Sugar-coated nudity (the cakes. not me. sheesh).

So the festive season is over, and for this lucky girl it was extra festive - my best friend got married!

To add to the fun of that occasion, I was honoured and delighted when she asked me long ago to make her wedding cake, and couldn't be happier to have been a part of her special day in such a special way (in addition to being a bridesmaid... eep! #stress).

This was my first foray into the world of what has become all the rage over Pinterest the past year or so - the Naked Cake! It was fun, gritty, and delicious to make; it certainly didn't hurt that the flavours I had to play with were chocolate and salted caramel.

We had a lovely taste testing at Wiley's Baths near my place in Coogee (champagne mandatory of course) and settled on a 6 layer, 2 tier cake combining choc mud cakes, salted caramel mud cakes, choc salted caramel frosting and cream cheese salted caramel frosting. And it wouldn't be a cake of mine without the obligatory salted caramel sauce layered in between as well (me and Manu; we love our sauce) with extra on the side. Just in case (read: because I wanted extra for myself).

After battling the summer elements - boy has it been a fun summer to spend in a hot kitchen - and paving my way through the largest mound of frosting I've ever worked with, I think it turned out pretty well, no?

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Word on the street passed around pretty quickly too, as I received a request a few days later for a similarly styled engagement cake this past weekend (Choc and Vanilla, in this case). I'm loving the in-season Dahlias from Naomi Jones Flower Studio (who were amazing to deal with, btw) which really finished off that cake nicely, I think. The party was held at the Farmhouse in Rushcutter's Bay - I haven't eaten there yet myself but from the rustic decor to the seasonal (and vegetarian-friendly!) menu I can tell you it won't be long before I do. And I'm taking as many of you with me as possible (or as many will fit at their long lovely timber table).

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So what do we think? Are naked cakes here to stay in all their glory, or will they move on quicker than you can say 'cake pop'? I personally love the visual of them when paired with a gorgeous floral arrangement (next stop: hydrangeas) so I look forward to plenty more birthday suited-cakes in the future.

Gemma x