National Craft Bakers’ Week gets under way!

National Craft Bakers’ Week (NCBW) has got off to a flying start, with cakes already sent to a number of national TV and radio stations, from bakers across the UK, in order to promote the week.

Next issue 18 June

lNational Cupcake Week

17 November, 1933: The Man in the Moon's Weekly Tips - almond cakes

Let us consider that type of cake which has a layer of almond paste in the centre. It may be simnel cake or a rich slab cake. Which is the best way to insert that layer of cake? The usual procedure is to mix the almond paste, weigh off and chaff each piece round, then pin it out to the required size, finally placing this 'heavy' layer of almond paste on a much lighter cake batter. Does this almond paste layer not try its best to sag during baking? And it is successful too often! Instead of preparing a paste, sprinkle the dry ingredients, about half an inch thick, on the batter forming the bottom half of the cake. During baking, moisture, which is usually driven off, actually doughs up the paste for you. Thus you do not require any eggs for the paste and save time in mixing.

Bread buste

For the first time, bread sold in Orford is featuring health labels on the packaging, warning of the dangers of lung cancer, heart disease and impotence. Oh no, yet more health scares about bread, you cry! Well, actually no. Neither is it the latest instalment of The Real Bread Campaign. In fact it's to do with a scam operating around the Grasmere Avenue area of the town where criminals are selling Golden Virginia tobacco for £6 on the street.

Mouthing off

"He said he was taking into consideration my honesty and the length of time I had been working there and I thought he was going to give me a warning. I could not believe it when he said he was sacking me"

Out of the dark

Unusual bread-related cultural event of the week is a forthcoming stage production whereby bread is kneaded, risen and baked on stage. Intriguing enough, but what's more, Not by Bread Alone by Israeli Nalaga'at theatre company is set to be staged in London next month by an entirely deaf and blind cast. It's described as "The moving and life-affirming stories of eleven actors played out through music, humour, mime, magic and bread-making, mixing reality with fantasy, grandeur with ridicule." What's more, the venue will feature the BlackOut Bar, where you can order drinks and food in pitch black surroundings, served by blind waiters. We recommend you leave your table manners in the cloakroom.

We smell a rat...

Move over girly flowery cupcakes, your time is up. As unlikely a proposition as it might seem, vermin-themed cupcakes have arrived. Yes, and just when you were thinking there was nowhere left to take the category after zombie cupcakes (see 7 May BB), 'What's New, Cupcake?' by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson arrives with recipes for cockroach and rat cupcakes: bit.ly/d2abTV

The leap into an Epos-itive world

In the battle for customer loyalty on the high street the benefits of an Epos system are considerable: they're customer-focused and allow marketing initiatives to be delivered through a choice of communications including till displays, receipts, loyalty schemes or even email and text to prompt extra purchases.

Eyes on the pies

Pork, ginger and rhubarb, mutton and turnip, and shrimp and butter were some of the more unusual pie varieties entered into the 2010 British Pie Awards this May. But while these eye-catching recipes offered a new take on the classic dish, traditional recipes such as steak and kidney scooped most of the top prizes.

A question of scale

The Bread Factory is anything but. Despite the company name, which, if nothing else, is a story to tell potential customers as we learn; its passion and aim as a business is to create artisan craft bakery products. It has successfully combined the benefits of scale with the traditional values of craft baking, making it the worthy winner of The Craft Business Award, sponsored by Rank Hovis at the Baking Industry Awards 2009.

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