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    Forget banana bread, try this dish sponge: Pandemic inspires ‘illusion cakes’ in Hong Kong

    HONG KONG – A bakery studio in Hong Kong is aiming to bounce back from its COVID-19 slump with “illusion cakes” that appear to be everyday objects until you take a slice.

    Dear Harley Cake Studio’s founders Alison Chan and Cony Lam came up with the idea after baking a custom cake for Chan’s nephew, who loves bananas: a thin layer of yellow fondant wrapped around dark chocolate and Italian meringue butter cream.

    Posting such creations on social media brought a new wave of customers to their shop, prompting them to switch the focus of their business to special orders and workshops for wannabe cake illusionists.

    Now they can make-to-order cakes that look uncannily like almost anything, from a pair of flip-flops to sea-urchin sashimi or even a dish sponge.

    “This illusion cake wave is … kind of saving our business,” Chan said.

    From a crisis level of three-to-four weekly orders during March and April, the studio is now receiving 15-20 orders a week. An illusion cake costs at least HK$1,500 ($194), with some going for HK$12,000-HK$13,000.

    “I’m personally super thrilled that we have reached this stage … We never expected that this will blow up,” Chan said.

    Source: Reuters

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