Mouthing off

"I have been for three years baking cakes. And now I'm going to bake a cake that has a bitter jelly. The message of the new music is now more bitter than it was before. Because the sweeter the cake, the more bitter the jelly can be"

An idea that's a steal

We've stolen enough from America in recent year muffins, giant cookies, glazed doughnuts, cupcakes, whoopie pies. Why not nick the latest bakery retail concept that is quite literally a steal? A few months ago, Stop the Week picked up on a 'Pay what you like' experiment carried out by the US' largest bakery chain Panera Bread. The idea was a bakery-café social enterprise, whereby the well-off coughed up the asking price or more, while the poorer got a cheap or free deal.

American beauty

A recent mysupermarket.com survey generated the headline "You might as well eat doughnuts for breakfast as breakfast cereal", after revealing that Cheerios and Crunchy Nut cornflakes contained as much sugar as a jam doughnut.

Pizza the action

Whether they're going posh in Pizza Express or casual in Pizza Hut, having it delivered, taking it away, buying it from the freezer or chiller of a shop or even making their own, seven out of 10 people in the UK are eating pizza, according to research company Mintel.

Training triumph

There was one company which undoubtedly came out on top when it came to training at the Baking Industry Awards last year. A fourth generation business, still owned and run by the Coopland family, Coopland & Son (Scarborough) has grown enormously since it moved to its purpose-built factory and current site in Caxton Way nearly 20 years ago. Back then the business had nine shops, explains operations manager Robert Pashley and winner of The Achievement in Bakery Training Award, sponsored by Rich Products. His colleague, production manager John Ruddock, took home the Trainee Baker of the Year award sponsored by Improve and the National Skills Academy.

Sayer's strategy

For some, the chasm between craft baking and the supermarkets is incalculable. Not so for Asda's in-store bakery buyer Laura Sayer, who can measure it in generations. Name ring a bell? It will if you are familiar with the UK's second-largest bakery chain, which Sayer's great grandparents started in Liverpool from humble origins the now 150-shop Sayers the Bakers.

Street fight

Civic-minded residents in the London suburb of Pinner were slightly miffed when Starbucks opened in the high street. But they were fuming when it transpired the coffee giant did not have the proper planning permission.

BB Open Letter: Wheat prices

The report in British Baker (4 June) highlights concerns over the possibility of increased wheat prices, due to currency fluctuation and the increased use of wheat for biofuel production.

Book Review

Who You Callin' Cupcake? Michelle and Vinny Garcia

Traditionals with a twist MADEIRA CAKE by Fiona Burrell

Madeira Cake is traditionally flavoured with lemon zest and juice and is decorated with candied citrus peel. It does not originate from Madeira, but was served to accompany Madeira wine, which was popular in the 19th century. In texture it is similar to a pound cake. Large pieces of sliced citrus peel are pushed on to the top prior to baking. This recipe is flavoured with orange and cinnamon, instead of the more expensive citrus peel.

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