Last month I went to the very first Cake & Bake Show which was held at Earls Court, London.
The show was a cake decorator's dream, with many of the stands demonstrating icing techniques and beautiful little fondant flowers/figures etc that you could make or buy for your cakes. There were fewer stands for the baker, I would have liked to have seen even more baking products and tins, especially for the bread and pastry makers amongst us.
Paul Hollywood from The Great British Bake Off
There were demonstrations from the stars of The Great British Bake Off (currently on BBC2), Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry, plus appearances from the current contestants. Other big names at the Cake & Bake Show included Richard Bertinet, Eric Lanlard, Paul A Young and Claire Clarke.
Baker Brother, Tom Herbert, and French pâtissier, Eric Lanlard
Paul A Young giving a chocolate tempering demonstration
Although it was good to see that all the tickets had been sold, it was so crammed with visitors that it was hard to get close to some of the exhibitors' stands. The queues for the loos and food were even longer... I only managed to do a couple of hours there, not really being one to fight my way around an exhibition hall. One of the other things that I noted was that some people had paid extra for 'master' classes, only to discover that this really only meant that they were entitled to sit down and watch an open demonstration, which anyone could watch by standing just outside the roped off area.
Here are a few photos of some of the wedding cakes and other cakes that I saw:
Cupcake cases, macaron mats, silicone piping bags and decorating paraphernalia:
Something else I found a little odd, was the 'edible beach' cake competition. Nothing wrong with the competition, all of the cake entries were on show and they were absolutely beautiful, extremely creative and the contestants must have spent hours/days/weeks on them. But WHO won? There were 3 categories, professional cake makers, non-professional cake makers and one for juniors. It was the perfect opportunity for the organisers to promote the next show with the winning cakes on their website and to announce it on Twitter with photos. Instead, just a little link on Twitter to their Facebook page, showing all the photos and if you click on the first 3 cakes, you can see that they are the winners and in which category.
With a few changes, this could be a great show. I hope the organisers are taking notes of all the feedback for next year.
The next Cake and Bake Show will be in Manchester, from the 5th-7th April, 2013.
Some of the edible beach cake entries:
This cake, by Vicky Bedford, was the non-professional winner
I bought a fabulous loaf of bread from Flour Power City, an organic bakery
I went to the show as a guest of Renshaw, all views expressed above are my own.
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