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Updated on: Saturday, October 16, 2021, 11:37 AM IST

Foodie Trail: 'I never thought an Instagram page would change my life forever', shares 16-yr-old star food blogger, Yuvika Wadhawan

Popular home chefs and food bloggers give a glimpse of their foray into their culinary world, their kitchens, and share their fave recipes
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Sixteen-year-old food blogger Yuvika Wadhawan has cooked for several B-town celebrities like Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan and Kangana Ranaut. The allure of the kitchen became stronger with time and her urge to put her creativity to use led her to baking and cooking Chinese dishes for friends and family. The adulation elated her but it was the year 2017 that proved to be a life-changer when she started her cloud kitchen.

What inspired you to become a blogger?

I started my journey at the age of 12 as a naughty and curious brat who wanted to know everything that’s happening in the kitchen. I am now an entrepreneur and the name behind Uv Specials. The first year was all about balancing studies and orders on the weekend. Today it's been four years since that fateful day. September 6, 2017, when it all began and now I have a cloud kitchen located in Bandra with a team of over 20 people.

Do you pursue any passion besides running the kitchen?

I love to write. My book, Paa, is available on Amazon. It is a short book with illustrations and poems based on true events faced by a father-daughter duo.

Who introduced you to blogging?

Some people seek their passion and some stumble upon it. I introduced myself to my passion for baking and cooking. I never imagined myself making food for others though I always loved to cook.

Were you looking at the bigger picture when you began blogging?

I never thought I would create a name for myself when I began. My ambition was to bring smiles to people's faces and the only way I knew I could do that was through my desserts and food. I created an Instagram page (@uv_specials) and within a short period, it garnered a lot of attention.

I love seeing the client’s expressions when they bite on my food for the first time — that image is etched in my heart for a lifetime. I never thought an Instagram page would change my life forever. I was a child who cooked and baked, but over time it dawned on me that I could carve a niche for myself.

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How did you hone your culinary expertise?

I have taken multiple cooking lessons and watched various food shows and videos.

Does your blog specialise in any food?

Uv Specials boasts excellent Chinese food and desserts. There is a wide range of Chinese food to choose from, each recipe specially curated to tickle the tastebuds. I began my journey with cookie dough, which is loaded with chocolate and baked. It has a gooey centre. Another USP of UV Specials is our take on the Mexican classic Tres Leches. It is a simple vanilla sponge soaked in three kinds of milk and topped with fresh cream. We have innovated and now serve it in a variety of flavours.

How did you manage during the lockdown?

We strived to deliver food while ensuring the safety of our clients. Some of our staff needed to return to their native places and it took time for us to start again when the situation began to improve.

What has been your most successful post?

My most successful post was the one in which I encouraged other kids to pursue their dreams. I was fortunate to receive a lot of support when my head was flooded with doubts. I hope other youngsters receive the same support as I did.

Describe your writing process, from concept to publishing.

An idea is conceptualised and shared with the team members. Every day tests and trials follow until the outcome is aced and wins a spot on the menu. The thought process while creating recipes is that it should be a flavour never experienced before and something that can be eaten and enjoyed by all age groups.

What is your takeaway from your food blog?

I have created my place in the business world as a teenager and created an identity for myself. I never imagined reaching this far but I feel my journey begins from here on.

Red Velvet Lava Cake

Ingredients

White chocolate – 200 gms

Butter – 100 gms

Caster sugar – 100 gms

Cocoa powder – 10 gms

Flour – 50 gms

Icing sugar – 10 gms

Eggs – 3 nos

Egg yolk – 3 nos

Red colour – 10 ml

Vanilla essence – 5 ml

Cream cheese – 35 gms

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Method

Melt white chocolate and butter on a double boiler then take it off the heat. Whisk egg, egg yolk and sugar together in a large bowl. When it doubles in size and becomes fluffy, add it to the chocolate mixture. Stir in 10ml of the red food colouring, add cream cheese, Cocoa powder and flour; fold it in the white chocolate batter. Divide batter evenly into the ramekins place into the freezer for 15 minutes. While the ramekins are at rest and freezing, preheat the oven to 205 c. Bake for 10 minutes.

Special recipe curated for the viewers of Free Press Journal by Uv Specials

Schezwan-style Asparagus and Lotus Root with Homemade Schezwan Peppercorn

Ingredients

1 bunch asparagus, cut into 2-inch batons 2-3 lotus root, peeled, blanched in salted water for 1 minute to get rid of the bitterness

1 bunch Chinese broccoli, sliced on a bias cut 2 inch

3 tbsp / 45ml vegetable oil

2 arqa fried red chillies, minced

10 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 tsp 2 1/2 gm sugar

1 tsp / 5 grm arqa schezwan peppercorns, freshly grounded

2 tsp / 10ml oyster sauce

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Method

1. Heat the oil in a pan on medium heat; add minced chillies and cook on low heat, until the oil turns red (about 2-3 minutes).

2. Add garlic and fry until cooked but still transparent. season with sugar and soy sauce.

3. Add the Chinese broccoli and sauté for 2 minutes. Now add the asparagus and blanched lotus roots and deglaze with Chinese wine, taste and re-season with schezwan pepper and oyster sauce and serve hot.

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Published on: Sunday, October 17, 2021, 07:00 AM IST
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