Something Sweet – Issue 17

What’s new on the blog this week?

This week, I was thrilled to be able to share an exclusive preview of a fabulous project by Sarah Bray of Daisy Cakes by Sarah.

Inspired by some of her favourite cake trends and artists, Sarah decided to recreate some of their most recognisable cakes in miniature – and I mean SERIOUS miniature – as cupcake toppers.

Entitled ‘To Have and To Hold’, the finished collection includes work from Ben Fullard of Ben the Cake Man; Laura Loukaides of Laura Loukaides Cakes; Emma Stewart of Truly Scrumptious Cakes by Design; Vicky Teather of Yellow Bee Cake Co.; Dominique Pickering of Poppy Pickering; Tracey Rothwell of Little Cherry Cake Company; Shannon Bond of Shannon Bond Cake Design; Rachel Teufel of Intricate Icings Cake Design, Jen Rojas of Cupcakes and Counting; annnnnd little old… me!

I am so incredibly honoured to have been included in such an incredibly talented line up and I can’t believe how much detail Sarah was able to replicate from my original cake in miniature.

The collection took Sarah around three weeks from start to finish and I know that it hasn’t been easy! Some of the pieces in the collection were already incredibly intricate, but once reduced the size of a cupcake topper, those intricate details become insanely fiddly!

Make sure you swing by Sarah’s Facebook page, Daisy Cakes by Sarah to check out the rest of the collection in full.


Have you heard…?

Legendary cake tutor and graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, Kara Andretta has studied under some of the best pastry chefs and cake decorators in the world. And as the owner of Kara’s Couture Cakes, Kara is well-known for her incredible creations in sugar as well as being an amazing teacher and tutor.

This week Kara announced her newest project, her own online cake academy – but before you immediately switch off, this is not your normal cake school.

Billed as a ‘cake business mentor site’, Kara’s community, Cake Life Academy promises to help you gain mastery in growing a thriving profitable cake business while living a balanced and abundant life.

Underpinning all of Kara’s teaching and mentorship is the idea of “community over competition” and of course, like the other existing schools, it will be a place where you can come and find plenty of resources that will help you run your business and a catalogue of classes you can take to improve your skills, however, there are two key additional components that will set Kara’s community apart from the other cake schools.

One of these is that there will be a core curriculum for you to work through as you continue along your cake journey. Split into five stages, you will start by identifying where you are on your journey, by going through a milestone process – almost an assessment if you will.

The other is that it’s not just for your business. It is for all of your life. We all know that it is very easy to throw yourself in both feet first when you are passionate about something, but that isn’t sustainable for everyone – that way burn-out lies. Kara wants to help you build your business to support your lifestyle. To be able to plan your life so that you are not working all of the time. To ensure that you have that mythical beast – a work-life balance – and to ensure you can avoid or grow past the resentment that comes out of full-time cake.

And it’s important to bear in mind that although you might have been running your cake business for many years, it doesn’t mean that you couldn’t benefit from revisiting Kara’s earlier stages to ensure you are working efficiently. In fact, Kara explains that it would be advisable to revisit these the earlier stages regularly to ensure you are still working in a way that your business fits alongside the lifestyle you want and – more importantly – that it fully supports it.

After all, you will not be successful in your life or your business if they don’t work successfully together and there is no one-size fits all solution for all cake businesses. Kara wants people to think differently. To think how it can be different. To think how it can be better.

If this sounds like something that would interest you and that could benefit your life and business, then Kara will be opening up for founder enrolment tomorrow. Founder members will have the additional benefit being able to help Kara shape and craft the final look of her Academy – to choose what would benefit them and what they would like the academy to contain. They will also pay a fixed price for life. To find out more, head over to Kara’s Facebook group, Launch Your Cake Passion and you can pre-register for information about becoming a founding member of Cake Life Academy here.

Knowing how many people fall out of love with cake and suffer from burnout, a resource to support them to manage all aspects of their lives and get these working harmoniously can only be a good thing.


I couldn’t live without…

I’m thrilled to welcome back Corinna Maguire of Lovin’ from the Oven by Corinna Maguire with this week’s submission:

The product that I couldn’t live without is (drumroll please) Vera Miklas Modelling Chocolate.

