Something Sweet – Issue 39

First let me begin by wishing a very Happy Thanksgiving to all my US readers! I hope you all had a wonderful celebration with your nearest and dearest.

 

I’ve had a fairly busy week this week, so apologies that this week’s issue is a little bit later than usual.

You may recall that in issue 38 I asked for your feedback on how I can develop and grow Mr Baker’s Blog and Something Sweet as we look ahead to 2019. I have big plans for both during the next twelve months, so please do keep your suggestions and ideas coming.

One thing that came up a few times during your feedback was that you would like to see more new artists – or new to you at least – I agree that I can tend to rely on a select few to keep us in content, but, in my defence, they tend to be the guys who are best at keeping me up to date on what they are doing! So, make sure you are sending me your news as and when it happens, so I can ensure that I keep up to date with as many of you as possible. The easiest ways to keep in touch are by commenting below, messaging my Facebook page, posting in the dedicated Mr Baker’s Blog from Mr Baker’s Cakes Facebook group or by emailing me directly.

In a direct response to the requests to see more artists featured, this week I have added a new feature, inspired by an Instagram trend from earlier this year: Meet the Maker. It’s a rapid fire interview that puts one of my subscribers on the spot so that we can get to know them a little better. Scroll on down to check out our first maker!

If you would like to be included in the next Meet the Maker, make sure you get in touch!

 

What’s new on the blog this week?

This week, I shared my ‘report’ from the first ever CAKE LIVE Demonstration Day hosted by FMM Sugarcraft and Cake Decoration & Sugarcraft Magazine.

The event, which took place at the stunning Chateau Impney Hotel & Exhibition Centre, near Droitwich Spa, promised us a masterclass in cake decorating, from caking legends Cassie Brown and Carol Haycox.

I think everyone who attended the day left feeling like they had learnt something new and, between Carol and Cassie’s banter and the special exclusive offers available on the day, we definitely had all had a fantastic time!

Head to the full post to find out a bit more about the event and to discover how you can get your hands on one of two CAKE LIVE Demonstration Day goodie bags!

 

If you haven’t subscribed yet, make sure you do before you leave today. I have lots of exciting content coming up, including starting to work my way through the shelves of exciting products that I have either been sent or have picked up myself, over the last few months.

Next, I’m looking forward to putting two pretty similar products to the test, to find out once and for all, which one is the best! Stay tuned for that!

 

Have you heard…?

I have been following the development of Kate Parson’s plans to open her new luxury cake academy in Westbury with great interest.

At its stunning home at 9-10 Westbury Mall, Edward Street, which is part of the historic Angel Mill building, the academy will provide cake decorating courses for everyone from beginners to the advanced – adults and children – covering a inexhaustive variety of techniques.

Kate is hoping that The Sugar Lair will become an elite teaching and learning hub for cake artists from all over the world and I know that she has already lined up some incredible talents to come and teach after her official launch early next year.

Already confirmed are the amazing Kwun from Butter & Blossoms who will be coming to the UK for the very first time in May 2019, the incredible Javier Azocar of Luma’s Cake who will be heading over in March, Ana Mourinho Remigio of CUPCAKES & DREAMS in April, Mariya’s Cakes & Art in February, Phil Jensen of Peboryon (dates to be confirmed) and the one and only Serdar Yener of Yeners Way who will be visiting in April!

I know that Kate is planning some exclusive classes with even more legendary artists and they are already proving popular. Following her announcement of Javier’s classes, she received 40 in one evening from people from all over the world – including a woman from Guatemala who plans to fly all the way to the UK just to take part in the workshop!

Kate explained, ‘The response from the cake community has been absolutely amazing and they are hugely excited. This year has been a whirlwind – absolutely life-changing

To register your interest in workshops at The Sugar Lair, you can contact Kate via email, head to her page on Facebook or why not join the official The Sugar Lair – Community Facebook group, which you can find here.

 

This week I am mostly loving…

This week has been all about the Black Friday deals on all of our favourite cake equipment. I came very close to ordering my much-coveted Innovative Sugarworks turntable, taking advantage of their Black Friday 20% the whole site deal, but shipping was just too prohibitive… Darn it!

But I’m intrigued to know…. What is the best Black Friday deal that you’ve found? Or maybe you’re offering one yourself?

Please do share them with us all, so we can all take advantage! Pop them in the comments below, or why not share the link in the comments on this week’s Facebook post?

 

The hottest ticket in town!

Speaking of amazing classes, have you seen the amazing line up of classes on offer during the Northern Ireland Sugar Expo (NISE) weekend in March?

The team have been sharing some of them in an avalanche of posts over the last week or so and I must admit, I am getting excited!

I don’t know whether to be gutted that I’ll be busy working the whole weekend, or relieved that I won’t be able to bankrupt myself by trying to take all of them!!

With classes from the likes of Kara Andretti, Sachiko Windbiel, Aaron McInnis, Claire Anderson, Benny Rivera, Michelle Boyd and Anjali Tambde – as well as a photography workshop from Catriona Corrigan of Divine Photography – running concurrently, it’s going to be tricky to decide which ones to sneak into, let alone if I had to decide which ones to purchase.

