Dark chocolate ragi biscuits, gluten-free cookies, cakes with date syrup...these are just some of her specialities.

“A big problem we face on a daily basis is how to accommodate eating healthy,” she says, “While we can try to be healthy for breakfast, lunch and dinner, it’s the mid-meal snacking that is difficult to avoid.” This is why she comes up with snacks that are free of preservatives and colour, low on sugar, egg-free and if wanted, gluten and milk product-free. And she does all this without compromising on taste.

As Simran is a self-taught artiste, she experiments with flavours and ingredients before coming up with a final product. “I recently made a cake with sunflower seeds as topping. I didn’t know how I’d incorporate the seeds but the cake came out tasting yummy.” And this passion for experimenting keeps her going. “Baking healthy is something I’m comfortable with.”

Although they taste yummy, her treats do differ from preservative-loaded foods. “They are palatable if a person is willing to give them a try. It’s an acquired taste.” But she makes up for this gap by adding the freshest of ingredients. And the best part is that one doesn’t need to watch how much they eat. Eat a handful of her dark chocolate ragi biscuits and you won’t put on any weight because, “I use only whole-wheat. Unless a person makes a request, I avoid maida. And I reduce the sugar content as much as possible.”

It was after a 12-year stint as a human resources consultant that she decided to take up baking seriously. “When my son was born, I decided to switch to research work, in hopes that I would have enough time for him while being financially independent at the same time. But my office didn’t have a creche and I didn’t want to leave him with a nanny, so I quit work and took up baking.”

And not only does she bake for a living, but also uses it to raise money for different causes that are close to heart — animal rights and child empowerment. Since she is confident about her baking skills in this section, her products sell well and are popular among her customers. “But baking designer cakes is not my cup of tea. I wouldn’t mind if a cake weren’t fluffy...” she says.

Even a half teaspoon of cinnamon can make a difference when she bakes. “I realise that I can’t bake solely on my likes and dislikes and taste, so I make my friends taste everything. Or my son, who loves what I make,” she explains.

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