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Edible art

This is what the term 'edible art' was invented for. Cakes that look almost too good to eat. Grab a fork, and tuck in!

Sometimes you can have your cake and eat it too – or so it seems. Yes, it’s a tough job peeps – but someone’s gotta do it. Me and my stretchiest trousers have been for a tasting session in the Walton-on-Thames kitchen of cake-making extraordinaire Naomi from Naomi’s Bakehouse.

And the first thing to tell you: Naomi is a flipping good cook. Her cakes – and I sampled four of them – are delicious. And that’s before we even get to her designs – for designs are what these cakes are. This is edible art and it’s stunning.

Naomi specialises in baking and decorating bespoke celebration cakes for weddings and special events, and her training in art and design is what makes these cakes unique. Check out this cake below in which Naomi has painted the butterflies onto the iced cake.

Cutting into this cake would break my heart – it looks too beautiful to eat. But if you’ve been to one of Naomi’s tasting sessions, you’ll know that what’s under that gorgeous exterior is a delicious home-baked cake. So that may weaken your resolve somewhat.

Naomi’s most popular cakes – and the four that I tasted, so I can personally vouch for each of them – are the Victoria sponge cake (made using homemade strawberry jam), the lemon cake, the carrot cake (with or without walnuts) and the Green and Blacks chocolate cake. Her red velvet cake and her salted caramel cake are also popular.

Each recipe is Naomi’s own – tweaked and adapted according to tastes. Her carrot cake, for instance, is iced with orange butter cream instead of the traditional vanilla. It was my favourite of the four I sampled, although it was a difficult choice.

It’s worth mentioning that Naomi steers clear of additives and has gluten-free options for each of her cakes, so there’s no need to for anyone to miss out on these beauties. And – my favourite bit – her cakes come naked (tee hee!), semi-naked or full fondant. It’s the full fondant cakes that pack the biggest punch design-wise, although there’s no denying this semi-naked carrot and walnut cake (above) is going to look pretty special at any event.

For real wow-factor, though, check out this full-fondant cake with handmade fondant dahlia and roses. A lot of hours went into that sugar floristry.

Naomi likes to play with textures and colours – and left to her own devices she’ll come up with a truly unique show-stopper of a cake. And many clients like it that way. They’ll just choose a cake size and let Naomi get on with it. Others have a more set idea of what they’d like – and it’s during the initial consultation process that Naomi will talk through design ideas with clients.

Prices will vary wildly depending on what kind of cake you want and how you want it iced – but as rough guide, Naomi’s special occasion cakes start at a very reasonable £95 for a one-tier cake and £175 for two-tier with a basic design. As you’d expect the price goes up with the intricacy and detail.

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