Something Sweet – Issue 20

What’s new on the blog this week?

This week, I was feeling inspired by the sunshine (and needing a distraction from the relentless heat) so I was celebrating all things bright and sunshiny (which is actually a word – who knew?) with a Summer and Sunshine-themed cake share over on my Facebook page.

By Jean Schapowal of Cakes with Character

You guys didn’t disappoint and I had some lovely pieces submitted – thank you to all that sent me your cakes. I’ll try to share some more of them during this coming week and, of course, if you would like to join in the fun, feel free to post your favourite summery cake to my page – or of course you can pop it in the Mr Baker’s Blog from Mr Baker’s Cakes Facebook group.

By Sarah Bray of Daisy Cakes by Sarah

 

Later in the week, I invited you all to join in with a conversation I had been having with Vicky Teather of Yellow Bee Cake Co regarding your dream cake or sugar class. Vicky and I had been discussing some of the amazing classes that we have been lucky enough to attend during our time in cake and I got to thinking about all of the amazing talents that I would love to just sit and watch at work.

Peccata Minuta

I eventually managed to decide on the one artist who I would love to take a class with next (the lovely Marta Hildago of Peccata Minuta in case you missed the original post), but since you have all been getting in touch with some of your suggestions, my wish list is getting ever-longer! Gulp!

Mike’s Amazing Cakes

I mean, come on! Who wouldn’t want to take a class with Mike McCarey? Or Christine Craig? Or any one of the gazillion incredible artists that I am constantly stalking? And that’s without considering the sculptors of the non-edible varieties that I also follow and admire…

If you haven’t read the original post yet, you can find it here and then don’t forget to comment with your answer to the question: If you could take any class with any artist, what would you want to learn and from who?

 

Have you heard…?

This week, the conversation we have all been having over and over again – particularly over here in the aircon-less UK – is how on earth are you coping with caking in this weather?

As a veritable human radiator, the heat is not my friend anyway – I am very much the sort of person you see walking around in a t-shirt in the depths of winter – but come a heatwave like the one that we have been ‘enjoying’, I am barely one step away from just sitting in the corner panting like a dog!

Luckily Harriet Childs of CakeyCake was on hand this week to help us out with all her top tips for surviving in the heat.

It’s at times like this that I get to be a little relieved that I have the option of forgoing cake during a heatwave, but, of course, most do not have that luxury, so hopefully at least one of Harriet’s tips will be able to make your life a little easier as the summer months continue.

And of course, if you have your own top tip that you would like to add, pop it in the comments below…

 

I couldn’t live without…

Do you know, people seem to find it really hard to decide on just one thing they couldn’t live without when they are caking. So many people that offer a submission for this section want to list a ton of products and gadgets that they love, so I’m thinking it might be time for a rebrand…

From next week, this section will be renamed, ‘This week, I am mostly loving…’ That way, I won’t be forcing you to come out and declare your undying love for just one product or item – instead you can just tell us about something that has made your life easier this week. I might also sneak in a cheeky flash of a product that has caught my eye or appeared on my radar for the first time. And if you have a new product or service that you think would be of interest to other Something Sweet readers, get in touch. What have you got to lose, after all?

I do think it’s important that Something Sweet continues to evolve constantly – we don’t want to end up tired or stale now, do we…?

Which reminds me, I think it might be time for a new SS logo soon…

 

The hottest ticket in town!

I’m starting to feel like Something Sweet should just include a section entitled, ‘What has Lovin’ from the Oven by Corinna Maguire been up to this week’?

I am hard-pressed to think of a single issue that doesn’t at least mention Corinna (who incidentally was announced as the Global Sugar Artists Network Artist of the Month yesterday) in passing. Seriously, does the woman ever sleep?

This week, she caught my eye once again with the news that she is taking her so-very-awesome Smashing Hulk Carved Cake Class on the road again in September – this time to Decobake Clane, who are understandably delighted to be hosting Corinna once again.

Corinna’s Smashing Hulk Class is a REAL cake class (whoop!) and you will learn lots of techniques including cake, carving, facial expressions, airbrushing, dusting with powder colours and lots more besides – all of which can be adapted to your own cakes in the future.

