Something Sweet – Issue 8: The Collaboration Special

What’s new on the blog this week?

At the start of the week, I posted my review of the new cute bunny moulds that have been produced in collaboration by Vicky of The Yellow Bee Cake Company and Rachel of The Old Piping Bag. I loved using them to create some cute Easter cupcakes to share with my family. You can find the full post here.

Later in the week, after discovering a fabulous independent cake supplies retailer practically on my doorstep (after nearly eight years living here?!), I posted my ‘ode to the independent retailer…’ I hoped that it would encourage others to publicly share their local independent heroes, with the ultimate aim of ensuring that we could all find those little hidden gems in our local areas that perhaps we hadn’t realised were even there. So thank you to all of you that have already shared and, if you haven’t yet, feel free to visit the original post, either here or on Facebook, to share your favourite store!

Finally, towards the end of the week, I couldn’t contain myself any longer and had to blurt out the fact that I have arranged to visit Cake & Bake Germany next month! I am so excited to visit a whole new show, particularly in a country that I love so much, and I hope that I will finally get to meet even more of you in person! You can guarantee that I will be posting about this some more in the next few weeks, but in the meantime, do give me a prod if you will be heading to Essen too!

 

Have you heard…?

Cake Masters Magazine got us all excited this week when they created the Facebook event for the hottest event of the year, 2018’s ‘Cake Oscars’, the annual Cake Masters Magazine awards.

Moving to new location, the National Conference Centre, which is still just a short jaunt from Birmingham’s NEC, this year’s awards will be held on Saturday 3rd November 2018 and I can’t wait!

To find out more and keep up to date on the important announcements as they happen, head over to Facebook and ‘like’ the event.

 

I couldn’t live without…

Sam Stringer of Treat Me Sweet shares the essential ingredients that a Treat Me Sweet cake simply couldn’t be without…

For me, my must-have pieces of caking kit would have to be my printer and my scalpel – and I don’t mean an edible ink printer, by the way – just a normal everyday printer.

Many people might be surprised to hear me say that, but thanks to my humble little printer, I am able to find and print limitless numbers of templates for skyline silhouettes, fonts, animal shapes and a whole lot more, which can then be my guide when cutting out sugarpaste.

When it comes to the cutting out part, I prefer to use real doctor’s scalpels because, when I used to have a craft knife, the blade always came loose. I now use sterile disposable scalpels that I source from Amazon and they last absolutely ages. I add a small amount of Trex to the blades when I am cutting pieces and, even if the sugarpaste has started to dry out a bit, they glide through effortlessly.

I estimate that my both printer and my trusty scalpels have probably saved me hundreds of pounds on bespoke cutters and moulds – not to mention the space they save in my cupboards.

Thanks Sam! I might have already ordered – and received – my first box of scalpels, based on your recommendation. So, no pressure now!

 

The hottest ticket(s) in town!

Not so much a ticket, but an opportunity this week. Regular readers will have seen my recent coverage of the Ideal Home Show and the Eat & Drink Festival at London’s Olympia – particularly the Royal Wedding Cake Competition.

Well, for those of you north of the border, the Ideal Home Show Scotland is now inviting amateur and professional bakers to enter the I Love Scotland Cake Competition being held at this year’s Ideal Home Show Scotland, from 31st May to 3rd June.

Your task, should you choose to accept it, is to create a cake celebrating Scotland which will be on display throughout the 4 days of the Ideal Home Show for visitors to see.

Your cake should follow the theme of I Love Scotland and internal supports and dummies are allowed. To enter, you need to submit your design via the website before the 1st May 2018 and then the judging panel will meet to select the finalists to be displayed at the show. These finalists will then be contacted and sent the information pack, ready to begin the construction of their cakes.

To find out what you can expect from entering, you can read my exclusive guest post from the winner of the London competition, Emma Matthews of Happiness Factor Cakes and, of course, good luck!

 

I wanna make that!

With the Unicorn trend looking like it’s not going away any time soon, the latest free tutorial from Saracino UK is bound to be a popular one!

The Dabbing Unicorn, by Valentina Terzieva of Valentina’s Sugarland, is a delightfully character-filled topper that would look fantastic atop any youngster’s cake.

Find the full video tutorial over at the NEW Saracino UK website. 

 

The Collaboration Station

This week has been ALL about the stunning collaborations so rather than pick just one favourite, I’ve decided to roll with it and give you a mere taste of all of the fabulous works that were published this week…

First up, on Monday, the Huevos De Pascua Estilo Faberge (Faberge Style Easter Eggs) collaboration was published by collaboration organiser, Maria Mercedes Gonzalez Lagarma of Hansel & Gretel de Maria M Gonzalez, featuring an array of stunning Faberge-style eggs created by 66 sugar artists from counties all over the world, including Mexico, Italy, Costa Rica, Chile, Egypt and more besides!

