Something Sweet – Issue 26

Do you know, this week marks six months of Something Sweet? I can hardly believe it – it seems like only yesterday that I was putting together the first issue.

I had debated doing a bit of a celebratory special, but then someone (the other half) suggested that I should save the fanfares until we hit the one-year mark (people are always trying to ruin my fun), so I’m afraid the parade is cancelled for now. 😉

However, we do still have lots of fabulous stuff, so without much further ado, shall we get on?

 

What’s new on the blog this week?

In all honesty? Nothing.

Yup, for the first time in a long time, I haven’t written any new posts all week – I AM supposed to be on my annual leave you know…

That being said, I haven’t exactly been taking it easy – instead, I’ve been focussing a lot of my efforts this week into getting The Greatest Showpiece ready (if you haven’t heard about this yet, you can check out the introductory blog over at our awesome sponsor’s website here). On Monday, I also received the first delivery from one of the talented cakers who are contributing pieces to this wonderful project and it is sooo good! In fact, you can catch a wee sneak peek of it over at the Fabricake Blog, courtesy of our first Meet the Artists post.

I was also delighted when the lovely Corinna Maguire of Lovin’ From the Oven agreed to give up some of her time to design all of the wonderful graphics for our dedicated Facebook group. She has done a wonderful job and I can’t wait to share them all with you…

The next big development will be an epic road trip around the country to collect the rest of the pieces for project. And if you’re really good, I might even tell you a little more about that later this week.

During the rest of my free time this week, I have been having a little play with the new Sugar Clay by Zoe Burmester of Sugar Street Studios. Zoe got in touch to ask me for some no-holes-barred, genuine and honest feedback and I have been honoured to be of assistance. As to what I thought of it…? Well, you’ll have to wait and see, I’m afraid.

 

Have you heard…?

You are probably bored of me hammering on about these by now, but for those of you who like me have been following the progress of the new Cake Dutchess Modelling Tools with great interest and excitement, I am so thrilled to let you know that now Etty has managed to dispatch all of her Kickstarter patrons’ pre-orders, the tools are finally on general sale!

All of the feedback I have seen on the tools so far is completely fantastic and I can’t wait to get my own hands on some! If you would like to pick up a set for yourself, you can head to Fabricake Sugarcraft Ltd right now – and while you’re there, don’t forget to take advantage of my exclusive discount code MRBAKER10 to save 10% on your tools and all your other cake decorating supplies!

 

Cake Show Showcase:

The National Sugar Art Association and Sugar in the Isles at Ely College would like to invite you all to join them for their Day of Demonstrations on 22nd September 2018.

The event, which takes place at Ely College will consist of a whopping 24 amazing demonstrations on everything from royal icing to painting on cakes, modelling to flower making – as well as instruction on how to put sprays together.

If you decide to attend, you will be able to choose which three demonstrations you would most like to watch and enjoy a ploughman’s lunch – all for the bargain price of just £25!

The list of demonstrators incorporates an incredible range of talents, including Georgie Godbold, Alan Dunn, Frances McNaughton, Gary Chapman, Claire Webb, Natasha Collins and a host of other specialists.

There will also be display tables from various local sugarcraft clubs as well as plenty of opportunities to stock up on all your sugarcraft essentials.

Ely College is easily reached, with superb rail and road connections. For more information, you can visit the Ely Day of Dems website here.

 

This week I am mostly loving…

I am changing things up a bit this week, as I am not writing about a product or a tool. This week, I am mostly loving a Facebook group and a certain one at that: Bakerswood.

If you haven’t yet discovered Bakerswood, it is a fantastic group run by the lovely María Mercedes González Lagarma of Hansel & Gretel de Maria M Gonzalez.

In her own words, it is intended to be a place for artists to come together – to share their creations, ideas and passions – in a group that is dedicated solely to celebrating its members.

Maria explains that she has no interest in making her own tutorials or becoming well known – like myself, she just wants to shine a light on those within the cake world that are pushing the boundaries of cake and sharing what they do to help others progress.

She adds that we might often see a fantastic creation in our social media feeds, but never really get the opportunity to learn more about the person behind the art. As such, an important part of Maria’s group has been to build up a bank of biographies of these amazing artists, so that at any time, we can find out more about the individuals that we are admiring from afar.

This week, I had the honour of being a Bakerswood featured artist for the day and I was so touched to receive so many wonderful comments and messages from people who had enjoyed my work – often not realising that Mr Baker the blogger had also created a whole array of (I hope) fun and interesting cakes!

 

It has been fabulous to connect with so many new artists from around the world and I’d like to thank Maria, not only for allowing me my little moment in the spotlight, but also for creating such a wonderful space for cakers to come together.

If you’re not already a member of Bakerswood, you should most definitely get in touch with Maria and ask for an invite to check it out.

