Let's make whoopie

Whoopie pies or whoopie cakes have now migrated from the US to the UK. A well-known London store apparently cannot make enough of them.

Multitask models

When is a divider not a divider? When it's a sheeter, as is the case with Rademaker's Crusto Bread line. With continuing demand for replicating the characteristic taste and structure of craft-inspired products, this divider alternative claims to lose less gas in the dough through the production of baguettes, free-standing bread and ciabatta.

Gore galore

Sugar glass is used on movie sets whenever glass is smashed in a film. It sets hard and is transparent, just like real glass, but is much more brittle and breaks more easily... plus it's edible and sweet!

Trick and Treats

When 31 October rolls around, do you have a selection of festively themed treats in your window or are you happy to serve your usual offerings? If the potential profits are anything to go by, bakers opting for the latter approach are missing a trick as well as a treat. For independent outlets, this is one area where you may be able to out-bake the supermarkets.

Is a course imperative for fire alarm testing?

Can we object to a disciplinary companion?

Must a boss provide staff with a fridge?

Confusion over time off with pay

During the course of employment, there are times when employees seek leave other than for holiday. In some instances it may be reasonable to insist that annual leave entitlement should be used to cover the situations. In others, there is a statutory right to time off and, in some cases, this is with pay.

Health & safety compliance

Apart from the need to keep good personnel records for example, sickness absence and time off you must keep various documents in order to comply with Health & Safety requirements. So how do you know if your business is one that requires a written health and safety policy? And, if you need one, what areas should it cover?

Additional paternity rights

If a child is due on or after 3 April 2011, the father or mother's partner will be entitled to 26 weeks' "additional paternity leave". But babies are rarely on time. So what happens if they arrive before the legal deadline?

Transfer debt fees set to soar

Credit card borrowers looking to transfer debt to take advantage of lower interest charges elsewhere should brace themselves for rising transfer fees.

Promoted staff trials

Members may remember that, last month, I wrote "why I'm not in favour of trial periods for new employees". Now I will tell you why I am in favour of trial periods for newly promoted staff.

Grants to plug a gap

Small firms have been turning to business grants as a secondary source of "free" money while bank funding remains hard to find. Specialist grants database GRANTfinder says enquiries from small businesses about how to secure grant funding have risen by a third in the past year.

Tangs of New York

First came cupcakes, then whoopie pies; it's no wonder New York is being hailed by British retailers as inspiration for innovative baked goods.

Belle of the ball

MD Paul Smith calls Hayden's Bakeries a "bit of a Cinderella business" presumably not in sufferance at domestic abuse from its siblings, but rather, one that was badly in need of a makeover. Now it's had its missing shoe slipped back on, Hayden's is fit again to grace the premium retail ball, having emerged from what Smith refers to as "years of under-achievement".


SA committed to small businesses

Traditionals with a twist sand cake by Fiona Burrel

Sand Cake is one of the recipes in Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management. The cake is made using a mixture of cornflour and rice flour or ground rice, and the tin is dusted with crushed ratafia biscuits. The cake is flavoured with lemon zest and the resulting texture is quite close and moist, but gritty.

Fit for purpose

Richard Hamilton of HamiltonBIG, a creative retail and brand consultancy, talks through the three Ps of a shopfit

All you want to do is bake? Don't bank on it

I have a confession to make. Before I was allowed to be a baker I used to be a banker. Not just any old banker, but an RBS banker. Back in 1969, when a strawberry tart cost 6d, I failed to satisfy the dons at Aberdeen University and also to persuade my father to give me a job in our bakery business, so I went to work for the same people who would later take on good old Freddie Goodwin, ex-RBS chief executive.

Gram rounds off cabinets

Energy-efficient commercial refrigeration supplier Gram UK, has announced the launch of two new cabinets, to complete its Compact range. The new Compact 210 and 410 models join the existing 610 cabinet, to offer a full range of options that combine low-energy consumption with high quality.

Williams upgrades Doughmaster controls

Cake treats

Raymond Blanc has created two new summer cakes for his patisserie chain Maison Blanc: Raspberry Brittany Shortbread and Apricot Almondine. The shortbread treat is based on a traditional recipe from Brittany, and is made using a shortbread case topped with raspberry pâte de fruits and fresh raspberries, as well as a crispy raspberry meringue.

