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Exclusive Preview: Something Sparkly This Way Comes…

Hello cake chums. I do hope you have had a fabulous week?

As December fast approaches, like many of you, I’m hard at work prepping for my Christmas bakes, recipes, tutorials and charity fundraisers, which is keeping me fairly busy, but I couldn’t stay offline for long – not when there is another issue of Something Sweet to research!

I wanted to touch base today though, because I have to tell you all about something exciting that I was playing with this week, while whipping up some tasty cupcakes for one of my work colleague’s birthdays.

I had the pleasure of meeting Lihi Rosenberg of Magic Colours at Cake International earlier this month and she got to telling me about a new product that they have in development over there at Magic Colours HQ.

The Magic Colours Disco Dust: 100% Yes Edible Cake Glitter.

I’m sure we are all familiar with non-edible, non-toxic, food contact glitters and I am pretty confident that I am not the only one who inadvertently sprinkled such products liberally all over my edible confections before realising my mistake back in the early days of my caking adventures (not helped of course, by companies that weren’t always entirely honest about their products) and plenty of others are still making those mistakes to this day. Check out the ‘Glitter Cappuccino Is The Most Extra Drink’ video that went viral last year as a case in point…

However, Lihi and the Magic Colours team have been beavering away for FOUR YEARS now, trying to perfect a 100% edible glitter that lives up to the sparkle and shine (lil’ Nativity reference there) promised by its name.

Obviously, other brands have tried to master edible glitters in the past, however I don’t know about you, but I have always been left feeling disappointed – coloured sugar ISN’T glitter! That’s why I was super excited when Lihi asked if I would like to have a play with their as-yet-unreleased new formula.

Having left it on my development shelf (yes, I have a whole shelf of products just sat waiting for their chance to be reviewed) for pretty much the whole of November, I decided that the gold Disco Dust would be the perfect finishing touch for some delicious salted caramel cupcakes (filled with a deliciously gooey caramel centre) for my colleague’s birthday.

To glitterise my cupcakes, it was as simple as delicately tapping a sprinkling of glitter on to each one using the handle of a teaspoon. I also used the glitter to to add a lil’ sparkle to the salted caramel truffles that adorned the cupcakes too.

I’ll be honest with you guys, it went EVERYWHERE – the flakes are super fine, so you do need to hold your breath while you are using it – but it sparkles just like real glitter and the morning after my cupcakes were finished, it was still perfectly intact and sparkling! It hadn’t dissolved into the buttercream like some edible glitters I could mention…

In fact, having also experimented with homemade edible glitters in the past, I was completely delighted to discover that it wasn’t water soluble, like many of the recipes you can find online for edible glitter. The possibilities are going to be endless for this stuff!

The birthday girl (who is a bit of a caker herself actually) was thrilled with her glamorously glittery cupcakes and I know that she, like many of you, is now desperate to get her hands on some Magic Colours edible glitter of her very own.

I reached out to Lihi to find out when we can expect to see it on sale and she told me that they are hoping to have it in stores in time for Christmas, but if not, then definitely by the start of 2019.

I did also flag up that the name disco dust could cause some confusion, what with the existing products on the market, which are most definitely not edible – and it seems I am not the only person who has made that observation. However, Lihi assured me that the name is just a working title – they definitely don’t want people to be mixing their new innovation up with existing products.

However, Lihi has had the BEST idea!

How would YOU like to be the one who gets to name the newest and most exciting innovation in sugarcraft?

Yes, that’s right – get your thinking caps on, because Mr Baker’s Blog and Magic Colours will be teaming up to run a VERY exciting competition to find the perfect name for their gorgeously sparkly edible glitter.

Give us a day or two to finalise all the details and then I will be back to let you know how you can enter and, more importantly, what you could WIN!

I can’t wait!

 

Oh, and before you go, I also need to announce the winner of my CAKE LIVE Demonstration Day Goodie Bag Giveaway! In the original post, I asked you to get in touch and tell me who would be your dream demonstrator. If you could spend a day learning from any cake artist, who would it be and why? Thank you to everyone who joined in, posting their answers in the comments below the post.

I chucked all of your names in a pot and chose two winners at random and I am delighted to announce that the lucky winners of the goodie bags are…

*drumroll*

Xenia Robeson and Jayne Machin, who, in spite of being chosen randomly, both said that they would love to spend the day learning from my #cakebro, the uber talented Ben Cullen of The BakeKing. So there you go, FMM Sugarcraft – make it happen!! 😉

Congratulations ladies! If you could get in touch please, I will get your goodie bags out to you.

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Peach Life: The Road to Cake International…

Have you ever wondered what goes into producing the larger than life displays at your favourite cake shows? Maybe you have wanted to take part in one, or even just been intrigued how people from all over the country – or even the world – are able to coordinate their efforts to bring something like that to life?

