February

Gore cakes of the week

Less a jinking twist on the heart-shaped Valentine's fare, more a punt off the park, these ventricle cupcakes will be dished out at The London Dungeon's Blood & Guts exhibition on 14 February. Yes, you guessed it, the Eat Your Heart Out crew are at it again.

Eyes on the pies of love

An aphrodisiac pie may sound like a contradiction in terms, but that's what Accrington-based Holland's Pies has devised for Valentine's Day. The so-called Aphro-piety, created by chef Tom Bridge along with Holland's, contains chicken thigh, perry cider, asparagus in a lemon-infused cream sauce, topped with smoked oysters and decorated with a gold heart lid and a sprinkling of saffron. It will be available in chippies in the north west. "Oysters have chemical compounds that release hormones such as testosterone and oestrogen," said Holland's. "The saffron affects the neurotransmitters in the brain's pleasure centres, to get eaters in the mood for love."

Mouthing off

"Our expectations have a tremendous influence on how we taste things they give food a positive halo. Don't take 'good enough' as being the benchmark, it has to be 'good'"

Man vs machine: 3-D trend

As previously predicted in Stop the Week, robot bakers are on the rise. While we busy ourselves getting armed to the teeth and stocking up on canned food for the final showdown, here's the latest intelligence report.

Pork Farms Nottingham

Installed: Applied Principles' data capture system, Principle Suite.

Tunnocks Uddingston

Installed: a new Schubert automated packaging line featuring a TLM-F44 Picker Station, which is used to pick up the teacakes and place them on to the grouping belt conveyor; they are then transported to the machine's central loading operation. A Schubert TLM-F2 loading system then picks up the collated teacakes and loads them into the cartons.

Matthew Walker Derbyshire

Installed: four 53Lti thermal transfer coding machines for manufacturing of Christmas puddings; installed by Allen Coding Systems, which manufactures thermal transfer, hot foil and laser coding and marking equipment.

On the tail of the tiger

Chef Heston Blumenthal is to launch some new bakery lines with Waitrose in April. The supermarket won't say if that range will include any bake-off breads. But if it does, Waitrose may well be on the right lines in consulting the man who brought the world snail porridge.

Weight control

Weight consistency and accurate measurement are crucial for all end-products and their ingredients, no matter whether you run a single owner-operated outlet, a high-street chain or large plant bakery.

Indian inspiration

Fudge-like barfi in slabs of green, pink and gold, crispy coils of jelabi glistening with syrup while traditional bakeries might turn out baps and Bakewells, Indian cuisine offers a different world of baked goods. With a culture including bread as a firm part of most meal times, fresh naans, chapatis and rotis form an essential element of the Indian kitchen, as syrupy sweets do for celebratory occasions.

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