Sweets

Secret Garden Tea Cakes

Thinking about shopping and eating local? Secret Garden Tea Company has some most scrumptious cakes on offer. To learn more about this SGT deliciousness, we spoke to Head Pastry Chef Lysanne Sweeney, and her talented Assistant Pastry Chef, Paula Moraes.

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i. What are three words you would use to describe the cakes at Secret Garden Tea Company?

Lysanne: ‘Upscale Cottage Baking.’

Paula: Originally, quality and warmth.

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ii. Please tell us about one of the exciting cakes you are making now at SGT. Why that cake? What do you love about it?

Lysanne: We love all our cakes! One of our recent cakes was a Hummingbird Cake, sort of a decadent kitchen sink cake made from a banana, coconut, pecan, pineapple sponge layered with our famous Cream Cheese Icing. It melts in your mouth!

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Paula: Passion Fruit Coconut Cake! It has an original passion fruit sponge with white Belgian ganache coconut filling. It’s garnished with Italian buttercream roses on top, to welcome the spring that is knocking at the door! What I most love about this cake is the combination of flavours – the freshness of the passion fruit matches perfectly with coconut!

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iii. What is one of your longest standing, classic cakes at SGT. What do people tell you they like about it?

Lysanne: Paula and I take turns making the weekly cakes, and each week is a different cake. We get feedback with every cake which so far has been overwhelmingly positive. But the best way to gauge the success of each cake is on how fast it sells. If it sells before the week is over, we have a winner. Often it will sell before the day is over!!

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iv. What is your overall philosophy around creating cakes?

Lysanne: I try to keep my cakes very approachable. When it comes to cakes, we find our customers are looking for flavours which remind them of their childhoods. In keeping with the Secret Garden concept, we try to keep our cakes homestyle in flavours but beautifully upscale in look.

Paula: If it weren’t for the cake, maybe I wouldn’t be at The Garden today! Making cakes changed my life 5 years ago, when I decided to drop out my career of business management and travel to Italy to study culinary. I found my passion for the pastry world, in special for the cakes! That’s why being where I can make what is the passion of my life is so important! I don’t just create cake, I live it! I think about each cake weeks before, every single detail, and when I produce it is where I express my art in many ways!

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Pink Velvet Cake

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Vanilla Raspberry Cake

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v. How has your approach to cake creation changed during the pandemic?

Lysanne: The pandemic has not changed our cakes. The pandemic has facilitated our cake creations. Before Covid-19, we were keeping with miniature pastries. Covid has enabled us to “reset” and try our hand at a few new things which includes cake making. The pandemic has been hard on all of us on different levels. A piece of cake brings the idea of comfort – a very welcomed feeling in this time of uncertainties.

Paula: People have cake for many reasons! They have cake when they are happy, when they think they deserve a reward, when they want to share good moments, when they want to celebrate a special moment, and even when they are sad! That’s why I am trying to please everyone making each cake with so much love and joy, because I truly believe that my energy goes to each slice!

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vi. What are a couple of ‘new’ ingredients you find yourself using now at SGT? Why those ingredients and what types of cakes have you made with it?

Lysanne: We have started using pure hazelnut paste. A few months ago, we created a cake made of dense dark chocolate sponge layered with a bittersweet chocolate hazelnut cream reminiscent of the inside of hedgehog chocolates. It was absolutely decadent. We now make a miniature dessert with the same bittersweet chocolate hazelnut cream but have added a layer of salted caramel and a crunchy semi-sweet chocolate covering. Thus was born the Secret Garden Golden Hedgehog.

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Chocolate Cookie Dough Cake

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Triple Chocolate Cake

 

vii. What are some secrets home bakers could learn about icing and decorating cakes?

Lysanne: As for icing and decorating at home:  keep it simple, have fun, and do what you love! Every creation is unique to the creator, a self-expression to be proud of.

Paula: First of all: always try to get any recipe from trustable sources and follow it to the letter. Do not try to change anything, because each gram of ingredient is there because it has to balance!

Decorating is practicing! You are going to fail five times and then you are going to start having progress! Giving up is not an option! Be patient with yourself!

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Lemon Blueberry and Candied Ginger Cake

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Secret Garden Tea Website

SGT Instagram

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www.creatorsvancouver.com

Header: Blueberries and Cream Cake

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