Mr Baker’s Cakes is on tour this weekend as I am writing to you from cold and snowy Leeds, while I take part in my classes with the one and only Carla Puig. Sadly, you’ll have to wait until next week to find out all about that though. In the meantime, welcome along to this week’s weekly round-up of all things cake…
What’s new on the blog this week?
Mr Baker’s Blog by has been all about the cake shows and competitions this week, as I shared not one, but two complete shows with you all.
I touched on it briefly last week, but I posted my blog from the Squires Kitchen Exhibition this week, including some of my favourite competition entries, the shopping highlights in the Marketplace and much much more. Find it here.
I was also thrilled to be able to convince multi-award-winning cake artist, Becky Jenkins to put together a bit of a guest post to let us all in on the secrets of Salon Culinaire, after her incredible success at this year’s competitions. She did me proud, with coverage of both Salon itself and the process of getting her incredible medal-winning entries to the show. It’s definitely not one to be missed, so be sure to give it a look!
Have you heard…?
You probably have already heard, because otherwise, WHERE ON EARTH HAVE YOU BEEN?! But if you haven’t, then Sweet Media Solutions made a ridiculously exciting announcement this week.
Brace yourselves, because…
Karen Portaleo is coming to the UK and Ireland AND she’s going on tour! In her only UK classes in 2018, participants will have the chance to learn first-hand from one of the biggest names in global sugarcraft.
Limited to only six dates, the Portaleo Portmanteau UK Road Tour will be visiting Glasgow, Preston, Ireland, Atherstone, Pontypridd and Southend-on-Sea, where Karen will be teaching a variety of different classes.
For more information and to book your place, head to the Sweet Media Solutions website. But don’t wait too long, each venue is limited to a maximum of 20 participants and you KNOW these dates are going to sell out fast!
I couldn’t live without…
This week’s I couldn’t live without comes in from one of my favourite modellers, Vicky Turner of Yellow Bee School of Cakecraft and Sugar Art. As an ambassador for Italian brand, Saracino, she shares just what it is that she loves about their modelling paste…
I couldn’t live without Saracino modelling paste. I first discovered the icing at Cake International being demonstrated by Silvia Mancini and was amazed at how much time you could spend on it without it drying out and forming a skin.
I ended up importing it from Italy, as it wasn’t available here at the time, and I’ve never looked back. I love how it gives me time to work on a model, and not feel like I have to rush to get it done before the paste starts to dry out.
It has also allowed me to greatly improve my modelling skills as I no longer feel held back by my icing!
I’m actually now an ambassador for the brand, as I just love it that much! I’d love everyone to try it and see how easy it is to use and hopefully it’ll give you more confidence to play around and improve your models too.
Saracino is available from many UK stockists, including Fabricake Sugarcraft Ltd.
The hottest ticket in town!
One of the highlights of the US show calendar has to be the annual jaunt down to sunny Miami for the SoFlo Cake and Candy Expo, hosted by Sweet Life Cake and Candy Supply Store.
Going on for its fourth year, SoFlo Cake and Candy Expo has already proven to be one of the most dynamic and engaging events for cake and candy industry professionals, enthusiasts and hobby bakers and this year they promise to exceed the standards set by the past events.
Don’t miss the opportunity to get together with like-minded cake and candy enthusiasts from around the world! This Expo is host to a multitude of the industry’s top vendors and suppliers; each providing you with the highest quality of traditional baking equipment and supplies, as well as the latest tools of the trade. Most vendors offer special pricing during the event, so take advantage of this perfect opportunity to stock up on your baking equipment, cake decorating supplies, tools and all the goodies for candy making!
And the classes?! Seriously you need to check out the teaching line up!
Classes will offer unparalleled opportunities to learn something new or to strengthen the skills you already have. From demonstrations to hands-on classes, you will have unique opportunities to learn the tips of the trade from some of the industry’s top Sugar Artists. They guarantee you will come away with an entirely new skill set. We have classes tailored for novices, intermediate skill level decorators, advanced bakers and candy makers. There will be classes available for everyone at SoFlo 2018.
In their own words: “SoFlo Cake and Candy Expo is the trendsetter for offering a shopping and learning experience during one weekend like no other show! Join us and be a part of the industry’s most high-powered and influential Cake and Candy Convention.”
This year, the show falls across the weekend of the 27th-29th April at the Miami Airport Convention Center and, if you’re planning on heading to the show, visit the SoFlo website now to sign up for the official show newsletter and to receive 10% off your show tickets! https://www.soflocakeandcandyexpo.com/
I wanna make that!