If I had to choose one favourite, it would probably be this one by Maythe Del Angel Garcia, entitled Corazon Esmerelda.

But, if I’m honest, I really struggled to choose just a selection to post here because they are all so beautiful! Make sure you head to the collaboration Facebook page to check out the full collection!

 

Tuesday saw Sugar Art for Autism return for their third year running, with yet another collection of beautiful works.

Inspired by many things, including loved ones, artists and fashion designers, who are on the autistic spectrum, the collaboration intends to to shatter misconceptions about autism and build much needed public awareness and understanding.

As the collaboration page shared back in February, ‘awareness of autism is growing, but there is still a lot of confusion around what autism is, what causes it and how it affects people in very different ways.’

I only wish that I could share all of the amazing pieces of sugar artistry here – again, it was so hard narrowing my favourites down to just these few! Find the rest over on Facebook.

 

On Wednesday, we were treated to yet another stunningly beautiful collection of sugar artwork. Created by an incredibly talented team assembled by Ashley Barbey of The Little Vintage Baking Company, Still Life Florals: Fine Art in Sugar is a collaboration of 30 sugar artists that celebrates sugar as a fine art form through sugar floristry and edible floral paintings. As a a huge fan of still life floral art – whether it be of more classical, like the Dutch master paintings or even more modern still life floral photography, such as Kiana Underwood of Tulipina, Ashley really wanted to demonstrate that type of art form with sugar flowers.

She is amazed at how the artists managed to take this theme and make it their own, using their own unique styles and incorporating it into all different types of still life art.

Now, I have said it before and I’ll say it again, I am in awe – in AWE I say – of people who can create wonderfully realistic sugar flowers (and, in some cases, paint them too, Calli!) and these fine individuals absolutely represent some of the best of the best! I lost hours gazing through the many wonderful pieces that make up this beautiful collaboration and, if you haven’t already visited the collaboration Facebook page, then I would strongly suggest that you do. You can find it here – and bear in mind, you might need to allow plenty of time to peruse the full gallery!

 

On Wednesday evening, the moment that I (and even the other half) had been waiting for finally arrived. As a huge American Horror Story fan, I had genuinely been so very excited to see the Americake Horror Story collaboration go live this week! The legendary line-up of talented artists from all around the world had promised to take us into a scary, fascinating cake-world full of the strange, the bizarre and the macabre and they didn’t disappoint!

Hosted by Milka von Essen-Vilovski AKA the Cake Pirate, the collection brought together some of the biggest names in cake today to recreate some of the most recognisable characters and creatures that have spanned the show’s seven seasons.

From Avalon’s picture perfect sculpt of the Countess from AHS Hotel to Sandra’s stunning cookie portrait of Pepper from AHS Asylum, the pieces are just so perfect that it is impossible to pick a favourite!

You need to head over and take a look at the full collection now! Go on, I can wait… 😉

 

If you thought we were done, then you must have missed the incredible celebration of some remarkable women that was published on Thursday. Created by an amazing team, headed by Alev Gulden of One Bite Sweet – Custom Cakes & Goodies, Amazing Women Who Changed the World is an edible collection of some of the most famous and influential women from throughout history, without whom the world might be a very different place today. With a line-up that includes activists from the civil rights movements, poets, musicians, politicians, humanitarians, scientists and more, this is a touching tribute to some truly inspiring individuals that shouldn’t be missed.

You can find the full line up at the collaboration’s dedicated Facebook group. 

 

Spotlight on the boys…

This week, I wanted to share with you a chap whose work I absolutely love. Sebastian Davies is the award-winning London-based cake artist behind Sebastian Wild Cakes. His sculpted creations are completely perception-defying and I regularly marvel at the realistic finishes he is able to create in sugar.

With a degree in French and Russian and with a family background in antiques, he initially pursued a career with auction house Christie’s, eventually rising to International Director of 19th Century Furniture and Sculpture. However, in 2013, while looking for a new career challenge, Sebastian offered to make a cake for a friend’s London store opening.

Expecting his friend to just want a simple confection, perhaps featuring a logo, Sebastian was instead asked to recreate the store’s iconic Red Wing boot.

After 3 days closeted in his kitchen, Sebastian emerged with a pair of boots that both surprised and delighted the party’s guests and, overwhelmed by the general public’s response, he suddenly realised that this was the new career opportunity he was looking for and Sebastian Wild Cakes was officially born.

Although he doesn’t have a Facebook page, Sebastian is very active on Instagram – or why not visit his website?

