DIgestif Blog


Caught on the web

* Psycho Doughnuts' shop in California features staff wearing nurses' uniforms, a white padded cell and doughnut names like Bipolar, The Massive Head Trauma and Psycho www.psycho-donuts.com

Mouthing off

"I believe giving these offenders birthday cakes and cards has helped to significantly reduce crime. Their reaction is one of surprise, but the majority accept it in the spirit in which it's delivered"

Wrecks to riches?

A welcome update on the endlessly jaw-dropping Cake Wrecks blog - dedicated to "When professional cakes go horribly, hilariously wrong" - which Stop the Week reported on in February: author Jen Yates is releasing a Cake Wrecks book in late October. As a teaser, here's one effort ordered by a customer - for reasons that shall forever remain unfathomable - and the baker's brave but stomach-churning vision. "What is it?" you cry. "Go ahead, guess," writes Yates. "Spaghetti with tomato-ey cream sauce? An ear? A cherry, Cheez-Whiz and regurgitation torte? Nope, nope and nope! Give up? It's a foetus-with-an-iPod pie!"

Cupcake challenges

We weren't joking when we foretold of a cross-Atlantic cupcake arms race kicking off in July. To recap: the official Guinness World Record for the world's biggest cupcake was broken in mid-July. Then it emerged that a cupcake was unofficially constructed in Covent Garden, London, one day earlier, which dwarfed the States' effort (Guinness? Pah!).

Diary Dates

6-8 September

Planning ahead

William Reed Business Media, publisher of British Baker, has launched the Food and Drink Logistics (FDL) Show in response to market demand. It will run alongside the firm's set of market-leading trade shows, including the Baking Industry Exhibition.


Greg Woodhead

My Career

What does your job involve?

Bakery at large

Put on your comfy shoes, practise your German for "a large beer please" and get set for iba. The renowned German bakery exhibition takes place on October 3-9 in Düsseldorf.

Festive flavours

Tis the season to be jolly, especially for bakers as consumers line their cupboards, and stomachs, with mince pies, stollen, Christmas cake and brandy-soaked puddings. But will the recession signify a change in the traditional indulgence of the festive season? And will consumers follow the current trend of choosing traditional products they know and love?

Hitting the decks

Name: Sveba Dahlen Classic Deck Oven

Donuts that do

You may think there's no such thing as a healthy doughnut, but last year's Plant Product of the Year winner at the Baking Industry Awards, may well be as close as it's possible to get.

Lovely Laveli

Laveli Bakery in West London has only been open nine months, but it's already making a name for itself on the gourmet food blogs. "Have you tried the Laveli Bakery? It's fantastic! It has been a bakery for years and seems to have new owners now - gorgeous bread (the grainy one is the best) and amazing patisserie..." says an entry on Tamarind and Thyme.

Bitter struggle for sweeteners

Definitions of the term 'artificial' are almost as hotly contested as its flip side, 'natural'. But when it comes to sweeteners, at least, there is a fairly clear distinction to be made between what is 'artificial' and what is not (see panel). What is more controversial, especially in the context of baked goods, is where these different types of sweetener can, and should, be used.

Fit for purpose: Part 2 - the first steps

Before you even begin taking the first steps towards designing and fitting your bakery shop or café, it's worth considering the sustainability of the materials to be used, as eco-policies and 'green' credentials are becoming an increasingly fundamental part of business basics. Store design has had to follow suit and, to many people's surprise, it isn't all hessian and yucca plants at an inflated price.

Spice rack: Lavender

Lavender has been used as a culinary flavouring for several centuries, although it is probably closer to a herb than a spice. The French are known for their lavender syrup, made using extract of lavender, and lavender flowers can be candied or crystallised and used as decorations on cakes. For most recipes, use lavender sugar, which is caster sugar mixed with dried culinary lavender buds. Scones can be made using the usual recipe, but add a little lavender sugar. Make a lavender cake similar to a lemon drizzle by adding some lavender sugar to the recipe and to the syrup. Finally, pour over glacé icing that contains some dried lavender buds, or decorate the iced cake with crystallised lavender.

Spelt, Honey and Macadamia Bread

In the second of our special macadamia bread recipes, devised by three UK artisan bakers in association with The South African Growers' Association, this Spelt, Honey and Macadamia Bread was created by Paul Merry of Panary.

In my world

As I sit here on the comfy sofa at iCafé on the Great Western Road, sipping a latte, I can't help noticing some wee things that could perhaps be a little better and, of course, things that we already do superbly, like this latte in front of me.

Boosting sales in a Jiffy

Jiffy Trucks is promoting its mobile business vehicles as a way for bakery retailers to expand, without being tied to potentially high rent agreements.

ISA plays it cool with Zero

ISA has launched a new range of blast chillers and freezers, suitable for use in pastry shops and food-to-go outlets.

Ilapak starts new Carrera

Ilapak is to display several new machines at the PPMA show from 29 September to 1 October. These include the Carrera 4000, the first of its new range of horizontal packaging machines.

Back to school

Cast your mind back to when you were at school. Remember how you were taught the basics and encouraged to discover the rest. This is the perfect time of year for you to get back to basics by reviewing your bakery retail or coffee shop offer.