If you’re stuck for the perfect Christmas present for the cake artist in your life (or, you know, yourself), then be sure to head over and check them out!

Oh, and if you’re a business owner who plans to make 2019 the year that you finally manage to establish a work-life balance, then I have to recommend The Business of Caking workshops from Aaron McInnis of Man versus Cake and Kara Andretta of Kara’s Couture Cakes. During the two sessions, Aaron and Kara promise to teach you how to work less, earn more and design your dream cake lifestyle. You can’t ask for more than that! Find out more here.

 

I wanna make that!

I know, I know! I have just talked about adding new faces to the Something Sweet line up, but this cake is too adorable not to share and, with Ralph Breaks the Internet currently in cinemas, it surely won’t be long until those Vanellope von Schweetz orders start rolling in.

Luckily Zoe Hopkinson of Zoe’s Fancy Cakes has us covered with this delightful tutorial over on her YouTube channel.

As always, Zoe has broken down every stage of the process into really simple steps, meaning that we should all be able to achieve a truly stunning cake.

You can find Zoe’s Vanellope von Schweetz video tutorial here and, while you’re there, make sure you also check out Koalipops’ Ralph tutorial too – JK and Zoe collab-ed on these guys and they make a great pair! I’m thinking… Wreck It Ralph dessert table?

 

Meet the maker…

Welcome to the first instalment of my newest feature where we meet some of the faces behind the amazing cakes that brighten up our newsfeeds every day…

What is your name?

Nicola Tomkinson

How long have you been making cakes?

Nine years.

Hobbyist or professional?

Professional.

What was your first cake?

A parcel cake with a very sad looking bow.

What is your favourite of all the cakes you have made?

Oh gosh, I can never decide this. Errr… today at least, it’s my semi-naked wedding cake with a gorgeous floral cascade.

Who is your cake hero?

Faye Cahill for wedding cakes and Ben Cullen for sculpted cakes.

Where can we see more of your work?

I have two cake pages – Sweet Creation Ltd for my celebration cakes and Weddings by Nicola for my wedding cakes.

Thanks, Nicola!

 

Spotlight on the boys…

This week, a cake by the Ukranian cake artist, Dmytrii Puga of Dmytrii Puga Cake Design popped up in my news feed and I was blown away!

A quick nose at his Facebook page and Instagram feed revealed that Dmytrii regularly creates fantastically original designs and he is definitely one to watch!

I love love love this fantastic geometric stag design and this gravity defying teddy bear cake is incredible!

To see more of Dmytrii’s fabulous work, you can find his Facebook page here and why not give him a follow on Instagram too?

 

 

Cake of the Week!

I had already chosen this week’s Cake of the Week, when the same artist put up another cake that I loved even more.

Shereen Van Ballegooyen of Shereen’s Cakes & Bakes can always be relied upon to create a stunning character-filled cake and her Muppets cake this week was no exception!

She has managed to capture each of the instantly-recognisable characters perfectly and I bet the luck birthday ‘boy’ or ‘girl’ was delighted with their special 40th birthday cake!

To see more of Shereen’s fabulous work, head to her Facebook page here.

 

And while you’re there, why not pick up some of Shereen’s fabulous smoothers? They are one of my most essential cake tools and I couldn’t be without them. You can find them here.

 

WOW CAKES #1!

Have you seen this unbelievable Rita Ora cake to celebrate the launch of her new album ‘Phoenix’ and presented to her at the launch party?

Created by my buddy Benjamin – AKA Ben Cullen, The BakeKing – from chocolate cake, covered with chocolate ganache and Choctastique modelling chocolate, the design was inspired by the cover of Rita’s latest single, ‘Girls’.

Congratulations, Benny Boy on another amazing commission, which you absolutely nailed! I can’t wait to see what’s next for you!

 

 

Honourable mention…

Before we go, I wanted to say a very quick congratulations to Corinna Maguire and the entire The Celtic Cakers Tutorial Book team for scooping Ireland’s Pastry Award in Gourmand Awards – a major food culture event celebrating the best books in the world.

It is a massive achievement and the team should be incredibly proud of themselves.

If you haven’t yet picked up your copy, you can find it on Amazon here.

Now Corinna, when can we expect the sequel?

 

And finally…

If you missed last week’s issue, then you might have missed the fact that Mr Baker’s Blog has been shortlisted for the UK Blog Awards!

I think they struggled to know where to place me – but they evidently decided that the ‘Best Culinary Blog’ category was the best fit.

If I am to proceed to the finalist stage, it is now down to your votes. So, pardon the cringe-factor for a moment, but if you enjoy reading Mr Baker’s Blog and feel like you would like to give me your vote, then you can find the voting form at this link.

Handy hint: I am on the second page of the culinary blogs.

While you’re there, you can also vote for your favourite blogs in all of the other categories if you wish, but don’t feel you have to.

Thank you and thanks for your ongoing support!

 

Oh, and before you go, don’t forget to get your contributions in for next week’s Something Sweet and 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 too.

As always, you can reach me via the usual channels: comment below, message my Facebook page, post in the dedicated Mr Baker’s Blog from Mr Baker’s Cakes Facebook group or email me directly.