Something Sweet – Issue 32

Welcome back to Something Sweet!

The eagle-eyed among you will have noticed that we didn’t have a new issue last week because this time last week I was frantically getting ready to reveal the result of my collaboration, The Greatest Showpiece, at the fifth birthday party of my godson Jacob.

Suffice to say that I survived the experience and am now back with another jam-packed issue of Something Sweet with all of the latest news from the world of cake – I do hope you missed me as much as I missed all of you.


What’s new on the blog this week?

Regular readers will know that I have been hinting at a very special collaboration for a while now, but I had been careful to keep the details under wraps – well, other than a little bit of a preview over at the home of our very lovely and very generous sponsors, Fabricake Sugarcraft Ltd.

However, on Sunday, I was finally able to reveal the full collaboration in all its glory, going public online a few days later – as you can probably imagine, the rest of the week has been all about sharing and promoting The Greatest Showpiece and a few days ago, I published The Greatest Showpiece unveiled – explaining how the project came to be and what went into bringing it to life.

I love that, unlike most collaborations, The Greatest Showpiece brought people together to create a real cake for a real person and I think the results speak for themselves – I will be eternally grateful to all of the wonderful individuals who were part of the project.

To find out more about The Greatest Showpiece, head on down to this week’s Collaboration Station.


Have you heard…?

The big news in cake this week was the announcement of some of the finalists for this years Cake Masters Magazine Awards – affectionately known to most of us as the Cake Oscars.

It is always exciting to see which artists have made the final cut and particularly if some of our own nominees are finalists. I was really excited to see which of my own nominations have made it through and I can’t wait to cheer them on at the awards.

Editor of Cake Masters Magazine, Rosie Mazumder was quick to offer her congratulations to all of the finalists announced so far and assured us that there will be more announcements next week. I can’t wait!

Read on to find check out the categories that have been announced so far…

Wedding Cake Award: Madina and Rustam Yavorskie, Julie Deffense, Zehra Khan and Enrique Rojas.

Best Show Piece Award: Chocolate Magic by Daniel Dieguez and friends, Pride of Lions by Dorothy Klerck, War Horse by Emma Jayne and The Magical Dragon Machine by Hannah Edwards and Steph Parker (and a whole host of other talented individuals – including me!).

Royal Icing Award: Jan Thorpe, Kelvin Chua, Sandy Wu and Prachi Dhabal Deb.

Sculpted Cake Award: Ben Cullen, Isabel Tamargo, Marc Suárez and Marta Hidalgo.

Cupcake Award: Sébastien Haramendy, Sarah Bray, Amanda Mumbray and Sabrina Jiffry.

Cookie Award: k dokhtcookies, Natalia Gladysheva, Nadia Kalinichenko and Lis Palacios.

Modelling Excellence Award: Zuev Denis, Zhou Yi, Lepka Lapki and Floren Bastante.

Sugar Flowers Award: Arati Mirji, Ashwini Sarabhai, Monica Pugliese and Monika Kwaśniewska.

Collaboration Award: Americake Horror Story, The Arabian Nights International Collaboration, Cake Con International, The SweetEasy: a Gatsby Inspired Collaboration, Incredible India – an International Cake Collaboration and Steam Cakes – Steampunk Collaboration.

Best Learning Experience Award: CakeFlix, Sugar Geek Show, Avalon Cakes School of Sugar Art and Cakeheads with Shawna McGreevy.

Best Cake Show: Cake International, So Flo Cake & Candy Expo, That Takes the Cake and Cake and Bake Germany.

Best Magazine Cover Award: Dita Bensoussan, Emma Stewart, Reva Alexander-Hawk and Angela Penta.

Cake Hero Award: Nicholas Lodge, Paul Bradford, Ron Ben-Israel and Serdar Yener.

Congratulations to all of the finalists so far and I wish you all the very best of luck!


Cake Show Showcase:

This weekend sees the Oklahoma State Sugar Art Show, known as the “Super Bowl” of cake shows, return to its home in Tulsa, where this year the event is celebrating its 25th anniversary.

With some of the highest stakes competitions of the entire cake world (the winner of this year’s Grand National Wedding Cake Competition will take home a whopping prize of $30,000!), the event draws cake artists from all over the United States and even further afield.

Last year’s winners

Hosted by legendary cake artist, Kerry Vincent, this year’s anniversary special promises to be a fantastic celebration and I feel most aggrieved that I am missing it!

Guests are invited to stroll through hundreds of spectacular award-winning cakes in the bustling, fun-filled atmosphere and, with stunning table settings and sublime designs, you are assured of a visual feast. The Oklahoma State Sugar Art Show sets the standard like no other.

Posts and tweets are already starting to trickle on to social media from this year’s event and the lovely Avalon Yarnes of Avalon Cakes School of Sugar Art has kindly allowed me to share some of her highlights of the day with you all.

