The Speciality & Fine Food Fair 2016, held this week, saw one bakery company stage a fightback against “cutesy” bakery.
The London and Devon-based wholesaler Exploding Bakery, founded by Tom Oxford & Oliver Coysh, offers a “more masculine solution”, Oxford told British Baker.
He said: “Bakery has become associated with frilliness and The Great British Bake-Off. We are showing that it does not need to be, there is another way.”
The traybakes specialist offers unfancy iced rectangles, handmade at its Devon bakery, near Exeter. These are sold in the Devon area as well as in London, via its premises in a railway arch in East London.
The bakery sells to customers including Monmouth Coffee, Oxford explained. As part of that partnership a big focus for the company is working out coffee blend and cake pairs that go well together, in the same way that wine can be paired with food.
The Exploding Bakery cakes range includes lemon and almond polenta, cherry and pistachio and rye brownie, which can be recommended against particular coffees.
Oxford says: “Flavour is key. A particular region’s coffee will bring out flavours in a particular cake and vice versa.”
Among the other bakers at the Speciality & Fine Food Fair were Paul Rhodes Bakery, Stag Bakeries, Karaway Bakery and The Polish Bakery.
Flower & White launched a range of gluten free Muffinz, A Tarte exhibited its range of almond tarts, and Gorg’ Cakes showcased handmade Fondant Fancies
And new products being showcased included salt sourced from the Kalahari in Botswana from the company Oryx Desert Salt, protein bars made from dried insects from Jimini’s and Olive leaf tea, from the leaves of the olive tree.
Crushed-fruit smoothies, speciality popcorn and coconut water products were also on display around the show.
Visitors included buyers from Waitrose and Selfridges, restaurants and hotels, as well as more than 350 delis and 250 farm shops.
The Speciality & Fine Food Fair 2017 took place at Olympia on 3-5 September.