Something Sweet – Issue 48

You may have noticed that this week’s issue of Something Sweet has been published a little bit later than usual.

There was an actual reason for this… IT’S MY BIRTHDAY!

I’m actually terrified of balloons. Please never give me balloons…

Well… it was. On Friday. But my birthdays last for at least a weekend. In fact, I have more festivities planned for next weekend too, so actually, I think I am going to have a birthday fortnight. But anyway…

It seems that when you have managed to stay alive for another 365 days, there is a societal expectation that you will emerge from the darkened room where you spend the majority of your time and engage with other people… Horrifying!

Nah, I’m kidding. I’ve had a fabulous weekend meeting up with family, friends and, of course, my cake chums…

Hanging with just some of my bestest cake chums!

However, spending so much time out in the real world has had an impact on my regular writing schedule, so apologies for the delay in getting today’s issue up.

And people wonder why I’m usually such a hermit!

But I’ve delayed you enough… Let’s get down to business and check out issue 48 of Something Sweet – your weekly slice of all the latest news from the world of cake.

What’s new on Mr Baker’s Blog this week?

This week saw me publish a long-awaited announcement – the winner of my exclusive competition in partnership with Magic Colours. You may recall that back in December, I announced that I would be teaming up with Magic Colours to run a rather exciting competition, offering you the chance to win a prize that money simply cannot buy – the opportunity to put your own permanent stamp on the world of sugarcraft and win some gorgeous goodies in the process.

As I explained in the original post (which you can find here), after four years of development, Magic Colours are almost ready to launch the world’s first truly edible glitter – yes, you read that right, 100% edible, yet stunningly shiny and sparkly glitters that you can use on your cakes!

In that post, I also explained that the name featured on the test pots pictured above was merely a working title and that the Magic Colours team was keen to find a new and original name to ensure that people don’t confuse their wonderful innovation with existing non-edible products already available.

And that was where you came in!

Magic Colours exclusively invited the readers of Mr Baker’s Blog the opportunity to devise an original name for the newest and most exciting innovation to be added to the Magic Colours line-up!

It truly was a prize that money cannot buy, and as you can imagine, we had plenty of entries!

Luckily, choosing the winner didn’t fall to me. Instead, the Magic Colours team sat down at the start of this year and perused all of the entries, before deciding on their favourite.

They loved lots of the suggestions, but they ultimately decided that Lynnette Russell’s proposal, Magic Bling, was the winning entry. They’ve tweaked it slightly, as is their wont, and the new range of fully edible glitters will be known as Magic Colours’ Bling Bling.

Please join me in offering Lynnette the hugest of congratulations on her win. How exciting to know that every single pot of Bling Bling sold will be thanks to her awesome idea!

 

Although they haven’t made it into their own blog post yet (it’ll be up later this week!), I was so excited away to see Sarah Bray of Daisy Cakes post up her latest project on Friday. During a conversation late last year, I casually suggested that Sarah could continue her mission of recreating fabulous cakes in miniature by trying to recreate my Grumpy Pug Collection.

Luckily, Sarah loved the idea and it has been sooooo hard waiting to see the results of all her hard work.

I’m sure you will agree that they are absolutely amazing and I can’t believe how much detail she has managed to squeeze into such a tiny amount of space!

As I mentioned above, I will be writing a dedicated post all about these fabulous little dudes later this week, so stay tuned for that…

In the meantime, thank you so much to Sarah for such a fabulous birthday present! I am so honoured and touched that you would consider my work worthy of paying homage to and the results were truly awesome.

You can check out more of Sarah’s work over at her Facebook page, which you can find right here.

 

Finally, before we move on, Mr Baker’s Blog now has its own dedicated PO Box! If you have a product or service that you think the readers of Something Sweet or Mr Baker’s Blog should be checking out or that you would like to be part of a future video over at my YouTube channel (or if you just want to send me a funny note, message or anything else you think would make for an interesting blog post or video), you can now send them directly to me at:

Mr Baker’s Blog
PO Box 752
FAREHAM
PO14 9RZ

Oh, and brands…? If I’m not already on it, be sure to add me to your PR list!

