Fabiana Pragier’s gluten free cakes and desserts are undoubtedly one of our favourite discoveries of the last year. We asked her to share her story:
Your gluten free chocolate covered carrot cake is a huge success in store. Tell us a little bit about the cake’s origins back in Brazil.
The use of carrots in cakes dates back to 1700, but unlike the American carrot cake that uses grated carrots in the dough, we blitz the carrots in Brazil. Even though Brazil is one of the greatest sugar producers in the world, sugar was expensive, so carrots were used as a sweetener. We also use a chocolate sauce as frosting rather than cream cheese.
How did you come to launch your business in London?
I went to Le Cordon Bleu in London and my plan was to go back to Hamburg, Germany where I used to live to launch a business there. As I specialised in gluten and dairy free patisserie from the beginning and realised that London lacked products like mine, I decided to stay!
Tell us a bit about your exploration in gluten free baking & dessert making?
I am dairy intolerant, so I always tried to replace dairy in recipes. But when I started to sell cakes from home, neighbours and friends asked if I could bake gluten free too! I went back to study in Brazil but the climate, ingredients & food preferences between the two countries led me to conduct my own experiments. I’m now an expert in the chemistry of gluten-free flours and you don’t notice the difference to the classic flours in my desserts.
What are other Brazilian foods would you encourage us to try? (gluten free or not!)
Brazil is very rich in fruits and vegetables. I really love cassava and all you can create with that. pao de queijo (cheese bread) is also something delicious and special. In patisserie, I really love quindim (an egg yolk based custard with coconut) and walnut cake with dulce de leche.
What other products do you love at Panzer’s?
I love the bread selection, fruits and sushi. And the Italian patisseries.
Find Fabiana’s delights in our dessert fridges, delivered several times a week.