Add flavour

Cream Supplies (CS) is promoting its range of coffee and beverage flavouring syrups to add to coffee, frappes and shakes. The firm supplies over 20 different items, which can also be used in sauces, coulis, desserts or for flavouring cream. Popular varieties include vanilla, hazelnut and caramel, but unusual flavours such as marshmallow, lychee and bubblegum are also offered.

Kerry takes on new concepts

Kerry Ingredients & Flavours is to showcase two advanced technology concepts - Biobake and Route to Natural - at Food Ingredients Europe '09, aimed at addressing cost reduction and healthy eating requirements in the bakery and savoury snacks sectors.

Tulip blossoms for Dawn

Bakery manufacturer Dawn Foods has launched a Tulip Muffin range, consisting of five new muffins individually wrapped in tulip-style brown paper cups.


Retailers and manufacturers adore BOGOFs (buy one get one free) but these special offers damage brand equity and overall brand value, according to The Oxford Research Agency.

Dried fruit pricing

Coconut: There has been more attractive UK pricing over the past two months, which will trigger greater demand. We expect to see prices largely firming over the rest of 2009.

Dawn spends £75k on Evesham site

Dawn Foods has given its Evesham site a £750,000 revamp.

Reporting in Sandwich training on the cards

With a surge in sales reported in the last three months, it looks as if the commercial sandwich market will achieve solid growth over the year, contrary to some expectations.

Hovis puts marketing impetus behind 400g loaves

Hovis hopes that a new marketing campaign will attract an extra one million households to its 400g range.

Australian coffee shop firm plans UK expansion

Muffin Break, an Australian coffee shop franchise, has announced plans to expand in the UK. Situated in shopping centre locations, the business currently has 29 outlets and plans to open at least three more by the end of the year. It has been operating in the UK for the last six years and has just celebrated in 20th anniversary in Australia.

In Short

== Dalesman extends ==

Local products favoured by shoppers

A new report has revealed that 52% of consumers asked said they would like to see either locally or regionally produced bakery products in their supermarkets.

AAK sees profits fall, but is positive over potential

Speciality vegetable oil manufacturer AAK has announced a fall in profits for the second quarter. But the company said the trend for less expensive vegetable oil solutions fits well with its strategy for growth.

In Short

== Mantinga gains gold ==

William Reed launches new logistics show

William Reed Business Media (WRBM), which publishes British Baker, has launched the Food and Drink Logistics (FDL) Show in response to demand from the market. It will run alongside its set of market-leading trade shows, including the Baking Industry Exhibition, taking place at Birmingham's NEC from 21-24 March 2010.

Folic acid fortification still provokes hot debate

Adding folic acid to bread may be unnecessary and could expose people to potential risks, according to a study published in the BMC Public Health journal.

In Short

== Slow progress for Scores on the Doors ==

Get ready to enjoy National Cupcake Week

It's not long now until National Cupcake Week kicks off on 14 Sep- tember, so make sure you prepare your point-of-sale material and plan your window display, ready for our competition.

North East Bakery seeks retail growth for Nichols

North East Bakery is on the look-out for more stores to grow its Nichols brand.

Baking Industry Awards seats are a sell-out!

Tickets for the Baking Industry Awards have now sold out.

Wheat crop improves on 2008 quality

Early indications are that this year's wheat crop has improved in quality on last year.

Warburtons loses two senior family members

The Warburton family has said it is with great sadness that they mourn the passing of two brothers from the fourth-generation family baking business.

In Short

== Strong Essentials ==

Fair offers hot tips for bakers

Visitors to the Bakers' Fair in Manchester will learn survival tips and ways to reduce salt in products.

Dunbar-based bakery makes bid to survive

Local residents are buying shares in a community-run bakery in a bid to reopen their high street shop.

EAT remains bullish on growth, despite economy

Fast-growing sandwich chain EAT is confident of doubling store numbers in the next three to five years.

Artisan bakers to show at Speciality & Fine Food Fair

The forthcoming Speciality & Fine Food Fair 2009 (SFFF09), set to take place in early September, will see the bakery category winners of this year's Great Taste Awards unveiled, as well as a number of exhibiting artisan bakers launching new products.

Get ready to enjoy National Cupcake Week

It’s not long now until National Cupcake Week kicks off on 14 September, so make sure you prepare your point-of-sale material and plan your window display, ready for our competition.

British Baker has sent out a free branded posters to craft bakers with this issue, which can be used in your shop windows, and point-of-sale material can also be downloaded from www.bakeryinfo.co.uk/cupcake.

As part of the week, we are also running a competition to find the best window display, with the chance to win two tickets to the Baking Industry Awards next year, so make sure you enter.

The deadline for entries is 30 September and winning windows will appear in a future issue of British Baker. See pages 18-19 for more details.

Are you getting involved? Splat Cooking will be holding Fantasy Cupcake courses to coincide with the week (see tinyurl.com/mh34r2). And do let us know about your National Cupcake Week activities at cupcakes@

AAK sees profits fall, but is positive over potential

Speciality vegetable oil manufacturer AAK has announced a fall in profits for the second quarter. But the company said the trend for less expensive vegetable oil solutions fits well with its strategy for growth.

Want more stories like this in your inbox?

Sign up for our FREE email newsletter

Watch our winners broadcast


See all events




See all events