What’s new on the blog this week?
Would you believe that last week saw the fourth anniversary of the birth of Mr Baker’s Cakes? Yes, it has been four years since my friend asked me to attempt a Frozen cake for her daughter’s birthday and I came over all Cake Boss, Ace of Cakes and goodness knows who else besides. I had never decorated a cake before, but I wasn’t going to let a tiny fact like that hold me back!
The rest, as they say, is history…
A little later in the week, I shared my latest review after one of my subscribers reached out and asked me if I could demonstrate the Rapid Rose by Immaculate Confections.
As a very reluctant sugar florist, the idea of being able to save time (and effort) on my usual one-petal-at-a-time method of crafting sugar roses sounded like a real winner to me, so I decided to get in touch with Natalie and ask if I could have a play.
Having been stung by other ‘quick’ or ‘easy’ rose making tools before (think colourful cabbages), part of me was initially sceptical about how these would come out, but you can find out what I thought right here.
Have you heard…?
It’s all about looking ahead to November and a whole pile of excitement this week, as Cake International announced that tickets for this year’s 25th edition of the flagship NEC November show are now on sale! They also revealed some of the exciting things we can look forward to at this year’s event:
I’m thrilled to see that one of my favourite additions to last year’s line up is back for 2018. This year’s Cake Off will see daily heats before the fabulous final on Sunday in the Cake International Theatre! The teams of three will have just 45 minutes to decorate a two-tier cake themed around their ‘Favourite Country’.
And, of course, there will be a whole host of beautiful displays for us to see, including a wonderful piece inspired by the stories of Roald Dahl: Peach Life is a collaboration of incredible international artists, who will be coming together to bring a host of everyone’s favourite author’s best loved characters to life in sugar and cake. Daniel Dieguez will also be returning with his Chocolate Magic for The Greatest Cake Show, while Catrina in Bloom will see Graziella Augier, Marc Suarez, Céline Ceyzeriat and Stéphane Lems team up on a figure that will feature an abundance of colourful and detailed floral work and be displayed in the round.
Not to mention a whole host of additional displays and live builds by the Extreme Cake Makers themselves, Phil and Christine Jensen, Ben Cullen and Molly Robbins as well as the viral phenomenon themselves, Lara Mason’s Harry and Meghan.
Make sure you grab your tickets soon – check out the various packages available at the Cake International website. And if you’re planning on entering the world-famous competitions, don’t forget that Early Bird entry closes on 31st August – so you only have 11 weeks to go, before the entry price goes up!
I couldn’t live without…
Julie Rudd is keeping it real this week, because as we all know, an amazing cake starts with an amazing bake. It’s pretty tricky to achieve an amazing bake without a solid foundation – a decent oven. And believe me I know because I am sadly lacking a decent oven! Fortunately, Julie isn’t…
The one piece of kit I couldn’t live without is my Stoves Double Oven – one of the geekiest parts of me particularly loves the bit that fires up and sends the heat around the oven. It looks just like the back of Batman’s car when he accelerates off!
It is really spacious inside and I regularly bake 8”, 6” and 4” cakes in the top oven with ease. No burnt bottoms and an even rise – mainly due to the central fan heating core (aka Batman’s blaster).
With a bit of clever utilisation of the rack from the grill pan in the base of the top oven and a cooling rack in the base of the bottom oven, I can evenly bake five dozen cupcakes in one go.
I’ve had my beloved oven for 14 years now and I keep it insured, which means that if I have any problems, then it can be repaired and new parts are fitted. So far, I have only had to do that twice – it’s an exceptional work horse.
And speaking as a chef by trade, I’ve cooked in a great variety of ovens. This one is definitely my all-time favourite.
Thanks Julie! I desperately need a new oven. Mine runs about 30°C hotter than it should – thank heavens for oven thermometers!
The hottest ticket in town!
There could only be one candidate for this week’s hottest ticket as on Thursday, it was FINALLY announced that the annual Cake Masters Magazine Awards are open for booking.
Affectionately known as the ‘Cake Oscars’, the Cake Masters Magazine Awards are the absolute highlight of my social calendar because I love having a dedicated opportunity to celebrate the brightest and best of the cake world – not to mention it is a fabulous chance to catch up with all your friends who have flown in from all over the world.
This year’s event has moved to a new home at The National Conference Centre, just 2 minutes from the NEC Birmingham.
If you fancy joining us for this year’s event, then you need to check out the information from Cake Masters below:
The awards is a black-tie event, which includes a drink on arrival, 3-course dinner with wine, awards ceremony, exclusive gift bags and after party with LIVE music. This event is not suitable for children and all attendees must be over 16.
Ticket prices are £89.
Reserving a Table of 10:
There must be one person in charge of your table.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your full name as table organiser.
Please send a contact phone number with international dialling codes so that our team can make contact with you.
If you would like to request more than one table, please let us know and we will see if we can accommodate.
Please note that we cannot accommodate requests for table positioning.
Single and Smaller Group Tickets:
Please send us your full name and how many tickets you would like to request to: email@example.com
Please send a contact phone number with international dialling codes so that our team can make contact with you.
Please note that we cannot accommodate requests to sit with other single or smaller group ticket holders.
For any queries and questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
I hope to see you there!
