Normally I'm not particularly excited by really really specific bespoke cake enquiries as a little bit of my creative streak dies inside, or my artistic "wings" feel kind of clipped. I'm fully aware of how obnoxiously "prima-donna-artiste-like" that may sound but it's true.
While thankfully it doesn't happen often I have actually said no to some orders from customers based on the way they approach us with their briefs as there is a fine line between detail-oriented and micro-managing. If I don't enjoy the process, I'm not going to enjoy creating as much and I risk it not being my best work, which ultimately isn't fair to the customer either. So it's best I say cheerio with a super heavy heart of having to turn work away.
We've had many weird and wonderful bespoke cake order briefs sent our way. A lot of them call for "novelty" sugarpaste modelling which is an easy and straight-up 'no thanks' as I despise the taste of fondant and besides there are plenty of cake makers out there who can do that and do a great job at it too! A lot of them are based on our own designs but tweaked to suit a particular theme which is fab. And sometimes we get sketches from customers which makes me feel anywhere from YES-THIS-IS-GONNA-FEED-MY-CREATIVE-SPIRIT-ANIMAL-I'M-PUMPED to setting off my spider sense a-tingle going meh I'm probably not going to be too psyched about this one. Luckily Nika's enquiry was sweet and succinct and her sketch just jumped out at me "PICK ME, I'M FUN!"
[WARNING: HUMBLE BRAG ALERT, please forgive me] I think my attention to detail has been ingrained in me since my investment banking days all the way through to chef training and thereafter - beauty really is in the detail for me. Even though there was some element of "novelty" in the brief, the popcorn bucket in particular, I really wanted it to be more than just a lump of modelled fondant. Hence, we baked a teeny tiny mini sponge cake and dressed it up in white chocolate to resemble the iconic red and white stripes, and topped it off with candied sweet and salty popcorn. Not only did it look awesome, it actually tasted amazing too.
We then took further inspiration from Katharine Sabbath's dropped ice cream cones and paired it with our own Ferrero Rocher mini cones, baked buttermilk doughnuts and a liberal scattering of maltesers and rolos for good measure.
This Triple Decker creation with layers of brownie and vanilla sponge is now named #NetflixAndChill. Do you get it? I'll confess...I'm still confused about the actual meaning or euphemism related to the random hashtag #netflixandchill. Urban Dictionary beckoned and I can't say I still quite get where the hashtag came about from but I do find it funny, and I freaking LOVE this cake. So thank you Nigar, from the bottom of my detail-digging-creative-juice-filled heart, and hope Mahmoud has a very happy birthday indeed!
Lots of love,