Easter is rapidly approaching and, with the growing popularity of Easter cakes, I’m looking for inspiration everywhere!
In my searches, I stumbled across this super fun Easter-themed chicken cake tutorial, created by Laura Dodimead of Life in Sugar, exclusively for Fabricake Sugarcraft Ltd.
As always, Laura’s tutorial is wonderfully simple to follow, but will guarantee great results.
The Collaboration Station.
While not really a collaboration in the truest sense of the word, this week saw the publication of the Edible Art Splash Web Contest Gallery 2018! The Global Sugar Artists Network – In association with the International Cake Show, Istanbul – offered entrants the opportunity to take part in a show competition with a difference, in that not all entries had to actually be presented at the show.
As you can see, the entries were so wonderfully varied in their interpretations of the challenge and I bet the amazing line up of judges, Serdar Yener, Azzurra Cuomo, Isabel Tamargo, Marc Suârez, Javad Hafezian and Evren Dagdeviren really struggled to narrow the all of the entries down to their final top ten. Ultimately, they crowned Sibel Ozcelik their overall winner for her stunning submission.
Spotlight on the boys…
Quickly following on heels of his recent appearance in my Spotlight on the Boys feature only a couple of weeks ago, Daniel Diéguez is back and he’s done it again.
After his incredibly stunning chocolate display (teaming up with legendary sugar artist Karen Portaleo, no less) at November’s Cake International, he partnered with Tuba Geçkil and the team at Red Rose Cake, to create a life-size, show-stopping Beauty and the Beast exhibit at the cake decoration and chocolate festival, International Master of Cake, Istanbul.
Featuring two life-size edible reproductions of the titular characters, a royal-icing-painted background, sugar foliage and models of many of the other characters from the 2017 movie, I’m absolutely blown away by the work and skill that must have gone into bringing this incredible display to life and I can’t wait to see what Daniel does next!
Meanwhile on Twitter…
I didn’t have time to write up a full blow-by-blow account of this week’s episode of the Great British Bake Off Stand Up to Cancer special, but once again, Twitter was watching – and live-tweeting – along…
“Dear oh dear. This is national humiliation.”
If Harry Hill stole the show during last week’s opening episode, this week it was the turn of former The Apprentice advisor and current Countdown host, Nick Hewer. Choosing to sport his eponymous suit and tie under his apron, the 74-year-old confessed to being a bit of a novice in the kitchen, before proving it in hilarious fashion.
His signature scones were somewhat irregular, his technical Devil’s Food Cake was described by the judges as a cowpat and for his croquembouche showstopper, he had to start again – four times! His final choux buns were less profiterole, more… Yorkshire pudding?
The biggest talking point of the episode though was the tragic story of courageous Kettering schoolgirl Eve Lyons, who died aged 11, after a two-year battle with bone cancer. The clip was genuinely heart breaking and I hope it encourages everyone to dig deep in support of Stand Up to Cancer.
If you missed the episode, find it on catch up at All4: http://www.channel4.com/programmes/the-great-celebrity-bake-off-for-su2c/on-demand/67120-002
Cake of the Week!
Created for the premiere of National Geographic’s newest show, One Strange Rock, Benny Rivera and the team at City Cakes, New York created this incredible masterpiece that stands a whopping five feet tall!
I love how Benny was be able to create the cloud effects using royal icing!
Congratulations Benny and the City Cakes team on a stunning design and a worthy Cake of the Week win!
Last week, I talked about one of my absolute favourite sugar idols, Carla Puig and her flawless sculpting and this week, it is the turn of yet another of my favourites.
Marta Hidalgo is the creative genius behind Peccata Minuta Cake Art and she creates wonderful, character-filled human sculptures. This week, she has been spoiling us by posting progress videos of some of her most amazing works. I love watching people work, so by pairing that with some of my favourite Peccata Minuta creations, Marta has had me practically glued to my screen. I do hope she keeps them coming (More, Marta! More!).
To see them for yourself, visit her Facebook page – and don’t forget to click ‘like’!
Keep an eye out for something exciting coming from Saracino later today. I’m been desperately trying to get the inside scoop on what it is all about, but the Saracino camp are keeping things close to their chest, so I guess we’ll just have to wait and see…
It’s lucky I’m such a patient person*.
*I am most definitely not a patient person…
Ah well… See you next week! x