Ecaterina Cakes: Ecaterina pictured at Limerick Milk Market. Pic: Don Moloney

Ecaterina has been selling the most beautiful cakes imaginable in the Milk Market for ten years. Like a lot of the traders in the market, she learned her trade at her mother’s knee.

“Like a lot of Irish people, especially the women in the Milk Market, I learned how to bake from my mother. I started when I was very young. We would make black forest gateaux, apple pies, chocolate cakes. These are still my favourite things to make, but as you can see from my stall, I make a big variety of cakes.”

When they invented the phrase eye-watering, this is what they meant. For between €1 and €2.99 you’ll find roulades, layered cakes, eclairs, tarts, cheesecakes, brownies, pavlovas, meringues, tiramisu and baklavas.

“I’m from Moldova and I moved here to Ireland more than 20 years ago. You could say I came here to follow a man. His name is Duitrey. He had come to Ireland from Moldova, so I followed him and we got married and settled here. We have two sons, aged 21 and 19. This has been our home now for many years.”

Ecaterina’s stall is next to Harper’s Coffee House and en route to the upstairs seating area, so it’s the perfect spot to pick a little treat-for-me on a Saturday morning. Sold in individual sizes, the only thing that doesn’t vary is the standard – top drawer baking that would satisfy any of the judges on the Great British Bake Off.

If there is a speciality or a common theme in her colourful range, it’s the number of cakes that use popular bars or confectionary as inspiration. So you’ll find Chocolate Malteser Cake for €2.50, Oreo Peanut Butter Brownies (€2.50), Nutella Cheesecake (€2.50); Toffee Crisp (€2); or Smartie Chocolate Cake (€2). My favourite play on this theme is Ecaterina’s Ferrero Rasher Cake for €2.50. I’m sure the Ambassador would consider himself equally spoiled with this gorgeous cake.

You’ll find Viennese Fingers for €1; Napoleon Chocolate Cake (€2.50; Dreamy Chocolate Tropical Pavlova (€2.50); Apple Almond Tart (€2.20); Apple Pie with meringue topping (€2.50); Brownies with white chocolate (€2); Milk Chocolate Ball Cake (€2.20); Chocolate Biscuit Cake (€2); Raspberry cake (€2); Crumbled Nutella (€2); Baklava (€2): Nut Apple Cake (€2), Chocolate Brownies (€2); Carrot Cake (€1.80) and Coffee Cake (€1.80).

You’ll find the best, or at least the most intricate looking, cakes behind the glass display unit: Lemon Cake (€.2.20); Chocolate Cream Cake (€2.50); Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Extreme Brownie Cake (€2.50); Chocolate Orange Cake(€2.50); Chocolate Ball Cake(€2.50); Oreo Cheese Cake(€2.50); Tiramisu(€2.50); Black Forest Gateaux (€2.50); Snicker’s Cake (€2.50); White Chocolate Passion Fruit Cake (€2.50); Blueberry Roulade (€2.99); Kiwi Cakes (€2.50); Black Forest Fruit Cake (€2.50); Raffaella Cheesecake(€2.50); Pistachio Cream Cake (€2.50); Honey Cake (€2.50); White Chocolate Raspberry Cheese Cake (€2.99); Orange and White Chocolate Roulade (€2.99); and Chocolate Eclairs €2.20.

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Brian Carroll Communications

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