The Class will be on Saturday the 8th of September from 9.30-5pm and costs €125. Apparently, a tasty lunch be provided too. Always a plus in my book!

If you would be interested in taking Corinna’s Smashing Hulk Cake Class, you need to contact Decobake directly.

And if you would be interested in flying me out there to join you (because: OMG, Hulk!), then that would be smashing (see what I did there?) too.

 

I wanna make that!

Jaffa Cakes. The whole ‘cake or biscuit’ debate aside, I don’t think I have ever met anyone that doesn’t like a good Jaffa Cake on occasion. And whether you stick to brand names or supermarkets’ own (which I think taste just as nice, if I’m honest) – or even if you prefer to make your own – they really are the perfect accompaniment to a cup of something hot.

On a side note, I once made my own during one of my many ‘Bakealongs’ with the Great British Bake Off – do you know how hard it is to pour chocolate over jelly both neatly and without melting the jelly. And then you’re supposed to add feathering?!  Crazy.

2016’s homemade Jaffa Cakes for my #BakeAlongwithGBBO

But anyway… Due to my neverending appreciation of the humble Jaffa Cake (it IS a cake by the way – it’s made with genoise sponge), my eye was caught this week by a recipe over at Good Housekeeping.

Originally published back in March, the lifestyle mag shared their recipe for a Jaffa Cake Loaf Cake this week and although some of the ingredients are a bit unusual (marmalade jelly?), I can’t help but think a giant take on the classic would be immense!

Part of me is desperate to have a go at this one, but a little voice inside my head (the one that usually ends up adding unnecessary tasks to my already ridiculous workload) is trying to convince me to create my own recipe using a more traditional genoise base and a proper orange jelly…

Perhaps I should have a go at this one first. What do you think? Oh, actually… how about you have a go at it and tell me if it’s worth making? I look forward to hearing from you!

 

Incidentally, while perusing Good Housekeeping, I also stumbled across the horrific news that we could soon be facing a national crumpet shortage! The horror! If anyone has a good recipe for homemade ones, feel free to ping it my way!

 

The Collaboration Station

Every now and then, a collaboration will come along that just touches us all in some way. Creative artists can often use them as a way to draw attention or raise funds for amazing causes and projects such as Zoe Fox’s Bakers Unite to Fight or Dina Nakad and Suzy Suada Marisenoj-Khalaf’s annual Sugar Art for Autism often leave me absolutely spellbound.

This week, another such collaboration was published, which gave me absolute chills – entirely in a good way – with its wonderful celebration of love in all its forms.

Put together by Isabel Tamargo of Tartas Imposibles and Val Seitz of Vananas Bakery, ‘Love is…’ brought together 45 artists of many nationalities to share just what it is that love means to them. But I’ll let you tell them more themselves…

While anything that referenced the love between families (Corinna Maguire and Tina Scott Parashar, I’m looking at you in particular) got me completely misty-eyed (I’m a complete mummy’s boy and proud of it), I particularly loved Paul Redmond of Purple Feather Cake Design’s interpretation of the brief and the ambiguity of his creation. He explained that both love and his piece – can mean so many different things to so many. That first electric touch, when you meet someone new; a helping hand up, when you need it the most; an encouraging touch, at just the right time; and letting someone go, when the time comes.

I was also captivated by the creation of collaboration Host, Isabel Tamargo, who explained that to her, love is rebirth. In her own words, “Sometimes holding on to someone can be so frightening. People come and go, leaving their footprint on your road and scars on your heart… But this is how it should be to live: risky, full of tears but also full of joy and love.”

I couldn’t say it any better myself.

Thank you to all the artists involved for a truly wonderful collection.

You can find all of the beautiful sugar creations and the artists accompanying interpretations of love over at the collaboration’s page.

 

Yesterday, The Cake Collective published their latest collaboration, a celebration of the 30th birthday of the LEGO® Minifigure™️ – ‘little people BIG IDEAS’.

