A treat for the sweet tooth

Vel­vet cakes aren’t just a culi­nary de­light for the taste­buds, they are also a joy to be­hold, writes Bianca Cole­man

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE -

ON THE morn­ing I wrote this, I had a Black Cat cup­cake for break­fast. As the kids say on­line, what a time to be alive.

The cup­cake was part of my haul from The Vel­vet Cake Co, which has branches in Bel­lville and in the Cape Town CBD and is cel­e­brat­ing its first birth­day this month. It had a thin bis­cuit base, a mid­dle of black vel­vet and was topped with creamy peanut but­ter en­cased in a cho­co­late shell. It was crowned with a sprin­kle of chopped nuts. It was the only one of its kind left on the shelf and that just broke my heart; I had to take it home.

In other pretty boxes I had a milk tart cup­cake and a slice of red vel­vet cheese­cake. To be clear, these each com­bine two fa­mil­iar but dif­fer­ent kinds of cake in one fab­u­lous cre­ation. How did I not know about this be­fore?

No mat­ter. I do now and so do you. The Vel­vet Cake Co was founded by Jan­dri van Zyl five years ago. Af­ter study­ing to be­come a patis­serie chef in 2009, she worked hard to pur­sue her dream to cre­ate her own cake-haven.

“Af­ter chop­ping and chang­ing be­tween a few cre­ative things like pho­tog­ra­phy and fash­ion, I de­cided to pur­sue what came eas­ily and nat­u­rally to me”, said Van Zyl.

This is why her range of cakes is rel­a­tively small and spe­cialised – but oh so delectably cre­ative.

The Vel­vet Cake Co doesn’t make those cakes cov­ered with fon­dant ic­ing de­pict­ing all sorts of themes and char­ac­ters. The em­pha­sis is on the soft, moist vel­vet cake – naked, iced or meringued – in fab­u­lous colours, made fresh ev­ery day with the best in­gre­di­ents (and some­times not al­ways per­fectly iden­ti­cal).

The fa­mous Rain­bow Cake is the most pop­u­lar: six mul­ti­coloured lay­ers. For ex­tra oomph, you can have it pinata-style which spills out sweet­ies and cho­co­late when sliced.

Over a jolly fine cap­puc­cino ( from fair trade sup­plier Bean There) and a tra­di­tional red vel­vet cup­cake topped with a swirl of cream cheese ic­ing in the city cen­tre store, Van Zyl told me cakes and cel­e­bra­tion go to­gether. I couldn’t agree more. Noth­ing says “party” like a good cake.

All the high days and hol­i­days are ob­served with themed cakes.

With Hal­loween com­ing up, the lim­ited edi­tion one will be black vel­vet with or­ange frost­ing, slathered in cho­co­late ganache and meringue, and dec­o­rated with spi­ders.

If you pre­fer pretty, there is a new range of Vel­vet Cakelettes in sin­gle colours – sky blue, blush pink, laven­der pur­ple, or­ange, green, and sun­shine yel­low.

They are al­most too beau­ti­ful to eat but trust me, you’ll get over it.

All The Vel­vet Cake Co treats and gifts can be or­dered on­line, with a min­i­mum no­tice pe­riod of 24 hours. Orders can also be placed di­rectly from ei­ther store.

Cus­tomers can grab a cof­fee while wait­ing for col­lec­tions and if you’re do­ing it on im­pulse or if you for­got a spe­cial oc­ca­sion, slightly smaller ready-made cakes can be bought at the stores and jazzed up and per­son­alised with cel­e­bra­tory cake top­pers.

If you love some­one a lot, you can pre-pay for a cup­cake which they can get when they visit. The box even has a thought­ful teeny tiny can­dle taped to it. I hope some­one read­ing this loves me a lot.

For more in­for­ma­tion call 021 914 0482, view the on­line of­fer­ings at www.thevel­vetcakeco.com or visit the stores at 10 Bella Rosa, Rosen­park, Bel­lville or 16 Loop St, Cape Town.

An as­sort­ment of sig­na­ture rain­bow cakes with dif­fer­ent top­pings.

Cho­co­late and caramel cake with spi­der mo­tif.

The new range of Vel­vet Cakeletts.

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