Fox's Moo-ve

Fox's Biscuits is to extend its Mini Moos range with the launch of new Mini Moos Choc Chip. Developed for the kids sector, the mini malted biscuits, are designed to be the perfect lunchbox accompaniment. The Choc Chip variety joins Mini Moos Malted Milk and will be available in individual bags within a 6x25g multipack.

Speciality & Fine Food Fair 2010: product launches

Over a third of exhibitors are attending the show this year for the first time, making the event a good opportunity to find new suppliers and source new products. Over 550 producers from around the world will offer creative and premium products that could provide that all-important point of difference.

Mixes enter UK market

Ingredients supplier Eurostar Commodities has introduced the Molino Alimonti Gran Fibra cereal mixes to the UK market for the first time.

Tartlets join Délifrance line-up

Délifrance UK is offering several new products for summer, as it continues to launch 80 new lines into the wholesale market. A 'presidential' collection of four light patisserie products are now available: raspberry, lemon zest, blueberry and lemon meringue tartlets. The range has been inspired by traditional French recipes and created by Tony Lallement, patisserie development manager for Délifrance. They can be thawed from frozen, are ready to serve within three hours and come in packs of 24.

Orchard Valley reveals secrets

UK confections and decorations company Orchard Valley Foods has launched a new service called Secret Ingredients. Customers to its online site www.secret-ingredients.com can choose from a range of confections, including: five-colour star mix or purple glimmer sugar, caramel cubes and silver balls.

Fruit to the fore

Mention bakery to an Italian and they soon start talking twice as fast. They love their breads each region is fiercely proud of its own as well as its national breads.

Italian challenge

We have 74 associations throughout Italy in different towns. Our members represent 16-18,000 different firms. It is a challenging market, with changing demands the latest of which is salt reduction. But there is also the challenge of frozen breads, which the French have tackled well. Now we are fighting back too.

Seed pricing

Reporting in Inside the corridors of power

Julian Hunt

Carr's continues its upward momentum

Carr's Milling has continued to trade ahead of expectations since its interim results, largely driven by its agricultural and engineering operations.

Snack firms urged to opt for 30g packs

Snack manufacturers across Europe are being urged to produce 30g snack packs to help consumers meet dietary guidelines on calorie intake.

Scottish firm claims big boost to sales growth

Scottish company Johnstone's Bakers claims its turnover has more than trebled since 2007, following a major investment in a state-of-the-art factory.

In Short

United Biscuits said to be up for sale

United Biscuits (UB) could be looking for a new owner, according to media reports.

Sayers uses research to boost competitiveness

North-west bakery chain Sayers is counting on shopper feedback to give it a competitive edge.

Muntons moves up environmental ranking

Stowmarket-based malt business Muntons has been named as the UK's 20th greenest company in a recent survey.

In Short

Tesco pulls bakery ad following ASA ruling

Tesco has had to withdraw an advertisement about its in-store bakeries after a complaint by the Real Bread Campaign was upheld by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

Italy gets ready for next international event

A B Tech Expo, the next bakery exhibition this calendar year, will take place at Fieramilano in Milan, Italy from October 23-27.

In Short

Changes at FSA unlikely to have adverse impact

Transferring the Food Standards Agency's (FSA) work on nutrition to the Department of Health (DoH) will not adversely affect bakers, say industry figures.

Bakers' Fair attractions

Bakers' Fair, the autumn event aimed mainly at craft bakers, takes place at Bolton Arena on Sunday 3 October.

BB prompts cut-price organic deal

Following an article in British Baker, small bakeries are being encouraged to apply for organic certification with a new cut-price offer.

Coffee Republic revamps stores and eyes bakery

Coffee Republic has opened the doors to its first new-look store, in Hove, and has revealed plans for revamping the coffee chain's bakery range.

Colourings to be labelled

Battenberg cake may have won a reprieve, after the Food Standards Agency (FSA) lost its fight to ban six demonised food colourings, but bakers will now have to label products that contain them.

BIA 2010 finalists now revealed

British Baker is delighted to announce the finalists for this year's Baking Industry Awards.

In Short

Firms ditch Food Standards Agency calorie labelling trial

Only five of the 21 foodservice businesses trialling calorie labelling at the point of choice have decided to continue with the scheme.

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