As the perfect opportunity to challenge push yourself to try new things and test your skills, collaborations, like those hosted by The Cake Collective, can be a fantastic learning experience for cake artists. The 30th anniversary of the launch of the LEGO® Minifigure™️ is one of three big anniversaries for LEGO® this year and the team behind The Cake Collective thought it was a great opportunity to challenge their members to create a standing structured cake.

I know that some of the artists involved had quite an experience making their figures, with many attempting a fully-structured standing cake for the first time and others battling the recent unusually hot weather.

The Cake Collective team are so proud of all their artists, but particularly those who suffered a disaster or two along the way, but still picked themselves up and started over, creating fantastic cakes in the process.

They hope you enjoy seeing their creations as much as they have enjoyed making them – you can find the full collection over on Facebook.

 

Published to coincide with this weekend’s Bricktastic 2018, in Manchester, the collaboration is proud to be able to show support to their charity, Fairy Bricks, which donates LEGO® to hospitals and hospices to brighten the lives of sick children. If you would like to make a donation to continue their wonderful work, you can visit their website here.

LEGO®is a trademark of the LEGO Group of companies which does not sponsor, authorise or endorse this project.

 

 

Spotlight on the boys…

I have been following the work of Gaz’s Cakery for years now and I am often stunned that the Gateshead-based, part-time caker doesn’t have more fans than he does.

He is one of irritatingly-talented types that seems to be able to turn his hand to any style of cake artistry with ease (although, I am a massive fan of his modelling in particular) and the results speak for themselves.

This week he posted his take on Vicky Smith of Incredible Edible’s famous silver birch cake, which is as stunning as you’d expect…

…but a quick scan back through just his recent timeline reveals a multitude of stunning creations, all sat atop his signature custom-made cake boards.

 

If you have yet to discover his wonderful Facebook page, then head on over – I can assure you, you won’t be disappointed.

 

Cake of the Week!

While I’m sharing some of my favourite cakers, it would only be fair to point you in the direction of the incredible talents of Gail Kingman and Lauren Vicari, which are brought together in perfect partnership at their boutique shop, Sweet Passion Cakery in Warren, New Jersey.

This week, they shared their wonderfully modern take on a luau cake for a recent event and I absolutely love the combination of the sleek sharp lines, with the rustic whimsy of the realistic-looking bamboo and the beautifully-made sugar flowers.

This is a great example of the fabulous work that regularly comes out of Sweet Passion Cakery and a truly stunning Cake of the Week!

Congratulations ladies on a stunningly-executed creation. I can’t wait to see what you do next!

 

Honourable mention…

I think I have made my feelings clear about how much I love Sideserf Cake Studio – in fact, thanks to my Twitter chum Lisa, I have now added an iconic Sideserf Cake Studio t-shirt to my super awesome Cake T-shirt Collection (which, granted, is currently only made up of a Sideserf Cake Studio t-shirt and a Zoe’s Fancy Cakes t-shirt, but we all have to start somewhere!).

Anyway, I digress… This week, Natalie and Dave brought together my two favouritest things in the whole world when they combined Marvel Comic-based movies and… CAKE!

Check out their AWESOME Hugh–as-Wolverine cake!

And the best part? They have shared a video of Natalie’s amazing sculpt from start to finish over on their YouTube channel! Click the hyperlink to check it out for yourself…

So so good!

 

And finally…

With the combination of the approaching end of the school year and all the work that that entails and of course, keeping Something Sweet full of the latest news and gossip from all corners of the cake world, it has been a while since I have actually had the chance to do some creating of my own.

And I have seriously got the bug!

I have a couple of little projects coming up which I’m hoping will take the edge off of things (including a rather ‘super’ cake for the school end of year reading festival, but I am so looking forward to the school summer break so that I can get on with some of the big projects that have had to be bumped down my to do list recently.

In the meantime, please do continue to keep me entertained with everything that is going on in your corner of Planet Cake – I am living vicariously through you all at the moment!

Don’t forget you can send your submissions in via my Facebook page, by posting in the Mr Baker’s Blog from Mr Baker’s Cakes Facebook group or by emailing me directly.

I look forward to hearing from you… xx