It seems the standard at this year’s show is as high as ever and I can’t wait to see who takes home 2018’s grand prize! Good luck to all who have entered!


The hottest ticket in town!

Readers, I am excited because I am heading off to The Thame Food Festival today!

Originally introduced to the town of Thame in 2008 to promote and celebrate the wealth of wonderful food producers, food retailers, chefs, food and drink experts, restaurants and cafes in the local area, the festival is an ideal opportunity to discover and explore all of these and more.

This year’s event returns to the Thame Showground, in Thame, Oxfordshire and, sponsoring the Demonstration Stage this year, Magimix have been demonstrating their range of stylish and functional high-quality ‘kitchen helpers’ over the two days. They suggest that visitors should keep an eye out for competitions throughout the festival, with opportunities to win fantastic prizes from across the Magimix range.

During my visit today, I plan to set up camp at the Magimix Demonstration Stage, where I will be checking out the demonstrations from the huge team of star bakers, including GBBO favourites, Candice Brown, Steven Carter-Bailey, Jane Beedle, Howard Middleton and Miranda Gore Browne and hopefully taking lots of glorious GBBO-themed selfies and finding out what our favourite bakers have been up to since they left the hallowed tent.

Celebrity baker and food writer, Suzy Pelta is our host on the Magimix Demonstration Stage today and I am looking forward to a top day out!

If you’d like to join us for the final day of this year’s Thame Food Festival, head to their website to find out more.


The Collaboration Station

As I have already mentioned above, this week saw the reveal of the first ever Mr Baker’s Blog collaboration.

My godson Jacob is a huge fan of cake – particularly eating it – and as his fifth birthday started to loom, he took it upon himself to design his own special cake creation inspired by the vivid colours, dynamic action and stirring soundtrack of his favourite film, The Greatest Showman.

I knew that I would not be able to pull off such a huge project single-handedly and so, I decided to reach out to some of my best friends in the world of cake and see if they would be prepared to give me a hand.

Quite honestly, I was blown away by the support I received – this project would not have been possible without the whole incredible team – and my friends Michael and Hayley over at Fabricake Sugarcraft Ltd, who kindly agreed to sponsor the project, donating many of the materials used by the artists involved. I am truly grateful for the hard work and time that everyone donated to the project, entirely free of charge.

The impressive display features contributions from Angie Harris of Angie Scott Cakes, Claire Anderson of Clairella Cakes, Rob Baker-Gall of Mr Baker’s Cakes (that’s me!), Trudy Smith of The Chain Lane Cake Co., Emma Stewart of Truly Scrumptious Cakes by Design, Hayley O’Beirnes of Gadget Cakes, Vicky Teather of Yellow Bee Cake Co., Zoe Hopkinson of Zoe’s Fancy Cakes, Kelly Alger of Caked Away, Laura Dodimead of Life in Sugar, Julie Rogerson of Julie’s Cake in a Box, Jacqui Kelly of Totally Sugar, Kelly McWilliam of Kelly McWilliam – Cake Artist, Becky Jenkins of Becky Jenkins Sugar Artist, Zoe Burmester of Sugar Street Studios, Etty van Urk of Cake Dutchessand Sarah Bray of Daisy Cakes, and, as I mentioned above, it was generously sponsored by Fabricake Sugarcraft Ltd, in Southend-on-Sea.

Obviously, as always, these are just a fraction of the full collection, so to see the rest of the pieces in all of their glory and check out our reveal video, make sure you head to the dedicated collaboration page over on Facebook – The Greatest Showpiece.

I’d also like to say a quick thank you to all who helped on the day to make the whole party a roaring success, including my other half, who ferried the rest of the collection that wouldn’t fit in my car; my mummy, Mrs Baker herself; talented face painter and my gorgeous friend, Carla Cass (pictured above with Jacob); and, of course, all of Jacob’s wonderful family and friends!


Meanwhile on Twitter…

I’m cheating a bit, as I’m also pimping it out on Facebook and Instagram too, but have you entered Renshaw’s Battle of the Bakes yet?

Throughout this year’s The Great British Bake Off, Renshaw are hosting the ‘Battle of the Bakes’ – a competition that will run throughout the whole 10 weeks of GBBO! And I am delighted to be assisting them as Guest Judge!

The Renshaw team and I want to see your BEST bakes, whether they are an elaborate eclair extravaganza or a sparkling sponge spectacle – and not only that, we want to know how to make it!

To enter, you need to upload your own recipe or cake decorating tutorial for all or part of your design, including the all-important photos of the finished decorated bake that you have made – we’re looking for steps on how to decorate at least one element of your cake, cupcakes, biscuits, etc.

