Caking and Baking in Bucharest
As adults we might get weary about yet another birthday, but for our kids we often want to create a magical moment that will give them sparkles in their eyes and wonderful memories for years to come. The star of any child’s party is, of course, the birthday cake, that can reflect their personality, preferences and theme of the party.
Whether you choose to Do it yourself or Order a cake, here are some tips and tricks:
Do it yourself
If you like baking, your kid will be very proud to have a cake made by his mommy or daddy.
You can find baking basics information here. They also have quite a few recipes, but I found them to be more for the experienced baker. For me personally, I found Martha Stewart’s recipes to be the easiest to make, especially as a beginner. At Maison V, we occasionally organize baking basics and basic cake decorating classes, if you are interested, contact us at [email protected]
Always check the measuring units for your cake before you start, especially as different ingredients do not weigh the same by the cup. You can use a calculator like this one for converting measurements units.
When it comes to ingredients; supermarkets (Carrefour, Mega Image, etc) carry most of basic ingredients like flour, cocoa, sugar, eggs, butter and such.
If you’re feeling creative or want to give sugar paste (rolled fondant) a go, here are a few specialty baking stores in Romania where you can find sugar paste (also called icing sometimes), food coloring, utensils and edible and non-edible accessories. They all offer online catalogues and delivery.
Sugar Spice – they carry good quality vanilla and other flavors natural extracts, sugar paste, cake drums and utensils
Pastai De Vanilie – lots and lots of spices
Vanilla shop – basically vanilla, in all forms and brands
Lumea Basmelor – a lot of stuff, also in smaller quantities
www.bbsuperimport.ro – Wilton products, other international brands
Order a cake
If you want a really special cake, or if you have a birthday party in a place that requires a conformity certificate (this is common at kindergartens and some party venues), you need to go to a certified bakery.
Although there is no shortage of these, there are a few things you need to keep in mind:
- Quality, and, therefore, Price. There are many bakeries that use pre-mixes and preservatives. From my experience as a manager of such a business, any cake under 75 lei per un-decorated kilo cannot possibly be made from natural, good ingredients, such as real butter, full-fat cream, good quality chocolate, real, high-quality fruit and so on.
Prices in good-quality bakeries therefore vary between 95 and 150 lei per kilo of decorated cake, depending on the complexity of the model.
Also, some bakeries say they cover their cakes with marzipan. They don’t, it’s just the wrong name for sugar paste, so don’t expect your cake to come covered in almond paste (it’s expensive and less versatile for decorating).
- Level of personalization: many bakeries offer a few standard models. If these suits your needs, all the better.
If you want something particular, have a certain vision in mind or your kid has a knack for a particular ingredient or special dietary requirements, look for a bakery that will accommodate those. You know you have found one by the client service you are offered, if you have a consultant that will sit down with you and take into account your wishes and preferences.
- Execution: not all bakers have the same skills and attention to detail. Look if they have pictures or models exposed and look at the level of craftsmanship: is the sugar paste smooth, without cracks or creases, are the lines straight or can you see the bumps underneath, are there many details, do the figurines resemble the characters they are modeled after? Are the cakes original and imaginative or just the same models you see everywhere? Simply, are they visually appealing to you?
Cakes do not come cheap, they are, after all, a luxury product, but what better time to indulge than on your child’s memorable birthday party?
Katia Danila, Maison V Cakes
Maison V Cakes is an artisanal cake company situated in Floreasca, not far from Promenada Mall. We offer custom-made special occasion cakes, both for children and adults, as well as everyday desserts for meals with families or friends. We like to make cakes that are beautiful, original, delicious, light in sugar, all natural and with best quality ingredients. We work by order-only, so be sure to contact us in time!
Katia Danila, the owner of Maison V is a former Romanian diplomat and cultural manager. After having worked in Brussels and Paris she moved to Romania with her French husband and son. She started home baking and in 2016 opened Maison V. The Bucharestmoms group members have been among her first customers.