Sep 25, 2022 News
By Renay Sambach
Kaieteur News – Among the many savoury dishes that are a must have during the Christmas holiday is the luscious black cake.
After working on a project with her father to create the ‘perfect’ black cake for over a decade, even after her father, Colin Ming, passed away in an accident last year, Saralise Ming, earlier this month launched ‘CM Black Cake’ in honour of her father.
CM Black Cake is the flagship product at Noodle Cake Creations and is considered an artisan product.
JOURNEY OF CM BLACK CAKE
The journey of CM Black Cake began back in 2012, after Saralise launched her trademark business, Noodle Cake Creations.
After opening her business, her father challenged her to create the perfect black cake. According to her, “he said: ‘Sara, if you’re going in this direction, let’s work on perfecting your mother’s black cake. I think it could really be a world class product’.”
Saralise shared that the first part of the journey was learning the fruits ratio for the black cake and by the end of 2012, under the guidance of her mother, she was able to put her first batch of ‘boozy fruit mix’ to cure.
The fruit mix that Saralise had made was then named the ‘Mother Mix’. She said that some of the ‘Mother Mix’ was used for cake, while some was mixed with new fruit to facilitate the curing process. “Old fruit is always added to new fruit to keep the aging process going. If we’re doing some quick math, 2012 to 2022, my fruit mix has been rotating for nearly a decade! That’s part of what makes it so special.”
Saralise shared that the fruit part was just the beginning of her long journey that was ahead. She said, “Let me tell you. Black cake is unlike any other. The mixing and baking techniques are completely unique. Even with a recipe and mom’s guidance, it took a while to first learn her version and then to figure out the tweaks. As the orders came in, I was working on it.”
According to Saralise, with each batch that she made, her father would cut his slice and critique. “No matter how perfect I felt our cake was becoming, he’d always say ‘but Sara you need to fix this’ and hearing that phrase for several years was terribly frustrating.”
Saralise said, “Every year around May, dad would travel to play golf with his buddies in Myrtle Beach. He’d always take mom’s black cake fully covered with a generous layer of almond paste. Even though we were working on our black cake project, he never would let me bake that specific cake. He always wanted her to bake it. Yes, I was disappointed each year as he wouldn’t let me try my hand at it and I felt I could do it.”
However, in 2019, Saralise’s father gave her the task to bake the black cake for the trip.
While her father was on the trip, she received a phone call and her father told her that someone would like to speak to her and he then passed the phone to one of his friends.
“We exchanged our greetings and a bit of small talk. Then he said, ‘but I was asking to speak with your Mother, where is she?’ I could hear dad in the background saying: ‘No, you asked to speak with the baker and I gave you the right person.’ Then the next thing I heard was, ‘Did you really bake that cake? I wanted to talk to your Mom to tell her that this one is the best one that we’ve ever had over all these years’.”
Saralise explained that after hearing those words, she was left in astonishment. Her father then collected the phone and told her, “Well I wanted you to know. You did it. You have a world class product’.”
From there, Saralise and her father started discussing packaging ideas but then the COVID-19 pandemic came into effect in 2020 and put their work on pause. The following year, her father was the victim of an accident that occurred on the East Coast of Demerara. “Then, in early 2021, my dear dad suddenly passed. His last slice of our black cake was still in the fridge waiting for him to finish.”
Following her father’s death, Saralise said that the journey became harder knowing that her father would no longer be there.
“I thought about scrapping the project. How do I do it without him; it started to feel empty. One thing about Dad though, he didn’t like quitting. He wouldn’t have wanted me to quit. So, I took all the memories of the conversations we would have had over the years and pulled them together.”
On Friday, September 2, last, Saralise was able to launch CM Black Cake. She explained that the end product is exactly what her father had imagined it to be.
“The packaging needed to be a sturdy material to support the weight of the cake. It needed to represent luxury, finesse and class. The cake needed to be rectangular in shape to facilitate easy symmetrical cutting. The almond paste needed to be generous, just because he liked it so.”
The branding of the black cake, of course, was done in honour of Colin Ming. He was popularly known as CM and the style of the font was inspired by his signature.
“Today, this cake is a representation of a father and daughter love. It’s a product of our time together and something that dad wanted me to share with the world.”
And just in case you may need yours for the Christmas holidays, it is advisable, that you do so as early as possible. This is owing to the fact, the baker explained, “It takes time to hand craft each cake through the baking, curing and packaging process. Also, at any given time, there’s only a specific amount of fruit mix which can be extracted for use. This is not a mass produced item.”
(To contact Saralise, you can visit the CM Black Cake page on Facebook and Instagram or call using WhatsApp (592) 685-6122.)
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