Restaurant Review: Cake Envy: Paloma Efron's Coco Paloma Desserts
Paloma Efron's decadent cakes – and her home workshop – are the envy of Austin
Reviewed by Virginia B. Wood, Fri., Feb. 6, 2009
Cake Envy: Paloma Efron's Coco Paloma Desserts419-1582
The last thing I expect when meeting a new interview subject is to be overcome with envy, but that is exactly what happened when I sat down with cake artist Paloma Efron in the sunny kitchen workshop at the end of her driveway. Don't get me wrong; Efron's convenient workshop would be the envy of any serious baker – the sunny space has a commercial refrigerator, regulation sinks, plenty of stainless-steel shelves and work tables, a gas range, both a KitchenAid and a 20-quart Hobart mixer (!), plus a comfortable area where she can confer with prospective clients. Having her personal workshop just across the yard from home is making it possible for the busy mother of two young children to build a successful custom-cake business. Bride-to-bride recommendations, referrals from wedding planners, and exposure on wedding sites such as the Knot are helping to make Efron's cakes all the rage with Austin brides these days.
Efron's background in graphic arts is reflected in the distinctive cake designs that emerge from the drawings in her pile of sketchbooks, and her Le Cordon Bleu baking training is readily apparent in every bite of her delicious cakes. Each customer gets a personal consultation to discuss designs and flavors before Efron works her magic in the kitchen. Prospective brides and grooms are invited to tastings to seal the deal. The day we visited, I sampled her most recent Valentine's inspiration: chocolate cake layers filled with vanilla-bean chocolate ganache, vanilla-bean custard buttercream, and fresh strawberries; frosted with vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream; and enrobed in pale-brown fondant decorated with pink piping and lacy pink fondant lovebirds. The charm of the design was surpassed only by the exquisite flavor of the cake that was quite a hit back at the office. In addition to wedding cakes, Efron also creates desserts for special occasions – she'll be glad to show you photos of the Austin mural she whipped up for the mayor's birthday, a fairy-tale castle, or the cowboy boot that looks as though it could scoot right off the table. A delectable custom Paloma Efron creation could make your wedding or special occasion the envy of every guest.
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