These two sisters love to celebrate. For any occasion in the family, they like to celebrate it with cakes. However, when the Covid-19 pandemic started, they were restricted from bringing food from outside.
During the pandemic's early phase, the sister duo started baking at home and it gradually bloomed into a successful business called 'Baked by Mei'.
This home-based bakery is run by Monira Momtaz and Meherin Momtaz. The sister duo started their baking journey by making their father's birthday cake last year and never had to stop since then. The first cake they designed has been sold over 100 times till now.
Monira recently graduated from Brac University. She looks after the inventory, cake baking and assembly process. Her younger sister, Meherin Momtaz, is a SSC candidate this year. She decorates and customises the cakes according to the customers' needs.
"Cakes and bakeries are not essentials in our lives. I was sceptical about starting this business when my younger sister suggested it. But now, we receive orders for at least three cakes every day," said Meherin.
Baked by mei specialises in different kinds of cakes, brownies, cakesicles and cupcakes. They are popular for their exquisite decorations and Pinterest-y customisation.
The sisters make sure to cater to the needs of the customers so that the cakes look exactly the way the customer wants. They once designed a custom DJ-themed cake that weighed six kilograms.
The cakes are priced between Tk1,700 to Tk2,600 per kilogram. But the pricing largely depends on the decoration and size of the cakes. The cupcakes cost Tk120 each.
For events such as birthdays, weddings and gaye holud, Baked by Mei has special themed cakes.
Now, let's come to the cakes.
Mud cakes are one of Baked by Mei's best-selling cakes. This chocolate drip cake looks mouth-watering with rich layers of chocolate ganache dripping on the sides from the top of the cake. It is a stellar-looking cake with a lot of decorations and add-ons.
It was a five-layered chocolate cake with each of the layers coated with thick chocolate ganache and chocolate cream in between.
The cake was adorned with ice cream cones, premium quality chocolates such as Buenos, Snickers, KitKat, Maltesers, Toblerone and Ferrero Rocher, and chocolate doughnuts - making it look absolutely scrumptious and a dream for anyone with a sweet tooth.
The most amazing part is that neither of the elements overpowered each other. Rather, the layers of the cake, ganache and cream perfectly complemented each other, making the cake taste perfectly sweet.
This Mud Cake is priced at Tk2,400 per 1.2 kilograms.
The same recipe as the Mud Cake is used for making the other cakes and cupcakes. What brings out the different flavours is the emulsion that is added to it later.
We tried two of their cupcakes - butterscotch and red velvet, which were flavoured with emulsion and the latter was improvised with buttermilk.
However, the cupcakes tasted almost bland with little to no flavour. It almost tasted like the mug cakes we all learnt to bake in the microwave during the pandemic for a quick snack.
Having said that, I would not be able to differentiate between the two cupcakes if the flavours were not labeled.
The butterscotch cupcake disappointed me the most as it simply tasted like plain vanilla, neither were they sweet enough for a dessert. As a matter of fact, these cupcakes tasted similar to the Dan Cake muffins available in shops for Tk20.
Nonetheless, the cupcakes get full marks for looking amazing in its rainbow, unicorn themed and blue frosting and with sugar pearl toppings.
These cakesickles are gorgeous looking heart-shaped desserts that have been decorated with golden and white edible pearls as toppings, white chocolate and different shades of pink, violet, yellow and a tinge of silver which gives the cakesickels a vibrant and radiant effect.
The hard chocolate shell of this dessert was made of pure white chocolate and the cakes were red velvet and vanilla, frosted with a layer of vanilla flavoured buttercream.
However, I wish I could say that it tasted as glorious as it looked.
The actual cakes were not of the right consistency. It was the consistency of very thin semolina we often have for breakfast. It was not very sweet either, just like the cupcakes.
Despite getting overwhelming responses in the midst of a pandemic, sourcing ingredients for the bakery was one of the biggest challenges Monira and Meherin had to face.