 

Have you heard…?

Can you believe that we are now less than two weeks out from the first dedicated cake and sugarcraft show of 2019?

The first ever Welsh National Sugarcraft & Cake Show falls on Saturday 9th February and I am so excited to be heading back to the Motherland to support all of the incredible homegrown talent that Wales has to offer!

You’ll find me popping up all over the show, but I am super excited to be joining Rhianydd Webb of Dragons and Daffodils Cakes, where I will be taking part in her demonstration schedule and contributing to the live build, ‘The Making of Gwydderig.’

Across the day, Rhianydd, myself, Cara Maiden of The Polkadot Teapot and Paul Williams of Happy Occasions Cakes will be teaming up to create ‘Gwydderig the Wild’ – a life-size cake from the waist up. Be sure to swing by, check it out and peruse the selection of Rhianydd’s favourite cake tools that will also be available for sale.

Rhianydd will also be running a very special competition at the stand, to win a place at one of her new classes for 2019. Check out this week’s ‘The hottest ticket in town!’ feature below to see just some of the classes you might choose if you win!

Thank you to our sponsors for the build, Saracino, Clairella Cakes and Magic Colours.

To see all this and more, make sure you get your tickets for the Welsh National Sugarcraft & Cake Show from the official website, or you can also buy them from Vanilla Valley.

Be quick, I am told they are unlikely to be available on the day.

 

Cake Show Showcase:

This week also saw the return of the UK’s largest and most prestigious chef competition, Salon Culinaire, which showcases the amazing skills and talent within the food service industry.

Last year, I invited one of the 2018 show’s big winners to write a guest post all about the Salon Culinaire experience (find that here), so it seemed only right that I asked Becky Jenkins of Becky Jenkins Sugar Artist to return for the 2019 event.

Over to you, Becky…

The start of a new year can only mean one thing in the cake calendar: the return of Salon Culinaire. This year I ventured to the NEC Birmingham to visit the Salon display hosted by the Food Service and Professional Kitchen Show to cheer on my fellow cake buddies (Surely you mean your #cakechums?) and sniff out a few free samples of wonderful food.

A somewhat smaller affair than most of UK’s cake shows, Salon is more of a chef-focused competition, but with a sugarcraft section. However, it may be smaller, but its prizes are no less meaningful, as winning a medal at Salon is quite an achievement in the culinary world and the competition itself is the largest and most prestigious in the UK.

Unfortunately, my entry never made it to the table this year. Now and then, despite our best efforts, life just gets in the way and, in my case, this was one of those occasions. If I’ve learned anything from years of competing, it’s that you can’t win them all and sometimes it’s just not meant to be.

The displays at Salon 2019 did not disappoint, with a huge array of talent on display, showcasing everything from exquisite sugar flowers to elegant wedding cakes.

One creation that really caught my eye was a stunning four-tier wedding cake created by the lovely Aimée Ford of Butterfingers Cakes (Isle of Man). Her eye-catching design walked away with a gold medal and the Best in Class award, which is quite an achievement – especially as I discovered this was only her second time competing and her second gold award.

Another favourite had to be Charlotte Crews of The Cake Lady’s beautiful hand piped cupcakes. You could easily be fooled into thinking that these bright pop art delights were actually printed pictures, but that wasn’t the case. Each one was individually hand-drawn and coloured using piped buttercream. They received a silver medal, just missing out on the Best in Class award.

Salon Culinaire also as a junior section, open to any full- or part-time student with no age restrictions. This didn’t seem to phase Sienna Bull, who you may recall took home the Junior Best in Show award at November’s Cake International. Her playful bright entry in the Junior Novelty Cake section won her a silver medal. Quite an achievement, when you consider that she was competing against students up to the age of 23. I can’t wait to see what this young lady goes onto create next! I think she is definitely one to watch.

