Something Sweet – Issue 23

What’s new on the blog this week?

For the first time in forever (isn’t that from a song…?) I haven’t posted a single blog this week – but in my defence, I AM EXHAUSTED. 30 seven-year-olds, in a three-week heatwave, full of the excitement and nervousness of their move up to the juniors and then all the paperwork that accompanies the end of the school year, all mix together to create a very tired primary school teacher.

And the best part? We still have two days to go until school’s out for summer… *sobs quietly*

It’s been a tricky year this year – I won’t go into all the reasons why – but I am definitely ready for a break*, come Wednesday!

*Note: by break, I mean I play at being a full-time caker and caking-blogger for a few weeks instead. I don’t think I actually KNOW how to rest!

Oh, I did make a cake this week though! We celebrate our love of reading at school each year with a Love Reading Festival (rather than a traditional summer fayre) and this year, our theme was ‘Superheroes and Every Day Heroes’ – I wonder who suggested that one…? *winks*

I decided to use it as an opportunity to play with a few bits and pieces that I’ve been dying to get to – including Cakes by Carol’s new Sharp Edge Smoother (which is AMAZING by the way – blog post to follow) and the wonderful Spiderweb Superhero Stencil Set that I was given by my lovely friends over at Evil Cake Genius last time they were in the U.K.

It was my first time stencilling and I’m sure it would have been easier if I had actually READ the instructions before starting, like Robin clearly recommends on every one of  her stencils, but I loved how the buildings came out and I’m definitely going to have another go at the mesh stencilling – now I know how to ACTUALLY do it.

I’m also thrilled to have been able to help raise lots of money to buy new books for the children!

 

Have you heard…?

Last week, I told you about how my buddy Hannah Edwards AKA The Cake Illusionist had crafted a super quick version of one of her stunning dog cakes – in only five hours – for DESSERT INSIDER. I’d ask if you’d seen it but based on the fact that it has now accrued over 62 MILLION views, you probably have!

I also mentioned last week, the sight of one of Hannah’s super realistic pups being sliced apart brought the ‘outraged of the internet’-types out in force and I was in tears of laughter reading some of the crazy comments. However, it seems things took a slightly more sinister turn as the week progressed with Hannah receiving even darker messages and even emails.

Luckily, it hasn’t all been doom and gloom and Hannah is getting some fabulous and well-deserved exposure for her business.

And rather excitingly, this week Hannah will be heading to the This Morning studios, where she will be recreating Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford’s beloved dog in cake form – LIVE on TV. I’ve got to say, Hannah – rather you than me!

Make sure you tune in on Monday or set your timers from 10:30am to cheer our girl on!

 

Have you also heard…?

If you have checked out the latest caking-themed show to arrive on Netflix this week, Sugar Rush, then you may well have seen some familiar faces…

Blāque Shelton of Black Rose Pastries and Patty Stovall of Patty’s Cake Designs are regular staffers on the Cake Masters stands at cake shows across the world and lovely folks to boot.

The programme synopsis explains that ‘Time’s the most important ingredient as teams race against the clock — and each other — to bake up the best-tasting sweets,’ before being judged by ‘cupcake queen’ and head of the Sprinkles bakery chain Candace Nelson and Australian pâtissier, Adriano Zumbo.

I won’t post any spoilers here, but be sure to check out Episode Seven: Frosted Fashion to see how Blāque and Patty get on…

 

Cake Show Showcase:

The Cake International team would like to invite us all to join their new Head Judge, Karen Keaney and Senior Judge, Ben Fullard for a live question and answer session on Monday 30th July, at 7pm.

If you have any questions, comments or queries regarding your category at this year’s November show, then this is your chance to get the answers straight from the horse’s mouth as it were (apologies for the analogy, Karen and Ben!).

If you would like to get involved, you need to send your competition questions to melanieu@ichf.co.uk by 23rd July (that’s tomorrow, so be quick)!

Of course, we all get lots of helpful advice from the various cakes groups we belong to on social media, but the Cake International team would also like to remind us all that any advice received via these routes is taken at our own risk – if you’re unsure of anything, they recommend you follow the official route and email Melanie Underwood at melanieu@ichf.co.uk with your questions.

