Baking with Natasha

Natasha Jiwani, Bellevue Club member and baking extraordinaire, made her TV debut on the Food Network’s hit show Kids Baking Championship. She talked with Reflections about her grandma’s famous cake, her role models and sprinkles! Scroll to the bottom of the article for a special recipe.

 Reflections magazine: When did you start baking?
Natasha Jiwani: I started baking when I was 9 or 10 years old. It was really fun for me because it was a way for me to have fun and spend time with my grandma and my mom. Baking together when I was younger was so much fun and something that brought us together.

 RM: What are some of the earliest lessons you learned about the craft of baking
NJ: Well, my grandma taught me how to make her cake that all our family and friends love. Everyone knows her for this cake and it is still, to this day, the best cake EVER!

RM:  What are some of your favorite things to bake and why?
NJ: My favorite things to bake are definitely cakes and macarons. They are both desserts that let you be super creative with flavors, shapes, colors, etc.

 RM:  When and why did you decide to try out for Kids Baking Championship?
NJ: I’ve always watched the show and thought that it would be so cool to be on it! One day I just searched online how to apply and sent in an application.

 RM: What was the biggest logistical challenge of baking on TV?
NJ: The biggest logistical challenge for me was probably baking in a kitchen that I wasn’t familiar with. I didn’t really know where everything was, and also having so many cameras in your face was super stressful.

RM: What was greatest lesson you learned from being on KBC?
NJ: The greatest lesson I learned is that you can do anything you put your mind to. I never thought I would get on the show, but I tried hard, did my best, and great things happened.

RM: Who are some of your baking role models?
NJ: Some of my baking role models are Duff and Val (which was SO COOL). I also find Julia Child, Adriano Zumbo, and more very talented and inspiring.

 RM: Do you have any advice for other young bakers?
NJ: My advice for other young bakers is to just practice and practice any time you can. Also, if you want to be on Kids Baking Championship, go for it because nothing is impossible!

 RM: Where do you hope baking takes you in future? Would you like to own your own bakery one day?
NJ: I love baking and definitely want to pursue baking in the future! I don’t really know what I want to do just yet, but I really want to bake!

 RM: What your favorite ingredient to use and your least favorite?
NJ:I love baking with ingredients like rose and pineapple, but my all-time favorite ingredient is SPRINKLES! I don’t really like working with cherries because I’m allergic to them.

Bake with Natasha: Brown Butter Blondies Recipe

Brown Butter Blondies

Prep time: | Cooking time:

Ingredients

  • 1 1/3 cup butter
  • 2 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 /12 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 3/4 cups flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2/3 cup walnuts (optional)

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
  2. In a small pot over medium heat, melt the butter for 5 to 7 minutes or until caramelized. Remove the butter from the heat and gently pour it into a large mixing bowl with the brown sugar. Whisk together.
  3. Once those ingredients are combined, add the eggs and vanilla extract. Carefully fold in the flour, baking powder and salt. After folded together, add walnuts.
  4. Grease a 9 x 9 baking pan, and pour in the batter. Bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  5. Once done, let the blondies cool for two hours at room temperature. Send a picture of your creation to Natasha on Instagram @baking_with_nat

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