There is one that really stood out at the show and the awards just didn’t seem to stop coming for this artist and their incredible cake.

A sculpted cake in the shape of a dog floating in a rubber ring, which contained no internal supports and each individual strand of fur was painstakingly hand rolled.

Sharon Perrins of Cakes by Sharon has become well-known for her crazily realistic animal creations, so it was no surprise to learn that this cute little fella was made by her very talented hands.

The piece saw her awarded with not only a gold medal and Best in Class, but also the award for Best Sugarcraft Exhibit and Best Senior Display Piece overall. Everyone was amazed by the piece and it turned into a real talking point of the show.

I am genuinely thrilled for Sharon. It is lovely to see all of her hard work paying off and her talent being given the recognition she deserves.

Next year, 2020 sees the show return to the ExCel in London from the 3rd to the 5th March, which will mark the 85th anniversary of Salon Culinaire. Definitely not one to be missed!

Well done to everyone that entered.

Thank you so much for taking us along with you to Salon Culinaire once again, Becky, and congratulations to everyone who entered. From what I have seen of this year’s event, the standard just seems to grow every single year. You should all be incredibly proud of yourselves, regardless of the outcome of your entry.

 

The hottest ticket in town!

I constantly get sent messages asking me for recommendations for classes that will allow people to develop their knowledge of complex carved and structured cakes and allow them to take their gravity-defying creations to the next level.

Often prohibitive for classes, due to the additional time it takes to teach the construction and food-safety elements of complex structured cakes, such classes usually prove incredibly popular when they do appear.

Rhianydd Webb of Dragons & Daffodils Cakes by Rhianydd Webb has been wanting to add some structured cake classes to her portfolio for some time, so thanks to some eager ‘egging on’ from some of her nearest and dearest cake chums (you’re welcome!), she has recently launched her new class line up for 2019, which includes these amazing designs:

The classes, which will both be taking place at Cakeart Creations: The Studio and hosted by Lynda Gilbey, will teach you how to recreate Rhianydd’s fabulous creations, including the deceptively simple structures that will enable your cakes to defy gravity.

If you are interested in finding out more about these classes, you can visit the Cakeart Creations: The Studio website here and to stay up to date about all of Rhianydd’s classes for 2019, be sure to give her Facebook page a like…

I’m super excited about a class that Rhi currently has in development for later in the year, so who knows… I may even see you there!

 

The Collaboration Station

This week saw a truly breathtaking collaboration published celebrating the life and work of legendary artist Salvador Dali.

Born in Spain in 1904, Dali was one of the most prominent artists of the surrealist movement, best known for the striking and often downright bizarre images he would create in his paintings, however during his long career, he often dabbled with other artforms, including sculpture, photography, films, theatre and even more besides.

Assembled by Elisabete Caseiro​ of Betysugarland – Cake Design, Dali in Sugar saw 53 cake and sugar artists from all over the world come together to create an edible art gallery on the thirtieth anniversary of Dali’s death in 1989.

The pieces will go on to be exhibited at the Sweet Sugar Festival, in Portugal.

While many of the exquisite pieces are inspired by Dali’s own creations, some are also inspired by the man himself, as he was a very unique character, known more in some circles for his eccentricity and peculiarities than for his art.

Many of Dali’s most famous works are represented within Dali in Sugar – I wonder how many you can spot…?

Of course, as ever, I have only been able to include a mere fraction of the full collection here, so do be sure to head to the collaborations dedicated Facebook page to see even more incredible works of art. You can find it here

Congratulations to Elisabete on a stunning collaboration. It definitely ranks up there with some of my favourites ever!

 

Meet the maker…

This week’s ‘Meet the maker…’ kinda doubles up as a ‘Spotlight on the boys…’ as I have been planning on profiling this lovely chap for while now. However, having actually met face-to-face for the first time during my adventures up in Cardiff last weekend (see issue 47 to see a bit more about that), I thought why not invite him to contribute to this week’s issue himself. Over to you…

What is your name?

