Meet the face behind some of the cutest cakes in Johannesburg

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Meet the face behind some of the cutest cakes in Johannesburg

Tashia Harduth has stolen our hearts and stomachs with her (almost) too-cute-to-eat cakes and bakes. We chat to the young entrepreneur to get the inside scoop on baking your best cake yet, and find out how she got started and where she finds her daily inspiration.

1. Can you tell us about yourself, where you grew up and how you got into baking? Was it always something you wanted to do?

My name is Tashia, owner of Softpeaks Cake Shop. I’m from a tiny town called Greytown (it’s okay, you can Google it, no one knows it!). I’ve always loved baking but when the time came to decide on a career, accounting seemed like the safer bet, so I became a chartered accountant. But all through my studies and working life, I could never shake off the baking bug. Baking truly is my happy place.

2. When did you open Softpeaks? Tell us about the concept behind it.

While working in corporate I found myself baking lots of cakes for friends, families and colleagues. I soon realised I’d much rather spend my evenings baking a cake than wrapping up a report or prepping for a meeting. Eventually my preference for baking was too much to ignore so I took a leap of faith. I resigned from my job and starting baking full time. Soft peaks is a baking term referring to a stage of whipped cream or meringue that’s delicate and beautiful. Softpeaks launched in 2019.

3. Let’s talk about your beautiful cakes. Where do you find the inspiration for your designs? How did you hone the skills to create such edible works of art?

I’m completely self-taught, many hours, books, YouTube and online courses gave lots of theory and trial and error gave me practical experience. From a creative perspective, I find a lot inspiration from nature, art, modern design and travel. I’d look at dope street art and think this would be great as cake.


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A post shared by softpeaks cakeshop (@softpeaksza)

4. 2020 was a rough year for the food industry as a whole, how did you weather the storm? And how did you keep motivated and inspired to come out of such a difficult period? What were some reassuring highlights (if any) of the past year for you?

I am extremely lucky as lockdown and people staying at home seem to be good for orders. With people being unable to have parties, cakes became an easy way to share celebrations without being together. People sent cakes as gifts and orders helped me immensely this year. I consider myself fortunate this year.

5. What advice do you have for aspiring home bakers wanting to bake their best cake yet? Any icing tips? Ideal tools

Cake decorating and techniques take patience and practice. However, with baking, I have a simple baking philosophy. If you put good things in, you will get good things out. Good quality ingredients, particularly butter and vanilla, matter. And I could not fulfil a single order without my turntable and offset spatula. A reliable scale will make sure your recipes are consistent!


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A post shared by softpeaks cakeshop (@softpeaksza)

6. Have you got any plans for future projects? What can we look forward to seeing you do next?

I’ve just made hired my first full-time employee, and I’m busy working on a bigger baking space with more ovens. I am apprehensively excited for the coming year.

To keep up with Tash, follow her on Instagram.

Jess Spiro Article by: Jess Spiro

Jess Spiro is a freelance food writer, chef and restaurant critic based in Cape Town, who can often be found in search of the next great plate of food. Follow her on Instagram @jess_spiro to see what she's eating.

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