We visited Cake Boutique in Seef to check out the delicious cup cakes
Time Out Bahrain staff
It’s our birthday and we’re giving away cup cakes so we visited the brand new Cake Boutique in Seef to check out where they’re coming from and get some tips on recreating them at home.
The first thing you’ll notice when you walk through the doors of Cake Boutique at Seef Corner is that it’s pretty and very girly. The second is that they’ve taken the open-kitchen concept to the extreme with a giant wall of glass, facing onto the street, where you can watch the chefs and cake decorators doing their thing.
Executive pastry chef Nadia Zucchelli explained: ‘It’s very deliberate. The vast majority of people who buy cakes are women so we wanted it to be girly. And an awful lot of those cakes are bought for children, so we also wanted it to be fun.
‘Having the kitchen open both to the shop and the street means people can see what’s going on from outside. Children love to watch cake decoration, it’s great fun to see Mickey Mouse’s ears going on, so our aim is to let them see the whole process.’
Anglo-Austrian Nadia trained at Thames Valley University and the Hilton Park Lane in England and had her own cake business in both Dubai and here in Bahrain for six years before being approached by Mesk Holdings, parent company of the Cake Boutique, around a year ago.
And it’s taken that much time to put the concept into practice with five chefs, five cake decorators and a purpose built premises which is already doing lots of delivery orders and has just opened its doors publicly.
But, what makes the Cake Boutique different from other cake shops across the island?
‘Well, for a start,’ says Nadia ‘we aim to make the whole cake edible. In some places you will see what appear to be these very elaborate creations but when you look more closely you will find it’s a cake base with a decorated Styrofoam decoration on top. I want the whole thing to be edible which, I believe, is quite unique.
‘We’re also specialising in smaller designer cakes. It’s easy to find fantastic cakes of three or more kilogrammes but if you’re just having a small family tea party, that’s much too big. I want people to be able to come here and find their Mickey Mouse or princess cake that’s a manageable size for just a small gathering.
‘And lastly, as I said, I want it to be a fun place, there’ll be music going and our chefs and decorators are actively encouraged to dance, it’s great for the atmosphere and for the people watching. If we’re having fun as we work, our customers will too.’
Involved in every stage of the preparation from purchasing the eggs to deciding the definitive colour for Mickey and Minnie’s shoes, we asked Nadia for her tips on creating the perfect cup cake – just like ours!
Without giving away her own personal recipe she told us:
‘The first thing is to check the temperature of your oven and you really can’t trust the thermostat on your oven – I’ve known ovens to be out by as much as 20 degrees and if you’ve got the wrong temperature you can forget any sort of baking. Go and buy an oven thermometer and make sure you stick to the temperature recommended in your recipe.
‘If you bake a lot, think about investing in a mixing machine. It’s not essential, you can certainly make cup cakes by hand but a mixing machine does make life easier.
‘Don’t put your cup cakes in the fridge, it will dry them out. We’ve actually had a special room-temperature storage case built to keep ours moist.
‘And, of course, use the very best ingredients you can find. I know every chef would say that but you really can taste and feel the differences in quality.
‘The standard cup cake recipe is flour, eggs, sugar and butter but you also add fluid, which is where your own personal choices and flavourings come in. You can use milk or laban or something like lemon juice if you’re going for that flavouring. I quite like to go with a filling like a dark chocolate with lighter chocolate for the frosting but, really, the flavour combinations are pretty much endless. Whatever your mood you can make a cup cake to suit it.’ For more information on the Cake Boutique range call (17 552 253).
Cupcake giveaway To receive your free cupcake, present your barcoded copy of Time Out Bahrain at Cake Boutique, Seef Corner. Offer only applies to purchased (not complimentary promotional) copies of the magazine which will be stamped when you receive your cake. Enjoy.