This pastry allows you to indulge in healthy desserts without guilt this Diwali

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As the season of indulgence, this time of year can be difficult for those who are health conscious or those with gluten allergies. Delhi based pastry shop Cocodate is here to help.

Started in September 2021 by Avantika Sinha Bahl, who is also the founder of popular restaurants Kampai, Mai Bao and EBK Catering, Cocodate is a one-stop-shop for healthy desserts. By using natural and healthier alternatives to traditional baked goods such as butter, refined sugar, cream and refined flour, Cocodate aims to emphasize a healthier and more mindful way of consuming.

“I have always been passionate about healthy cooking and love to experiment with new flavors and cuisines in order to take healthy food to the next level. The idea for Cocodate was born during the lockdown when I decided to get a vegan pastry chef certification and convert my passion into a new brand within my portfolio – a premium bakery brand based on the good. -to be called Cocodate, ”Avantika said in a frank conversation with YSWeekender.

The idea

With a bachelor’s degree in design from NIFT, New Delhi, and a master’s degree in luxury brand management from the University of the Arts in London, cooking and baking was not Avantika’s initial career goal. She ventured into the food and beverage industry in 2018 with Kampai, a modern Japanese restaurant located at Worldmark 1 in Aerocity, Delhi.

Avantika Sinha Bahl

Inspired by her success, she opened Mai Bao in early 2021 as Delhi’s first restaurant serving Singaporean street food. Cocodate is his first experience with a delivery-based format.

She explains, “The pandemic has given me a lot of time at home. I’ve always had a sweet tooth, but found it quite difficult to find desserts that were “healthier” options. Refined flour, refined sugar, etc., have no nutritional value. Therefore, I decided to start experimenting with nutritional ingredients as a replacement for traditional ingredients. Today, people have become very health conscious and pay special attention to what they consume. The pandemic has made it even stronger. That’s why I think it’s the perfect time for Cocodate! “

Avantika was very clear from the start that it did not want to bring another “health” brand to the market. Cocodate was conceived as a wellness bakery brand focusing on natural alternatives to traditional baking ingredients.

Each of the suggested recipes was curated by her after a year of vigorous research and multiple trials. She focused on ingredients like almond flour, tapioca flour, sorghum flour, organic maple syrup, organic coconut oil, coconut sugar, dates. , jaggery, raw khandsari sugar, coconut flour, oatmeal, nut butters, premium nuts and seeds, ragi flour, nut milks, high quality couverture chocolate among others.

Products

Cocodate’s menu consists of products that are either gluten free or made from whole wheat flour. Its wide selection offers a wide range of food products such as cookies, pies, brownies, blondies, tea cakes, party cakes, cereal jars as well as specially designed gift baskets.

Avantika names its signature items like Homemade Nutella Stuffed Hazelnut Cookies, Dark Chocolate and Salted Caramel Pie, Cinnamon Almond Honey Tea Cake, Ultimate Belgian Chocolate Nut Cake. , the lavender and lemon cake, the praline tart with Nutella and hazelnuts, dates and walnuts Fudgy dark chocolate cakes and brownies.

“Our pies and brownies are definitely our flagship products. We have a unique line of pies, which have taken months to perfect. It was extremely difficult to get a perfect pie shell that was gluten free, refined sugar free and vegan. We have experimented a lot with toppings. Since there is no cream or butter, it took a long time to get the perfect texture. Our homemade Nutella and hazelnut praline tart is quite special. It’s a four-layered dessert with a flaky tart base, crispy hazelnut praline, homemade Nutella and a rich chocolate ganache, ”shares Avantika.

Chocolate cake by Cocodate

The launch of Cocodate was timed with the gift season and offers a wide range of gift baskets and products. Specially designed boxes offer a variety of combinations of their signature products. Their range of gifts starts from Rs 2,700 and goes up to Rs 5,200.

The story of growth

According to mordorintelligence.com, the Indian gluten-free food and drink market is expected to reach $ 189 million in 2024, registering a CAGR of 8.7%. The largest market share of gluten-free products consists of cookies, snacks and baked goods such as breads, cakes, etc. Therefore, Cocodate’s entry into the market during this period bodes well for its future success.

Since the brand moved into Avantika’s pre-existing bakery kitchen, which ran their large catering business and restaurants, it hasn’t had to invest much in infrastructure. Its initial investment was mainly in research and development, packaging, marketing and manpower, and so far has been around Rs 7-10 lakh.

Avantika maintains that there are no brands like hers on the market at this time. The only competition is with a few quality-oriented bakeries, which she personally admires, like Miam Patisserie.

“One Mumbai-based brand that I personally admire a lot is ‘An Ode to Gaia’. I love what they’ve done by transforming the baking world with a strictly vegan menu, ”she says frankly.

As a niche service, Cocodate has faced its fair share of challenges. Avantika says it will take a lot of education for people to understand that their products are free of many nasty ingredients found in traditional baked goods. Another challenge they faced was the price, which is higher because the ingredients are more expensive.

However, the appreciation she receives from her clients compensates for these difficulties. “Receiving my first award in 2019 by The Times Food and Nightlife Guide was my first big recognition. Since then, my restaurants have been recognized and awarded by several platforms. I was recently awarded by The Economic Times as 40 Under 40 F&B Executives, which was pretty exciting! I was also recently appointed by the National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) as a member of their management committee, which is a huge honor, ”she proudly shares.

Cocodate is currently taking delivery orders in Delhi NCR and responding to large orders for celebrations, private events and tea parties. Pop-up projects with similar brands are also underway.

“Cocodate is a celebration of the healthy art of baking and dessert making, which I am sure our customers will love. We look forward to bringing a slice of this healthy and conscious experience to the capital, ”concludes Avantika.


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