I will be choosing one lucky winner and 2 runners-up from my favourite uploaded tutorials to take home some wonderful prizes, including:

The winner’s prize – Two tickets to Cake International (on the day of your choice) between 2-4 November, a night’s stay for two in Birmingham during Cake International, two tickets to Cadbury World in Birmingham, and a Renshaw Baking hamper.

The runner-up prizes – two runners-up will each receive a Renshaw Baking product hamper plus a £50 Hobbycraft voucher.

And in an extra chance to win some goodies, any additional people that submit a recipe or cake decorating tutorial that gets published on the Renshaw website will also receive a Renshaw Baking hamper.

Battle of the Bakes will run until Monday 29th October, and Renshaw will be publishing some of the new recipes and tutorials throughout the competition to the Recipes section of their website.

You can upload your recipe or tutorial here.

Good luck to all who enter – I can’t wait to check out your amazing creations!


Cake of the Week!

When this cake popped up in my timeline this week, I was intrigued! Who is this baker? How have I never stumbled across them before?

I immediately got in touch with Della Watson Cowan of SWEET to find out more – without letting on that she was this week’s Cake of the Week winner, of course!

Her fabulous elephant cake was ordered for the fiftieth wedding anniversary of Richard and Jeanne by their daughter with the brief, “Gold and black, and my mum likes elephants.”

Understandably she was over the moon with the result – it’s easy to see why!

Congratulations to Della on a fabulous creation and a truly wonderful Cake of the Week.


Honourable mention…

It was fabulous to see so many of our favourite cake artists being celebrated by the Go Hen Blog’s annual round up of The UK’s Top 50 Wedding Cake Designers 2018 last week…

As they explained in their introduction, September is Go Hen’s favourite time of the year (not only due to the return of The Great British Bake Off) but because it’s their turn to get judging as they present their list of the most incredible cake artists in the UK.

They continue, ‘from mega-tiered objet ‘d’art, to the most fabulously crafted cupcakes, these are the wedding industries finest cake designers and icing artists.’

Obviously, I can’t list them ALL here and it wouldn’t be fair to only pick a few, so instead be sure to have a look at the original article to see if you were one of the final fifty that were honoured and congratulations to everyone that made the cut!


Another honourable mention…

Congratulations to my buddy Sarah Bray of Daisy Cakes on the coverage of her To Have and To Hold collection in this month’s Cake Masters Magazine. You might recall that I originally teased Sarah’s incredible collection back in June, after she informed me that I had inspired the project.

Sarah had explained that, at the start of the year, she created a ‘wannado’ list – a list of projects that she wanted to do to challenge herself beyond her everyday orders. Creating a collection of miniature wedding cakes was just one of the challenges on her list, but after seeing the cake I created for the wedding of my brother Martin to his wife Sarah, she decided it could be fun to recreate some of the most recognisable cakes by her favourite designers.

She chose her favourite contemporary cake trends, reached out to the artists and the idea evolved from there.

Entitled ‘To Have and To Hold’, the finished collection included work from Ben Fullard of Ben the Cake Man; Laura Loukaides of Laura Loukaides Cakes; Emma Stewart of Truly Scrumptious Cakes by Design; Vicky Teather of Yellow Bee Cake Co.; Dominique Pickering of Poppy Pickering; Tracey Rothwell of Little Cherry Cake Company; Shannon Bond of Shannon Bond Cake Design; Rachel Teufel of Intricate Icings Cake Design, Jen Rojas of Cupcakes and Counting; annnnnd little old… me!

I was so incredibly honoured to not only have inspired such an amazing project, but also to have been included in such an incredibly talented line up – I can’t believe how much detail Sarah was able to replicate from my original cake in miniature.

Posing with my miniature replica – unfortunately the intricate topper didn’t survive the journey *sad face*

The entire collection took Sarah around three weeks from start to finish and I know that it wasn’t easy! Some of the pieces were already incredibly intricate, but once reduced the size of a cupcake topper, those intricate details become insanely fiddly! I’m so thrilled that the collection has received the attention it deserves.

To see more of the To Have and To Hold collection and to hear more from Sarah, grab a copy of Cake Masters Magazine’s October Issue.


And yet another honourable mention…

I feel like I haven’t seen the work of Eddie Lebeau & Richard Amon AKA the Tattooed Bakers in my timeline for an absolute age – darn you Facebook and your fickle fickle algorithms! I’m glad that their latest incredible creation managed to find its way to me though, because, as ever, it is insanely awesome!

This week’s life-size leopard cake measured a full two metres from nose to tail and it was created for The Jungle Party at private members club Annabel’s in Mayfair, London.

In their post over on Instagram, the guys explained that they are still seeing spots, so make sure you head over there and give them some love! And while you’re there, be sure to check out the rest of their incredible portfolio – their work is seriously game-changing…


And finally…

I don’t want to get all grumpy on you, but your contributions have been a bit lacking recently guys! Please do make sure you are getting in touch 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 even 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!