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  1. 5 Reasons to love this series of bake off

    We've had only one episode of the Great British Bake Off this year so far and already the nation is gripped. From the very start of the theme tune to those end credits everyone is gripped by what goes on. It seems much like other years it's not just about what goes on in the show but the whole excitement and scandal that goes on around it too.

     

    Its early days still but here are my five reasons for loving this series so far.

     

    1. Bookies are already halting bets on the show's winner amongst rumours that the name of the winner has been leaked. Whoops, someone’s in trouble.

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    2. Flora's face when she realised the oven hadn't been turned on was a treat, more so when she proclaimed “we have an Aga at home" so many Aga lovers will have cheered at this point.

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    3. Poor Dorret's Black forest gateau when it fell apart, I'm sure the whole nations hearts were in their throats and we were all there feeling her pain with her. It's not like we haven't all been there with a few disasters of our own.

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    4. Marie has been all over the tabloids with them calling her the professional in the show and asking if it's fair. Let's face it baking is something that evolves year after year and as soon as you think you know it all there's a whole heap of new things to learn. I'm sure Marie will have a head start on some, if the story is true, but I doubt she will know everything either. Many articles are calling others semi-professionals because they have a twitter or instagram account with around 1000 followers. I'm not sure followers make you an expert, sharing a photo of something doesn't mean it tastes nice or hasn't been altered before showing either. As they say the proof of the pudding is in the taste so let's let Mary and Paul decide. 

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    5. Mary Berry's beautifully posh accent and her pronunciation of Layers makes my week with each episode. Mary can make even the most common of cakes sound posh with her beautifully eloquent voice and with my Wiltshire accent, I'm never going to be able to do the same.

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    Whether you are a diehard fan of the show or are watching it for the first time you are sure to find something you love about it.

    As for who will win this year? My money is on it being a baker!

    sorry guys, no guesses from me just yet.

  2. This week has been a busy one with so many cakes and classes my feet have hardley touched the ground. I thought I'd share with you two of my favourite cakes which I hope you too will enjoy. 

    The first was a cake for a boxing fan, this was a cake to feed 40 people and was a lemon sponge. It was really well received and was just perfect for the recipient. 

    boxing collage

    The second cake was for a client's daughter who was turning 40 and loved shoes. I designed the cake around this and went for a Christian Louboutin themed shoe and dust bag. This coupled with some simple red roses to finish the design. My client was very happy with the cake which was then transported to Yorkshire for the party. 

    red shoe 1

     

    Should you need a cake for any occasion please do get in touch and I will be happy to help. 

  3. Men can be pains to buy for so why not make some DIY themed cupcakes for him instead.

    These cupcakes are not only ideal for Father's day but they work great for a DIY themed cake display too. See the photo at the bottom of the tutorial for some ideas on how to display them.

    dad cupcake 6

    dad cupcake 1

    To make these DIY themed cupcakes you will need the following. 
    3 cupcakes iced with fondant
    Small plate or paint palette
    Thin paintbrush
    Clear alcohol
    Sharp knife
    Brown fondant 
    CMC or Tylo powder
    Silver lustre dust
    Veiner tool 
    Rolling pin 
    The smallest, plain hole piping tip you have. Mine is a Wilton #1

    You will also need edible glue and a small brush.

    dad cupcake 2

    First add some CMC powder or Tylo to your fondant to turn the fondant into modelling paste. The ratio for this is 1tsp per 250g of fondant. However if you are using less, adjust this accordingly. 
    Now roll out the paste until it is approximately 3mm thick. Use the sharp knife to cut small rectangles to make the letters. Remember the size of the cupcakes as you do this, as you won’t have long to rectify mistakes once the paste starts to harden. 

    dad cupcake 3

    Once you have cut the strips of paste position them as they will be once finished to check the sizing and layout. Once you are happy with how it looks you can move on to the next step. Separate the strips and lay them flat so they dry straight.

    dad cupcake 4

    To make the grain effect on the wood strips use the very tip of the veiner tool. Make small sweeping lines in the fondant. Think about how the grain on wood looks and try to make it look similar. If you are unsure Google wood grain and you will find lots of photo’s to help you. 
    Once you have done the wood grain use the very tip of the piping nozzle to make a circle at each end of the wood. Try to keep this random and not in the same position on each piece of wood so that it looks realistic. 
    Continue this on all of the pieces of wood until they are finished then leave them to dry for 20 minutes. 

    dad cupcake 5

    Once the wood strips are dry, mix a tiny amount of the silver lustre dust with a drop of alcohol and mix it well to form paint. Use the paintbrush to carefully paint the circles on each section of the wood. This will give a nail or screw effect and will dry really quickly. 
    Once the paint is dry glue the wood pieces together as letters and leave to dry for 15 minutes. 

    D.I.Y. cake set

    dad cupcake 6

    I really hope you like these cupcakes and have enjoyed this tutorial. Please share with your friends and let me know how you get on, I love to see photo's of the cakes you make. 

    However you celebrate Father's day, enjoy yourselves. 

     

    Shelly 

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