food, Lifestyle

in full bloom with missibaba

Toby Murphy; Valentina Nicol


Designer Sam Hendricks and Missibaba founder Chloe Townsend recently collaborated on a range of textiles, which were used as inspiration for the cake decorations in this fun and colourful shoot.

A homegrown range of beautifully detailed luxury leather handbags, travel bags and other accessories, Missibaba’s new flora and fauna wallpaper collection incited the perfect excuse for a bite of cake – and the decorating thereof. Be inspired by cakes that are as whimsical and wonderful to the eye as they are to the palate.

'I think Chloe as an artist, is incredible, and I thought this would be an interesting interpretation, to take her art into a more commercial space as well.' – Sam Hendricks

chocolate beetroot cake with butter icing


*Adapted from Nigel Slater’s chocolate beetroot cake

For the cake
200g peeled, cooked beetroot
62.5ml fresh orange juice
200g good-quality dark chocolate
2T strong, hot black coffee (instant)
1t vanilla paste
200g butter, cubed
160g plain flour, sifted
1¼t baking powder, sifted
3T cocoa, sifted
5 large eggs, separated
¾ cup caster sugar

For the vanilla butter icing
250g butter, softened
1 cup icing sugar, sifted
1t vanilla essence
1 drop yellow gel food colouring (optional)

Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Grease and line a 22cm springform cake tin.
Blend the beetroot and orange juice into a smooth purée. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave, stirring occasionally. Add the hot coffee and vanilla to the chocolate and stir in the butter. Remove from the heat.
Combine the flour, baking powder and cocoa in a large bowl and set aside. Whisk the egg yolks until pale. Gently stir into the chocolate, then fold in the beetroot purée. Whisk the egg whites until light and fluffy, then lightly fold in the sugar. Fold the meringue into the chocolate mixture, then fold this into the flour mixture.
Spoon the batter into the prepared cake tin and bake for 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
Allow to cool completely.
Make the icing by mixing the butter in a processor until fluffy. Add the icing sugar, vanilla essence and food colouring, if using. Beat until well combined.

To assemble, layer the cooled 22cm cakes on top of each other, icing in between each layer. Ice the outside of the cake and set in the fridge until the icing is firm. Repeat with the 20cm cakes and place on top of the bottom tier. Firm up the frosting by adding an additional cup of icing sugar to the butter icing so that it sets hard.

Makes 1 cake (22cm)

For a two-tier cake like the one pictured, bake four 22cm cakes and three 20cm cakes.

flourless citrus-almond cake with orange syrup


For the cake
2 large oranges, whole and unpeeled
4 large eggs
1 cup caster sugar
3 cups almond flour
2t baking powder

For the orange syrup
Juice and zest of 1 orange
¾ cup caster sugar

Preheat the oven to 170ºC. Grease and line a 22cm springform cake tin.
Place the oranges in a pot. Cover with cold water, bring to the boil and simmer for 10–15 minutes or until soft. Drain and repeat. Roughly chop the oranges, remove the pips and process until smooth.
Beat the eggs and sugar until thick and fluffy, and doubled in volume. Add the orange purée, almond flour and baking powder and fold in gently, until just combined, making sure not to knock the air out of the mixture.
Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and bake for 45 minutes to an hour, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes.
While the cake is cooling, bring the orange juice and zest and caster sugar to the boil and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Pour the syrup over the cake and serve warm or cold, dusted with caster sugar and crème fraîche or mascarpone on the side.
Decorate with gold leaf* for extra sparkle.

Makes 1 cake (22cm)

*Gold leaf is available from speciality baking shops.

rose sponge cakes with pink icing


For the sponges
8 large eggs, separated
300g caster sugar
250g cake flour, sifted
3T baking powder, sifted
150g butter, melted
2t vanilla essence
1T rosewater
1 drop pink gel food colouring (optional)

For the pink icing
1½ cups icing sugar, sifted
2T water
1T lemon juice
1 drop pink gel food colouring

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease and line eight 10cm springform cake tins. Beat the egg whites until frothy, adding the sugar bit by bit until it has dissolved and the meringue is thick and glossy.
Add the egg yolks and beat for 5 minutes. Gently fold through the flour and baking powder, melted butter, vanilla, rosewater and colouring.
Divide the mixture evenly between the cake tins and bake for 20–25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool in the tins for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
For the frosting, whisk the icing sugar with the water, lemon juice and food colouring until smooth. Spoon over the cooled cakes.

Makes 8 cakes (10cm)

granadilla ball cake with granadilla butter icing


For the cake
8 large eggs
1kg sugar
750ml granadilla pulp
2t vanilla extract
1kg self-raising flour, sifted
500ml yoghurt

For the granadilla butter icing
250g butter, softened
250g icing sugar, sifted
1t vanilla essence
¼ cup granadilla pulp
1 drop purple gel food colouring (optional)

Preheat the oven to 170ºC. Grease two nonstick half-sphere cake moulds. Beat the eggs and sugar until thick and fluffy, and doubled in volume. Whisk in the granadilla pulp and vanilla until just combined. Add a large, heaped spoonful of flour, then a little yoghurt, beating well in between. Repeat, ending off with a spoonful of flour (this prevents a dense cake).
Divide the batter between the two prepared moulds. Bake for 45–50 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Cool slightly, remove from the moulds and turn out onto a wire rack, flat-side down.
To make the frosting, soften the butter with a mixer until fluffy. Add the icing sugar, vanilla essence, granadilla pulp and food colouring, if using. Beat until the icing is well combined.
To assemble, trim the flat side of each half so they are even. Ice one half and sandwich with the other half. Cover with black fondant and pipe on decorations, or simply serve as is.

Makes 2 cakes (half-sphere)