Cake Boss Bakeware Launch

03/14

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Hey muffins!

For those of you who follow me on Facebook and Twitter will know that yesterday, I was honoured to be invited to the UK press launch of the bakeware range by the fabulous Buddy Valastro from Cake Boss! Cake Boss is currently the number one food show on satellite channel TLC.

There was also a demonstration of the equipment from the amazing Juliet Sear from Fancy Nancy Cakes. Needless to say, I was VERY excited. Even with the early morning commute.

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A breakfast of warm, fresh pastries and bacon rolls was on offer. And yogurt too, apparently. Ha. 

Basically, the bakeware market has grown exponentially over the past few years, with TV shows like Cake Boss, Ace of Cakes and of course The Great British Bake off to thank for it. The bakeware market itself is currently worth over £302,000,000. Three hundred and two million pounds! Wow.

The Cake Boss bakeware range was launched in the US in 2013 and is being made available in the UK towards the end of March.

The products include a baking collection, tools and gadgets, a decorating collection, cake kits and a server collection. The range will be stocked in Bentalls, Amazon and other leading independent stockists.

Buddy himself was heavily involved in the design of all the products. He knows that every good cake maker has a toolbox containing the necessary ingredients to create a good cake. Buddy wanted to create one range that contained all of these products to make it easier for novice bakers and children to get more adventurous with their baking.

Buddy’s (and mine actually!) favourite products in the range is the turntable. It is essential for anyone serious about cake decorating. As well as being turned easily by hand, the Cake Boss turntable can even be locked into place, something I haven’t seen before and think is brilliant!

The cake kits were something I was quite fascinated with. Most times, when someone wants to decorate a cake in a certain way, they never know what equipment to buy from where and what size! The Cake Kits contain the instructions and equipment required to make one of two different designs, a flower cake and a circus cake.

It was then time for our demo. I’m a big fan of Juliet so I was fascinated to watch her do what she does best. It also gave us an opportunity to see the tools in action.

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Yes ladies and gents, that’s me with the red hair. Of course I had to get involved!

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I’m doing a grand job there. Ha. I was using the textured rolling pin, which I loved. The designs were fabulous!

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Juliet making ruffles look easy!

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Everyone getting hands on!

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I even got to decorate and take away a cupcake!

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She Who Bakes with Juliet Sear from Fancy Nancy Cakes.

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Fabulous goodies from the launch. I’m very much looking forward to using this kit! And eating Buddy’s face on a cookie. Mwahaha.

Having looked at the range and tried and tested a few products briefly on the day, I can honestly say these are well made, well thought out and great additions to any baker and decorators kitchen!

Happy baking!

Britt xo

Sweet Lace Express

02/14

Hello Muffins.

So, when the fabulous ones over at Cake Craft World told me about Sweet Lace Express, I was intrigued! We’ve all seen sugar lace now, it is well and truly a trend. And as it’s gained popularity, companies are trying to make it easier to use so you can have gorgeous effects. 

The way it’s described on their website is that ‘Sweet Lace Express is a brand new icing that allows you to make lace easily and quickly. It revolutionises the technique for making lace as the icing is a paste not a liquid that can be spread into the mould, released after 4 minutes and attached straight onto the cake. It also goes a very long way so the average cost of a piece of lace is under 15p.’

Of course, I HAD to try it!

Here I’ve got the Sweet Lace Express ‘Starter Kit’ and a pot of the Sweet Lace Express paste.

Inside the ‘Starter Kit’ you get;

Spatula – approx.25mm x 20mm
Lace mould pattern – approx.150mm x 36mm
Paste – 100g

According to the instructions, you have to knead the paste slightly before pressing it into the mould.

I did it on top of my non slip mat which really helped. The instructions said; ‘Using the spatula, spread the icing across the mould pressing the paste down firmly to fill every crevice. If all the crevices of the mould are not perfectly filled you can press the spatula over once again or carefully over one area of the mould. This technique takes a little practice and if you are not happy straight away with the result, simply take the icing out, re-kneed and try again.’

You need to leave the paste in the mould for about 4 minutes, after which time, you can bend it and use the spatula to release the paste from the mould. The paste will stay flexible and workable for about 10 minutes afterwards.

I must admit, I’m very impressed. Whenever I’ve seen sugar lace on cakes I’ve been in awe. What we have here is a cost effective, simple way to make impressive lace decorations. 

I cut the lace in half and used it to border the top and bottom of this sweet pink cake.

