Hey hey hey, cake chums and welcome to another slice of Something Sweet – your weekly slice of all the latest news from the world of cake.
After a relatively quiet issue last week, it seems that this week we have all been rather busy again – so without much further ado, let’s get to it!
What’s new on Mr Baker’s Blog this week?
It’s definitely been a busy week here at Mr Baker’s Blog, starting with a fabulous new guest tutorial from the über-talented Laura Dodimead of Life in Sugar. You can find out more about that in this week’s ‘This week I am mostly loving…’ below.
Laura’s tutorial was also supposed to be followed up with a bit of a catch up with the woman I describe as one of the busiest ladies in cake, but annoyingly something went wrong with the scheduling there, so look out for that later this week instead.
I also posted later in the week to tell you all about an exciting opportunity that Magic Colours are offering the readers of Mr Baker’s Blog. Following my exclusive preview of their brand new range entirely edible glitters last month, the owner of Magic Colours, Lihi Rosenberg would like you guys to come up with a unique and original name for the range. Not only will the winner have their suggestion printed on millions of pots of glitter that will be shipped all over the world (imagine the bragging rights!), they will also receive an exclusive collection of Magic Colours goodies to allow them to add some real colour, sparkle and shine to their own cake projects!
We have already had some fantastic suggestions, so a massive thank you to everyone who has already entered. Head to the original post here to find out more and to get your own entry submitted.
Finally, towards the end of the week, I uploaded my latest recipe – a delicious alternative to a classic fruit cake that still manages to capture all of the traditional flavours of Christmas. My Spiced Orange Cake is also perfect for both stacking and carving, which means we are no longer restricted to just chocolate when trying to create a sculpted Christmas centrepiece. Check it out via the recipes tab above.
I used my Spiced Orange Cake to create my latest Renshaw tutorial – the Festive Llama Cake, which was also released this week (told you it was a busy one) and you can find that here. Be sure to swing by and check it out – it also includes a fabulous technique to allow you to create a super-realistic life-size pom pom.
Have you heard…?
If you heard my appearance in Kimberly Chapman’s Eat the Evidence podcast at the end of November, during which we were discussing counterfeit cake products, you may have heard me discussing my distaste for those shady organisations that stand on the shoulders of the passionate cakers within our industry who pour their time, effort, energy and savings into creating unique time-saving products to create low quality knock offs. During my chat with Kimberly, I alluded to the fact that I was sure it was only a matter of time before somebody tried to rip off the wonderfully original dragéekíss, invented by Angelique Meyer and brought to life by Gwen Powell.
Sadly, this week, it emerged that a Chinese company is in the process of trying to bring a knock off pearl applicator to the market, so this seems like the perfect time to reshare Kimberly’s podcast: Knockoff Products and How They Harm the Sugar Arts Industry.
They really do harm the industry, so please do stop and think before you buy that cheaper alternative to an original cake product. There is usually a reason why it is cheaper, whether it is poor-quality (possibly even non-food safe) materials from unsustainable sources or a poor manufacturing process. Remember, if you’re ever unsure as to whether the product you are looking at online is the genuine article, you can always reach out to the manufacturer directly to check if the retailer is a genuine stockist.
EDIT: As I was going to press, I learned that this week also saw Hobbycraft start selling a range of cutters and moulds that are strikingly similar to those created by Louisa Russell of Blossom Sugar Art – so strikingly similar in fact that they are identical.
Louisa explained that she was approached by a Hobbycraft buyer about her mould and cutter sets back in 2017. It seemed that they loved the simplicity of her designs, having seen them at a cake show. They ultimately chose not to stock her products, but are now selling these designs – I’ll let the images speak for themselves.
Louisa has approached Hobbycraft to discuss this apparent plagiarism, but they have come back to her stating she needs to prove the designs are her own. The designs that she has been demonstrating at cake shows and online via multiple channels since 2010. Utterly ridiculous!
If you would like to buy some genuine innovations in sugarcraft, both the dragéekíss and Blossom Sugar Art’s cutters and moulds are available at most major UK sugarcraft retailers, including my favourite, Fabricake.