Having produced my own collaboration (The Greatest Showpiece – did you see it?) for the first time earlier this year, it certainly blew my mind just how involved these things can be, so I thought it would be rather interesting to go behind the scenes of one of this year’s most anticipated collaboration displays at Cake International and follow the Peach Life team as they count down to the show…

Inspired by the stories of Roald Dahl, Peach Life is a collaboration of incredible international artists, who will be coming together to bring a host of everyone’s favourite author’s best loved characters to life in sugar and cake.

Let’s check out some carefully-cropped teaser images of what we can expect from the display and meet some of the team…

Stephanie Would (Organiser):

After my first visit to CI, I was inspired by everyone’s collaborative work but I had no idea how to get involved. I’ve always loved to read, a passion which started when I was young and Roald Dahl was always my all-time favourite. I contacted Melanie from Cake International about the possibility of putting together a collaboration table and contacted Roald Dahl’s PR team to see if I could get copyright release. Luckily, they loved the idea and, with copyright secured, Melanie bumped us up from collaboration table to a ‘featured space’ at Cake International!

SIDE NOTE: Whilst working on this project, Stephanie decided that she wanted to try and make collaborations more accessible to everybody and, as a result, ‘SugarSouls’ was born. If you would like to know more about that, you can contact Stephanie via her Facebook page – Cake Nation.

We have some absolutely fabulous artists on board who have been working hard to produce a feature that will take you on a journey through Roald Dahl’s imagination, so be sure to come and visit us on stand F28 at Cake International 2018.

Anna Taylor Dillon:

What can I actually say about being asked to do a contribution to celebrate a legend and his books? My first thought was ‘Eeeek!!!! Have you got the right person?’

I really do feel that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity that doesn’t come along every day, so of course I accepted – how could I not?! I get to work alongside some of the most amazing cake artists in the world and recreate one of my favourite books in sugar!

The piece that I’m doing is very well known and a bit of a character. Because they are so recognisable, it was essential that I brought their personality to life through their facial expression and the sense of movement and I can’t wait for you to see them at the show!

Zee Chik:

I was so delighted to be asked to contribute to the Roald Dahl Collaboration as I have always loved the story of Matilda by Roald Dahl – in fact, I always love a fantasy story with a happy ending.

The book I am recreating for Peach Life has been adapted into both a movie and a stage play.  The positions of the figurines in my piece are based on a scene in both the book and the stage play. They are made from a polystyrene and wood structure, decorated with sugar modelling paste.

Nicola Bradshaw:

I grew up with Roald Dahl’s books and have been a bookworm ever since. My mum always used to say that I was only happy if I had a book in my hand and was stroking the cat. My favourite was Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but they are all amazing.

The character that I was given was a bit of a surprise, but I literally screamed with excitement. He is very much based on the book’s description of him, with a little of my own scrambled thoughts thrown in for good measure. It was essential that he had a warm and kind face and hopefully I have achieved that.

Jennifer Lofthouse:

I am thrilled to be a part of Peach Life. I chose Charlie and the Chocolate Factory as my inspiration – after all, what child wouldn’t want to visit a magical chocolate factory?

Gemma French:

I was extremely proud and honoured to have been asked to participate in the huge Roald Dahl Feature at Cake International this year! Be a PEACH and check it out!

Adriana Rivera:

When Stephanie asked me to participate in this beautiful collaboration celebrating Roald Dahl, I could not believe it. I think I reread her message several times and sat with my mouth open for a good few hours! It really is an honour to be part of this impressive team – they all have incredible talent.

Since I will be bringing my pieces by plane, we decided that I would make several small characters, and pray that they arrive safely! I have used Renshaw’s Modelling Paste and Rainbow Dust gel colours to bring my characters to life, over a wire armature and they each have a very different personality.

My favourite Roald Dahl book is Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – who wouldn’t like to find a golden ticket and have an incredible experience – especially in a chocolate factory?

Peach Life will be appearing in all its glory at this year’s 25th anniversary Cake International event at the NEC, Birmingham and will feature the amazing sugar skills of a whole host of crazily talented people – many of whom you will recognise. To check it out, you can grab your tickets to this year’s show, which runs from 2-4 November 2018, at the Cake International website – click this link to head there now.

Oh, and I have intentionally not matched up people’s pieces to their bios – I’ve got to keep the air of mystery going until the show opens…! 😉 

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Review: 10 Simple Wafer Paper Ideas – an online cake course from Lindy Smith

Evening all! I do hope you are all well and not too bogged down in all things cake and sugarcraft!

It has certainly reached that time of year when our schedules seem to go a bit mad – certainly in the UK, at least – as we limp ever onward towards the biggest weekend of our cake calendars: Cake International 2018.

Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, the Cake International team have promised us that this year’s show will be the biggest and best ever and, based on some of the whispers I have heard, I really don’t think they are exaggerating!

You may have noticed my use of the word ‘limp’ above and be wondering whatever could I mean?! Well, based on the record number of entries for this year’s prestigious Cake International competitions (almost 2000, I believe), I can assure you that there will be a whole host of busy cakers frantically working hard to finish their showstopping entries (as well as the amazing exhibits and displays that we all so enjoy) alongside their regular weekly orders. They really do work like Trojans to ensure that we have tables upon tables of beautiful cakes to gaze upon and enjoy and I applaud them all for it – whether an enthusiastic first-timer or a seasoned pro. Competing and/or appearing at the show really is a crazy experience and it certainly is a slog in the run up – but once all of the pieces have arrived safely, it is absolutely the best weekend of the year and I know we wouldn’t change it for the world!

