“Christmas is my absolute favourite time of the year,” states 22-year-old home baker Rashmi Dias echoing the sentiments of many foodies. A law student who bakes, Rashmi can be found as “The Baking Law Student” on social media. This month it’s all about ‘togetherness’in the Dias household and today, Christmas Eve is the day when [...]


Baked with love

Tarini Pilapitiya meets Rashmi Dias, the Baking Law Student, as she prepares for Christmas

“Christmas is my absolute favourite time of the year,” states 22-year-old home baker Rashmi Dias echoing the sentiments of many foodies. A law student who bakes, Rashmi can be found as “The Baking Law Student” on social media.

Christmas special: Better Batter sugarless gingerbread cookies

This month it’s all about ‘togetherness’in the Dias household and today, Christmas Eve is the day when her family cooks together, amateurs, professionals and those who have never stirred a dish coming together to make a Christmas feast.

“I do decorate my food with a Christmas theme in mind,” laughs this self-proclaimed “Christmas junkie” confessing that she celebrates with an abundance of joy, revamping her style for the season to embody the spirit of Christmas – whether it’s through her food or her Christmas themed mug.

The birth of the “baking law student”, we learn, was a happy accident. Having gone through a ‘rough patch’ after coming back from University in July 2016, Rashmi found “baking for other people” therapeutic as she waited to take the next big leap.

Initially not into social media, it was after much persuasion from a close friend that Rashmi finally opened an Instagram account in 2016, on which she featured visual representations of her interests, namely food and her dogs, soon garnering a battalion of followers for her food posts. Thus, ‘the baking law student’ finally had her own account after caving in to positive feedback for her food-grams. The name was cleverly conceptualized for Rashmi to keep her priorities in mind and stay on the legal path, she laughs. “At moments I had to remind myself that I was doing this for fun!”

Her cakes are generally the ‘wow’ factor of her account, but she has also explored various homemade delicacies from smoothie bowls, brownies, roasted pumpkin, “healthy, fluffy pancakes” (made from oats, chia seeds, banana and blueberries) and even tropical popsicles.

Rashmi openly shares her experience being a non-professional baker, her mishaps recounted in her Instagram stories are chuckle-worthy and relatable- adding to the charisma of her account personality.

Rashmi Dias

Her recent pictures of homemade smoothie bowls have over 100 likes on Instagram. “I kept eating cereal in the morning but was looking for a healthier alternative,” she shares.

Her immaculate icing flower creations are worthy of a bouquet of their own – their vivid colour and impressive detail give them an almost life- like appearance. Rashmi taught herself piping techniques through Instagram designs and videos but the flower details that add that splash of bold colour on her cakes are all her original ideas. “I can’t recreate the originals,” she states, adding that this makes each and every cake she bakes unique.

Most of these sweet successes are recipes she picked up from home and online –which she has tweaked to her satisfaction.

Though she laughs “I’m not a professional photographer by any means!” she takes painstaking care to make her food look “instagrammable”.

Attempting to promote clean eating habits (amidst the decadent chocolate items she also regularly posts) Rashmi shares recipes for her smoothie bowls, pancakes, fresh fruit tropical popsicles and even flu remedies (which look pretty appealing if we’re being totally honest).

She has created a platform for open communication as she welcomes questions and feedback whilst also encouraging people to try out her recipes. “It’s my way of getting people to eat healthy,” she says. A frequently asked question is about the ingredients she uses – she does use imported ingredients if certain things are unavailable in Sri Lanka but she actively seeks local products.

Rushmi is now gearing to start her “newest and most exciting venture yet” – hashtagged the Better Batter, this is a series of sugarless desserts, her first attempt being a sugarless lemon drizzle cake topped with honey and lemon drizzle, dried blueberry powder, raw almonds and dried cranberries.

For healthy alternatives for Christmas, her Better Batter has her own twist on gingerbread men made with coconut sugar and kithul. She’s even trying natural flavours – experimenting with extracting the essence of mint leaves.

Narang popsicles

“My meals are an important part of my day,” Rashmi says adding that she is conscious of what she puts into her body, despite her sweet tooth. Her “maybe” retirement plan is opening a little cafe where she would serve “home cooked meals” to diners.

‘The baking law student’ is a family affair with her dogs Ralph, Sally and Mojito making frequent appearances in her posts. A while ago, Rashmi even shared a “cake not fit for human consumption”, this a liver cake made for Sally’s 13th birthday! Her personal favourite goes back to when she was around six years old sampling the Kandos Orange-Chocolate bar – this memory now turned into one of Rashmi’s most recommended cakes – “An old fashioned murder” (Chocolate cake with chocolate and orange frosting). The cake has no artificial flavouring and took many tries before she pinned down the recipe into something she “absolutely loves”. Another of her originals is the “Irish intoxication” (Chocolate cake with chocolate, coffee and Baileys cream frosting).

The ingenious names of her creations Rashmi attributes to her colleague Eduardo Gonzalez who helpfully suggested that she name her dishes “after crimes” to resonate with her account. Thus, “Le-money laundering” sometimes dubbed “L-embezzlement” (Vanilla cake with lemon curd), “Crimes of Passion” (Vanilla cake with passion fruit curd) are just some of the many names found in her “Cake Files”.

What started as Rashmi’s form of ‘therapy’ has now reached into the hearts and social feeds of thousands of followers! Baked with love… justice continues to be sweet for the baking law student.

Irresistible combo:Chocolate and strawberry

Vanilla cake with lemoncurd topped with cream cheese frosting

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