Hey hey #cakechums and welcome to another issue of Something Sweet – you’re weekly slice of all of the latest goings on in the world of cake!
This week sees a new feature added to the line-up in the form of WOW CAKES!
You all know what I mean – the cakes that pop up in our news feed and just make us stop in our tracks and say WOW!
While a couple of these have made it into the Cake of the Week spot over the last few months, I like that our Cake of the Week is usually one that has been made for an order by one of the many hard-working cakers out there, plugging away, producing cake after cake with very little fanfare.
However, I wanted some way to continue to feature some of the incredible cakes being made by the real powerhouses of cake – hence WOW CAKES. Check out this week’s featured WOW CAKES by Angie Scott Cakes, Rosie Cake-Diva and Peboryon below…
*Whispers* There is also the first appearance of another new feature – Cakes in the Mainstream – which I have had in my back pocket for a while. This is intended to be a chance to highlight those occasions when our crazy little world gets a bit of attention by the non-cake muggles. Read on to see the first instalment.
What’s new on the blog this week?
When I first drafted this issue, I had a whole list of posts that were due to be published this week – including my amazing day hanging out with some of my favourite GBBO bakers at the Thame Food Festival and an update on just WHAT is going on with my #bakealongwithGBBO – but then life got in the way. I did make a cake though!
I’ve also been working hard on a couple of Halloween tutorials for both my site and some others AND squeezed in a jaunt to The Cake and Bake Show at London’s Excel.
Don’t panic though, my drafts WILL be finished later this week (along with a little bit about my weekend in the big smoke), so you WILL get to catch up on all the news from Mr Baker’s Blog HQ – I promise!
It looks like I’m not the only one who is having a busy few weeks at the moment, so enough about me – let’s see what you have all been up to.
Have you heard…?
As promised, there has been some more news from the Cake Masters Magazine Awards team this week, including the announcement of the contenders for this year’s Rising Star Award!
This category is going to be a toughie for me this year – yet again! Last year, two of the finalists were really good friends of mine (and were even sat on my table at the awards), but this year ALL FOUR finalists are my friends! Obviously, this means that I will be delighted with the result, regardless of the outcome, but I really do wish that they could all take the gong home! Instead, I will just have to wait and see what happens, bit would like to wish Kay, Corinna, Zoe and Samie the very best of luck!
The other big announcement was the fact that the top twenty nominations for the Best Product Award had been shortlisted, with the editor of Cake Masters Magazine, Rosie Mazumder sharing examples of these in a Facebook Live on Tuesday.
She explained that the awards team have shortlisted twenty amazing products to be reviewed and tested by a panel of top UK cake decorators. The products with the highest scores from the panel of testers will go on to become the finalists.
I’m thrilled to see that many of my favourite products have been included in the final twenty and I can’t wait to see which ones get chosen as finalists.
To see the full list of shortlisted products, you can find Rosie’s Facebook Live video right here.
Cakes in the Mainstream:
Contestants in channel 4’s newest reality TV show, The Circle turned their attention to the word of Sugar Art as part of their challenges this week – crafting their own takes on the popular unicorn trend – with mixed results.
Given only 30 minutes to whip up their confections, there were some VERY mixed results. However, I always think it’s nice for people to see how tricky these ‘simple’ cakes can really be.
This week I am mostly loving…
This week, I am almost too excited about Etty van Urk of Cake Dutchess’ upcoming book!
Earlier this week, she revealed that her collection of twelve easy and time efficient cake projects will be coming off the printing press soon and I know that you are all going to love it!
I honestly can’t wait to get my hands on a copy!
If you would like to pre-order a copy of the Cake Dutchess Modelling Guide – Animals, you can visit Etty’s website here.
Cake Show Showcase:
Last weekend, I explained that the “Super Bowl” of cake shows, the Oklahoma State Sugar Art show was returning to its home in Tulsa, where the event was celebrating its 25th anniversary.
Thanks to the lovely Avalon Yarnes of Avalon Cakes School of Sugar Art, I was able to share some of the highlights of this year’s competition classes with you all. Of course, we now know who the big winners of the weekend were (in my case, thanks to Avalon again and her Facebook Live).
Taking home the Grand Prize was the super-talented Susan Trianos of LEARN to CAKE with Susan Trianos with this absolutely stunning creation while last year’s grand prize winner, Bryson Perkins coming in second. In fact, many of my favourite cakes scored highly and it was fab to be able to cheer on their creators via Avalon’s live broadcast.