But borders like that are just the START of what you can do with this stuff! It’s fab. I highly recommend it. 

You can buy the starter kit, paste and other mould designs here.

Give it a go, and let me know how you get on either on Facebook or Twitter.

Happy decorating!

Britt xo

Mini Colouring & Mould Tutorial

01/14

A mini photo tutorial on how to colour paste and use moulds!

1. Knead your modelling paste until it is soft and pliable.

2. Using a cocktail stick, dab a little of your chosen colour onto the paste.

3. Knead the colour in.

4. Keep kneading until the colour is nice and even.

5. Take a small piece of the coloured modelling paste and roll into a smooth round ball. Dust the ball (not the mould) with a little cornflour.

6. Push the paste into your mould. If there is too much paste and it is spilling over the sides of your mould DO NOT cut it. You risk damaging the mould. Instead, take it out, break some off and try again.

7. After pressing it in firmly, bend the mould with your fingers on the back and your paste should just pop out. (If it is stuck in there, pull it out, re-roll it and dust again with cornflour.)

8. Leave to dry on foam. Once set, decorate with!

Button mould is from FPC Sugarcraft Ltd. They can be found here.

Happy baking!

Britt xo

BBC Good Food Show London 2013

11/13

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Hello muffins!

So at the weekend I attended the BBC Good Food Show at Olympia in London and it was amazing!

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The sun was shining, the food was cooking and the smells in the air were amazing! From the moment you walked in it was foodie heaven! The stalls were laid out brilliantly with enough space to see what was going on and still be able to walk around too.

The stands were separated a little with The Great British Bake Off Village, playing homage to the fabulous and inspiring show on BBC 2 and to pay tribute to Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood who were guests at the show. This village was filled with exhibitors for cakes and bakes, including the very lovely ladies at Cake Craft World who were giving people a go at using their products and making some sugar Christmas decorations. I thought this was great. A real hands on experience to try before you buy.

Then there was Jack and Gill Crafts with their simply amazing textured rolling pins. (Keep your eyes peeled soon for a featured blog post about these great creations and how they will make decorating so much easier!)

Foodie Flavours were there too with their high strength, natural flavourings for the food professional and the serious foodie. Their range of 50 flavours all made in the UK, now include bubblegum, cream soda and candy floss! A must see for anyone interested in baking.

Then as you went further there were the Good Food Champions, those who had created something so special that it has been awarded at least one Taste award. Great Taste is the largest, most trusted accreditation for speciality food and drink.

I found some fabulous stands, like The Gourmet Bacon Company, award winning bacon curers, producing the finest gourmet bacon.

Towards the middle was the Interview Stage, where notes chefs and bakers were grilled about the best techniques from eager fans and the Winter Kitchen sponsored by Hellmanns which hosted demonstrations by famous faces from hit TV shows including three winners of The Great British Bake Off.

I also found a rather large stand devoted to Mickey’s Delight. The ultimate range of alcoholic confectionary! After sampling everything I could get my hands on, I left with a little bottle of whipped tiramisu, french vanilla coffee and cream vodka. Super tasty!

And I have to mention the sweet Fab Fairies and Wicked Tarts. Their Passion Pillows (Easy…) were a taste sensation on my tongue. Light and fluffy marshmallow with a sweet and tart flavour of fresh passionfruit. I finished my bag before I got home! Make sure to check them out.

There was also the Pop Up Restaurant and Street Food Experience sponsored by Hardys wines. A chance to have a well earned break and a drink before carrying on with your day.

One of the best parts for me was the Supertheatre sponsored by Tesco Finest. It was a chance to see my favourite celebrity chefs cooking on stage. I saw Mary Berry baking a sweet tart and Paul Hollywood making a fab brioche. I did try to grab a slice after the demonstration but they wheeled it away rather quickly! (Understandable, it looked delicious!) They were also joined onstage by this years winner Frances Quinn who answered some questions from the audience (including mine!) about her time on The Great British Bake Off.

All in all it was an amazing day full of fabulous food and a buzzing atmosphere! Get your tickets now for the 2014 here.

Happy baking!

Britt xo

Sainsbury’s Free From Christmas Review

11/13

This week I received a fabulous package full of Sainsbury’s Free From Christmas goodies!

One in five Britons now claims to have a food allergy or intolerance, with most stating wheat as the problem. That is an increase of 400 per cent in the past 20 years.

Years ago, sufferers of food allergies had to go to specialist shops and forgo meals out, but most supermarkets now have aisles dedicated to restricted diets, and packaging is carefully labelled. ’Free from’ food has been going from strength to strength.

