Martin Senekal’s obsession with architecture and design have influenced the stunning designs of his cakes.
You could call him the Philip Treacy of cake design.
Some of them look so good that it’s a shame to actually cut into them and eat them.
But it’s not all looks. The cakes are delicious, and ingredients are of top quality. He does not use artificial ingredients of any kind.
Where can I eat them around Cape Town? Well, it seems that Martin prefers to deal directly with his customers, and The Neighbourgoods Market in Woodstock is his locale for doing just that. “I prefer to have direct contact with my customers”, he says. “That way I get immediate feedback on my cakes and other products. I try out new products and flavours down at The Biscuit Mill every Saturday”.
His stand there is a show stopper. People stop and gape at the beautiful looking cakes and designs. Once I witnesses a man stop and buy 20 cakes at one go. He was having a dinner party and wanted a cake for each guest to choose.
I’ve a confession to make. I’ve tried a few of his cakes and I have to say the passionfruit one is delicious. Also, his chocolate cakes, any of them, are to die for.
His favourite cake is carrot cake, and he loves making cheesecake as he feels that he gets it just right, and that this is actually a challenge. I asked him what the most unusual request he’s ever had and he didn’t blink an eye as he told me about the order from Johannesburg.
“They asked me to supply 110 minature wedding cakes who wanted to know if they could be displayed on a glass tiered display unit incorporating glass boxes filled with turquoise gel. Why? Well why not I suppose.
Another couple wanted me to sculpt white orchids to go on top of 40 minature wedding cakes in September”
Martin works all day Friday, through the night, and gets up at 2am to get to the Biscuit Mill Market on a Saturday. He comments that the plainest cakes that he makes sell the fastest, and thinks it’s down to the fact that they are bought as presents, and the buyers are unsure of their friends tastes.
He does not eat a lot of his own cakes, except for random taste testing. However the macaroons are another story…..”A problem to leave alone”, he says.
So where is this all going to end up, in 10 years time?
“On a farm, with a big workshop, designing and making furniture”.
The Neighbourgoods Market, The Old Biscuit Mill, Woodstock.