I must confess though that I will not be competing this year – well not on my own anyway. Instead, I have been channelling all of my efforts into an elaborate centrepiece for one of this year’s collaboration tables, which is being organised by my dear friend, caking superstar, Vicky Teather of Yellow Bee Cake Co.

But fear not, you will also be able to catch me throughout the weekend completing a live demo or two (more info on those to follow) and also taking part in a fantastic live build to celebrate the launch of darling Etty van Urk AKA the Cake Dutchess‘ first book: The Cake Dutchess Modelling Guide – Animals. I was thrilled to be able to contribute to what I hope will be the first of Etty’s many publications in the role of editor and I can’t wait for you all to check it out at the show – it really is a thing of beauty!

But anyway, this evening I thought I would take a break from the craziness of my Cake International prep to tell you about something new that I have been exploring recently…

 

Renowned throughout the world for her incredible cake designs, thoughtful writing and accessible and approachable teaching style, Lindy Smith is the extremely talented British cake designer, sugarcrafter and author responsible for many of the books that make up the essential reading list for anyone looking to get started in cake design – including The Contemporary Cake Decorating Bible.

Her attention to detail and eye for colour have enabled Lindy to go from a humble home baker to a globally-sought-after demonstrator and teacher, during an incredible 25 years in the industry, and, while she continues to run a very successful business, Lindy’s Cakes Ltd, based in Buckinghamshire, UK, she has now expanded her interests to include an online shop, which specialises in sugarcraft products handpicked by Lindy, a jam-packed teaching schedule throughout the year and, of course, regular articles and editorials about all things sugar.

It is Lindy’s international travels that have enabled her to see first-hand how sugarcraft and cake decorating is constantly evolving around the globe and, inspired by this, she is now bringing the fruits of her latest ventures to life through a new online learning experience: 10 Simple Wafer Paper Ideas.

Check out the trailer:

If you haven’t had the wonderful experience of meeting Lindy face-to-face yet, then you might not have realised just how captivating and charming she really is, but you can rest assured that her passion for all things sugarcraft, her talent for teaching and her desire to inspire and help others develop their talents are abundantly evident in her enthralling, easy-to-follow classes. You are invited to let Lindy be your guide to the astonishingly creative world of cake decorating with wafer paper.

Having experimented with wafer paper a couple of times at home and then attending a rather wonderful Wafer Paper Peony Class with the lovely Rhianydd Webb of Dragions and Daffodils earlier this year, I have been rather keen to experiment more with wafer paper and so when Lindy asked if I would like to have a little preview of her new course, I almost bit her hand off in my enthusiasm! I am constantly in awe of the incredible things that I see people doing with this up and coming medium and I have been desperate to know more!

Lindy’s course is conveniently split into handy bitesize classes (similar to Craftsy) entitled Punch it…Cut it…Steam it…, meaning that you can pick and choose the order that you watch them in and they are clearly labelled with the type of class and the skills being used. Each section is also headed up with its own introductory video, within which Lindy will tell you the tools you will need for each project and suggest how you might use each project to enhance your own cakes.

With classes on punching out decorative trims, bands and all over patterns; punching out pre-shaped and hand-formed flowers; hand cut decorations; die cut decorations; and more besides, we really are spoilt for choice and I think Lindy’s course would make a fabulous starting point for anyone looking to start exploring the wonderful world of wafer paper.

Personally, I loved the sheer variety of ways in which Lindy showed how we can incorporate wafer paper into our cake projects – I’ve only ever really encountered wafer paper flowers before – and I also liked how she very clearly demonstrates each of the techniques before showing how you might choose to use the fruits of your labours on a variety of different styles of cake – both traditional and more contemporary.

It really has got me itching to get started on some of the projects and being such a wafer paper noob, this obviously meant that I had to to go shopping – what a hardship! 😉 I already have some punches on the way to help me get started with a couple of Lindy’s projects, so you’ll have to keep a close eye out for my follow up post where I will hopefully share the results of some fabulous wafer paper experimentation.

In the meantime, if you would like to check out Lindy’s 10 Simple Wafer Paper Ideas for yourself, you can head to this link where you can buy the entire course for the absolute bargain price of just £28.80! Once enrolled, you will have 24-hour, lifetime access to your classes, you will be able to ask questions at any point during the class, you can leave your own comments and share your creations with your fellow students. Oh, and if you opt to purchase the premium version for only a coupe of pounds more, you‘ll also receive personalised feedback on your creations from Lindy herself! That’s almost as good as having her in the room with you!

So what are you waiting for? Head to the link to enrol today and learn how to have fun with wafer paper!

Thank you Lindy for letting me have a sneaky peek at your new course – I really enjoyed watching my way through all of the projects and I can’t wait to get punching, cutting and steaming!

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