Sainsbury’s were the first major supermarket to introduce their own label free from range back in 2002 and they haven’t looked back since.

Christmas is a time where food plays a major part in our social occasions and if you have an intolerance or allergy, it can be quite difficult.

So, here is my She Who Bakes review on the Christmas free from range from Sainsbury’s!

Mini Chocolate Logs;

These were lovely. Very rich and chocolatey, perfect for a dessert. You would never know it was wheat, dairy and gluten free.

Iced Rich Fruit Cake Slices;

Fruit cake, to me IS Christmas. Topped with marzipan and icing too! These were VERY nice. Packed with fruit and great flavour!

Gingerbread Man;

Gingerbread men are one of my favourite parts of Christmas. They’re everywhere! This was super tasty, very gingery and had a fab crunch.

Chocolate Santa Bar & Chocolate Coins;

Imagine not being able to eat chocolate at Christmas? It should be illegal. These tasty treats are perfect and very chocolatey!

Iced & Plain Mince Pies;

Gotta love a mince pie. Especially with some hot custard. Mmmm. These were packed with filling, sweet pastry, very impressed!

All in all, you would never know any of these products were made especially for food intolerances. Sainsbury’s have done really well. Make sure you give them a try this festive season!

Until next time,

Britt xo

She Who Bakes Stamp

10/13

Morning muffins!

This week I received something very lovely from the equally lovely people over at The Cupcake Company. I now have my very own ‘She Who Bakes’ stamp to brand every cake that leaves my kitchen.

It’s small and discreet, like a clothing label! And I’ve been putting it on the back in the cake’s colour scheme. Like a signature!

So, here’s the stamp;

And here’s the Planes birthday cake;

How cute is the stamp!! I think it’s fab.

If you would like to order one you can do so here.

Happy baking!

Britt xo

Illustrations by Hollie Wise

10/13

Some fab illustrations of me done by the equally fabulous Hollie Wise. For more info on how to get some personalised pics, you can contact her at hollie.wise@hotmail.co.uk

Macmillan Coffee Morning

09/13

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As many other people yesterday, I took part in a Macmillan Coffee Morning at the Pro Health Therapy Rooms in Maidstone and it was amazing!

Fresh from the She Who Bakes kitchen was a luscious lemon cake, a moist carrot cake, hidden Oreo cupcakes with an Oreo cream cheese frosting, madagascan vanilla cupcakes and milk choc chip cupcakes with a salted caramel frosting!

As well as tasty treats, there was also face painting from ‘In Your Face‘ (Great name!), beautiful jewellery from Kathryn Cooper Jewellery, Georgina making a cracking cuppa and Nicola proving to be the hostest with the mostest!

But the BIGGEST news of the day was the beautiful and amazing Ali Hollands, local hypnotherapist (probably the best in the world fyi) who had her head shaved to raise money!!

Running TOTAL is £633.02 – BUT there is still time to donate! You can now Text to Donate £5 on 70550 using code COFFEE 1GM!

Here are some pictures to sum up the day!

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Britt xo

 

Then & Now

09/13

Hey Muffins.

Hope you are ok and enjoying the crisp Autumnal weather! I know I am.

Todays post is all about personal growth. When I first started baking and cake decorating I was so proud of each and everything thing I created. Mainly because I’d never been that sort of girl to know her way around a kitchen. So with every cake and bake, I grew more and more in love with it.

Now, a few years down the line, even though I look back at my previous creations and think they aren’t great, it will never take away the feeling of happiness and pride that I felt when making them.

The old adage that practice makes perfect is so true. I’m learning new and wonderful things every day and I’m a firm believer in the fact that we never really stop learning! (Or making mistakes, but they are lessons in disguise!)

I recently made a Christening cake for the daughter of an old school friend. It was a three tier, simple but girly cake that I really enjoyed making. It got me thinking of the first ever tiered cake I made. I was practising and made it for a friends birthday in January 2011. Whilst I was very proud of the finished result, it was one of the hardest and most stressful things I had ever created. It brought me to tears and there and then I wanted to quit and never ice a cake for as long as I lived.

But when it was stacked up (wrongly, I hasten to add), I was so happy. And I knew that it was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

On the left is my first ever tiered cake which brought me through so much emotional turmoil, and on the right is the Christening cake which got picked up yesterday and caused me no trouble whatsoever.

Find something you love to do, and you’ll never work a day in your life” – Harvey MacKay


Happy Baking!

Britt xo

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