A Weekly Slice of Something Sweet, All Content, Blog

And suddenly, we were 10…

After a stormy night of apocalyptic proportions, the sun is again shining and it’s the perfect weather to grab a cuppa and sit in the garden and catch up on all the cakey news of the week…

This week marks the tenth issue of Something Sweet and, as always, it’s chock-full of all the finest cakes and makes published in the last seven days…

This week, we’re talking burnout, I preview the International Cake Show Australia (ICSA) hosted by Australian Cake Artists & Decorators Association (ACADA), there are two fabulous tutorials by Janette MacPherson Cake Craft and Sideserf Cakes, two gorgeous collaborations and, of course, I announce this week’s cake of the week.

Oh, and in honour of our ‘tenth birthday’, look out for my exciting subscriber GIVEAWAY!

If you haven’t read it yet, get comfy… you can find it here.

And don’t forget to join the Mr Baker’s Blog from Mr Baker’s Cakes Facebook group to ensure you never miss another post.

Have a Sweet week! x

All Content, Blog, Review

Review: The Celtic Cakers Tutorial Book

In the most recent issue of Something Sweet, I was most excited that I was finally getting to tell you about a truly remarkable book that was coming very soon – however that’s nothing compared to how excited I am to say that The Celtic Cakers is now available!!

Compiled by Corinna Maguire of Lovin’ from the Oven, The Celtic Cakers has brought together a team of some of Ireland’s top cake designers to produce a huge array of step-by-step pictorial guides to creating fantastic cakes of all skill levels.

Paired with the fabulous tutorials, The Celtic Cakers also take you on a journey around the stunning Emerald Isle itself, introducing themselves and their cake stories, alongside beautiful photographs of their local regions.

It offers readers the chance to learn techniques such as hand-modelling, creating stunning sugar flowers, crafting wired figures, carving cakes, structuring cakes, working with gelatin and much, much more.

From the adorable Big Brown Bear by Paul Redmond of Purple Feather Cake Design to the stunning cover cake, A Seaside Wedding by Corinna herself, there really is something in the book for everyone. But don’t just take my word for it! The cover quotes, from some of the cake world’s greats, speak volumes about how fabulous the book is:

I love this book! Such cute ideas with such detailed instruction from the basics to the advanced … enough to get the casual Cake admirer to jump in and test the waters. And some new ideas as well for those who have already dabbled a bit. A definite must!

Shawna McGreevy
Cakeheads – McGreevy Cakes

 

A fantastic collection of tutorials from a group of the best cake decorators! From simple
techniques to more challenging projects, a fantastic book.

Rosie Mazumder
Editor at Cake Masters Magazine

 

This book covers so many useful tips and techniques, a truly great resource for any decorator at any experience level.

Avalon Yarnes
Avalon Cakes School of Sugar Art

When I first received the advance copy of the book, I literally spent about two hours just reading it from cover to cover – I genuinely couldn’t put it down and I am not exaggerating when I tell you that it is quite simply breathtaking. Corinna and her team of talented cakers have managed to capture the beauty and well… almost the very essence of Ireland and combine it with some truly stunning tutorials from some of the greatest talents their little corner of paradise has to offer.

If you’re looking to try something new or to really challenge yourself, I would highly recommend you grab a copy from Amazon (you can find it here).

In fact, I’m so convinced you’ll love it, to celebrate the book’s official launch weekend on 28-29 April, I’ve bought an extra one to give away to one of my lucky subscribers.

Yes, you heard that right! I’m giving away a copy of The Celtic Cakers right here!

To be in with a chance of getting your hands on this fabulous book, you just need to ensure you have subscribed to Mr Baker’s Blog before the competition closes on 29th April 2018.

To subscribe, simply scroll to the subscribe button in the sidebar on the right (or at the bottom of the page if on mobile) and pop in your email address. Not only will this enter you into my Celtic Cakers giveaway, but you’ll never have to worry about missing a Mr Baker’s Blog post again!

Regretfully, after having to shell out almost £80 to ship my last giveaway prize to the states (Yes, really!), I am going to have to limit this one to UK-only entries, I’m afraid. But don’t panic, further-afield subscribers can still grab your copy direct from Amazon.

Congratulations again to Corinna and the Celtic Cakers team on an absolute masterpiece and good luck for your launch next weekend!

All Content, Blog

Dare to Dream…?

As someone who already has a full-time job that they love – well, most of the time anyway – and who only dabbles in cake for fun, albeit a lot, I always find it really hard to return to ‘real life’ after spending any sort of period of time exclusively in the ‘cake world’. Whether it’s going back to work after a cake show weekend or even, like in this case, just going back after spending the school holidays playing at being a full-time caker and cake blogger, it always seems somewhat jarring to suddenly just be Mr Baker-Gall the teacher again.

I think, if I’m honest, the contrast between cake, where creativity is celebrated and respected – at least for the most part – and education where, as I’m sure most people realise, we are gradually being buried under more-and-more bureaucracy and where opportunities for creativity are gradually being eroded away, is what is possibly the most difficult aspect for me to reconcile myself with.

A recent Guardian headline…

Inevitably, it does make me wonder, every now and then, if I could do this full time – whether I could ever give up my other passion to concentrate on this one – but I do think I would miss the joy that comes from working with young children. I’ll be honest though, for me one of the biggest considerations are the financial implications – I don’t know if I could ever leave the security of a monthly salary to head out into the unknown.

Quite honestly, I don’t think I could ever just make cakes to order. A lot of my enjoyment within cake artistry comes from the freedom I have to create what I want and I think that would soon vanish if faced with a never-ending order book of 8” round cakes every week.

*whispers* I do have a Rolls Royce model of my cakey dream though, but you can’t tell anyone.

Sometimes, I daydream about opening a little cake decorating supplies shop with an attached teaching space to host some of the amazing teachers and tutors that I know, while continuing to write my blog – and perhaps making a few awesome sculpted cakes on the side.

I adored my recent visit to Zoe’s Fancy Cakes in a little village on the outskirts of Leeds…

For me, just making cakes would never be enough – a huge part of my enjoyment within cake is about celebrating the amazing artistry we get to see every day, the travelling to meet some of the wonderful talents that make up the industry and obviously writing about it all right here. I’m not sure I will ever find anyone who wants to pay me to do that!

But, as always, the ‘coming down to earth with a bump’ of returning to work got me thinking about those people out there who perhaps WOULD love to make a living from cake decorating and who would like nothing more than to make cakes to order.

I wondered if we put our collective heads together, we could help them figure out just how they could make that not insignificant step and give up their guaranteed income each month to follow their passion.

For that reason, I would love to hear from those of you who have already done it. What advice would you give those people who are thinking about following in your footsteps? What do you wish you had known in advance? What helped you along the way? Are there any pitfalls to avoid? Sadly you see too many people burn out in this industry, but let’s just see if we can’t come up with some essential advice to help the next generation of cake artists navigate their way into this fabulous industry and not lose sight of their passion along the way…