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Sunday, 5 October 2014

The Cake & Bake Show

I thought I liked baking. I do like baking. But what I discovered this weekend at the Cake and Bake Show is that I am seriously amateur. This is not a game or just the occasional hobby for the hundreds of slightly crazed women with a mad glint in their eye who came along. This is serious shit. Every shade of ribbon in specific thickness and texture imaginable is available (God forbid your ribbon should be too thin for your muffin), corn flour puff dispensers are a must for creating sugar flowers (no, a pinch of self raising wont do) and don't get me started on the meringue creation reminiscent of the Kremlin.  

It was actually like Willy Wonka's chocolate factory. Piles of pearlescent macarons in beautiful pastel shades that cracked as we bit into them. Exquisite creations with flowers, pearls and beading and a cake which belonged on the catwalk at London Fashion Week rather than a wedding. 


We wasted no time beginning our sugar binge - peanut butter cream macarons were first in the order of play. Kate and I had had a GBK before we came stupidly so I was already full. We pressed on though, not about to let a blue cheese and avocado burger stand in our way. 

Meringues seemed to be hugely popular. I'm not a massive fan myself, unless hidden in the depths of a pavlova, surrounded by mounds of whipped cream and fruit. They did look beautiful though, crunched up like fresh raspberry ripple snow. 

There's something about a stripey bag that just adds a bit of style. Whether it's popcorn, a cake pop or chocolates, if it's served like this I'm sold. 

Cupcakes featured heavily, with lots of creative flavours, colours and new heights of frosting.   

This is the spectacular Kremlin creation I was telling you about... if there's anything to make a gal's attempts in the kitchen feel inadequate, this is it! Mary and Paul would be thrilled. 


Lace effect icing was also popular. Normally I would think it a bit old fashioned, but these cupcake holders were pretty stunning. 

Besides the millions of different types of cakes, there were also breads, jams and even sausages for sale. Cake pops also put in a rather brilliant appearance, served in stripey bags no less. We had several each - a delicious red velvet number and a rich and gooey milk chocolate. Because of their size and the fact that they are encased in icing, cake pops are far more moist than a standard cupcake. They are also perfect for eating on the move, and small enough to kid ourselves they are a low fat option. Ideal. 

By now we were starting to flag. Cake pops, macarons, bites of date cake, doughnuts, brownies and ginger biscuits all on top of a GBK is not good for the tum. A quick trip through the cookie garden and past so much vintage china even I was overwhelmed, we were nearly ready for our wedding cake lecture. Kate is getting married in May and Isabel who is making the cake was after a few pointers. I had kind of had enough cake so sat quietly at the back with a cup of tea and checked Facebook. 

Any show at Earls Court is not for the faint hearted. I had enough cake and sweet things to keep any ompa-lumpa happy and we left in a bit of a sugar coma, bearing bags of food colouring, cake tins, cake pops and cake bunting (no I didn't know such a thing existed either). I couldn't wait to throw my boots off and have a nice glass of wine on the sofa and watch X Factor, vowing never to eat a sweet thing ever again. The fact that I am now eating a big chocolate chip cookie as I write this is beside the point. 

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