Hands down, the most exciting part of our trip to Ecuador for me was the abundance of delicious tropical fruits and flowers. They were literally dripping from every alleyway, garden, and market and you better believe I indulged at every available opportunity. Unfortunately Customs wasn't about to let me bring home a bag full of fresh fruits and flowers, so I had to get creative. Returning to February in the PNW after a month of tropical abundance was a bit of a rough landing, but I can be pretty determined and set out to capture all the feelings and flavors of the tropics with our limited access of the Northwest winter.
This cake was flavored with my absolute favorite fruit in the world: passionfruit (or maracuyá) with a rich chocolate cake. While I don't usually use imported fruits in my work, I made an exception and hit up the local Asian market for some fresh passionfruit. Sometimes there's just no viable substitution for the real thing.
The flowers, though... I desperately wanted a fistful of fresh hibiscus to decorate this cake. I was feeling disheartened by my available flower options-- basically a few different dried blooms I had saved from the summer. Dried roses just didn't scream "tropical abundance" the way I had hoped. Then I found some inspiration from the talented Thida Bevington and still can't get over what a perfect stand-in for a hibiscus I was able to create from rice paper.
Thanks for following along!
Cake #3 is still on the way: Enter the Cloud Forest
An homage to my favorite part of the trip: staying on a small-batch chocolate factory in the Cloud Forest region. This cake will be flavored with some miel de cacao I brought home from this part of the trip, and capture all the enchanted vibes that made me fall in love.
**This cake is as of yet unclaimed! If you're interested in ordering this one-time-only design, let me know!
Between wedding cakes, baking production, and humble gardening ambitions, there's constant experimentation, growth, and a never-ending learning curve. Follow along to see what I'm up to.