x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Time to get sweet on the UAE

It was a great weekend for anyone with a sweet tooth: from Dubai's first and only community baking event, to National Day-themed cupcakes.

Ali Azmat has proved to be a rainmaker.

Last Thursday he performed alongside Atif Aslam at the much-anticipated Rockstarz concert, the first time the two Pakistani singers performed together in the UAE. While Aslam's performance was rather disappointing, Azmat brought the house down. And with his electric performance of Garaj Baras Saawan Ghir Aayo ("Rumble and roll, let the rain come down"), he invoked the city's wildest thunderstorm of the season so far. The next morning, the streets were flooded and broody clouds persisted all day.

While most people were content to watch the rain come down and listen to its pitter-patter from the comfort of their beds, a handful of us scrambled around with huge boxes early in the morning. Our destination: the fourth edition of Bakefest DXB, Dubai's first and only community baking event.

Conceived and lovingly put together by Nicholas Rego (himself a baker extraordinaire), the event brought home-based bakers to Wild Peeta at the Dubai World Trade Center for a day that easily could have sent anyone into a sugar shock. Sugarholics braved the rain for the chance to indulge in cupcakes, cookies and other yummy sweets otherwise available only by pre-order. The one thing missing was Rego's Godiva chocolate cake, which, word has it, is to die for. If you're interested in finding out more about Bakefest or in participating in the next edition, search for BakefestDXB on Twitter and Facebook.

My encounters with the sweet stuff did not end with Bakefest, though. With it being my birthday weekend, I had plenty more cake to look forward to. The one I anticipated most was the cake that has stood the test of time. I fell in love with it during my early days in Dubai more than a decade ago, and it is still the most consistently delicious confection to ever pass my lips: Coco's triple-dare chocolate cake. We're talking about three deliciously decadent layers of magnificently moist, gooey goodness. Just go to your nearest Coco's and grab a slice. You will thank me.

In addition to Bakefest cakes and birthday cakes, there were a whole bunch of National Day cakes to deal with - most of which were in the form of cupcakes. Though they looked insanely cute, they all brought to mind one question: what is the ideal cupcake-to-frosting ratio? It's not a very fine line between "cupcake with a bit of frosting" and "frosting with a bit of cupcake", yet it's a line most cupcakes fall on the wrong side of.

Frosting woes aside, it was a fabulous weekend for anyone with a sweet tooth. And, as it goes with all things worthwhile, something has to happen to restore the balance and stop everything from getting too fabulous to handle. This time, it was Salman Khan.

The gentleman seems to be getting senile at the age of 46. He proved so with his comments at the press conference preceding his National Day concert, Ahlan Bollywood. The superstar, who has been getting too big for his shoes for quite some time now, claimed to have no idea who Tom Cruise is. No kidding. When asked if the stunts in his forthcoming film Dabangg 2, which was shot in Dubai, would be similar to those performed by Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol (also shot in Dubai), Khan replied: "Tom who?"

All respect lost. Seriously.

The writer is an honest-to-goodness desi girl living in Dubai