 

The hottest ticket in town!

You may recall that a while ago, I shared my review of the incredible Rapid Rose – the Five-Petal Rose Support Pad, which allows users to create beautiful non-wired roses from flower paste in just a few simple steps.

The tool was devised by the über-talented Natalie Porter of Immaculate Confections, the gifted designer responsible for many of the most beautiful wedding cakes that light up our newsfeeds.

One such beauty that really caught my attention was her Floral Antlers Wedding Cake, created for Cake International in 2017. As a result, when I saw Natalie’s announcement that she was taking this design on the road as a new class, I was honestly delighted.

So far, the confirmed dates and venues are:

– 16th/17th October – The Rosehip Bakery, Oxfordshire

– 22nd/23rd October – Suzanne Esper Cakes, Scotland

– 1st/2nd December – Fabricake, Essex

– 10th/11th December – Cakes of Good Taste, London

Over on her website (which you can find here), Natalie explains that this brilliant new class covers a wide range of skills, so that by the end you will be a colour clever, sharp-edge, flower making, petal dusting pro!!

The techniques covered within the class include:

– Using dark navy fondant to achieve those desirable and elusive sharp edges, with a perfect finish.

– Making a range of wired and unwired flowers and foliage, including anemones, thistles, roses (using Natalie’s signature Rapid Rose technique), filler flowers, lots of lovely berries and all of Natalie’s hints and tips for making beautiful, practical sugar flowers.

– Using colour and petal dusts to bring your work to life, creating a striking colour palette that really catches the eye.

– Constructing a simple wire frame to make and support the antlers.

– Wiring and taping everything for a realistic and dynamic finish.

– And of course, the all-important arranging of everything on the cake to create this unique and modern wedding design.

The two-day class costs £375 and this covers all of the materials used, including Massa Ticino sugarpaste, Squires Kitchen flowerpaste and Saracino modelling paste. It also includes the cost of three dummy cakes, two of which will have been pre-covered for each student before class.

If you would be interested in taking this once-in-a-lifetime class with Natalie Porter of Immaculate Confections, then head to the classes section of her website right now to secure your place.

 

I wanna make that!

It’s two for one this week as I simply couldn’t choose my favourite – so you get both, you lucky pups!

First up, as you all surely know by now, I am a huge fan of the pristinely perfect wedding cakes by Emma Stewart of Truly Scrumptious Cakes by Design. As such, when an opportunity comes along to learn from Emma, well, I’m there!

This week saw Emma publish her first independent tutorial via her website, which teaches us how to create a fabulous textured monogram like the one featured on this beautiful cake.

If you would like to learn how to recreate this elegant finish on your own cakes, then you can purchase Emma’s PDF tutorial directly from her website right here.

 

This week also saw the latest ‘how to’ video go up over on Tracey Rothwell of the Little Cherry Cake Company’s YouTube Channel.

Tracey’s Concrete-style Wedding Cake tutorial teaches you how to use a combination of different buttercream shades to create a striking and realistic-looking concrete finish, before creating delicate sprays of twigs, ‘dead’ flowers and berries that look incredible against their industrial backdrop.

If you fancy having a go at Tracey’s Concrete-style Wedding Cake, you can find it on the Little Cherry Cake Company channel here.

Tracey has also kindly given me an exclusive sneak peek ahead at what we can expect from her next video too – marble and rose gold anyone? Don’t forget to subscribe to Tracey’s channel while you’re there, so that you are the first to know when her next video tute goes live!

 

The Collaboration Station

Back in Something Sweet: Issue 18, I introduced you to Peach Life, a wonderful display that is being created for this year’s Cake International show. Inspired by the stories of Roald Dahl, Peach Life will be a collaboration of incredible international artists, who are coming together to bring a host of everyone’s favourite author’s best loved characters to life in sugar and cake.

However, what you may not have realised is that the team behind the display have been teasing us rotten recently with lots of behind the scenes pictures and sneak peeks to get us truly excited about what we can expect from the display.

I was incredibly excited to discover this week that they’ll also be working with Motion Mapping, who you may recall was responsible for our incredible animations on last year’s Magical Dragon Machine – including the fully animated backdrop, the dragon’s flaming body and, of course, the fabulous tin can dog. I can’t wait to see what Stu Harris has cooked up this time!

If you’re not already following the team’s dedicated Facebook page, ‘Peach Life – A feature inspired by Roald Dahl Stories’, then I’d suggest you head over there! It’s looking increasingly like this is a showpiece you won’t want to miss!

You can find their page right here.

 

Spotlight on the boys…

So, who caught the first Facebook Live! Event from Paul Bradford’s Cakeflix, featuring exclusive VIP guest tutor, Ben Cullen of The BakeKing this week?

During the Facebook Live, Ben and Paul worked together to create an awesome teddy bear that managed to blend both their skills and their passions brilliantly.

