Something Sweet – Issue 31

Happy Sunday once again everyone. It has been another hectic week at Mr Baker’s Blog HQ as we draw ever nearer to the reveal of my oh-so-secretive collaboration project, ‘The Greatest Showpiece’.

I don’t want to give too much away yet, but as you will have seen over at the Fabricake blog, this collaboration is different to most, in that my team and I are creating pieces that will eventually be assembled together to create one almighty cake.

Obviously, all of the pieces have needed collecting, and while I managed to scoop up most of them during my recent tour, there are still a few left to collect, so over the last couple of days, I have racked up over 550 miles to go and grab a few more.

It has been great to see so many of my cakey chums ‘between shows’, but as a result, I haven’t been online as much as usual lately, so apologies if I have missed your big cakey news. I hope to be back to my all-seeing best, once the collaboration is done though.

Our fully assembled showpiece will be unveiled at an event next weekend and then I hope to have the online reveal up during the following few days, so stay tuned – there isn’t much longer to wait!

 

What’s new on the blog this week?

Alongside our first full week back at school and my crazed excursions across the country, I did still manage to squeeze in the third instalment of my #bakealongwithGBBO and this week, we were facing bread.

Paul Hollywood challenged the bakers in the tent to whip up a batch of his unusual take on the traditional naan – a non-yeasted variety. The trickiest part of this bake being that the bakers (and I) only had one hour to complete the challenge.

On Thursday, I tackled the challenge and managed to create something not entirely shameful, so head to the full post to read more.

Oh, and if you fancy tackling any of this series’ technical bakes, I am adding the links to the official GBBO recipes to my recipes tab above. If you do have a go, be sure to let me know how you get on!

 

Have you heard…?

If you’re not a primary school teacher with your own little mob of wee six-year-old darlings (what, just me?), then you could be forgiven for not knowing that Thursday of this week was Roald Dahl Day.

In fact, Roald Dahl Day is celebrated on the 13th of September every year, with many schools taking part in activities such as dressing up as their favourite Roald Dahl-created character, sharing their favourite stories by the legendary author or even throwing their own Roald Dahl-themed parties and events.

With the Peach Life collection coming to Cake International in November and Michelle Wibowo of Michelle Sugar Art’s awesome collaboration with Mr Kipling only a few week’s ago, the cake world has clearly embraced Roald Dahl fever this year, but in honour of Roald Dahl Day 2018, one talented caker in particular was invited to contribute a very special creation to the Norwegian Church Arts Centre, in Cardiff Bay where Dahl was baptised.

As part of their celebrations of the author’s birthday, they are holding a weekend of story-telling and arts and crafts, all of which will be watched over by this fabulous bust by Rhianydd Webb of Dragons & Daffodils Cakes, atop a tasty cake that will be cut at the conclusion of the festivities.

Rhianydd has also uploaded a time lapse video of her crafting her brilliant creation to her YouTube channel, so be sure to check it out.

 

Cake Show Showcase:

Last weekend saw the return of the Show Me Sweets Edible Art and Cake Competition, hosted by Pege Yates of Never Forgotten Designs and Liz Kraatz of Liz’s Cake Art, hosted by the St. Charles Convention Center, in St. Louis, Missouri and the second year of the show certainly lived up to its aim to bring the excitement and fun of a confectionery expo to the city.

Benefiting children’s charity, Icing Smiles, the show was a fantastic blend of edible art demonstrations, hands-on learning opportunities, booths with local and worldwide industry vendors and suppliers, Live Cake Battles, the Edible Art Competition and the Sweet Taste of St. Louis Competition.

As we have come to expect from our cake bros and sugar sisters from across the pond, the competition categories were jam-packed with incredible creations and the judges must have had a really tough job choosing their favourites from the amazing entries on display.

Scooping first place in the Structured/Sculpted Live Cake Battle were Sam Lucero and Kimberly Hall, while Sara Weber scooped the top spot in the Pro Tiered Cake category with this amazing creation.

A special shout out must go to my Clairella Cakes buddy, Timbo Sullivan of Cakes by Timbo who wowed the public with his fabulous sculpted creation, taking home the coveted People’s Choice Award! Well done, dude!

Congratulations to all who took part in the weekend’s many challenging competitions and, in particular, to those who won an award! You can check out all of the winners from the weekend and see photographs of their showstopping creations via this link.

 

This week I am mostly loving…

I don’t know about you, but I love the huge range of colours available in the ProGel range from Rainbow Dust Colours, but what I don’t love is the complete mess I manage to make of my hands whenever I am colouring paste (or dusting, airbrushing or in fact anything else that involves colour – I’m very messy!).

That’s why I absolutely loved this top tip that Dawn Butler of Dinkydoodle Designs shared this week:

“Do you ever struggle to get rid of dye from your hands? Take a look at these before and after photos! Just a scoop of any brand of oxy action powder for clothes in a sink full of warm water and within seconds your hands are sparkly clean again! #lifehacks”

I don’t know about you, but I’ve already added some oxy powder to this week’s shopping list – could this be the end of me rocking up to formal meetings looking like I’ve murdered a unicorn?!

Thanks for the tip, Dawn!

 

I wanna make that!

As the evenings start to draw in and the weather cools down, I start to look for tasty, comforting bakes that will keep us warm during the colder months.

As a result, when I saw the latest creation by Jane Dunn of Jane’s Patisserie, I was quick to bookmark it.

