“I started cooking with a microwave, now I make luxury desserts which have even been sold at Harrods”

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When Samina Courtin was around 10 years old, she and her brother found their mother’s “Microwave Know-How” book and decided to make microwave-safe chocolate pudding with coffee sauce.

It was Samina’s first ‘bakery’ memory and since then she trained with French chef Raymond Blanc at Manoir aux Quat ‘Saisons and even started her own business.

The British Pakistani, who lives in Streatham, never imagined being where she is right now, and that’s just the start.

READ MORE: Super-mom lawyer, beekeeper and owner of a beauty business working 50 hours a week but still has time for her 3 children

The mother-of-two’s journey began by baking simple cakes and brownies at home for her foodie family.

“We’re all pretty greedy, especially on mum’s side, it’s a big part of everyday life – but in terms of making sweets or desserts, they usually went to Ambala and Royal, they wouldn’t really do. things at home, ”she said. .



The mother of two discovered her passion during a trip to France

But Samina had discovered a passion for homemade pastry because she had always had a sweet tooth.

She added: “I loved cooking and always had a sweet tooth, we should all allow ourselves to be treated, the fact that you baking dessert is more of a process that you can enjoy and relish, rather than to throw a bag of cookies down your throat.

“You can enjoy more of it when you know what’s in it.

“I would always be the baker, because my mom was more of a savory thing.”

Like many South Asian mothers, her mother’s cooking did not involve a scale, as she used “andaaza” (guessing) through years of experience.

But when it came to baking, Samina knew it required a lot of precision.

She said: “As of this day mum doesn’t own a scale but she’s like no I know exactly what I’m doing.

“But I was really a pastry fan and you have to be more specific, you can’t put everything together!”



His kits have even been sold at Harrods!
His kits have even been sold at Harrods!

A beginner, Samina only discovered that she could bake more complex pastries after meeting her present-day husband, who is French.

After visiting France, she realized that desserts were complex and she was fascinated by them.

“I met someone who was French so I started to tour France and understand the amazing world of pastry making.

“I was fascinated and during my lunch breaks at work I would go to the supermarkets to try and do the exact same things at home.

“It was all about testing and trying everything, their pastries are a feast for the eyes and you come across a huge range of amazing treats.”

After visiting France and realizing that she had it in her to create beautiful desserts, she ended up training as a pastry chef and took her career more seriously.

The experience was amazing, she recalls, she says pastry chefs work differently from regular chefs because they are extremely focused, “it’s like head down, they’re like the geeks of the chef world, it’s like is a really different skill “.



You can make chef-level pastries at home with the DIY kit
You can make chef-level pastries at home with the DIY kit

As a South Asian woman, Samina said she was happy to represent in an industry dominated by white men: “There aren’t enough women and diversity in this industry and I don’t know why, but I am happy to represent.

“When I was working as a pastry chef I would say it’s pretty male dominated, it was probably 70% male, but when you bring it back to home cooking it’s usually women.

“My clients are also predominantly women.”

Ultimately, Samina decided to focus on starting her own business – with her digital marketing background, she was able to create Mon Dessert, which allows people to make chef-level desserts at home.

At first, his DIY kits were even picked up by Fortnum and Mason, and later by Harrods.



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About why she created DIY kits, she said, “Everything about the pastries looks delicious and they’re so intricate and beautiful to look at, that’s where the idea, how can an everyday person easily prepare these complex treats? “

Mon Dessert offers a range of kits to choose from with more desserts available in 2022.

Samina even paid tribute to her South Asian heritage: “I even released Indian stuff, we have Barfi there so it’s more and more diverse with not just French, in the end I want all types. of desserts from around the world!

“We have French, Italian and British classics – there will be a lot more from 2022 all around.”

You can click here to learn more about DIY kits.

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