A dash of icing … Takes the cake. For 14-year-old Dashriya Naidoo, her creative masterpieces are her passion – one that is fast hitting the sweet spot with the local community, writes Lee Currie.
Wow! This is the only word to describe Dashriya Naidoo’s stunning cakes – especially when you realise she is only 14 years old. This remarkable Grade 9 learner is fast making a name for herself in the competitive world of bespoke baking.
“I actually fell in love with cooking before baking,” confesses Dashriya who is one of a set of triplets. “I used to cook meals and ask my sisters to judge them as if I was a contestant on MasterChef.”
Her mom was initially the family baker, but as the creative craft bug started to bite Dashriya, she too began to experiment with her baking – and eventually started a business which she named Whipped by Dash.
“Thankfully I haven’t had many flops or disasters but during my first week of taking orders I received an order for a chocolate cake. The customer collected it and unfortunately it fell over in the car on her way home. The lady sent me a picture of the ruined cake, and because I was so set on making a good first impression, I made her another cake and delivered it to her house an hour later. It was very stressful, but I don’t regret it. I’ve learnt to put an extra dowel stick into my cakes just in case.”
Customer favourites – apart from vanilla and chocolate – include coffee cake with coffee icing and orange cake with cream cheese icing, while Dashriya has a personal favourite: “I love red velvet cake because it’s the perfect combination of flavours and the cream cheese icing is, well, the icing on the cake,” she grins. Her range includes cakesicles, novelty cakes, cupcakes, wedding cakes and more.
It has always been acknowledged that baking is both a science and an art form – and Dashriya wholly endorses this. “Baking is a science in itself because it’s the combination of various ingredients – very much like the combination of reagents in a science experiment with the aim of producing a result. The science of baking relies on the interaction of various additives with the use of heat to produce a delicious product.
“Baking requires accuracy, attention to detail and an understanding of proportions and measurements. It’s also an art. Baking would be a dull science without an artistic flare. Creativity is the crucial facet that enables the baker to create memorable masterpieces.”
Any inside tips to share? “My best tips for success would be to follow experts in the field to gain from their valuable experience. Social media and YouTube tutorials as well as ‘hands on’ classes are a sure-fire way to ensure you’re constantly learning and improving. And keep practicing – oh, and don’t forget to make lists and stick to them!”
With medical specialists as parents, Dashriya’s long-term plans are to study to become a doctor. Right now though, this dynamic teen is enjoying a craft she loves and at the same time generating a steady income.
While family and friends and certainly her customers are enthusiastically behind her, Dashriya says her sisters are still her biggest supporters. “However, they do tend to complain because I don’t have the time to bake for them as often as I used to!”
FOR MORE INFO:
Whipped by Dash: Whatsapp 078 019 2991; Instagram @whippedbydash