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New Tutorial Alert!

I’m thrilled to welcome Emma Stewart of Truly Scrumptious Cakes by Design back to the blog this month with an exclusive FREE tutorial just for you!

Emma’s black and gold drip cake will make a stunning centrepiece to any holiday table, be it Christmas, New Years or anything else besides. You can find the full tutorial right now, via the tutorials tab at the top of the page.

Emma teaches her classes all over the UK and is in high demand, so to have her craft a tutorial just for us is a real treat – not to mention, it includes skills that you will be able to take away and apply on many other projects too!

Do check it out and, if you have a go, remember to share your results with both Emma and myself via social media! x

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Happy Birthday, Mrs Baker

When deciding what to create for my mummy’s birthday, I started with the flavour. Mummy loves Carrot Cake, so that bit at least was easy. I was a little bit nervous though – my normal carrot cake recipe is really wet and moist, so when using carrot cake inside a decorated cake, some changes had to be made.

Fortunately, my carrot and orange cupcake recipe is easily adaptable to make a full cake. Simply make a double batch of the mix and separate into two 8” greased and lined tins. Bake at 150°C for about an hour. Once baked and cooled, dam and fill with the orange buttercream, sprinkling the chopped nuts between each layer. To ensure a perfect finish, I covered the cake with a white chocolate ganache made with 300ml of whipping cream and 900g of white chocolate.

It was on this cake that I finally got to have a play with Renshaw’s new Extra sugarpaste. I have to say, I’m impressed so far. It didn’t take much kneading to get it ready to use and, as a result, air bubbles were minimal. It rolled out beautifully and is elastic enough to cover a tall cake (this one was 7” tall) with no tearing or elephant skin. So very user friendly!

I wasn’t sure how to decorate this cake and announced so in a number of my cake groups. I had a busy week, so wasn’t sure how much time I would be able to dedicate to it. I was very grateful when the lovely Emma Stewart pinged me a design ready to go. A simplified version of one of her wedding cakes, it pairs a hand-painted finish with a gold-painted drip – both of which I have never done before! Luckily Emma was on hand to talk me through both (she even shot me a video to demonstrate the painting technique!) and I’m sure you’ll agree that the finished cake is beautiful. A simple floral spray was the perfect finishing touch.

Mummy was thrilled with her beautiful cake and the verdict was that my other carrot cake is just as delicious as the one my family is more familiar with.

If you would like to learn how to master the perfect drip for your cakes, I’m thrilled to say that Emma will producing a very special New Years tutorial for Mr Baker’s Blog later this month, including how to create and paint her stunning gold drip.

Have a fantastic week everyone! x

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Hurry down the chimney tonight!

If you’re a regular reader of cake decorating magazines, then I am almost sure that you will have seen the wonderful work of Laura Dodimead of Life in Sugar (previously known as Cakey Bakes Cakes). Last weekend, I had the pleasure of visiting the lovely Laura to guinea pig one of her new festive cake classes, The Sleepy Santa.

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I first discovered Laura when she entered her glorious BFG cake at Cake International in 2016, but she has been hard at work in the cake industry for many years. She has had her own market stall, supplied tea rooms and cafés with homemade cakes, made novelty cakes to order, produced countless published tutorials and taught classes at many locations around the country. It has been a genuine pleasure getting to know her over the last year and I was thrilled to have the opportunity to visit Laura at the new permanent base of Life in Sugar at the Badshot Lea Village Hall and Kiln, where she has set up her own classroom.

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Laura specialises in modelling with modelling chocolate and she is a real advocate of its benefits to cake artists. As primarily a cake sculptor, the thought of modelling often fills me with dread, so I was excited to have the chance to try something new and experience some new products.

On the day of the class, I headed up the A3 from Fareham to Farnham and easily found my way to Laura’s new workspace, where I was thrilled to discover ample free parking – always a plus when one has a cake to carry out to the car later that day. I was also delighted to find out that lunch is provided too.

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As soon as I arrived, Laura made me feel incredibly welcome with the first of many coffees (an essential part of any cake class!). Inside the workshop, she has decorated in a wonderful fusion style, pairing vintage fittings with a modern colour palette. Throughout the space, Laura has placed a combination of her own competition entries, tutorial cakes and upcoming class pieces, creating an inspiring work environment.

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We quickly got down to business and Laura’s relaxed and unassuming style of teaching immediately put me at ease. I enjoyed using the modelling chocolate to create my piece and thanks to the chilly weather, found it far easier to use than I have done on previous occasions. Laura encouraged questions throughout the class – not just about this particular class’ content either – and was happy to explain different ways that the topper could be customised based on attendees’ personal preferences.

As ever with classes, there are obvious unavoidable time constraints, but Laura never made me feel rushed and I was thrilled with the topper that I made under her expert tuition. The workshop was great fun and we were honestly laughing throughout the day.

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The topper I made under Laura’s expert tuition.

I would highly recommend heading over to Life in Sugar if you can. You will have a fantastic time, learn some fabulous new skills and get to spend some time with one of the loveliest cake artists I know.

To find out more about Laura’s classes at Life in Sugar and to book your place, you can visit her Facebook page.