 

This week I am mostly loving intrigued by…

Who saw Zoe Burmester of Sugar Street Studio’s post this week regarding her new Sugar Clay? It seems that Zoe has teamed up with The Cake Decorating Company to develop a new and exciting product for sugarcrafters.

Zoe tells me it sculpts like modelling chocolate, blends like magic and has a super long working time for small and large edible sculpting projects.

I am eager to get my hands on some to have a play and to check it out properly, so I will let you know when I do!

 

I wanna make that!

If you have ever wanted to have a go at the elaborate gravity-defying cake sculptures you often see on your social media timelines but are unsure about where to begin when building your own cake structures, then Innovative Sugarworks may well have the answer to all your prayers.

Innovative Sugarworks Sugar Structures™ are crafted from food-grade aluminum for the highest standard of safety for your edible creations. These structures are light-weight, yet extremely strong and sturdy. They won’t bend, warp, break, or twist and the components are interchangeable to allow for ultimate creative freedom and can be re-used indefinitely.

But of course, the perfect structure is only the beginning of crafting a show-stopping cake, so if you’re wondering how to go from an assembled armature to a workable sculpted cake, then you need to check out the latest video by Jamie Louks of Jamie Nicole Cakes, so she can show you how to assemble your cake onto your Sugar Structure and carve it into a character!

In her exclusive tutorial for the Innovative Sugarworks blog, Jamie demonstrates how she stacked and sculpted cake on an Innovative Sugarworks Sugar Structure to make this adorable lion cake for a school reunion!

You can find the full tutorial right here.

 

The Collaboration Station

The SugarSouls collaboration group are proud to present their latest collection celebrating all things Great Britain, entitled Britannia Rules – The Great British Collaboration.

It was really interesting to see how cake artists from around the world have represented all things British and traditional and I love all of the pieces. You can see them all over at the Britannia Rules – The Great British Collaboration Facebook page.

SugarSouls was founded earlier this year to make collaborations more accessible for everyone and they have a number of them running throughout the year.

If you are interested in running your own collaboration and would like the help and support of SugarSouls team, then you can pop them a message via their dedicated Facebook page.

 

I had also planned to feature the much-anticipated The Arabian Nights International Cake Collaboration, hosted by the Global Sugar Artist Network and Middle East Regional Manager, super talented artist Nermeen Sayed of Nana Rose Cake, which was due to be published yesterday, but I know that Nermeen is having some serious connectivity issues with her internet.

This beautiful collection is definitely on the way later today though, so keep an eye out for it and rest assured that I will feature it in full next week instead.

 

Spotlight on the boys…

Daniel Guiriba is the mega-talent behind Daniel Bakes and I have shared his work with you on a couple of occasions now. However, I am completely thrilled to announce that he will be bringing his skills and prowess with wafer paper floristry to Cake International on November with his first demonstration. I can’t wait to see him in action live!

Daniel got in touch this week to let me know that while he is in the UK, Daniel will also be teaching a class at Kelly Days’ Sunflower Bakery in Wedmore, Somerset. They are working out the details as I type and I am told that more information will be available soon. To find out more and to book your place, keep an eye on the classes section of Kelly’s website.

While you’re there, why not subscribe to the Sunflower Bakery newsletter to guarantee you’ll be the first to know?

 

Cake of the Week!

I’m fairly confident that you all know by now that I am a huge fan of Rosie Dummer – AKA Rosie Cake-Diva and I love everything that this hugely-talented woman creates – in fact, you can read my exclusive interview with her right here.

This week was no exception when Rosie posted her latest creation, ‘Bhindi the Bollywood Dancer’.

Crafted from chocolate cake, Bhindi features beautifully hand-shaped features, hours of piped royal icing and a wonderfully motion-filled full skirt.

She was created for the grand opening of the new Oak Furniture Land in Birstall, Leeds yesterday before making her way to the town hall in the evening to be served up at a cabaret night.

And do you know, I have a sneaking feeling that we might see this young lady pop up on a future episode of Extreme Cake Makers in the near future. What do you think…?