I start getting twitchy if my shelves are running low of it because it’s what I use to create 90% of EVERYTHING that I make.

I love that it keeps a translucency to it that makes skin look so much more realistic when I’m modelling a bust.

It’s firm enough to work with but still blends in seams really well too. The most common complaint that I have heard with modelling chocolate is that it melts too quickly in people’s hands.  And while this is still possible (it is chocolate after all) – Vera Miklas modelling chocolate gives more time to work with but doesn’t dry out like others brands do.

I honestly couldn’t make half of the cakes, models and figures that I do without it. I couldn’t recommend it more.

Ahhhh… yay! I love Vera and I love her modelling chocolate too. I totally need to stock up again! Thanks Corinna.

You can buy Vera Miklas modelling chocolate directly from Vera’s website here.


The hottest ticket in town!

The UK’s biggest celebration of all things cakes and baking, The Cake & Bake Show returns to London’s ExCeL on the 5th-7th October 2018.

Brimming with all things baking, decorating and sugar craft, the show offers visitors the opportunity to gain insight from celebrity experts, stock their shelves with the latest baking equipment and be wowed by the spectacular annual Cake Competitions and exquisite display tables.

The returning ambassadors for this year’s show include television personality, chef, author and cookery school owner Rosemary Shrager and Master Pâtissier, author and cake maker to his A-list clientele, Eric lanyard. Joining them for 2018, is legendary actress, author and baker, Jane Asher. They will also be joined by two of my favourite Great British Bake-Off bakers: 2016 Winner, Candice Brown and the lovely Paul Jagger.

They won’t be the only famous faces you’ll see at the show this year though. As always, The Super Theatre and The Workshop will also play host to an array of renowned foodie experts and talented chefs.

The hunt is also on to find the UK’s best cake artists in the show stopping ‘Around the World in 80 Cakes’ Cake Competition. Entrants are invited to take the show’s visitors on an exotic journey with their cake creations – from the wonders of the world, historical landmarks and architecture to your favourite cities, countries, holiday destinations and cultures.

Entry to the cake competition is free and entrants will receive free entry to the show and two complimentary tickets for friends and family too.

Prizes supplied by Cake Craft World and KitchenAid will be awarded for Best in show, as well as first, second and third places in both the main competition and the cupcake competition and all entrees will be displayed to the public throughout the duration of the show.

If you fancy entering the Cake & Bake Show competitions, visit the Cake & Bake Show website.

The closing date for entries is 31st August 2018, so you have a bit of time to plan your entrees.


I wanna make that!

If you haven’t yet checked out the latest issue of Cake Masters Magazine, then you might have missed an incredible tutorial by Maria Magrat, an incredible self-taught cake artist based in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Entitled the Rainbow Swirl Cake, Maria’s tutorial uses intricate layering techniques to create really unique results.

Although not a quick cake to accomplish, the resulting cake is truly incredible and it would make a striking addition to any celebration.

If you would like to learn how to make Maria’s incredible cake, you can find it in the June issue of Cake Masters Magazine. To order a copy or to find your nearest stockist, visit the Cake Masters Magazine website.


The Collaboration Station

I didn’t see anything new published this week, but please feel free to correct me if I’m wrong!

In the meantime, I did some rather exciting posts teasing the return of one of my favourite collaborations later this week.

Keep an eye out towards the end of the week, because Steam Cakes are coming…


Spotlight on the boys…

We’re revisiting Daniel Guiriba of Daniel Bakes this week because, although I have already shared his fabulous work with you, I wanted to take this opportunity to congratulate him on being announced as the latest “GSARN Artist Of The Month” from the Global Sugar Artists Network.

Daniel’s work with edible paper is completely inspirational – the things he can do with the medium are incredible.

As a regular contributor to my Boys Who Bake cake group, I’m so proud to see Daniel being recognised on such an international scale. It is so incredibly well-deserved.

Congratulations, Daniel!


Special mention…

*whispers* A little bird tells me that this young man is hitting the big 40 today, so please join me in wishing Mr Paul Bradford a very Happy Birthday and many happy returns of the day!