However, this year’s event was also a little bittersweet as show founder, Kerry Vincent announced that, after 25 amazing years, this would be the final Oklahoma State Sugar Art Show.
In her Facebook announcement, Kerry explained that, ‘The curtain has come down on the most amazing sugar art show on earth; huge monetary prizes totalling $106,000 in cash and more than $375,000 in products. The largest prize money packages ever paid out in the world of sugar. I always knew I would go out on a ‘high’ and what better way than the Silver Anniversary. Now you must wing your way to new nests. There will never be another magical event like the Oklahoma State Sugar Art Show! I take my final curtsy and wish you all well.’
While sad that I never managed to make it along to this giant of the sugar show world, I have truly enjoyed following it online during my years in cake and would like to offer the hugest of congratulations to all of the fantastic winners and ‘placers’ over the last 25 years of #OSSAS.
The hottest ticket in town!
You may recall that a couple of months ago, I announced that legendary sugar artist, Karen Portaleo would be taking to the road on her first ever UK tour: The Portaleo UK Road Tour 2018.
Well, it seems that for reasons unknown (to me at least), the full tour had to be shelved, but worry not, because you do still have one opportunity to learn from Karen at her one remaining UK date: Tuesday 6th and Wednesday 7th November 2018 at The Cake Art Studio in Atherstone.
During the two day Sculpting the Face: Young and Old class, you will learn: the proper proportions of the human face; keeping a face feminine vs. masculine; sculpting a youthful female face; sculpting with modelling chocolate; sculpting age – understanding and properly creating the effects of time and gravity – and sculpting realistic wrinkles; painting on chocolate; and painting realistic skin tones.
As I understand it, there are only two tickets remaining for this very exciting class, so if you would like to snatch one of them up, head to the Sweet Media Solutions website without delay! You can find it here.
I wanna make that!
It’s one of my favourite cakey times of the year as everyone starts releasing their Halloween tutorials (I’m hard at work on my own right now) and I plan to share as many as I can in next week’s I wanna make that – Halloween special!
If you would like your Halloween Cake tutorial to be included, be sure to send it my way through the usual channels (head to the end of this week’s issue to find all the links you need to get in touch).
If you would like to have a go at my spooky Halloween cauldron cake, you can find it here and, as always, if you have a go at it, don’t forget to let me know!
The Collaboration Station
There were a whole host of beautiful collaborations published this week and I wish that I could include them all. Sadly, due to time constraints, it wasn’t possible, but be sure to head to Facebook and check out Sweet Dreams by Heba’s, The 1 Collaboration – a celebration of those often overlooked stalwarts of cake – the single tiered cake; and Project Unicorn – Sugar Gallery’s Kokeshi – where the wonder of Japan has been brought to life through the creation of Kokeshi, traditional Japanese dolls, originally from northeastern region (Tōhoku-chihō) of Japan.
Another collaboration published this week was the Sweet Angels Collaboration, wherein 24 artists from all over the world created their sugar interpretations of the guardian angels that many believe watch over us all.
The collaboration, which was hosted by Adriana Rivera of Aroma de Azúcar, featured some stunning creations and I have included a selection of these here.
As always, be sure to head to the dedicated collaboration Facebook page, Sweet Angels Collab, to see the wonderful collection in its entirety.
A further collection that caught my eye this week was We Will Rock You – A Sugar Collaboration.
Hosted by Francesca Marangoni of LameladiAurora, the collaboration is a tribute to ‘all those songs we sang until we ran out of voice and all those times we were looking at the void and a song kept us safe.’
Although small – the collaboration features only eleven pieces – I felt that the collection needed to be included because I believe that music unites us more than anything else. And this touching tribute to that is truly special.
Check out the rest of the collaboration via its Facebook page: We Will Rock You – A Sugar Collaboration.
I was also blown away by the Inked Sugar Art collection that was created in collaboration with Inked Magazine.
As part of the collaboration, a group of talented sugar artists located worldwide were inspired by incredible tattoo artists and their work to create body art out of edible mediums.
Almost a year in the making, the Inked Sugar Art project was the brainchild of Mayra Prado Estrada and Cassandra Rice, her co-admin, and the former editor of Inked magazine Rocky Rakovic. When Mayra assembled some of our favourite cake artists from around the world and set them the challenge: “Create a tattoo inspired cake!”
The results more than speak for themselves, but be sure to head to their dedicated page to see the full collection (pictured alongside their real tattoo-inspirations), or why not check out the digital edition of the magazine – you can find it here.
Meanwhile on Twitter…
I know I’m always trying to big Twitter up to you guys, but I really do love it.