 

Meanwhile on Twitter…

Rather excitingly, Great British Bake Off 2014 finalist, Luis Troyano this week announced a really exciting opportunity to own a little piece of GBBO history. Inspired by the series of GBBO specials in support of Stand Up To Cancer, which concluded this week, Luis has decided to auction of the actual apron that he wore during his series’ final episode to raise even more money for the charity. I’ll let Luis tell you more:

“Hi everyone. My name is Luis Troyano and I was lucky enough to be a finalist in the 2014 Great British Bake Off Series 5, along with fellow bakers Nancy and Richard.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed watching the current celebrity Great British Bake Off in aid of Stand Up To Cancer and I want to contribute to this great cause. My father died of cancer when I was 16 so the charity’s aim is something I strongly believe in. Find out more at: standuptocancer.org.uk

So, after a long think of what could I do to help, I’ve decided to auction one of my most prized possessions – the apron I wore in the 2014 final of the Great British Bake Off. So here is a very rare opportunity to own a totally unique piece of Great British Bake Off memorabilia. I don’t think anything like this has come up for sale before from the Great British Bake Off.

Now let’s be clear here, this apron has NOT been washed since it was worn in the final and has the showstopper stains, sweat and smell of the tent on it!

I’ll shed a tear the day this leaves me but I know it’s for a great cause.

So please spread the message about this auction even if you don’t intend to bid yourself.”

If you would like the chance to own this little slice of Bake Off history, head to eBay using this link. The auction ends on Friday 13th, so get in there quick and let’s help Luis raise a ton of cash for Stand Up To Cancer!

 

Cake of the Week!

Dog-lovers look away as, for the second week running, we have a cat-inspired Cake of the Week! Maria McDonald of Sugar Duckie Cake Design https://www.facebook.com/sugarduckie/  created this amazing Grumpy Cat-inspired Easter cake to share with her family at home. Maria explains that she likes her cakes with a side of humour and this one has had her sniggering away to herself for the last couple of days!

After all, what says Easter more than a disgruntled cat in a pink bunny costume. Crafted entirely from chocolate fudge cake, with a chocolate hazelnut buttercream, he certainly made me smile and I am thrilled to share him with you all as this week’s Cake of the Week.

Oh, and if you haven’t checked it out before, I would strongly suggest that you also swing by Maria’s Facebook page. She regularly updates it with fabulous cakes with real character and I am definitely a fan!

 

Honourable mention…

This week, Thorpe Park, in partnership with AMC TV, have launched their newest ride experience, The Walking Dead: The Ride, inspired by the mega-popular television show of the same name.

© Thorpe Park

At their launch night this week, a host of celebrities, including Stacey Solomon, Fleur East and Johnny Vegas, were invited to try out the creepiest new addition to the park, which recreates the post-apocalyptic world of The Walking Dead. In addition to the ride itself, there are some other scary surprises in store for the riders, including a few frights from its resident zombies – or ‘walkers’ as they’re known in show.

After their heart-pounding experience, the parks guests were invited to attend an exclusive VIP launch party where they were served up an amazing cake by Karen Mitchell, of Sugarlicious Cakes by Karen.

Karen’s creepy cake was inspired by both the show and the ride, featuring a towering sculpted zombie combined with a fun light up roller coaster element.

She was originally contacted by the park after meeting some of the cast at Walker Stalker Con in London earlier this year. Somehow it came up that she enjoyed making darker cakes and so, when they were looking for a cake for the launch event, they looked her up.

The cake, which was a delicious red velvet sponge, with a white chocolate and vanilla buttercream and a ‘bloody’ strawberry sauce filling, was cut by regular This Morning contributor, Dr Ranj Singh and on tasting it, he couldn’t stop himself exclaiming how good it was to his audience.

There was a lot of interest in Karen’s amazing cake on the night, so hopefully this will lead on to even more amazing opportunities for her! Congratulations, Karen!

 

And finally…

Thank you to all of you that have joined the Mr Baker’s Blog from Mr Baker’s Cakes Facebook group – a replacement for the previous Mr Baker’s Blog Facebook page that you may have noticed disappeared yesterday. In an effort to expand the Mr Baker’s Blog community, the new group will be your one-stop shop for all your cake news, gossip, product releases, recipes, tutorials and more – not to mention of course, the home of your weekly slice of Something Sweet…

If you have yet to join us there, hit the link, join the group and feel free to post your submissions for next week’s Something Sweet:

Have you heard…?

– What is the hottest topic in the cake groups this week?

I couldn’t live without…

– What tool or product could you simply not live without and why?

The hottest ticket in town!

– What classes or events are you looking forward to?

I wanna make that!

– What recipes or tutorials have caught your eye this week?

The Collaboration Station

– Are you in a collaboration that has launched this week? Tell us all about it!

Cake of the Week!

– What are you working on this week? Share it with the group – you never know, you might just end up as this week’s Cake of the Week!

Honourable mention…

– Who do you think deserves a public shout out this week? Perhaps they’ve impressed you with a cake or Bake? Maybe they’ve raised a ton of money for charity or launched a new product or service? This is your chance to celebrate them publicly!

And I’m sure I don’t need to say it, but Mr Baker’s Blog is all about celebrating people’s hard work and talent, so keep it sweet folks!

Hope to see you there! x