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Pretty Little Layers is creating gorgeous French entremets sure to captivate your palate and your eyes. Mystical swirls grace the tops of cakes that shine with vibrant hues of white chocolate, encasing a mousse-based multi-layer dessert. Truly a labour of love, this French dessert comprises a variety of flavours and textures that take around two days to make.
Le Cordon Bleu graduate Rochelle DeSouza found her love for pastry back in Mumbai and, in 2015, tried to pursue her craft beyond just a hobby through building Pretty Little Layers as a commercial business. According to DeSouza, she faced some challenges with being frowned upon for her desired career path, "Women pastry chefs are an unconventional career choice in India and it took me a while to convince my family to allow me to follow my dream."
On a mission to break the stereotype of a typical 9-5 corporate job, DeSouza moved to Canada in 2017 after graduating with a degree in business to seriously pursue her desire to be a professional in the culinary world. After attending her dream school at Le Cordon Bleu, she even chose to further her knowledge in pastry by attending a Baking & Pastry Arts Management program at Centennial College. During this time in school, DeSouza put her business Pretty Little Layers on hold. When the pandemic hit and DeSouza consequently lost her job at Alo, one of Canada's top restaurants, she finally had the time to dedicate to her business. "I tried to stay positive and thought this is the Universe's way of telling me to bring Pretty Little Layers back," exclaims DeSouza.
Differing from her initial dessert business, Pretty Little Layers Toronto focuses on creating visually stunning and delicious entremets. "I worked hard to figure out what my niche is, and it took me five years to realize that my heart lies in French Pastry. This is how Pretty Little Layers Toronto was born," explains DeSouza.
DeSouza's favourite flavour also happens to be one of her top sellers. The Mango entremet is loaded with fresh pieces of mango and is inspired by the chef's memories of summer vacations to her grandparents' house in Goa, India, where she indulged in the sweetest, juiciest mangoes.
"The reason this dessert is unique is because in every bite, you will experience the fusion of the different layers, which includes a soft mousse, lush crema, a layer of crunch and sponge cake. The best part about my entremets is that no two entremets will look the same," DeSouza says.
She notes that she's appreciative that many of her customers allow her to execute her aesthetic vision on the cakes they order, as she is always eager to get creative with new designs, making each one unique.
Since she loves experimenting with her desserts, DeSouza aims to introduce new flavours to her current cake menu, including an exclusive summer line that will only be available from June to August. One of the new flavours that has recently been released is a mango passionfruit entrement, created as a result of the extreme popularity of her mango cake option.