Cake Boy – a chic patisserie near Wandsworth Town – is discreetly tucked away on the ground floor of Kingfisher House, surrounded by upmarket riverfront flats, the sort that look more like empty fish tanks than actual homes. Inside, hot pink and orange chairs add to the quirkiness of this swish bakery, which also runs cookery classes.
The food here is exceptional. I’m told by master pâtissier Eric Lanlard, who set up Cake Boy in 2007 after working as head pastry chef for Albert and Michel Roux (owners of two-Michelin-starred Le Gavroche), that the menu changes at least weekly, but sometimes just ‘depending on how we feel when we wake up in the morning’.
This passion shows. A salmon tart came with satisfyingly firm pastry and silky egg, juicy broccoli florets and sprigs of rosemary. This was followed by a savoury muffin, filled with bacon and omelette, which was airy and light, then a buttery croissant sandwich with goat’s cheese and tomatoes.
On the sweet side, a pain au chocolat with roasted almonds had a skilfully crisp outer shell, with rippled pastry layers and gooey almond cream inside. Cake Boy also has an extensive selection of macaroons. It’s worth a trip for these alone. The raspberry and hibiscus was tangy and fragrant; cherry with white chocolate was simultaneously creamy and sour; and the lime macaroon was accented with desiccated coconut. The flavours of the liquorice and fig macaroon – apparently a favourite among customers – were beautifully balanced, too.
But the highlight of the show was the black forest gâteau. Heart-stoppingly indulgent, this was a perfectly rectangular block with distinctive layers of chocolate sponge, vanilla cream and cherries. The cherries on top were adorably decorated with gold paint, and the cake came with a brilliantly sour pot of Greek yoghurt, sprinkled with rose petals and pistachios.
Yes, this bakery looks slightly misplaced in its achingly smart residential setting, but the staff are incredibly friendly, and the pastries are delightful.