First of all, please let me wish you all a very Happy Easter! I hope that you are all having a wonderful weekend, surrounded by the people you love… x
And while we’re at it, I can also assure you that NONE of the content included in this week’s Something Sweet is an April Fool, so let’s get straight down to business!
What’s new on the blog this week?
I touched on this briefly in last week’s issue, but Sunday saw me head up to the Ideal Home Show and Eat & Drink Festival at London’s Olympia to check out the amazing Royal Wedding Cakes Competition. I was lucky enough to be taken around the whole display by one of the judges, Rosie Cake-Diva and get the inside scoop on how they completed the herculean task of choosing a winner from all of the stunning entries. Read all about it in the full post.
Following on from that, I managed to convince the aforementioned winner, Emma Matthews of Happiness Factor Cakes to pen a few words about her experience competing at the show. Well, she did much more than that, submitting a wonderfully detailed guest post that allowed us all to see what went in to making her beautiful winning entry and follow her incredible journey to the prize-giving ceremony on the Ideal Home Show’s main stage. Thanks again, Emma!
Finally, in collaboration with my buddies over at Fabricake Sugarcraft Ltd (my absolute favourite cake supplies store), I published my Easter tutorials, The Easter Buddies. The full Chip the Easter Chick tutorial went live on my own blog, while his loveable companion’s Doug the Easter Bunny tutorial was published over at Fabricake’s own blog. Click the links to see more…
Have you heard…?
As I’m munching on chocolate, even as I type, the hot talking point of the week inevitably has to be the Easter weekend. And whether you celebrate or not, wherever one has turned this week, beautiful Easter-themed cakes have abounded.
…to elaborately decorated confections like these by Marlene Debattista, Sylwia Sobiegraj and Jean Schapowal, our timelines have been an explosion of stunning pastel colours and beautifully executed bakes.
But what have you been cooking up this week? Share your Easter-themed bakes to my Facebook page and I might even rustle up a little prize for my favourite this time next week!
I couldn’t live without…
This week, it is the turn of Kelly Alger of Caked Away to let us know what piece of kit she can’t be without…
My caking essential has to be Cake Stuff’s Couture Luxury Sugarpaste.
After literally years of struggling to get a perfect finish, flitting from one brand to the next, falling in love one minute and having severe cake rage the next (I’m sure we’ve all been there) Cake Stuff released a new recipe. I’ll be honest, I was initially dubious after so much inconsistency with other brands, but I ordered a box, wished on a magic star and whipped out my rolling pin….
Oh my, what a revelation!
Suddenly, I could achieve a smooth finish, sharp edges and professional looking cakes and I was no longer crying over elephant skin and stretch marks! The paste is not too soft or sticky, yet not so firm that it’s hard to knead and roll. It also colours perfectly and even using black gel colour doesn’t have an effect on the quality.
Couture remains pliable and workable for enough time for me to faff about getting a lovely edge and finish, then sets smoothly leaving the perfect canvas to decorate – whether I’m piping or painting. It’s also firm enough to support unwired sugar flowers and decorations without wrinkling.
I have tried cheaper and I have tried more expensive, but Couture is my fail-safe favourite. Plus, I can always rely on Cake-Stuff to deliver my 40kg the next day, when I realise I’ve forgotten to place an order!
The hottest ticket(s) in town!
Looking ahead to the May Bank Holiday weekend, one of the UK’s biggest food festivals, the Foodies Festival, returns to Brighton Hove Lawns on the 5th, 6th & 7th May.
Back by popular demand, the UK’s biggest celebration of food and drink, returns with a mouth-watering summer series of events throughout the country, which this year includes the launch of a brand-new Musicians Against Homelessness music stage and extended opening times. Book now to see headliners TOPLOADER and THE HOOSIERS playing live!
Watch Great British Bake Off Winner 2017, Sophie Faldo baking live in The Cake & Desserts Theatre; meet Michelin starred Chefs, Great British Menu Winners, MasterChef Champions and top local chefs cooking their signature recipes in the Stoves Chefs Theatre; GBBO Finalist 2017 Steven Carter-Bailey will be baking live; watch Great British Menu Winner Michael Bremner in The Chefs’ Theatre alongside Author of Sesame & Spice and Cherish, Anne Shooter; MasterChef: The Professionals Winner, Steven Edwards; MasterChef Winner and Executive Chef at Chi Kitchen, Ping Coombes; Author of Happy Food, Bettina Campolucci-Bordi; and many many more amazing guests besides!
There will also be the opportunity to take part in the brand-new Foodies Festival Workshops; Power of Plant Based Proteins, Gut Friendly Food, Kombucha: A Healthy Tipple, Craft Tea – DIY Tea Blends; Prosecco & parmesan tasting; Beer and chocolate tasting as well as cocktail & botanicals masterclasses.
Also joining the line-up are the brand-new Cream Pie throwing contest and the Chilli Eating Competition and of course, the Kid Zone with fun cookery classes run by Super Chefs, bouncy castles, face painting, craft area and giant garden games!
Tantalise your taste buds, with Feast in the Street Food Avenue; learn to bake in the Cake and Bake Theatre; enjoy afternoon tea in the Vintage Tea Tent; taste wine, champagne and craft beer in the Drinks Theatre; buy from local producers in the Artisan Market; take the kids to the Children’s Cookery Theatre; listen to live music on the Live Music Stage; enjoy refreshing cocktails from the Tequila Shack, Tikki Rum Bar, Gin Station, double decker Bar Bus and Pimms Teapot; and for an extra special day out, take in the full VIP experience.