Gareth Owen Davies

How long have you been making cakes?

I’ve been making cakes for 10 years!

Hobbyist or professional?

Professional.

What was your first cake?

We did a square Christmas cake in college once and it had a little Santa Claus and reindeer topper.

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

As I absolutely adore miniature work, it would have to be my little kitchen that was no more than an 8” cube. It won me my first gold award at Cake International and the Third in Class rosette in the Small Decorative category, which I was thrilled with.

Who is your cake hero?

It’s hard to narrow down to just one as I take inspiration from many avenues, however I would say Carlos Lischetti and, more locally, Ceri Griffiths, as they both put a premium on fine details, which I try to achieve in all my work.

Where can we see more of your work?

I’m the proud owner of LetThemSeeCake, which is a cake and craft school in the heart of Cardiff, South Wales.

We do celebration cakes, extreme cakes, parties, events, and even sell cake supplies. I have some of my work on display in the shop, or you can head over to my website to see more.

I also regularly share to both Facebook and Instagram and you may also have seen some of my work featured in both cake and fashion magazines.

Thanks Gareth!

 

Cake of the Week!

This week, Joane Chopard of Mademoiselle fait des gâteaux’s daughter turned ten and the family celebrated with a fabulously colourful tropical-themed cake, topped with one of Joane’s instantly recognisable signature models.

I loved everything about this cake, from the beautifully multi-toned wood-effect board right up to the gorgeously sassy model standing proudly on top.

I can only imagine how thrilled Lana was with her truly unique and special cake.

You can see more of Joane’s stunning modelling at cake artistry over at her Facebook page here.

Congratulations on a fabulous cake of the week, Joane and please wish your daughter a very happy birthday from us all!

 

WOW CAKES #1!

There are cakes… and then there are cakes. And THEN there are Kek Couture cakes.

Known throughout the world for her incredibly opulent and faultless designs, Instabul-based designer Özlem Arabici of Kek Couture quite honestly leaves me speechless with everything that comes out of her studio and this week’s Beauty and the Beast-themed piece was no exception.

Just one of the many stunning creations to be posted by the Kek Couture team this week, this one particularly caught my eye for it’s truly unique take on an oft-visited theme.

If, for some inexplicable reason, you are not already subscribed to all of the Kek Couture social media feeds, then you can find them on Facebook here and Instagram here.

I have just seen that they have some UK classes scheduled for later this year, so if you fancy learning how to create iconic cakes the Kek Couture way, then head on over to Facebook to find out more

 

Honourable mention…

There are many skills within sugarcraft that I am in awe of, and the same can be said of the many artists who wield these skills.

One such skill is the traditional art of royal icing and one such artist is Prachi Dhabal Deb of Cake Decor India-Royal Icing Art.

I loved the incredible wedding cake that Prachi posted earlier this week, which she explained was all 100% hand-piped with royal icing, using the English overpiping style.

It really is incredible and honestly seems like sorcery to me! Anyone who is able to work with royal icing to produce such incredible results will always have my admiration. It truly is an art form!

 

And finally…

As I’ve said a gazillion times before, Something Sweet is written for the cake community by the cake community and, as such, it relies on your submissions and contributions to work. So please do make sure that you are getting in touch each week to let me know all about your latest cakes and projects, collaborations, events, special announcements and more.

And if you have more to say, I also welcome guest posts on the blog too. If you would like me to publish a comment piece, a tutorial, a recipe or coverage of an event, experience or even just a topic you are passionate about, make sure you get in touch…

You can reach me through my Facebook page, the dedicated Mr Baker’s Blog from Mr Baker’s Cakes Facebook group, by emailing me directly or why not drop me a line at Mr Baker’s Blog, PO Box 752, FAREHAM PO14 9RZ.

Oh, and don’t forget to subscribe to my new YouTube channel before you go to be one of the first to know when I post my official launch video! You can find it here – feel free to share it with all your #cakechums too!