Dubai has a sweet tooth, says Cake Queen Mich Turner

The ‘Queen of Couture Cakes’ will be in city to oversee special cakes for King Charles' coronation


Ambica Sachin

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Published: Thu 4 May 2023, 4:48 PM

Mix sugar and flour and butter and milk; whisk in some eggs, and voila!, what do you get? Cake! Or cake batter to be precise. They may all be made of the same old ingredients but what elevates a truly awesome cake from just another ordinary one is exactly what, we wonder?

“It is true to say cakes often consist of the foundations of flour, butter, sugar, and eggs," admits Mich Turner, MBE. But what makes them special is “the quality, the proportions, the temperature, the preparation, the additional ingredients, the skill and ultimately the passion of the baker in combining all these elements together to ensure the result is a well-baked cake with the most incredible flavour and a memory that lasts a lifetime.”

Popularly referred to as the ‘Queen of Couture Cakes’, the trained food scientist whose artworks have taken centrestage at the birthday celebrations of everyone from Queen Elizabeth II to Pierce Brosnan, David Beckham and Gordon Ramsay is in charge of the cakes that will be part of the King’s Coronation celebrations in the UAE - May 8 at the British Embassy in Abu Dhabi and May 11 at the Consul General’s residence in Dubai.

Embellished with hand painting, piping and moulding, each of the three five tier tall cakes in shades inspired by the coronation insignia, boasts a signature flavour that bears strong royal connections.

First up is the Coronation date cake; initially designed for Queen Elizabeth II, this version is made of Medjool dates, fresh Bramley apples, lemon, ginger, sultanas, and spiked with rose and lemon syrup, and finished with rose petals, and crushed roasted pistachios.

The second is a Strawberry Lemon Royale cake, a fresh luscious lemon cake with a lemon drizzle, topped with strawberry, Swiss meringue buttercream, and fresh strawberry.

The third one is the Little Venice Cake Company’s best-selling carrot cake, a nod to King Charles’ love of the land; made with fresh carrots, walnuts, sultanas, coconut, a delicious citrus syrup, and orange cream cheese frosting.

“This is the first Coronation in the UK for 70 years – so for many, it is the only one they will experience,” points out Mich. A selection of specially created recipes will also be available at her atelier, Little Venice Cake Company at Atlantis The Royal till May 15 for guests who desire to share in this celebration.

And unlike what many may presume, the date cake was originally a recipe Mich created for Queen Elizabeth II. For the coronation, the team has elevated it to a loaf, presented in a special box, and topped with roses, pistachios and gold leaf.

“Our clients are embracing, appreciating, and requesting the finer quality and artistry of our designs, ensuring they have unique art creations that can then be consumed,” says Mich, who adds there is a renewed appreciation of artistry and craftsmanship in decorated cakes.

As for the carrot cake she says what makes her version such a best-seller is that “it’s delicious, nutritious, moist, satisfying, spicy and fruity. We have elevated our carrot cake for the Coronation with an orange cream cheese frosting. We know King Charles III has an affinity and support for the countryside and farming, so this is the perfect cake.”

And while social media may have spammed our feed with the most gorgeous looking cakes with no way of testing out if it tastes as good as it looks, Mich asserts for her it is fundamental that all her cakes look incredible and taste exceptional.

“No matter how stunning a cake looks – the taste must match and vice versa. We have strict processes in place to ensure recipes are recreated time and again, checked and sampled throughout production to ensure all levels of quality control and assurance are met throughout the production.”

Mich, who embarked on a career in cake specialization after winning a cooking contest at 15, still remembers fondly the first wedding cake she made at the age of 17.

“The cake was petal shaped, two tier with handmade sugar flowers, ribbons, edible hand piped lace and a woven ribbon insertion. It was vanilla and chocolate.”

With years of experience in the industry, Mich has the perfect ingredients for a good baker down pat. “Patience, a good recipe, accurate scales, quality ingredients - at the right temperature.”

As for Dubai which boasts Mich Turner’s first atelier outside the UK, she says it is the perfect spot for a company like hers.

“Dubai has a sweet tooth and an appreciation for a good cake, beautifully made and stunningly presented," she explains.

“We offer a bespoke service for discerning clients celebrating their most treasured occasions. Cakes are memories, and we are honoured to create the most amazing cakes, for the most wonderful people, in the most incredible venues, celebrating in one of the most exciting cities in the world.”

And she also makes it clear her atelier is not just a place to buy cake - they will soon offer master classes and just like fashion brands, put out new collections of cakes, tea and china. She also hints at some exciting theatrical activities that are being planned for later this year while stressing they are constantly evolving and designing new cakes – adopting new techniques, forging new flavours or decorating trends and introducing healthier recipes.

But for now, let's feast on some carrot cake.

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