To find out more and book your tickets, head to the Foodies Festival website.
I wanna make that!
I love fresh fruity flavours in my cakes and this Blackberry Lime Cake by Carrie Sellman at The Cake Blog looks and sounds like it would be lovely for an Easter weekend treat! She describes it as a ‘tender cake infused with lime zest, frosted with blackberry buttercream, topped with fresh blackberries and edible flowers.’
A celebration of all things spring, I bet it tastes simply divine. I will certainly be finding the time to knock one of these up this week. If you fancy joining me, you can find the recipe here.
The Collaboration Station
Following the launch of last week’s Edible Alphabet collaboration by the Cake Dutchess, Etty has issued a call to arms for her next collection and this one is even more exciting because she wants YOU to take part! As the Edible Alphabet only had a limited number of spaces, it made Etty wonder how she could make the next one more accessible for everyone to join in! As a result, Animals Around the World is open to anyone that wants to take part and it will run until the end of 2018.
The newest collection from the Cake Dutchess is all about the animals that share our planet and our duty to protect them. Etty hopes that this collaboration will raise some more awareness of the diverse species that populate our world – particularly those that are at risk or endangered.
Oh, and as a thank you for your support, everyone who submits a piece for the Collaboration will receive a 15% discount voucher to use in the Cake Dutchess webshop – which may well be handy for when her new tools are released…? 😉
To find out more, visit the Cake Dutchess website.
Spotlight on the boys…
Ben, ‘The BakeKing’ Cullen welcomed Joane Chopard, of Mademoiselle fait des gateaux, to his first ever taught cake class last week and she had travelled all the way from Switzerland, in spite of the fact that she doesn’t speak any English and Ben doesn’t speak French! Now that is dedication to the sugar cause!
Between them, Ben and Joane managed to create an amazing piece entirely from cake: Helga the Crazy Witch!
Congratulations Ben and Joane. She’s fabulous!
And I hope this means we’ll be seeing some more classes become available from Ben too!
Meanwhile on Twitter…
The Easter baking continued over on Twitter and I particularly enjoyed this collection of adorable cupcakes from @marybethxx6.
However, I was incredibly upset that, after seeing so many examples of delicious-looking hot cross buns, like these gluten-free delights by Naomi Devlin (@naomidevlin), nobody brought me any. Completely unacceptable…
Find Naomi’s recipe over at her blog, naomidevlin.co.uk
Cake of the Week!
This week, one of my cake-besties, Hannah Edwards – The Cake Illusionist – left me (and my feline friends) reeling when she posted this stunning realistic cake sculpture of a client’s cat.
Crafted entirely from cake, her piece manages to capture the tricky proportions and character of the real cat perfectly.
I absolutely love it and it was definitely a shoe in for this week’s Cake of the Week!
Congratulations to Claire Anderson of Clairella Cakes on the announcement of her new team of Brand Ambassadors. Since the launch of her airbrush and compressor kit and more recently her line of stencils, Claire has been grateful for the fantastic support she has received from the most incredibly talented cake artists, who personally endorse and promote her products at every turn. As she is so proud of them, she felt it was time to introduce you to them all.
Please offer your heartiest welcome to the Clairella Cakes Brand Ambassadors: Liz Marek, Corinna Maguire, Rhianydd Webb, Sharon Perrins, Timbo Sullivan, Shawna McGreevy, Karen Geraghty, Janette MacPherson, Vicki Smith and Zoe Fox.
You can find Claire’s full range of fantastic products here (and can claim 10% off your order using discount coder MRBAKER10).
In an effort to expand the Mr Baker’s Blog community and make it easier for you to submit your submissions to Something Sweet each week, I had originally created a separate Facebook page, Mr Baker’s Blog. However, on talking to some peeps a lot more experienced than me, it has been suggested that actually a Facebook group would be a better way to connect with all of you, allow you all to interact with the blog and ensure that never again will you need to worry that you have missed a post thanks to an appalling Facebook reach.
For that reason, I will be retiring the Facebook Page this time next week and have already created the replacement group – your one-stop shop for all your cake news, gossip, product releases, recipes, tutorials and more – not to mention of course, the home of your weekly slice of Something Sweet…
Have you heard…?
– What is the hottest topic in the cake groups this week?
I couldn’t live without…
– What tool or product could you simply not live without and why?
The hottest ticket in town!
– What classes or events are you looking forward to?
I wanna make that!
– What recipes or tutorials have caught your eye this week?
The Collaboration Station
– Are you in a collaboration that has launched this week? Tell us all about it!
Cake of the Week!
– What are you working on this week? Share it with the group – you never know, you might just end up as this week’s Cake of the Week!
– Who do you think deserves a public shout out this week? Perhaps they’ve impressed you with a cake or Bake? Maybe they’ve raised a ton of money for charity or launched a new product or service? This is your chance to celebrate them publicly!
And I’m sure I don’t need to say it, but Mr Baker’s Blog is all about celebrating people’s hard work and talent, so abusive comments and b*tchiness will result in immediate removal from the group – keep it Sweet folks!
Hope to see you there! x