The year 2020 might not have been sweet to many when the pandemic confined people to their homes, but baking helped many to start their own ventures and make an income out of it. One might be now surrounded by a lot of home-bakers but this sibling home-bakers from the capital city of Kerala are all the rage!
Casa Bakes started by siblings Nitya Bergstrand and Aaron Bergstrand in Vazhuthacaud offers a wide variety of cakes and breads that one might not get anywhere else in Kerala. Their Swedish Saffron Buns, Spice and Nut Cake, Vegan Chocolate Cake are already a hit! Casa Bakes also comes up with season's special weekend menu and they have also introduced their Valentine's Day Menu on the social media page.
Casa Bakes mainly specialises in authentic Swedish desserts and cakes and one might wonder if these home-bakers have any kind of connection to a restaurant named Casa Bianca, which was once a hit in Thiruvananthapuram. And they sure do!
Casa Bianca was a restaurant run by Nitya and Aaron's mother Ingrid Bergstrand that offered a wide range of European food from handmade pizzas to the ever classic Tiramisu, back in 2012. The siblings saw their mother running the business and this has helped them boost confidence to start Casa Bakes with the help of Ingrid's recipes.
Ingrid got settled in Kerala after getting married to Santhi Prasad. “Mom spontaneously decided to come to India back in the 90s. Her sister happened to know a family who happened to know dad's family and they soon became a couple,” says Nitya.
“Both of us studied in Kerala and kept visiting Sweden for holidays. Our childhood days involved a lot of cooking and baking as we saw our mother trying out new things. It has always been fun, says Aaron.
At Casa, most of the basic ingredients are made at home. “Our mother never used to let us buy breads from outside, Everything was made at home. We do the same here,” says Aaron.
“In fact, we even make vanilla essence at home rather than buying it. Pretty much, we make everything from scratch. Such things make our delicacies retain its authentic taste,” adds Nitya.
It almost took three to four months to come up with a menu for Casa Bakes. “When we make buns, the rising process is a little different here in Kerala because of the climate compared to how we used to do in Sweden. So it took a while to find a process. But Mom helps a lot from Sweden,” says Aaron.
Here's what Casa offers:
1. Casa bread: Casa breads are sugar free, dairy free and super tasty! They have white, whole wheat, multi-seed, honey walnut and raisin bread.
2. Casa Bianca Nut and Spice Cake (Must-try): Wholesome American spice cake with the perfect blend of ground cinnamon, clove and ginger loaded with cashews and walnuts, topped with the Casa cream cheese and lime zest.
3. Cinnamon Buns: Soft and fluffy hand made buns, filled with a rich and buttery cinnamon filling.
4. Vegan Chocolate Cake: Rich chocolate sponge cake topped with a vegan dark chocolate ganache and a sprinkle of pomegranate
5. Italian Chocolate Delight: Cloud-like chocolate sponge cake topped with dark chocolate ganache and a sprinkle of pomegranate.
6. The Golden Nut Cake: Soft and flavourful vanilla cake with a hint of lime, crowned with a caramalised rich buttery topping made of almonds, cashews and walnuts.
7. Classic Fudge Brownie: Casabianca brownie with rich chocolate flavours and a fudgy twist.
8. Saffron Buns: Light, sweet and buttery from the pure saffron induced dough. Tender yet crunchy.
Casa's list goes on and they plan to include more such unique items.
Though Casa Bakes are now running their business from home, the siblings have plans to expand their menu and operations slowly and develop it into a small eatery.