Have you also heard…?
It seems that some of the production companies behind popular characters like Peppa Pig and Paddington Bear are on the war path, gunning for cakers that have been selling cakes using their intellectual property – i.e. children’s character cakes.
I have heard of pages being suspended from Facebook and, in some cases, even being removed entirely.
Unfortunately, I don’t have much more to tell you so far, but if you have experienced any of the above consequences and would be happy to share your experience with my readers, please do get in touch.
I don’t want to contribute to a panic, but equally, if companies are starting to crack down on copyright, then it is important that we are all aware.
If I learn anymore, then I’ll be sure to let you all know.
Cake Show Showcase:
This week saw Cake International’s Head Judge Karen Keaney of Roses and Bows Cakery by Karen Keaney go live on Facebook to answer people’s questions about the competition schedule ahead of April’s Cake International on Tour show in London.
She started by reminding us of the startling news that the early bird entry window closes in just seven weeks (how has that come around so fast?!).
Karen then went through the schedule, explaining some of the changes that have been made since November’s show, as well as highlighting that it now includes a Tips section, to supplement the main competition Rules – which includes a reminder that your work will be viewed from all angles, including below, something that catches people out every year!
It was really useful to have the rules explained with examples, so if you didn’t catch Karen’s Live, it is well worth thirty minutes of your time to check it out. You can find it here.
Oh, and an important date to remember is the 15th March 2019 – this will be the final deadline for any questions about this show’s schedule, so don’t leave them until the last minute.
Thanks for the super detailed information, Karen!
This week I am mostly loving…
As I mentioned above, this week I published a fabulous new guest tutorial from Laura Dodimead of Life in Sugar, created exclusively for Mr Baker’s Blog.
With the release of this year’s The Grinch, based on the 1957 book ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas!‘ by Dr Seuss and with Christmas fast approaching, 2018 seems like the perfect year to add some Grinchy fun to your festive bakes.
Luckily, Laura’s tutorial will enable you to create your very own 9” Grinch cake topper from modelling chocolate using just a kitchen knife and a paintbrush!
I often describe Laura as one of the busiest ladies in cake, because, when she isn’t creating her edible masterpieces, she splits her time between a part-time job as a retail manager at the gorgeous Hatchlands Park, a tattoo apprenticeship at Needlework Tattoo in Lightwater (which I have experienced firsthand – read all about that here), teaching classes at her stunning studio in Badshot Lea (yeah, I’ve been there too – read about it here), writing her monthly column for Cake Decoration and Sugarcraft Magazine – essential reading for any caker worth their salt – and raising her two beautiful daughters.
If you fancy having a go at Laura’s fabulous Grinch, you can find the full tutorial here.
Oh, and if you fancy creating a tutorial for Mr Baker’s Blog – whether because you are just feeling generous, because you would like to reach a broader audience or perhaps just because it’s your first time and you want a practice run before you approach the mags – then feel free to get in touch and I can walk you through it.
You may recall that earlier this year, a certain Sarah Bray of Daisy Cakes created her first ever tutorial for Mr Baker’s Blog – she has since created tutorials for both Saracino and Cake Masters Magazine, and was nominated for Cupcake Artist of the year…
Who knows where a Mr Baker’s Blog tutorial can take you…?! 😉
I wanna make that!
This week, Sylwia Sobiegraj of Sylwia Sobiegraj The Cake Designer posted a wonderful tutorial that she originally created last year.
Her Frosty the Snowman cake is simply adorable and would look incredibly impressive adorning any Christmas table.
Sylwia’s clear step-by-step instructions and accompanying photos mean that her fabulous cake is super achievable by cakers of any experience and it would make an excellent first project for those looking to start experimenting with structured cakes.
The Collaboration Station
If you visited Cake International last month, then you will have seen the fabulous Peach Life collaboration created by the Sugar Souls collaboration group.
Following the show, the group rebranded themselves as the Sugar Junkies, following a change in admin, and this week saw them return with their first collaboration under their new name.