I wanna make that!
I think I need to rename this section I wanna make THOSE, because this week has been an INCREDIBLE week for tutorials – see what I did there?
This week saw the incredible (yeah, this is gonna keep happening) talents of Kylie Mangles of Letterpress Bakery, Zoe Hopkinson of Zoe’s Fancy Cakes, Etty van Urk of Cake Dutchess, Tracey Rothwell of Little Cherry Cake Company, Amanda Lee of Sugar Sugar Cake School and Corinna Maguire of Lovin’ from the Oven by Corinna Maguire team up to create an IncrEDIBLE cake tutorial collaboration.
The seriously brilliant bunch are celebrating the release of Disney’s The Incredibles 2 with a tutorial video for each of your favourite characters!
Mr Incredible himself has been wonderfully sculpted out of real cake by Zoe.
Amanda created his lovely lady wife, Elastigirl.
Violet was immortalised by Kylie.
Everyone’s favourite speedster, Dash was sculpted by Corinna.
And Etty turned her hand to Jack Jack.
Finally, the delightfully kooky Edna Mode was crafted by Tracey.
I love The Incredibles and I love love LOVE The IncrEDIBLES! It’s such an amazing collection and I don’t know which one to make first!
You can check out all of the videos at the hyperlinks above and don’t forget to head to the artist’s pages and give them some love too!
The Collaboration Station
Steampunk is one of those trends that just isn’t going away and it’s easy to see why. The blend of futuristic science fiction and age-old Victoriana has been sparking imaginations and igniting creative passions since long before the term steampunk was added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2010.
It’s all about mixing old and new: fusing the usability of modern technology with the design aesthetic and philosophy of the Victorian age and I love how author Caitlin Kittredge put it: “It’s sort of Victorian-industrial, but with more whimsy and fewer orphans…”
I think by now, any caker worth their salt has tackled the steampunk genre, but none do it better than the amazing artists from all around the world that make up the Steam Cakes team.
Released on June 14th – International Steampunk Day – Steam Cakes is a truly international collaboration which brings together 92 truly talented artists headed up by the wonderful Carla Rodrigues of Pepper Posh to entertain us all with their edible art!
Of course, this is merely a taste – a taste I tell you – of the almost-hundred pieces within the collection, so make sure you head to the Steam Cakes Facebook page to check out the rest!
This week also saw the latest Bakerswood challenge go live – the WOW Sugar Challenge, organised by Maria Lagarma of Hansel & Gretel de Maria M Gonzalez.
Participants came together to produce some truly stunning sugar replicas of some of the most striking wonders of the world – both ancient and modern.
Today also sees the return of The Couture Cakers: An Annual International Sugar Collaboration. If you remember last year’s incredible collection, then you will recall that the collaboration is a celebration of couture fashion in sugar hosted by Heba M Elalfy of Sweet Dreams by Heba.
Unfortunately, it hadn’t been published before I posted this week, but you can check it out right here when it goes live.
Spotlight on the boys…
One of the things I love the most about the big collaborations like Steam Cakes is they always allow me to discover a whole host of new amazing talents from all over the world.
One such talent is the incredible Samie J Ramchandran of Samie’s Cakes, based in Bangalore, who created this incredible steampunk take on The Little Mermaid’s Ursula the Sea Witch for the Steam Cakes collection.
A quick rifle through his social media channels quickly revealed that, although I didn’t know Samie, I have seen plenty of his work before. I am delighted to finally have been able to put a name and a face to the incredible creations I had seen though and I am even more thrilled to share his fabulous work with you all.
Cake of the Week!
There could be only one possible candidate for my Cake of the Week this week.
When I saw this incredible creation by Calli Hopper of Calli Creations, I was literally dumbstruck. The combination of her stunning hand-painted ganache, modelled lion crest, the handmade motifs adorning the top tier and her cold porcelain floral work come together to create a breath-taking display.
I simply cannot stop looking at it – it’s one of those cakes where the more you look at it, the more amazing elements you notice.
Please join me in wishing Calli hearty congratulations on a fabulous creation and a truly worthy recipient of this week’s Cake of the Week.
Daniel Dieguez was in the UK and up at Zoe’s Fancy Cakes up in Leeds teaching his Bathman and Angry Beard classes this week. I loved seeing all of the student’s results, but I particularly enjoyed seeing Zoe’s take on Daniel’s original designs.
There is something undeniably Zoe about them. It got me thinking, how awesome would it be if someone put together a collaboration of top artists where they all attempt a famous and recognisable design by another leading cake artist?! Someone needs to make it happen!
I’m out and about on another caking adventure today, so make sure you stay tuned to my page if you want to find out what I am up to.
And in the meantime, don’t forget to pop over to the Mr Baker’s Blog from Mr Baker’s Cakes official Facebook group to get your contributions in for next week’s issue of Something Sweet!
What is your corner of Planet Cake talking about; what is your must-have tool or product; what exciting events or classes do you have coming up; what recipes or tutorials have you discovered this week and are dying to try; and what else has grabbed your attention?
And of course, don’t forget to nominate your suggestions for the Cake of the Week. Maybe it’s one of your own that you are particularly proud of or maybe one you have seen!
I look forward to hearing from you!