Naked Cakes- Lyndel Miller
Recipes and Images from Naked Cakes by Lyndel Miller (Murdoch Books) $49.99 available in all good bookshops and online.
Fondant haters, lazy bakers and time-poor hosts rejoice! These naked cakes are achievable, budget friendly and swoon worthy – and they provide an ideal opportunity to experiment with and display your individual creativity. Beautiful, rustic and organic in form, naked cakes are always tiered, with filling and frosting between layers but never on the outside – thus ‘naked’.
Provoke caught up with author, food stylist and Brisbane local Lyndel Miller to find out more about her sweet life.
Q & A with Lydel Miller:
How did you get into food styling?
I studied interior and graphic design in the past so I was confident enough with styling, colour and composition.
I read as much as I could find on the subject and knew that it wasn’t something that would marry all past pursuits and work experience.
It made perfect sense. I had a background in hospitality and food, and had worked for many years as an apprentice chef and I had a natural flair.
I found a course which I undertook with Lisa Schroeder and Susan Linnet Fox.
It answered some questions but I knew as I went through the material that nothing would substitute for the just plain ‘doing’ the job.
I needed to start . I connected with a photographer wishing to enter into the food arena like myself. A mutual friend introduced us. We started straight away. I’ll never forget the first time working on test shoots, it was exhilarating! We built a food portfolio together and soon enough the jobs came in, amazing ones! And the rest, as they say, is history.
What is the best part of your job?
The end of a shoot knowing you have met the brief and you have another happy client.
What is more important, making a dish look appetising, or pretty?
Appetising! Always. We eat with our eyes.
What was the inspiration behind your latest book- Naked Cakes?
So many individuals are intimidated to be creative in the kitchen. Naked Cakes is not only full of delicious cake recipes it is also about bringing the artist out in you.
Everything, trust me, is simple. Simple ways to create, flavour profiles, base cakes, an array of frostings and ‘crowns’ to embellish. Simple ways to decorate, set a table, set a scene, create an atmosphere with your very own Naked Cake creation taking centre stage (or for beginners, recipes of mine to embrace). It really is something unique. It’s jam packed with goodness!
How skilled in the kitchen do you need to be to master the recipes in your latest book?
A home cook…seriously. There are many DIY diagrams to help you along the way.
What is the trick to resisting pigging out on all the delicious food you style?
Well, if you are seduced then I’ve done my job! Seriously, you don’t have time to eat when on set . I rarely get lunch in. I gift food a lot!
Lyndel’s favourite five
Favourite food to style? desserts and salads
Favourite food to eat? Wholefoods. Fresh from garden to plate with the least amount of interference.
Favourite recipe in Naked Cakes? The coconut and limoncello cake with Lemon curd! Oh yeah ! It’s my favourite aesthetically too. It’s my style. I’ve tried to include something to appeal to everyone’s taste buds as well as eyes.
Favourite ingredient to cook with? I don’t play favourites. I love to explore.
Favourite Brisbane restaurant or cafe? At the moment I am loving Jerome Battens Gauge at Sth Brisbane (love their Pulled Pork! And Black Garlic Bread with Burnt vanilla and brown butter- dream about) and The Jam Pantry (love everything usually!) with Naomi (Nims) Zavackas at Greenslopes.
The food scene in Brisbane is really exciting. There is always something new or evolving. I read the Courier Mails Qld Taste on Tuesdays to keep up to date. I wish I got to dine out more. Kids. At the moment it’s all about making kids meals just as exciting for my husband Simon and myself. Oh and I travel to the GC for Pablo Pablo Latin Eatery too, I love their Fruits of the Sea, a little crusty bed and a Spanish vino. Long weekends -sorted!