Choux Box — a home baking venture and studio located in Koramangala is the brainchild of Natasha Patrao. The young baker was all of eight years old when she took to baking, which was introduced to her by her mother. “My mother is my main inspiration,” says Patrao, adding that her earliest memories of baking involved helping her mum bake their family’s favourite tri-coloured marble cake.
And though she pursued a degree in Chemical Engineering instead of baking, she found ways to look at the subject from a baker’s perspective. “The way ingredients react, the cause and effect and the chemistry of it all really fascinated me,” she tells us. Despite being recruited by a reputed IT firm, she turned the offer down to become a kindergarten teacher and would teach kids baking as part of their regular curriculum. “And that’s how it all began. I would take baking orders in the evenings. But my family urged me to take it up full time. And soon I found myself in Singapore, for a diploma in pastry art and baking from Sunrise Global Chef Academy, through which I interned with the Hilton Group,” she recalls.
In the oven
Promising consistency and high quality, Patrao reveals that everything from baking to frosting is done by her, with two helpers assisting with all the prep work. “Two of my bestsellers are the Blueberry Cheese Cake and the Classic Dark Choco with a Walnut Crust, which is my own recipe,” says the baker. The menu also includes an array of tarts, macarons, quiches and cakes. The Pear Tart with almond cream is an unusual treat — a recipe she picked up from her days in Singapore. If you’re a macaron lover, their selection of flavours like rose, lemon, tea, chocolate, hazelnut-cream, blueberry, mango (seasonal) and strawberry should satisfy your cravings. With mango season, comes exquisite options like mango pie and mango mousse, sometimes with a dash of coconut and lime for a tropical twist. One can also choose from bite-sized desserts, which include panna cotta cups, mousse cups, mini muffins and cupcakes.
One of the USPs of The Choux Box, Patrao tells us, is to bring in the high tea buffet system out of the hotel and into a cozy space. “Smaller portions of regular food like mini quiches, pizzas, canapes and finger sandwiches, apart from a dessert counter that includes treats like macarons, mini cupcakes, scones and tea cakes make up the high tea buffet. People can book it and relax with friends and family, either at their homes or at our studio. It is available for corporate events as well,” she says.
Rs 600 upwards. Pre-order only. Details: facebook.com/thechouxbox31
— Oshin Tresa Francis