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Saturday, 7 June 2014 - 6:15am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna

Naked cakes is the new confectionery sensation

Guess what the city's 'movers and bakers' are getting to hear these days, "Can I have my cake naked, please?" Well, not exactly those words, but more people are placing orders for cakes without frosting – no sugar-based fondant or heavy butter cream slathered all over the cake.

Naked cakes first debuted on the displays of New York's big bakeries last year, and these days are the favourite for the wedding cakes there. In Mumbai, it's becoming a favourite for luncheons and tea parties.

"It's easy to love these cakes," says Mitali, who runs Not Just Desserts with her mother Sabina. Mitali recently did one for a photoshoot for images to be uploaded on their revamped website. She feels naked cakes can be very 'seductive'. "There's an eye appeal of seeing what's usually hidden; the look and feel of a cake is for all to see." These cakes have great scope for ombre, it's very current right now, feels Mitali.

"Stacks of cakes in different shades would make for a lovely eye candy," she says.

When we caught up with Ayushi Shah, who owns and runs Kemps Corner's Icing On Top, she also happened to be working on an order for a nude cake for a tea party. "It's not part of our regular menu, but we have people placing special orders for this American-style cake." So far, Ayushi has baked and stacked flavours like Raspberry swirl, chocolate and vanilla marble cake, pistachio, and basil and vanilla. "It's preferred by patrons who like the flavour of the sponge to come out. These cakes typically have two or three layers of thicker sponge layers sandwiched with a thin layer of cream cheese frosting," she explains.

Some bakers also like to layer the sponge cakes with cream and fresh fruit, that brings in a freshing flavour profile.

The decoration factor is obviously minimal for such cakes. "The look and feel is very organic and rustic. We go for a a light dusting of icing sugar, brown sugar or cocoa powder as per the colour and flavour of the sponge. For a slightly elaborate look, a fondant flower adorns these cakes along with the special message," Ayushi tells us.

The Paagal Khana kitchen has been dishing up some wackier interpretations of this confectionery trend. While their resident foodie and business head Milind Shah described their line of no-frosting cakes to have a more homemade feel, "like grandma's cakes," it's perhaps only an indication of the taste of these cakes. Head chef Rachita Doctor-Shah and her team have been making all sorts of naked goodies – from cupcakes to no frosting cakes in a cutting chai, and cakes that look like idlis with cream cheese on the side for chutney.

With more orders for naked cakes pouring in each week, city bakers feel the trend's here to stay and grow. There's the health card at play, as people can now enjoy tasty and good looking, colourful cakes without the heavy buttercream, fondant or ganache.

Customise your naked cake
Stick to natural elements like seasonal fruits fruit and fresh flowers for decorations
Go for a lighter cream between the sponge layers. You could also ask for fruit preserves.
As these cakes are organic, naturally coloured cakes look the best. So perhaps a vanilla, coffee or carrot cake

Naked cakes are exposed instead of being covered so they're going to dry out faster. So, it's not going to last longer in the fridge.

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