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Start spreading the news…

If you are following my social media channels, then you may well have seen that yesterday I posted up my epic 30-minute-long vlog from our week in New York City.

As I’d teased here previously, during our weeklong adventure, we spent one of our days exploring just a little slice of the New York cake scene, expertly guided by my buddy Jean Schapowal of Cakes with Character.

However, when it came to the video, I figured it was only fair that you got to experience ALL of the delights that the Big Apple has to offer. So yes, the result is an epic half hour vlog that takes in many of the most recognisable sights of Manhattan, with a quick jaunt over to Brooklyn thrown in for good measure too.

Obviously, one can’t discover ALL of the delights of New York in just one week, but we certainly gave it a good try, covering over 80 miles in just eight days.

If you fancy checking out what we got up to, and catching some snippets of my personal highlights of the trip, you can check out the video below.

Quick PSA: I did have some issues with sound during the trip but I have done my best with what I was able to salvage. I hope this doesn’t affect your viewing experience too much.

Oh, and if you haven’t done so already, don’t forget to subscribe to my channel!

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I’m still alive – I promise!

Hey cake chums and welcome back to Mr Baker’s Blog.

Do you know, I realised today that I haven’t published a post in almost a month! Which I think is the longest I’ve EVER gone without posting.

Now, I’m normally very quick to say that bloggers should never apologise for an erratic posting schedule because, after all, just like the rest of you, we’re trying to balance our writing commitments with our very busy lives and careers. However, I did want to at least reassure you that I am very much still writing and I have been working on a lot of content which will be going up in the next few weeks.

Visiting Cake International in London – check out my vlog from the weekend here.

In fact, the last month has seen me contribute to two collaborations; attend a cake show in the UK; make my sister’s wedding cake; travel to New York, where I visited some amazing cake creators; spend a day baking with a GBBO finalist; and head to Germany to attend my first ever Cake & Bake Show (which is where I am writing from now). So yeah, it’s been pretty busy!!

My contribution to the Americake Horror Story collaboration – see the rest of the pieces here.

Rest assured, I hope to resume my regular posting schedule later this month and, after many requests from you guys, will be relaunching Something Sweet in the next couple of weeks as well.

Does this picture need a caption…? 😉

I will also be posting a number of vlogs from some of the events I’ve mentioned above on my YouTube channel, so if you haven’t already subscribed, head to this link to do that now. And be sure to hit the bell icon if you would like a notification when my videos go live.

In the meantime, thanks for bearing with me during the last few busy months and I look forward to reconnecting with you all again.

Until next time, happy caking and love from Germany…! x

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Wedding Bells and Wedding Belles…

Hey cake chums and a happy Friday to you all!

I do hope you are having a good week – particularly those of you who are juggling having the kids home for the holidays whilst trying to get your cake orders out of the door!

Things are still ridiculously busy at Mr Baker’s Blog HQ too, with another collaboration deadline this weekend, my first ever trip out of Europe looming ever closer next week and the biggest event of the year, as far as we’re all concerned – my sister’s wedding day tomorrow!

As well as fulfilling the role of her ‘maid’ of honour, naturally I am also making the wedding cake. Luckily, everything is on track with that and today is all about the fun bit – the decorations! While I’m working on that though, it seemed like the perfect day to share a very special project with you…

Dubai-based cake designer and tutor, Reema Siraj of Reema Siraj Studio got in touch last month to tell me all about a very special challenge she undertook for the Cake Talks event in Muscat, Oman.

 

Originally conceived five years ago, Cake Talks started with just 15 women coming together at one of their houses to share some delicious home baked cakes and a hot cup of tea. Their ideology was simple: ‘The little I have, I share with you; the little you have, you share with me. Together we all have a full share of everything!’

However, fuelled by her passion for baking, event creator Rubeena Ibrahim assembled a team of three equally dynamic women Reena Mathias, Cassie Menezes and Shakila Faisal and, five years later, the Cake Talks family has evolved to include 250 talented bakers in Muscat alone, with their online community reaching 18,000 across the world.

Their annual event has also evolved to become a bigger platform for cake enthusiasts and hobby bakers to reach out and share their edible art, for aspiring cake designers as well as professionals, to discuss their ideas, share pictures, interact, assist, upgrade their design and technical skills. It also provides the perfect opportunity for hobby bakers to take part in an exhibition for the first time. With the added incentive of various competition categories, this year’s event saw 12 professional level cakes entered, 25 non-professional cakes, eight cupcake arrangements and 25 uniquely flavoured cakes, which had to be tasted and evaluated, one by one, based on neatness, precision, technique, design, creativity, overall appearance and originality.

The competitions were judged by chef Thomas Oomen, chef Asanka Dharmaratna and chef Achyuthanan Das from the Omans Chef Guild (OCG), Poornima Subramanyam and Reema, of course.

As well as serving as a competition judge, Reema was also asked to contribute a beautiful showpiece to the event and she was immediately clear on what she would create.

She explains, “My fondness for mediums such as lace, pearls and edible fabrics is what drew me to the idea of constructing a life-size wedding dress cake.

“Heavy embellishments were fundamentally the focus of this cake, so I needed inspiration from a dress that already encapsulated this.

“I looked to the exemplary designs of Ziad Nakad, a sensational wedding gown designer from Beirut, who specialises in eccentric fabrics and unconventional beading styles! To inspire my piece, I explored his 2017 and 2018 bridal collections, before developing my design.

“Bringing the sketch to life was my next step. I started by preparing a mood board using all of the elements and textures which I could possibly use in this project. This helped me a lot when deciding what would suit the design best.”

With all of the details in her dress to be entirely handmade, Reema began by crafting the embellishments one by one, starting with delicate wafer paper flowers, centred with varying sizes of edible pearls. This truly was a long process as over 2,400 individually hand-crafted flowers were needed to bring her design to life.

Lace was another main feature of Reema’s creation, with over 3000 individual lace flowers covering almost 90% of the entire dress. It was definitely an area that required a great deal of attention to detail, with each flower that formed part of the lace design having to be individually hand cut and positioned on the dress to ensure the design was flowing and faultless.

And this was all before she even started constructing the life-size dress!

Luckily for us all, Reema has documented the process of creating her stunning gown in this video, so rather than listen to me try and describe it, you can see it for yourself!

The entire project, which was generously sponsored by Satin Ice, took Reema over three weeks and 180 hours to complete, although that doesn’t include all of the planning and preparation time before she started! It was certainly a labour of love and the results are certainly breathtaking.

To see more of the project and to check out more of Reema’s stunning creations, you can find her on Facebook here or why not follow her on Instagram?

Thank you so much for getting in touch to tell us all about your incredible showpiece, Reema. I have loved seeing the process you went through to craft your exhibit and the result was mind-blowingly incredible! All those tiny details really came together to create a wonderfully realistic and beautiful dress.

I definitely can’t wait to see more from this talented lady!