The week of awesome

05/14

Muffins. I have SO much to share with you all. Here is how my week has been shaping up so far.

MondayWoman’s Own issue with the article about She Who Bakes goes on sale;

Tuesday – I was lucky enough to attend the first #AOcooks event at the Neff HQ in Milton Keynes. Check out the AOathome article on the day here. My FULL report of my amazing day will be up soon (promise!) but here is something to tease you with for now;

Cheeky scone selfie with the always awesome John Whaite. (I always want to say John Whaite Bakes, damn you!)

Wednesday – Bake, bake, bake. Gotta pay them bills, girl. Here is the cake I made for a lovely lady who makes cards;

Thursday – I went onto the fabulous Look Good Feel Good Show on Channel Radio with the beautiful Trayc Randall and Leah Buckingham-Warner. The show this week was all about body confidence, something I am very passionate about! If you missed it or just want to listen again, you can find the link here.

Here are some pics from the morning!

Friday – When the gorgeous Kaddy Lee-Preston (BBC TV/Radio Presenter & Broadcast Meteorologist) picked up a birthday cake from She Who Bakes HQ!

So what of Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday I hear you cry? Well, tomorrow I will be finishing a cake for my lovely friend Lydia whom I have known for 547 years, Sunday I’m going on a pub crawl and if last year was anything to go by, Monday I will be drinking pints of water and eating many bacon sandwiches!

For more photos and details of anything I have spoken about in this blog, make sure to check out my Facebook and Twitter.

 

Happy baking,

Britt xo

Rainbow Rose Tutorial

04/14

Hello muffins!

Right, it’s been grey and drizzly outside today in Kent so I thought, what better way of brightening up the day than making a rainbow rose! And, because you lot always brighten my day, I thought I’d share the tutorial with you all.

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  1. You will need; a small and large rose petal cutter, ball tool, paintbrush, edible glue, foam pad, rolling pin, working board. (Or dusted surface)
  2. You will also need flowerpaste. I’ve gone with the colours of the rainbow by Beau Products Ltd. (N.B The pink I’ve used it in the wrong pot, it’s clearly not poinsettia red. I was recycling!)
  3. You first need your rose cone. Roll a small ball of whatever colour you will be using in the middle of your rose.
  4. Shape this into a cone shape like so and leave to dry.
  5. Cut out two small petals and transfer to your foam pad. Use your ball tool to frill the edges of your petal by pressing it down half on the petal, half on the pad and running it around the edge. This can take some practise, so don’t worry if you don’t get it on the first go.
  6. Paint the back of the petal thinly with glue.
  7. Wrap it around your ready made cone.
  8. Repeat the frilling for the second petal and glue this slightly inside the wrap of the first petal.
  9. Repeat with your next colour, so cut out and frill.
  10. Glue these petals slightly inside the wrap of the previous petal.
  11. Repeat for your third colour and when you get to the fourth colour, switch to the bigger petal cutter.
  12. Keep going until you are happy with the size and shape of your rose.
  13. Leave to dry then use as desired!

And there you have it, a rainbow rose! Perfect to brighten up any cake. Obviously, this tutorial works with single coloured roses too. 😉

Give it a go and let me know how you get on as always either on Facebook or Twitter!

Happy baking (and decorating!)

Britt xo

Cake International London 2014

04/14

Hey muffins. 

How are we all? Oh, good to hear it. Well this week I went to Cake International at the ExCeL centre in London. I really enjoy Cake International and the competition area. I’m always in awe at the amazing talent on show. 

Whether you’re a novice to cake baking and decorating, or have been creating masterpieces for many years, you won’t want to miss the opportunity to enter the competition classes at Cake International – The Sugarcraft & Cake Decoration Show. This is your time to shine and showcase your skills and creativity to the world!

You never know, I may even enter next time. 😉 Until then, here are some pictures of the fantastic cakes and exhibits.

MASSIVE congratulations to Jacqui from Cake Revolution for winning not only her class but best in show with her steam punk bunny! He is absolutely stunning.

Cake International really is a must visit show for all cake enthusiasts, combining all the latest ideas, supplies, live competitions
and demonstrations from the world of sugarcraft, cake decoration and baking. So if you missed this show, make sure to head to Birmingham in November! Details of which can be found here.

B xo

The Cake & Bake Show Manchester 2014

04/14

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WOW. What a brilliant time I had at the Cake & Bake Show in Manchester!

I had been invited to a VIP press show courtesy of Neff that was presented by the gorgeous John Whaite who won Great British Bake Off in 2012. Now, I’ve wanted a Neff oven for as long as I can remember, they have the sexy Slide and Hide feature. That was enough for me but I learnt they have a ton of other features that make them fantastic. They have a technology called CircoTherm. Now this means;

  • Cook a three course meal at the same time with multi-level cooking and, better still, have no flavour transfer across dishes.
  • Get cooking faster with little or no pre-heating of the oven.
  • Better cooking results because of even heat transference through the oven cavity AND no loss of heat when opening the oven door.
  • Moist, succulent roast dinners are achieved easily thanks to the speed at which the heat is delivered throughout the oven.
  • No need to turn food on the grill, the air circulates to give perfect results EVERYTIME.

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John gave a great demo of the ovens in action and I must admit. I’m sold!

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Here is me, John and my wonderful PA Colin at the Neff stand snacking on the Bake It Yourself with Neff logos! Ha!

The show was everything I expected and more. There were imaginative creations, baking demonstrations from industry experts and a plethora of samples to tease you.

It wasn’t just sweet treats on show at Manchester Central, with pies and breads available to buy and TV chef Simon Rimmer teaching a masterclass on baking pie at The Bakery Stage.

Next to The Bakery Stage was The Cake Kitchen Stage – with demonstrations from ITV’s Britain’s Best Bakery judges cake queen Mich Turner and baker Peter Sidwell chocolate expert Paul A Young, Master Patissier Eric Lanlard and TV cook Rosemary Shrager (who was wearing some fabulous pink shoes!)

This year, a talking point of the show was the Welcome to the Jungle display by CakeBomb.

The installation is created solely out of cakes and treats and stepping inside an edible jungle is a unique experience smelling sweetly of chocolate!

The detail is intricate and shows realistic crocodiles, bugs and scenes straight out of the Jungle Book including a working waterfall and smoking pipe!

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Me on the Competition Theatre Stage with Mich Turner. Peter Sidwell, Wendi Peters and the winners of ITV’s Britain’s Best Bakery. I had to judge a rhubarb inspired bake off between David and Lindsay. (Lindsay won!)

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This is one of my favourite selfies of all time. Me, Colin, John Whaite and Cat Dresser. 

Here are some more photos from the day including selfies and me judging the bake off.

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Above are some photos from the ‘Welcome to the Jungle’ exhibit. I am always amazed by the sheer talent of cake decorators. It’s art.

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Above are pictures from the Neff demo with John Whaite, a few selfies, some more jungle pictures and a bake off between John and Cat Dresser. John dragged his lovely mum up on stage! 

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One amazing feature at the show was the Cupcake Dress made by Cake Masters. It was made up of 800 cupcakes and over 5000 sugar flowers!! You could get into it for a photo and of course, I had to have a go!

It was completely brilliant. I can’t recommend the show highly enough. Get your tickets for the London Cake & Bake Show in October here.

Below photos courtesy of Elisabeth Kurtis at

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Did you go to the show? I’d love to hear from you if you did! Contact me as always on Facebook or Twitter.

Happy baking!

Britt xo

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

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