The Notepad: From The Kitchen Of Fatemah Rawji

Published: June 25, 2017

The gifted pastry chef behind the non-profit bakery, From The Kitchen Of Fatemah Rawji, jots down the six baking essentials that she always keeps handy. Learn the secrets behind her delicious recipes and get a sneak peek on what is next for her!

Belgian chocolate

Chocolate is the most important ingredient and it has to be the absolute best quality! I only use Belgian chocolate, sometimes when I’m running out of it I start panicking. But I’ve been so lucky to have the support of my family. Whenever someone travels they supply me with lots of chocolate. I like to use a particular type of chocolate, and that’s very important for me and my recipes.


Butter is a prime ingredient for so many bakery items. But again, I’m very particular about the quality. Essentially, anything that I wouldn’t use in my own home, I wouldn’t put in anyone else’s meal either. My food is mostly expensive for that reason, as I never compromise on quality. Now since people have started recognising the difference in taste, I think they understand it more.


I bring a lot of my ingredients, including my cheeses from abroad. I love Mascarpone and Philadelphia cheese and I cannot do without those either. I believe the right cheese is also an essential for cooking.


Cream is an extremely important ingredient. The texture adds so much to a dessert and it is a prime ingredient in so many things – I can’t do without it. Even for cream, it is absolutely essential that it is top quality! I don’t use any local or bakery creams.

Cake decorations

Anytime or anywhere I see something cute I pick it up! Even my friends and family, they’re always bringing me back the prettiest décor from abroad. I try my best with décor, though I don’t consider myself an artist. I haven’t taken any courses, I’m completely self-taught and YouTube helps a lot too. I’ve also learnt a lot from sharing recipes with my sister-in-law and sister. In fact it was my father’s biggest dream for us to write recipe books with the correct recipes. He always told us never to have an ingredient missing. He was so into it, whenever we would eat out, we would come home and recreate a dish. Now, I’ve finally decided to write a cookbook!

Vanilla essence

My vanilla essence comes all the way from Africa and I cannot do without that. The right vanilla essence has to be there in all my recipes. I feel that there is a distinct flavour to the vanilla essence that is available locally and it just drives me nuts!

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