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This week’s #cakershour…

Hey #cakershour chums!

I do hope you will be able to join me for this week’s Twitter #cakershour this evening.

If you have yet to bite the bullet and give it a go, you can find all of the info you need to get started in our original launch post from a few weeks ago.

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As the lockdown continues and with most of our businesses closed for the time being, I can fully appreciate that you may be thinking that online professional networking and development are rather moot at the moment. Our numbers were definitely dwindling last week!

However, thanks to Matt (@mattfclarke1971) challenging us all to master macarons, I didn’t want to leave you in the lurch this week at least, so we will still be meeting up as planned tonight to see how we all got on (I still haven’t attempted my nut variation batch yet – that’s this afternoon’s mission).

While we’re together, we can then decide as a group if we want to continue using the hour as a social tool for now, or whether we would rather stick a pin in it and pick it back up once the lockdown is over.

As such, there will be no set theme for this week’s #cakershour, but I will still use some focus questions just to keep us on track if that’s ok…

Q1 Did you take part in @mattfclarke1971’s #cakershour macaron challenge? If so, how did you get on? And which recipe did you use?

Q2 What else have you been baking and caking this week to keep you busy? (How are you doing for ingredients? Have your supply lines settled down now or are you down to the dregs?)

Q3 Have you watched any tutorials or Facebook/Instagram Lives that you think we should all check out?

Q4 What are you planning on baking/caking this week?

Q5 Do you want to continue with #cakershour as a social get together for now or would you rather stick a pin in it until after the lockdown is lifted (whenever that may be)?

 

Again, I do hope that you will be able to join us over on Twitter for this week’s #cakershour (every Wednesday at 9pm) and I look forward to catching up with you all…

And remember, stay safe, stay indoors and, until next time… happy caking!

x

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What’s Going on at Mr Baker’s Cakes HQ?

Hey cake chums!

I do hope you are all doing well out there.

It seems like a rather peculiar time in the world of cake at the moment. Some cakers seem to have decided to hang up their aprons entirely for the moment; some are using the current period of isolation to develop their skills in new and existing areas; many are spending their time creating tutorials and going live on Facebook or Instagram to share their knowledge and skills; and yet more still rediscovering their love of traditional baking – away from their usual weekly cake orders (I’ve never SEEN so much bread on my social media timelines!).

For my sins, I seem to have wound up busier than ever, thanks to a combination of continuing to go into school to provide care for the children of essential key workers, adapting my YouTube content to provide weekly children’s baking lessons and working on a whole host of projects that my buddies at Renshaw have sent my way over the last couple of weeks (I’m definitely NOT complaining though!).

With all that in mind, I thought I would pen a few words and update you on what’s going on at Mr Baker’s Cakes HQ…

First things first, while nervous about the potential risk of exposure, I feel incredibly honoured to be able to provide some stability for the children that are still coming into school and we are having lots of fun doing crafts, playing outdoors and… *whispers* … we might even be doing a bit of cookie decoration today!

And if you haven’t yet checked out the first episode of Mr Baker’s Cake School, I’ll embed it down below:

In last week’s episode, we were whipping up a batch of my deliciously light and fluffy vanilla cupcakes, before learning how to top them with some yummy vanilla buttercream and some of my favourite sprinkles. I’ve already received some fabulous photos of children joining in and having lots of fun with baking and I already can’t wait to see how they all get on with our next project.

What's going on at Mr Baker's Cakes HQ - Newspaper Clipping Image

Actually, speaking of our next project, I have a poll running on my YouTube community tab at the moment where you can vote for which baking project you would like us to tackle next: banana loaf or a batch of traditional scones. Head to this link to cast your vote and don’t forget to subscribe while you are there!

And if all that wasn’t enough, as I mentioned above, my buddies at Renshaw have also been keeping me busy with lots of fun projects, including a gorgeous Mother’s Day cake tutorial, inspired by my very own mummy. The cake sits on one of my stone tile effect cake boards (find the video tutorial at this link) and is decorated to look like a flower pot full of my simplified carnations – my mummy’s favourite flower!

What's going on at Mr Baker's Cakes HQ - Mother's Day Cake image

Unfortunately, I didn’t get to share the cake with mum in person (it’s still sat on the shelf, in fact), but I still loved how the dusky pink carnations looked alongside the stunning Sapphire Blue (Renshaw’s Colour of the Year 2020 dontcha know?!) plant pot. If you fancy having a go at a Pot of Flowers cake of your own, you can find the full tutorial over at the Renshaw website here. I’ve also been working on a couple of magazine tutorials for them this week as well, but I’m afraid I’ll be keeping those under wraps for now. Rest assured, you’ll be the first to know when they are out though.

Perhaps ill-advisedly, after the fun you all had with me during my Christmas LIVE decorate-along back in December, I have also agreed to go live on the Renshaw Baking Facebook page (find it here) on Friday at 2pm, where I will be decorating a cake while you tell me what to do! What HAVE I let myself in for?! I do hope you will be able to join me over there – it should be lots of fun… for you at least!

What's going on at Mr Baker's Cakes HQ - Renshaw Facebook Live Promo images

AND (yes, there’s more) if all this wasn’t enough, I’m told that later this week the lovely Zoe Hopkinson of Zoe’s Fancy Cakes will be uploading a fun collaboration video to her YouTube channel that we shot together back in January. In the video, Zoe’s fiancé, Richard challenged us both to create a cake from scratch in only ONE HOUR! I don’t know WHAT I was thinking, trying to take on the queen of cakes herself, but I’ll let you decide who you think was the overall winner. You will be able to watch the video over on the Zoe’s Fancy Cakes channel here!

So yes, that is what’s going on at Mr Baker’s Cakes HQ at the moment. I certainly know how to keep myself busy… eh?

Do head down to the comments and let me know how you are doing and how you are managing to keep yourselves busy. I am absolutely CRAVING adult conversation right now… 😉

And, as always, until next time… happy caking! xx

 

PS. I will get the details of this week’s Twitter #cakershour up on the blog in the morning, so if you have any suggestions for topics or focus questions, be sure to let me know ASAP!

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Join me for #cakershour – tonight!

Hey cake chums!

I do hope you are all doing well and that you are managing to keep yourselves busy during this period of isolation.

If you’re anything like me, then I’m sure that the days are already starting to blur together – which is the main reason that this week’s #cakershour blog is coming to you so late! I had completely forgotten that it is actually Wednesday today! I hope the rest of you are not quite so forgetful and that you’ll still be able to join me for #cakershour!

Because I know so many of you have now shut up shop and paused trading during the current government-imposed lockdown and because we are still waiting to hear official confirmation of how the government plans to support the self-employed while they are unable to work, I thought that we would keep things fairly casual this week and just have a catch up and a check in.

If nothing else, I’m sure that many of us would just appreciate the chance to engage in some adult conversation!

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For that reason, this week’s focus questions will be:

What is the current state of play with you? Are you at home with family, children or all alone?

What have you been doing to keep yourself busy over the last couple of days?

In an ideal world, is there anything that you would like to achieve during this unexpected period of ‘free’ time?

Is there anything that you would like some support with?

What are your top tips for surviving the lockdown?

I do hope that you will be able to join me for #cakershour this week over on Twitter – I’ll see you there…

 

The Twitter #cakershour is hosted by Mr Baker’s Cakes and takes place every Wednesday from 9:00pm. To find out more, check out the intro post here.