Christmas Around the World has brought together 41 talented artists from all around the world to celebrate the many different traditional ways in which people celebrate Christmas Around the World (see what they did there?) and each image is accompanied by a delightful explanation of the inspirations behind the piece.
All of the artists involved worked incredibly hard to produce a fabulous collaboration and all of the pieces look wonderful! As always, I have only included a selection here, so be sure to swing by the Sugar Junkies Facebook page to check out the rest of the collection.
Congratulations to the whole team on a fantastic collaboration and I look forward to seeing what the Sugar Junkies have in store for us in 2019.
Meet the maker…
What is your name?
How long have you been making cakes?
Around five or six years now.
Hobbyist or professional?
I’ve been a professional cake maker for four years.
What was your first cake?
The first cake I ever made was a topsy turvy cake because who doesn’t like a challenge for their first cake?! It was football and South Africa themed and it was terrible!!
What is your favourite of all the cakes you have made?
I have so many favourite cakes, but my absolute favourite would probably be my Bill Murray bust cake.
Who is your cake hero?
It would have to be Duff Goldman of Baltimore-based Charm City Cakes.
Where can we see more of your work?
Cake of the Week!
I loved this wonderful interpretation of Snow White, inspired by her latest appearance in Disney’s newest release, Ralph Breaks the Internet – the sequel to Wreck-It Ralph.
Created by Federica Cipolla of Le Delizie Di Kicca, the cake features a combination of hand-painting, bas relief, hand-modelling and more besides, which all come together to create an incredibly striking creation.
It has already proved incredibly popular in the cake groups online and I am sure that it won’t be long before the public take note too – brace yourself for the orders guys!
You can see some more shots of the cake over at Federica’s Facebook page right here.
Congratulations on a fabulous creation Federica and a truly impressive Cake of the Week!
Did you see the incredible sculpted bust uploaded by Erandeny Cuevas of Luxury Baker Design this week?!
Inspired by one of the most beloved characters from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, Erandeny’s Dickensian creation comes complete with ghostly features, thanks to a nifty UV paint finish, and the all-important chains weighing him down.
In fact, the ghostly effect is really quite incredible once all the lights go out – I wouldn’t want to wake up and find this guy at the end of my bed!
If you have yet to discover the work of this super-talented artist, then you must head over to her page to check out her portfolio – you won’t be disappointed!
This week saw American Cake Decorating Magazine share ‘The 10 Most Talked About Cakes of 2018’ based on how popular they were when shared by the magazine on Facebook.
They explained that, in spite of Facebook’s algorithms, reach problems, and the social media no man’s land that has become every cake decorator’s online business page, the 10 cakes featured defied the odds, to become the most liked, shared, and talked about cakes of 2018, as shared by American Cake Decorating!
It was lovely to see some of my favourite cakes of 2018 feature and I must offer the hugest of congratulations to the entire top ten – as well as a massive thank you to them for brightening our timelines with such stunning creations this year.
To see the rest of the top ten cakes, you can find the full article by American Cake Decorating Magazine right here.
Before you go – don’t forget I am always crying out for your guest contributions for both Something Sweet and Mr Baker’s Blog as a whole, so if you fancy featuring in a future issue as a ‘Meet the maker…’, a ‘Spotlight on the Boys’, ‘The hottest ticket in town!’or any other of our weekly features OR if you would like to publish a tutorial, a recipe or a post about an event, experience or topic you are passionate about on Mr Baker’s Blog, then get in touch today!
To get in touch, you can reach me in a variety of ways: you can comment below this week’s issue, message my Facebook page, post in the dedicated Mr Baker’s Blog from Mr Baker’s Cakes Facebook group or email me directly.
I look forward to hearing from you!
Before you go…
Once again, thank you to everyone that has already given me their vote in the UK Blog Awards.
Yes, it’s true – the ‘powers that be’ have shortlisted Mr Baker’s Blog for the ‘Best Culinary Blog’ 2019.
If I am to proceed to the finalist stage, it is now down to your votes. So, if you haven’t already voted and feel you would like to, 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!