A new baking queen has stepped onto the scene in Saigon. Make-up artist-turned-baker Quinn Tran, AKA Quinn of Cake, has partnered with writer and entrepreneur Nick Do to bring a new brand of delicate cakes to the southern Vietnamese city.
On a recent visit to Ho Chi Minh City, or Saigon as its often referred to by the locals, the pair showed me around their kitchen where they invent their recipes and explained the motivation behind their carefully crafted cakes.
Based in District 7, the equivalent of London’s Chelsea, a new cake is introduced to the mix each month. So far, the menu includes ‘Make It Rain’, a citrus mousse cake on a biscuit base decorated with delightfully light mousse domes and iridescent white chocolate bubbles.
‘What Is Love’ is a sleek chocolate creation that manages to be both rich and light at the same time. It contains no added sugar and is finished with a tiny red heart which mirrors one of Quinn’s many tattoos.
The latest addition to the line-up is ‘Lost In Shibuya’, a green tea cake with a surprise inside.
As Nick explains, “Green tea is a delicate flavour so it’s important not to make it too sweet if you want to capture its true taste. We tried several different variations on this recipe until we were both happy with the balance, and with the surprise. We like to put our own twist on our cakes.”
The two friends started working together after Nick tasted one of Quinn’s cakes a few months earlier. Baked with love, he was so impressed with her talents that he wanted to share her cakes with the rest of the world.
Quinn’s love of baking really shines through, as she explains, “There’s nothing quite like sharing slices of mouthwatering homemade cake with my family or friends. In making a cake I am taking advantage of some magical transformations to create something sugary and delicious that everyone will love.”
Quinn continues, “Nothing’s better than sitting in a kitchen as it fills with the smell of baking. Let me make you a cup of tea, just chill, relax and let the warm smells emanating from the oven envelope you. The smell of warm butter; the slightly sulphury smell of the eggs as they coagulate; the dark caramelising smell of the browning reactions. Over time the smells get darker, richer, more caramelised.”
And it’s perfect timing for this pair to collaborate, as Nick has just launched The Weekend, a new café in District 7. The cakes will be sitting alongside other fresh, local dishes and drinks in the newly opened eatery.
Living up to their “Love at first sight, love at first bite!” tagline, the Instagram-friendly cake designs don’t just look beautiful, they taste delicious too. The edible masterpieces are available to order online now or sample them at The Weekend in Saigon.
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