Paperboy's first birthday: We celebrate with cake from Auckland's best bakers

by Kate Richards / 26 October, 2017
Photography Rebekah Robinson

Sure to rise

All the best celebrations require cake, right? So for our first birthday, we commissioned four of Auckland’s best bakers (well, one is an ice cream genius) to create cakes that they thought fitted the occasion. The results, as you’ll see, are astounding. Oh, and they taste good, too

Junior Niuafe Malupo created this sensational confection. The background colour is Resene ‘Adrenalin’.

Niu Cakery

Junior Niuafe Malupo stacks ‘em high

More is usually more with Junior Niuafe Malupo’s cakes, and the towering extravaganza he made for our birthday is no exception. It is not a single cake, but six layers of chocolate sponge stuck painstakingly together with a silky Whittaker’s dark chocolate ganache – so high that there are some nervous moments as Malupo carries it into the photo studio in a huge cardboard box. Malupo set up Niu Cakery with his mother Olga two years ago, and has rapidly built a reputation for creating standout special-occasion spectaculars. The sponge cakes in this one took less than an hour to bake in the big oven in his New Lynn headquarters; it was the decorating that was the time-consuming part. He spent two painstaking hours brushing on layers of coloured icing in a marbled effect, before adding handmade macarons, meringue kisses and chocolate leaves. On top, there’s a coconut hand-painted with edible gold paint, and fresh flowers, including frangipani, that Malupo says nod to his Tongan ancestry. “They give that island touch,” he says. “When people see this, they’ll know it’s one of mine.”

9 Sheridan Drv, New Lynn. See niucakery.com

Kim Evans’ fresh cake stack. The background colour is Resene ‘Smashing’.

Little & Friday

Kim Evans dreamed up a delightful fruity stack

Kim Evans is Auckland baking royalty: her decade-old Belmont bakery, Little & Friday, has earned a reputation for greatness all over town. For our first birthday cake, she looked to the city’s diversity for inspiration. “Recent studies have found that people from 200 different ethnic groups live in Auckland – the city is considered more diverse than London or Sydney,” she says, as she stacks sweet sponge with layers of lime mascarpone cream and tropical fruit in the photography studio. Her cake is a tribute to the strength of diversity: vibrant mango is a hat tip to Asia and the Pacific Islands, where the fruit proliferates; the Victoria sponge is a nod to Britain; and, “in true American style”, each layer is thick with cream. Weighed down with these accoutrements, the four tiers were a challenge to stack, but when Evans drizzled pureed raspberries over the top, it looked wonderful in its wobbliness. “I call Little & Friday a feel-good factory,” she says. “Our cakes appeal visually and are a comfort experience, filled with nostalgia and memories.”

11 McColl St, Newmarket, and 43D Eversleigh Rd, Belmont. See littleandfriday.com

Giapo’s ice cream featuring Te Ara I Whiti, the Sky Tower and the Auckland Harbour Bridge. The background colour is Resene ‘Dancing Girl’.

Giapo Ice Cream

The Italian maestros create a birthday tribute

When we initially asked them to create a cake for our first birthday, ice cream master Giapo Grazioli and his wife Annarosa – who churn out showstopping ice cream creations on a daily basis from their Gore Street store in the central city – had a few questions for us, which they sent via email. “What kind of feeling do you want to give your readers?” was one. “What will make you super-happy if we do it?” was another. We replied that it was an open brief, and that we mostly wanted to use our birthday to show off the skills of some of our favourite dessert maestros. Giapo and Annarosa responded with a single scoop of chocolate ice cream flavoured with coffee from Auckland’s Miller’s roastery that was placed in a hand-rolled cone, dipped in white chocolate, then decorated with chocolate replicas of the Sky Tower, the Harbour Bridge, a rugby ball and a Paperboy ‘P’; as well as a chocolate rendition, iced pink, of Te Ara I Whiti, the Lightpath. Too pretty to eat? Don’t be silly, Giapo and Annarosa say. “Ice cream for us is a way to exchange emotions,” Annarosa says. “It is how we hope to connect with other people’s souls.”