Jane’s Apple Crumble Cookie Bars are a new take on the classic British dessert and, as any bake involving apple and cinnamon is a win from me, the flavours are perfect for autumn.

Every bake that I have ever tried from Jane’s fabulous website has always been a surefire win at home (and at school) too, so I know that these offerings will be no different.

If you would like to have a go at Jane’s Apple Crumble Cookie Bars, you can find the full recipe and method right here – and if you want to pop some around for me to enjoy too, well then that would be great!

 

The Collaboration Station

This week saw the publication of the latest collaboration by the talented bakers of Bakerswood – the fantastic Facebook group curated by the lovely María Mercedes González Lagarma of Hansel & Gretel de Maria M Gonzalez.

The Botero Challenge collaboration was a celebration of the many works of Colombian figurative artist and sculptor, Fernando Botero.

Botero’s work is easily iconic for his volumetric stylisation of figures and objects, but his oeuvre ranges in subject matter, from daily life in Colombia, art historical references like the Mona Lisa, and abuses of power—all unified by Botero’s exaggeratedly rotund figures.

The Bakerswood artists took inspiration from some of Botero’s most recognisable works to create their own edible interpretations of the pieces and the results are quite simply astounding.

I wish I could share all of the incredible pieces (I saved waaaaaay more than I could ever fit here, but I kept thinking, ‘Oh, I need that one. Oh, and that one’s amazing!’) So, as always, this is only a mere selection of the fully collection, so be sure to check out the rest of the collaboration and see all of the works displayed with their original inspirations over at the dedicated Botero Challenge Facebook page.

 

Spotlight on the boys…

Originally from Venezuela, Javier Azócar is one half of the talented team behind Paris-based Luma’s Cake.

Despite Luma’s Cake only being founded in 2017, Javier – alongside his wife Noralid – has become well-known for his stunning edible creations, which often draw on his long-held passion for painting. The family ties do not stop there either, as even the name Luma’s Cake was created by combining the names of Javier and Noralid’s beloved sons. Lucas and Mathias.

It was actually the first birthday of son, Lucas, which originally inspired the talented pair to begin creating beautiful cakes and although Javier explains that the first cake wasn’t necessarily a perfect success, that first attempt was certainly the first step along the road towards the creation of ​​Luma’s Cake.

From then on, each of the boys’ birthdays was an opportunity for the talented pair to develop their efforts and, even now, they still see each new cake as an opportunity to truly fulfil the dreams of all of their young (and not so young) clients.

This passion is clear within every single piece that comes out of the Luma’s Cake kitchen and it is no surprise that the pair are already receiving international recognition for their incredible creations, with Javier even being named one of France’s cake artists of the year, by Cake Masters Magazine earlier this year.

Luma’s Cake are now taking their incredible talents on tour, teaching incredible techniques – including drawing and painting on sugarpaste and working with a variety of mediums, such as wafer paper, gold leaf, ruffles and many more – in a variety of classes all over the world.

If you would like to learn how to create cakes the Luma’s Cake way, be sure to head to their Facebook page, where you will be able to find all of the details of where and when the pair will be teaching next, as well as check out even more of their fabulous creations.

 

Cake of the Week!

This cake was nominated by a fair few individuals this week (thank you to those that got in touch) and it is easy to see why.

 

 

Trudy Smith of The Chain Lane Cake Co. created this incredibly realistic Rolex watch for the Darren’s fiftieth birthday this week and the sharpness of those corners alone is enough to make someone stop and swoon!

Becoming increasingly well-known for her attention to detail and precise finishing (and believe me, I know – I chose her for a very challenging part of my contribution for that exact reason), Trudy’s Rolex is the perfect demonstration of her exacting standards, with both the logo and watch face being precisely hand painted.

The first time this image popped into my inbox this week, I almost scrolled straight past as I thought it was someone trying to flog me a ‘real’ (well, a real knock off – this IS Facebook) Rolex and I can’t think of a higher compliment than that.

Congratulations to Trudy on a fabulous Cake of the Week and, if you haven’t already followed Trudy’s Facebook page, head here to do just that and where you will be able to see even more of her stunning creations.

 

Honourable mention…

I love a good fairy tale and, when one comes to life in the real world, I love it even more.

That was exactly what happened when Miss Peach and pumber, Mr Castle asked talented cake artist Tracey Rothwell of Little Cherry Cake Company and Black Cherry Cake Company for her ‘darker’ works to create a uniquely personal wedding cake for their recent union.

Inspired by their unique story, Tracey created a beautiful cake, adorned with a hand-painted stained-glass portrait of fellow plumber, Super Mario’s Princess Peach (although with brunette hair to match the bride’s own), which was then placed front and centre on a beautiful gothic Castle.

As we have come to expect from Tracey, her stunning creation is beautifully finished and I know that the lucky couple will have been delighted with their ultra-personal cake.

 

And another honourable mention…

I loved this cake created by Carol Smith of Cakes by Carol (she of the smoother fame) this week! Containing over six kilograms of sugarpaste, three tubs of dragées, a sprinkling of edible glitter and lashings of marbled rainbow sponge, this was no small feat!

I am willing to bet that Tenire was absolutely beside herself when she saw her special cake and I am certainly ready for an evolution in the unicorn cake theme – are unicorn busts going to be the next big thing?

To answer that question, I’d suggest we turn an eye to the competition categories at Cake International in two-months-time. One can normally get a good idea of what’s next in cake design from the original pieces adorning the tables!

In the meantime, keep up the FABULOUS work Carol! And my birthday is in January, ok? 😉

 

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!