It was really fun to watch (and I must give a massive shout out to Cakeflix’s David who kept things running admirably) and I loved the piece they created together.

If you didn’t manage to catch it live, panic not, as you can catch up right here!

I do hope Ben managed to survive his visit unscathed by the mysterious ghostly rustling sounds and I can’t wait to see who joins Paul and David in the Cakeflix kitchen next!

 

Meanwhile on Twitter…

Obviously, I’ve already gushed over how excited I am about the return of The Great British Bake Off to our screens later this month, but this hadn’t prepared me for the excitement of discovering that, as part of their marketing materials, the Bake Off team have turned me into a gif!

Well, to be more precise, they turned my cake into a gif, but that’ll do me!

If you want to know more about how this came about, you can find out all about my visit to The Great British Bake Off: An Extra Slice studio last year by reading my blog post about the day right here.

 

Cake of the Week!

It’s another two for one for you here too, as I just couldn’t pick a favourite between two simply wonderful creations.

Photo: Scott Gloger

First up, we have a fabulous creation by Deb Litt Rogers of Sensational Cakes and More created for Yonder Alonso’s BaseBOWL charity event, benefitting the Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland last weekend.

Using a combination of rice cereal treat bats, a vanilla cake ball and a black & white cake field, Deb used her Innovative Sugarworks Sugar Structures to create a custom armature design and the result was a fabulously fun and whimsical creation that must have gone down a storm at the charity event.

Photo: Scott Gloger

Congratulations Deb on a fantastic creation for a fantastic cause and a well-deserved Cake of the Week!

 

Photo: Steve Adams/Assembly House

Sharing the podium with Deb this week is a face that some of you may recognise. Kate Barmby was a contestant in the 2016 series of The Great British Bake Off (it’s final year in its original home at the BBC) and, following her appearance on the show, the former nurse and Brownie leader has continued to pursue her passion for baking.

Kate’s creation that caught my eye this week was crafted for the launch of a new magical afternoon tea experience at a Norwich city centre venue. The Assembly House launched its School of Magic Afternoon Tea last week, tempting wizards-in-waiting both young and old. The tea event, which is complete with chocolate wands, sorting hat cakes, butter beer freakshakes and house colour-themed decorations, has been inspired by the wizarding world of Harry Potter, and brought to life by chef Mark Mitson.

Photo: Steve Adams/Assembly House

Kate’s awe-inspiring creation features the Hogwarts groundskeeper, Hagrid sat at his enormous table in the process of creating Harry’s birthday cake, made famous in the first Potter movie, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

I love how many fabulous details Kate was able to squeeze into her fabulous cake and I can only imagine how much joy it must have added to the occasion.

Photo: Steve Adams/Assembly House

Congratulations Kate on another fabulous Cake of the Week – I can’t wait to see what you will do next!

If you would like to keep up with what Kate has been doing since she left Bake Off, why not head over to Instagram and give her a follow?

Photo: Steve Adams/Assembly House

 

Honourable mention…

If you aren’t already following Ana Remigio’s Facebook page, Cupcakes & Dreams, then I really must ask, why ever not?!

Besides being one of my absolute favourite sculpted cake artists, Ana is also one of the most consistently awesome artists in the industry. She regularly contributes her fabulous work to some of the most beautiful collaborations in cakedom and she can always be relied about to awe and amaze.

Case in point: this week saw Ana create an INCREDIBLE and ENORMOUS tyrannosaurus cake for daughter Dana’s 13th birthday. Ana is quick to admit that her creation isn’t entirely edible – who needs THAT much cake after all?! However, it seems that after 18 hours of sculpting, two hours of smoothing, seven hours of covering and modelling, nine hours of creating that incredible texture with just some straws and six hours of painting and finishing touches, Dana wouldn’t let her special cake be cut! We shouldn’t laugh…!

Luckily, Ana was able to whip up a quick substitute to ensure that the guests to their Jurassic Park-themed party were still able to enjoy some delicious cake, but I have to ask Ana: What are you going to do with Dana’s dino now?!

 

And another honourable mention…

You all know that I am a massive fan of Sideserf Cake Studio and most of you also know that I am desperate for a lil’ dog of my very own – ideally a pug or a French bulldog incidentally – so when one of your favourite cake artists creates one of your favourite dogs, you really can’t let it pass by without a mention.

 

Yes, this week saw Dave and Natalie Sideserf, the husband and wife team behind the internationally renowned Sideserf Cake Studio turn their creative hands to an adorable recreation of a client’s much-loved French bulldog, Buster (hey, one of my cats is called Buster).

As always, the pair recorded the crafting of their gorgeous creation, sharing it on their YouTube channel, so be sure to head over and check it out for yourself…

Oh, and don’t forget to subscribe!

 

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!