From Beans To Bliss: A Baker’s Guide To World Chocolate Day

From Beans To Bliss: A Baker’s Guide To World Chocolate Day

While in conversation with Amisha Shirgave, Shivesh Bhatia, a self-taught baker, shares how his story with baking unfolded when he watched his Nani bake cakes at home from scratch.

Amisha ShirgaveUpdated: Sunday, July 07, 2024, 02:14 PM IST
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‘Chocolates and Humans’ is the most romantic love story to ever exist. Never a dull moment with anything that includes chocolate. Be it a candy, a bar, a cake, a dressing, or even a cookie! Chocolate brings people together, creates memories, and strengthens bonds. If you recall, you surely must have had some memories of chocolate recently. Probably a chocolate your partner sent as an apology, a pastry you savored with your friends, or the ice-cream you had after India won the T-20 World Cup and became Champions. Chocolates are your best friends in your happiest and even your most miserable moments!

So much about chocolates? Well, of course, it’s World Chocolate Day, and it deserves to be celebrated. This day is a celebration dedicated to the rich, velvety delight that has captured hearts for centuries. On this special day, we embark on a journey through the kitchen of a self-taught master baker whose passion for chocolate transforms simple ingredients into exquisite confections. 

Image by Shivesh Bhatia

In a conversation with the FPJ, Shivesh Bhatia, a self-taught baker, shares how his story with baking unfolded when he watched his Nani bake cakes at home from scratch. During his visits to her place, she would often bake some vanilla and chocolate cake—classic yet iconic! “She loved baking, but her illness kept her out of the kitchen for a long time. Since we were missing her chocolate cake, my cousins and I decided to give baking a try. We went to Modern Bazaar, bought Betty Crocker frosting and premixes, and attempted to bake cupcakes. Despite burning all of them, the experience was a lot of fun and sparked my interest in baking. I was deeply fascinated by how simple ingredients we mixed together magically transformed in the oven into chocolate cupcakes”, he shared. 

Apart from being a baker, Shivesh is also a full-time content creator. A look at his Instagram page will leave you drooling over all the chocolate dishes and desserts you will come across. As a viewer, you often might want to try baking a few chocolate items, and it will be confusing as to which type of chocolate you should use for your dish. When asked about the same, Shivesh said, “As a baker, I prefer using dark chocolate in my desserts for its rich flavor, versatility, and health benefits like antioxidants. Its high cocoa content ensures a pure, intense chocolate taste that adds depth to my creations. I always opt for couverture chocolate because it contains a higher percentage of cocoa butter (at least 31%), giving it a superior texture and shine when tempered. This makes it ideal for professional-grade desserts, providing a smooth, glossy finish and unmatched rich flavor.”

Images by Shivesh Bhatia

We all have our favorite chocolate dessert. I was intrigued enough to ask Shivesh what his favorite chocolate dessert is. You see, I was curious to know what a baker's favorite dessert could be since he must have successfully made some of the best desserts to date. “My favorite chocolate dessert to make is the Matilda Chocolate Cake, which I've included in my upcoming book, Chocolate: 100 Irresistible Desserts. I first made it while doing trials for this book, and it quickly became a staple in my kitchen. The reason I love this cake is because of its incredibly rich, moist, and decadent nature. The layers of fudgy chocolate ganache make it an irresistible treat that never fails to impress. It brings joy to anyone who tries it, making it a true crowd-pleaser every time," Shivesh shared. 

Being a baker and creator, Shivesh has traveled to numerous countries and has explored their confectionery sections. Each country not only enhances his skills but also broadens his culinary horizons, allowing him to infuse his creations with a tapestry of global flavors and techniques. Through his travels, Shivesh embraces the universal language of baking, finding inspiration in every corner of the world and bringing back stories and flavors to share with his community.

Image by Shivesh Bhatia

Image by Shivesh Bhatia |


When asked about three of his favorite desserts from around the globe, he shared, 

Matilda's Chocolate Cake from Parker's in Dubai: This cake is decadence on a plate—moist, fudgy, and layered with rich chocolate ganache. It’s a chocolate lover’s dream come true!

75% Chocolate Mousse at Chocolat Chapon in Paris: A masterpiece of chocolate perfection, this mousse is light, airy, and intensely chocolatey, made with premium single-origin chocolate. It’s like tasting pure chocolate in mousse form.

Brownie Croissant at Chestnut Bakery: The ultimate fusion treat—a flaky, buttery croissant with a gooey brownie center. It’s the best of both worlds, combining crisp layers with fudgy goodness.

Image by Shivesh Bhatia

While concluding our fun conversation that had me craving for all the chocolate desserts available in the next shop, I asked Shivesh about the role representation plays in a chocolaty dessert. “Presentation plays a crucial role in desserts, enhancing not only the visual appeal but also the overall dining experience. A beautifully presented dessert can elevate the perception of taste and quality, making it more decadent and enjoyable. Top food plating tips I swear by: Focus on balance and contrast of colors and textures, utilize negative space on the plate, and garnish purposefully to enhance visual appeal and flavor”, he shared. 

Shivesh’s story is a testament to the fact that passion, curiosity, and a willingness to learn can turn a simple ingredient into a masterpiece. As we savor each bite of chocolate today, let us celebrate not only its deliciousness but also the stories, traditions, and creativity it inspires. Here’s to many more years of sweet celebrations and the magic of chocolate that unites us all.

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