She’s whipped up a Manchester United-inspired birthday cake for the Chief Executive Officer of insurance giant Manulife. She’s also baked numerous bespoke treats- from a Peppa Pig-themed cake for a 3-year-old to a crystal-encrusted black-and-white Chanel cake for a 70-year old.
The pastry chef in question is Hinna Belani, the 26-year-old founder of Diamond Chefs.
Ms Belani started her home-based business when she was just 17, alongside her older sister, specializing in baking vegan, eggless cakes.
With few competitors then, her cakes were an instant hit with many vegetarians in the Indian community. At times, she said she could receive up to 7 orders in a day, with many customers requesting for the labor-intensive 3-tier wedding cakes. Business was so brisk that her parents and elder sister had to help out.
Now, the young mother said she enjoys baking first-year birthday cakes the most, especially after she’s baked an elegantly gilded floral-themed strawberry cake for her daughter Aanya, who turned one last May.
“When parents ask me to make their child’s first birthday cake, I feel very proud that they have chosen me,” she said.
Ms Belani has always been keenly aware of her artistic and creative flair. She has a double diploma in Culinary Arts and Pastry & Bakery from At-Sunrice GlobalChef Academy. She’s also attended many patisserie courses in Singapore and Sydney to sharpen her skills.
While she dreams of opening a bakery, she’s concerned about the steep rents, overheads and labor costs that accompany a brick-and-mortar business.
But for now, she’s happy working from home as she could spend more time with Aanya.
“When I am doing my decorating, it is quite fun because Aanya is there to play with the fondant and cutters,” she said. “I have somebody to keep me company.”
But juggling a business and parenting duty is no easy feat, especially when Ms Belani is also holding a part-time job at Aqua Expeditions. But she’s happy to keep herself busy so that she can earn more to spoil her little girl.
“Being able to do something I love and am so passionate about keeps me constantly happy. (I also want) to also show Aanya that you shouldn’t stop yourself from doing something you love no matter what,” she said.
Ms Belani hopes to receive bigger orders from bigger firms in the future. She said she will also keep innovating her recipes, without losing her signature finishing touches.
“It isn’t Diamond Chefs if there isn’t a bit of bling,” she said while glamming up the red velvet cupcakes she baked for The UrbanWire with a good dose of edible glitter.