Five years ago today, January 18, 2012, I established my food blog, My Island Bistro Kitchen. Where did those five years go – they have just flown by! Time flies when you’re having fun, they say! So, today, I celebrate my 5th blogiversary!
I attempt to keep the recipes I develop and share real — nothing too wild and wacky. I am mindful of the different levels of culinary skills and food budgets that followers may have. While I do try to provide some newer, upscale recipes, it has been my experience over the past five years that the most popular recipes tend to be the traditional dishes that call for common ingredients and are not overly complicated or time-consuming to make. Where possible, I try to use locally produced food ingredients from right here in Prince Edward Island. And, for added interest, I continue to include stories about Island food producers and local culinary events.
To celebrate my five-year anniversary, I have made a cake and decorated it in the trendy “naked cake” style. Naked cake means that very little, if any, frosting is used on the sides of the cake allowing much of the cake itself to be visible. In fact, even less frosting is used on one of these cakes than I would normally use to crumb coat a cake I would completely cover with frosting! The absence of a lot of frosting allows the texture, color, and filling in the cake to show. This is a style currently favored by many brides, probably for its romantic and casual look and feel. This style also looks very nostalgic and has a vintage air about it.
Naked cakes are very non-pretentious and, in my opinion, do not require a lot of cake decorating skill. If you can spread butter on bread, you can decorate a naked cake! Perfection is not a goal in the application of minimal frosting that characterizes this style of cake! The rustic look allows a cake topper to stand out and be the focal point because there is no fancy frosting or a cake covered in piped roses or frosting ruffles to compete for the limelight. Garnishes for these types of cakes usually involve real or natural elements such as berries, fruit, or as I have done with this cake, fresh flowers. Sometimes, chocolate or caramel is drizzled over the top and down the sides of the cake.
Cakes decorated in this style have a very natural look to them. In fact, with dark-colored cakes and a slim swipe of white frosting, I think they almost look a bit like birch bark. When used on lighter toned cakes, the effect can resemble a white wash look.
This is a good type of decorating to use if the cake is for someone who does not like a lot of frosting that is the hallmark of traditionally-decorated celebratory cakes. In fact, some naked cakes sport only frosting on the top of the cake and in between the layers. Now, those are real naked cakes!
The disadvantage of this style of decorating is that the cake can dry out rather quickly. When completely frosted, the frosting acts as a seal, to help keep the cake moist. Without complete coverage of frosting, care must be taken that the cake does not dry out. I recommend frosting the cake just before serving or, if it must be done in advance, store it in an airtight cake storer/caddy.
The “naked cake” is not a new style as it has been around for a few years now but it is a cake decorating style that has gained traction and this trend shows no signs of disappearing any time soon. While it is not a style for everyone’s taste, it is an option to add variety to cake decorating.
Thank you to those faithful followers of My Island Bistro Kitchen food blog who have been with me from the start. Thanks also to those who have joined along the way. If you are new to “the Bistro”, a hearty warm welcome! I hope all will continue to follow “the Bistro” into the future as I have more great recipes in the hopper and under construction and some stories in the plans!
To view other cakes and cupcakes that have been part of my earlier blogiversaries, click on the links below.