Congratulations on yet another stunning creation, Rosie! She is a fabulous Cake of the Week and I love her! I can totally understand why she is the first ever cake that you haven’t wanted to cut!

 

Honourable mention…

Back in June, you may recall that I shared my exclusive interview with Dorothy Klerck of Eat Cake Party, during which she shared some details of a very exciting project she would be completing in commemoration of Nelson Mandela’s centenary.

Here’s an extract:

“Now, you were telling me earlier about an exciting project that you have coming up soon, for Nelson Mandela’s birthday…

Oh yes, it’s Nelson Mandela’s centennial year this year and his 100th birthday would have been on 18th July 2018.

In celebration of his birthday each year, across the whole of South Africa, people are encouraged to give 67 minutes of their day to somebody else unselfishly in memory of Mandela’s 67 years of service to our country, and this year, because it’s the centennial, people, companies and even big corporations are all trying to do even bigger things.

I’ve been approached by a charity to make a Nelson Mandela cake in Nelson Mandela Square in Sandton, Johannesburg to try and raise R6.7 million for a foundation called Cupcakes of Hope – a children’s cancer charity.

There will be a whole load of celebrations and commemorative events in the week leading up to his birthday and then it will all finish at the end of his birthday month with my live build in the last week. It’s all completely live and there will even be a radio station broadcasting live from down there – it’s quite a big thing.

Nervous?

I’m so nervous, because I’m going to make such a mess and people don’t realise how messy sculpting cake can be! They’re going to think I’m so disgusting! *laughs*

And although I trust the engineering because I have experience with it, I can never think, ‘This structure works 100%’ because I’m always designing new structures. Obviously, if we’re going to have a disaster, it’s will to be in front of everyone on camera, so it is a little bit daunting, yeah…”

Well, I’m pleased to say that this week is THE week and Dot is already hard at work on her preparations. She was even kind enough to pop over some pictures of her progress yesterday to give us all a sneak peek and it seems that things are already taking shape. I can’t wait to see it with the cake added.

If you live in or around Sandton City Shopping Centre in Johannesburg, then next week, from 24th-28th July, do pop down to the Cupcakes 4 Kids with Cancer stand in the main centre court, where you will be able to see Dot building her three-metre-tall cake statue of Mandela – the world’s largest ever Mandela Cake – in person.

If you aren’t lucky enough to be able to head down to cheer Dot on in person, then stay tuned to her Facebook Page, Eat Cake Party, where she assures me that she will be doing lots of Facebook Live videos!

She also tells me that they will recording a time-lapse of the entire build – I can only imagine how awesome it will be when it’s finished!

Good luck, Dot! I know you will wow everyone!

 

And another honourable mention…

There’s always a lot of excitement when one of our fellow cakers gets to make a special cake for a celebrity, but it isn’t often that that cake also becomes the centre of a media storm – however that’s exactly where Tanya Ross of Novel-T Cakes found herself this week.

As Tanya revealed this week, while she was making Conor McGregor’s 30th birthday cake, she had no idea she was one of the first people to find out about Dee Devlin’s pregnancy.

In an interview with Dublin Live, Tanya explained that she was put in contact with Dee who revealed her big news and asked Tanya to put it on the cake in the form of a tell-tale bump.

Tanya had no idea that she had a big scoop at the time and it was a big surprise that they actually chose to use her cake as a way of telling people the news.

She added: “They are so well known that it was a challenge. If it didn’t look like them everyone would see, but I love that side of things. Conor has so many tattoos that everyone knows so well and that was the hardest part but I really enjoyed it.”

Instagram @deedevlin1

Tanya was delighted with how the cake came out, but unfortunately, she never got to meet the couple face to face.

She added: “In the end I had a wedding on the same day as the birthday so their security came and picked it up. I must say they were a pleasure to work with – their agent and Dee herself were lovely and sent me pictures and everything of it afterwards.”

 

And finally…

Don’t forget to get in touch this week to tell me all about what your corner of the cake world is talking about; to share which tools or products you are loving this week; to tell me about any exciting events or classes you have coming up; to share 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!