12 Gore St, central city. See giapo.com

Jordan Rondel’s cake features decorative fresh flowers. The background colour is Resene ‘Paper Doll’.

The Caker

Jordan Rondel creates a flower-filled dreamscape

Jordan Rondel says she has “baking in my blood”. It’s a passion she inherited from her Parisian grandparents, cultivated while she was studying marketing at university, and turned into a full-time business when she opened The Caker bakery – now located in Karangahape Road – in 2010. The four-tiered masterpiece she made in response to our first-birthday commission is evidence of her passion and obsessive attention to detail. It took seven hours to make, with baking starting at 6am on the day of our shoot. It is the equivalent size of five of Rondel’s standard cakes: two on the bottom, one and a half in the middle, and another smaller cake on top. The cakes are impossibly light almond and vanilla sponge, studded with fresh strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries. On top, Rondel used a cream cheese icing with flecks of freeze-dried strawberries for colour. Rondel says stacking the cake ran the risk of making it look too “wedding-y”, but she thinks the freeze-dried berries and the zany positioning of flowers on the final tier dodge a look that’s too traditional. We were too busy swooning over this beautiful confection to care. “We have this saying,” Rondel says. “Cakes are edible expressions of love. It’s so cheesy but I don’t really care. It’s the truth.”

446 Karangahape Rd. See thecaker.co.nz

Latest

Rising sea levels are putting our coasts in crisis – should we adapt or retreat?
99383 2018-11-22 00:00:00Z Planet

Rising sea levels are putting our coasts in crisis…

by Sally Blundell

Either option carries considerable economic, social and environmental costs and it’s a debate communities cannot tackle in isolation.

Read more
Overlord is a Nazi zombie B-movie with a slight difference
99374 2018-11-21 14:42:54Z Movies

Overlord is a Nazi zombie B-movie with a slight di…

by James Robins

Have you heard? Nazis are bad. It seems that some people need reminding, and thus we have Overlord.

Read more
The new eatery bringing old-school arcade games to Kingsland
99364 2018-11-21 14:24:21Z Auckland Eats

The new eatery bringing old-school arcade games to…

by Alex Blackwood

Chicka transforms into Arcade with a Neo Tokyo-style fit-out, arcade games and a new menu.

Read more
New bar Morningcidery is opening up the world of cider
99332 2018-11-21 10:47:11Z Auckland Eats

New bar Morningcidery is opening up the world of c…

by Alex Blackwood

Sip on all kinds of cider, like pineapple and jalapeno, at this dedicated new cider bar.

Read more
Who killed Waiwera? The troubled history of a popular resort town
99313 2018-11-21 09:38:21Z Auckland Issues

Who killed Waiwera? The troubled history of a popu…

by Donna Chisholm

From the archives: A small seaside town is dead. Was it the victim of greedy developers, warring tycoons, or a road that no longer runs through it?

Read more
The wake-up call this meth addicted mum needed
99308 2018-11-21 07:26:35Z Social issues

The wake-up call this meth addicted mum needed

by Anonymous

A mum shares her struggle of overcoming a meth addiction to help give a better life to her two children.

Read more
In the face of US sanctions and corrupt ideologues, Iranians get by on defiance
99284 2018-11-21 00:00:00Z World

In the face of US sanctions and corrupt ideologues…

by Peter Calder

In the Islamic Republic of Iran, Peter Calder finds almost everything is forbidden, yet accessible.

Read more
The Kiwi rug repairer who helped capture the Qashqai's threatened way of life
99289 2018-11-21 00:00:00Z Movies

The Kiwi rug repairer who helped capture the Qashq…

by Peter Calder

A new doco gives a portrait of the Iranian nomads through the eyes of Wellingtonian Anna Williams.

Read more