Naked Cakes

Naked

Naked Cakes – Hannah Miles
Ryland, Peters & Small – 2015
Photography: Steve Painter

Cakes with simple decorations, colours or shapes free from fondant but full of flavour is a trend I can happily get behind.

The variety is a little limited. The majority of cakes are made from a standard basic sponge recipe with a little additional flavouring or an extra ingredient of fruit, nuts, sugars etc. While this does mean that there is less innovation it also makes the book very easy to follow, once you know the basic recipe it’s not at all daunting to try making these beautiful cakes.

Utterly gorgeous photographs are throughout Naked Cakes, with clean styling and lots to tempt you into baking. Each new chapter starts with a mosaic of thumbnails of the cakes that it features so that you can easily see what is in each one.

Ideas like the naked fancies or Battenburg take the original idea but get rid of the excess decoration focusing instead on the cake itself. Several cakes use clotted cream rather than whipped or buttercream which is a lovely way of keeping the decadence without being overly sweet when paired with a rich sponge or jam. The balance of flavours and tastes throughout is very well thought out and carefully managed.

My favourite recipes (how to choose?) were the Pumpkin Cake; the Caramel Layer Cake; the Salty Honey Cake and the White Chocolate, Peppermint and Vanilla Layer Cake.

Icing can so often mask a lovely cake or trick you into thinking that a sub-standard cake is worth trying out. There is no hiding and no tricks with Hannah Miles’ recipes here, just lots of lovely ideas that are simple to execute and stunning to show off.

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