I know that when you first sign up, it can feel like you are just shouting into an empty room, but if you persevere with it, get involved in hashtag events and start interacting with people to build up a following, it really can become a fantastic resource for both business and pleasure.
I thought I would share another way that Twitter can enhance your experience of Planet Cake, which is by allowing you to attend an event virtually, if you can’t make it along in person. Often big cake events will have an official hashtag, which you can follow throughout the event to see exactly what you are missing. People will often be sharing their experiences tagged with it – and it’s almost (only almost, mind) as good as being there.
Why not try it out today? Head to the hashtag #CAKEBAKE18 to follow the final day of this weekend’s The Cake and Bake Show at the London Excel and catch all of the highlights of the show from the comfort of your own sofa!
Cake of the Week!
How gorgeous is this stunning wedding cake by Sarah Garland of The Crafty Kitchen?
Delivered to Fonmon Castle yesterday, this stunning combination of ruffles, glitter and florals was Sarah’s last wedding cake of the summer season.
Adorned with hand-made sugar roses, freesias and lavender, the cake was a combination of chocolate sponge with Valencia Orange buttercream, zesty lemon sponge and, at the groom’s request, a tier of Coconut sponge with Raspberry Conserve.
I absolutely love it and I bet the happy couple were thrilled!
Congratulations Sarah on a stunning creation and a wonderful Cake of the Week!
WOW CAKES #1!
I’m a bit fan of Angie Harris of Angie Scott Cakes and I particularly love how she is constantly pushing the boundaries of sugar with her larger than life creations – regularly incorporating movement, pouring liquids (check out her pouring prosecco cake and the sloe gin cake to see what I mean) and, with the support of her husband’s amazing company Motion Mapping and his expertise, projected animations.
Her latest cake, created this week for the AV Magazine AV Awards 20th Birthday, was also her largest creation to date and it was inspired by the event’s steampunk theme and central character Gizmo.
Displayed at the event at Grosvenor House, Angie’s elaborate confection, towered over the proceedings with each tier at 12″ deep, starting with a 42″ square at the base. I didn’t even know cakes could BE that big!
Angie also painstakingly created an incredible detailed edible version of Gizmo that was so realistic, the crowds couldn’t believe it was actually a cake!
Husband, Stu brought his motion mapping expertise to the cake to create an animated 3D Gizmo who amazed the party goers with his hip hop dancing across the front of the cake. This one really has to be seen to be believed, so check it out in Angie’s video below:
WOW CAKES #2!
This week also saw Cornwall-based husband and wife team, Peboryon release some shots of possibly my favourite cake of ALL TIME when they posted their truly F.A.B. fully working Thunderbird 2 cake!
I loved Thunderbirds growing up and remember running around the playground at infants school with my friends pretending to be the Tracy brothers in their various aircraft – and I was always Thunderbird 2!
Phil and Christine’s most complex structural cake of the year definitely put them through their paces, but as they explained in their post on Monday, seeing 100 servings of delicious lemon and elderflower cake effortlessly lift off the table, definitely made it all totally worth it.
If you would like to see Peboryon’s incredible creation in action, head to All4 to catch Monday’s episode of Extreme Cake Makers on catch up.
WOW CAKES #3!
Before we go, I obviously couldn’t NOT include this masterpiece after spending my weekend with it at the Cake & Bake show. Another one of our favourite Extreme Cake Makers, Rosie Cake-Diva once again created an incredible installation piece to welcome visitors to the show and her towering creation not only captures all of the wonderful details of the famous Elizabeth Tower, it also includes four working clock faces AND plays the famous Big Ben chimes and bongs every hour!
Crafted from tasty chocolate cake and luxurious chocolate ganache, the cake really was a sight to behold and many of the attendees to the show struggled to comprehend that it was in fact a cake!
If you would like to see Rosie’s cake in action for yourself, there is still time! The final day of The Cake and Bake Show is just getting started, so jump in the car and get yourself to the London Excel!
I am always on the look out for your contributions for Something Sweet, but you may not realise that I also welcome guest posts on the blog too, with previous examples including Helen Wilkinson’s guest blog from the International Cake Show Australia, Cupcake Artist of the year finalist Sarah Bray’s adorable Summer Picnic Cupcake Tutorial and Vicki du Plessis’ coverage of The Brain Tumour Charity’s first ever Big Bandana Bake. If you would like me to publish a tutorial, recipe or a guest blog about an event, experience or even just a topic you are passionate about, make sure you get in touch…
I’d also like to hear 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!