Last week at Cake International

I can’t believe that it was only last weekend, that I was at Cake International.  It’s the UK’s leading baking, cake decorating and sugarcraft exhibition, held at Alexandra Palace. For me, it was an opportunity to check out at some amazing cake creations and watch some creative demonstrations.

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Can you believe that this is all cake!

The main reason for going was to be able to stock up on the latest ingredients, tools, equipment and anything related to cake.  I always spend far too much money, but I always see it as ‘an investment’.  This year I came away with a selection of sprinkles (that wiggled and jiggled in my bag all the way home), some cake tins and some new cupcake cases.

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Here’s Miss Phoebe at her first trip to Cake International.  In the family, we call her The Unicorn, because she is such a free spirit.  So couldn’t resist having her photo taken, next to the unicorn.  And would you believe it, it’s all cake!

This year, I took my youngest daughter (Phoebe) with me. The great thing about Cake International is that, although for some people it is a trade show, it is also a great day out for the family (after all, everybody loves cake…right?).

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Phoebe in action…

Phoebe is showing a real interest in all things cake, so she was delighted to come along. She took part in a sugarcraft workshop run by Inspired Creations (I have attended one of their courses last year and thoroughly enjoyed it). It was a good taster session for Phoebe.  I think she has got the ‘cake bug’; she keeps asking me to run some cake decorating classes, so she can attend. I’ll keep you posted on how we get on…

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Ta-dah!

 

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An Excellent Cake

Matt had a birthday coming up. His team mates in the office got together to come up with ideas for his birthday cake. I can almost imagine the conversation:

“What sort of cake shall we have made?”

“I dunno?…”

“what does he like?  Does he have any hobbies?  Or what is he good at?”

“Well we all know he’s good at Excel…In fact we call him the Excel King?”

“That settles it, then…”

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I made Matt this vanilla sponge cake with vanilla buttercream and raspberry jam, covered with fondant and wrapped with a satin ribbon.  The cake had edible prints of the Excel symbol, an Excel super hero and a well-thumbed Excel 2016 for Dummies.  I hear that Matt loved his cake.

Happy Birthday Matt, continue to excel in all you do (see what I did there?).

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The secret ingredient

love

 

When you bake, you must bake with love.  If you don’t bake with love in your heart (or at least a love of baking), what’s the point of baking?

When you bake for someone or someone bakes for you, the secret ingredient is always love.  That’s what makes it moist, more-ish, delicious, sweet, and makes you want more…

So, if you’re savouring a sweet treat made or by your true love (or made by someone else with you in mind), or treating yourself (remember, self care is self-love), do it with love and for love.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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How sweet it is

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Whenever I was heartbroken, my mum used to say, “Don’t worry dear, there’s someone out there for everyone,” and she was right. connie

After years of being literally left on the shelf, Colin the Caterpillar has found true love and he’s making it official.   Since dating his girlfriend Connie, for less than a year, Colin and Connie are getting hitched.

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After years of being a confirmed bachelor, and showing up at the best parties in town, hanging around with the likes of David Beckham and Boris Johnson, Colin is ready for commitment.  Close friend Percy Pig said: “Colin has been looking for love for some time and Connie is definitely the one – he’s smitten! They make a perfect pair and seem really happy together.”

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The celebrity cake couple have been inseparable since they met and have been quite public about their love and devotion towards each other.  In celebration of their union, Marks and Spencer are creating a limited edition Colin and Connie wedding cake (available from 23 February 2017), just in time for the wedding season. You’ll see a more spruced up Colin with a top hat and black dress shoes, while Connie swaps her pretty pink signature bow for a veil and a bouquet of flowers. The cake also has a sprinkling of confetti and of course, two matching gold wedding rings.  It will be the wedding of the year. What a sweet way to celebrate love.

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A little jaunt to Paris

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We love this illustration by Kasia Dudziuk.  It’s so sweet, chic and stylish;  it has all the things you love about Paris (especially all those chi-chi places to eat cake).  I dream about doing this all the time. One day, when we’re not too busy in the Delights Kitchen, we’ll hop on Eurostar and have a sweet adventure of our own…

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Proud Mary

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Mary Berry wins the Best TV Judge Award at the National Television Awards – Pic: Ian West/PA Wire

We’re big fans of Mary Berry in the Delights Kitchen.  It was so nice to see her beat off stiff competition and pick up the award for Best TV Judge at the National Television Awards, last week (and we were loving the fist-pump, too).  Congratulations, Mary.  We salute you!

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The gentle art of procrastibaking

 

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Yes, I raise my hand up, as I am totally guilty of this.  In fact, this t-shirt, was probably made with me in mind.

Procrastibaking:  The art of making cupcakes instead of doing something else you should be doing.

Right now, I am knee-deep in receipts and invoices, in the Delights Office.  I need to complete my tax return by 31st January.  I have started off with the best intentions.  I get myself some coffee, I switch on the computer and I start crunching the numbers.  I neatly put everything under the right headings: Ingredients, Packaging, Postage, Cleaning Products, Equipment, Website updates and Deliveries. After about an hour of this, my mind starts to wander.  I drift off to more exciting subjects.  Being a creative type, crunching numbers and doing my tax return is incredibly boring, but it is very necessary.  As I type away and organise my receipts, my mind starts to think about other matters…

  • Decorating techniques
  • Flavour combinations
  • Themes
  • Colour combinations
  • Topping
  • Fillings
  • The fluffiness of frostings
  • Just anything to do with cake, really…

Before you know it, I am down in the Delights Kitchen, reaching for the vanilla extract, plugging in Penelope and baking up a storm.  Yesterday, I just had a yearning for plain old vanilla cake, so that’s how I got my bake-on.  I’ve got two days to complete this task and press the ‘go’ button, so I better stop procastibaking and get on with the job at hand!  I will keep you posted on how I get on….

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