I hope David, Ben and Paco spoil you rotten…


Cake of the Week!

Have you seen the awesome cake that Ana Remigio of Cupcakes and Dreams created this week? As one would expect from Ana, her incredible sculpt of Godzilla was incredibly detailed and I absolutely loved it.

She worked for 24 hours straight to create this incredibly detailed cake for a special friend and he was understandably delighted with the results.

Congratulations on a fantastic creation Ana – a well-deserved recipient of this week’s Cake of the Week!

Make sure you visit Ana’s page, Cupcakes and Dreams, to see more shots of her fantastic creation and some delightful shots of the lucky birthday boy with his special cake.


Honourable mention…

Possibly better known for her airbrushing lately, multi-award winning sugarcrafter, Cassie Brown is now going back to her roots. Having won numerous gold awards and best in show awards for her floral work, Cassie has taken inspiration from the wonderful world of the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew to write her first book.

The Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew, is a world-famous organisation and home to two elegant gardens in the South East of England – Kew Gardens in South West London and Wakehurst Place in West Sussex, which also houses Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank. Recognised as a World Heritage Site, Kew Gardens’ stunning glasshouses are filled with examples of some of the world’s most beautiful blooms and it is from these that Cassie has taken her inspiration.

It has long been Cassie’s dream to write a book celebrating her love of sugar flowers, having been inspired by the beauty in their imperfections throughout her life, ever since she accompanied her beloved aunt Eileen to a British Sugarcraft Guild Demonstration where she saw a woman ‘turn a ball of flower paste into a beautiful orchid’.

In the Kew Book of Sugar Flowers, Cassie has created a beautiful, clear and concise guide to crafting realistic flowers and leaves in flower paste.

Under Cassie’s clear and considered instruction, you will learn how to create beautiful bouquets and stunning sprays, from the early stages of germinating your ideas taking inspiration from nature and making moulds from real flowers and leaves, to creating floral cake decorations with an exotic or wild flower theme for a special occasion.

Through her clear and concise step-by-step instructions, Cassie explains every facet of crafting sugar flowers – from gaining an appreciation of the flower itself, to preparing the flower paste and colouring it, to wiring the flowers into an attractive and realistic bouquet.

There is a veritable garden of delights to choose from, from ornate orchids to delicate daisies. The method for crafting each individual flower is demonstrated in stunning detail beginning with an ‘exploded flower’ photograph that illustrates each of the individual components and working through the techniques and tricks that Cassie herself applies to create her stunning floral displays.

The Kew Book of Sugar Flowers is the perfect book for the established sugarcrafter looking to develop their skills and take their cake-decorating capabilities to the next level. Readers with a particular interest in flowers and plants will also love this book for its painstaking recreation of flora in flower paste (gum paste).

Look out for a foreword by the legendary Eddie Spence M.B.E. himself and don’t forget that by buying Cassie’s wonderful book, you will also be supporting the vital work of Kew as well!

It really is a stunning book and I have vastly enjoyed flicking through its pages. I am planning on attempting some of the projects therein before I write my full review of the book, so look out for that soon. And if you would like to check out the The Kew Book of Sugar Flowers for yourself in the meantime, you can purchase it directly from Cassie’s website or from all good book stores including Amazon.


And finally…

I know I say this a lot you guys, but it is so important to me that Something Sweet is a community resource – that it is written by you for you. Without your contributions, it just doesn’t work.

So here is my begging plea: please do make sure that you are getting in touch to tell me what your corner of the cake world is talking about; that you are sharing your must-have tools or products; that you’re telling me about any exciting events or classes you have coming up; about any recipes or tutorials you have discovered this week and are dying to try; and about anything else that has grabbed your attention on Planet Cake.

And of course, don’t forget to nominate your suggestions for the Cake of the Week. Maybe it’s one you have seen or perhaps it’s one of your own!

You can submit your contributions by messaging my Facebook page, by posting in the dedicated Mr Baker’s Blog from Mr Baker’s Cakes Facebook group or by emailing me directly.

I look forward to hearing from you during the coming week!