Mouthing off

"We're determined to maintain the bakery's reputation for producing the best Chelsea buns in the world. They'll be ridiculously sticky and ludicrously fruity weapons-grade buns"

When cupcakes meet chick lit

As cupcakes continue to permeate society, the vogueish baked treat celebrates its entry into the 'chick lit' arena. Sue Watson's opus Fat Girls & Fairy Cakes is about a fictitious TV producer Stella Watson, who is "over-worked, overweight and under fire," having been "put out to pasture on a religious gardening programme complete with a nervous vicar, his nymphomaniac wife, and 22-stone Britney wannabe gardner, Gerald". Gripped already? Having always found comfort at the bottom of a mixing bowl, Stella decides to go into professional cupcake baking, discovering that "when the going gets tough, the tough get baking". Our pre-release copy has bumped Dostoyevsky from the holiday bag, but you'll have to wait for its cunningly timed launch, during National Cupcake Week, 12-18 September, to find out more.

A case of Jim'll fix it?

Stop the Week salutes British Baker 'Reporting in' columnist Jim Winship, who last week starred in BBC1's long-running current affairs satire Have I Got News for You.

Enriching the chocolate mix

The two key elements to producing a top-selling chocolate product involve creating an initial temptation and, after that, the fulfilment of the expectation. You simply will not succeed unless both these elements are addressed before you begin. So before you order in any chocolate or start working on recipe development, sit down and think about what will tempt your typical customer and what flavours, textures and appearances will have them ordering it again and again.

Spilling the blended beans

Marketers and packaging designers at the ready! If you're currently making anything resembling a "luxury Belgian chocolate cake", then be prepared for the latest European labelling edict, which could give birth to a whole new cake category: the "luxury Belgian-chocolate-cake-manufactured-using-cacao-blended-from-multiple-origins-including-Ghana-Indonsesia-Togo-basically-wherever-we-can-get" it.

Time to bin wasteful habit

Every food-based business has big waste disposal and recycling issues to consider and bakery is no exception.

A case study

The haunting sounds of the Last Post played out to an audience of all ages at Ypres, Belgium, is a moving tribute to those who died on the First World War battlefields. The ceremony takes place nightly at 7.30pm watched by a large crowd of locals and visitors, some of whom are invited to place wreaths.

Custom-made craft

Joe Hall is acutely aware that times are tough for bakery retail outlets, and he knows his business has to change with the times, or pay the price. It's not about pride, but survival. As managing director of Halls Food Group it is his job to make sure the business adapts and the successes keep coming, such as its win at the Baking Industry Awards 2010, when the firm took home The Customer Focus Award, sponsored by CSM (United Kingdom).

Hot water at touch of button

A stainless steel push button dispense boiler with an optional electronic locking device is the latest Instanta counter-top hot water boiler.

Club creates a better biscuit

United Biscuits (UBUK) has reformulated its Jacob's Club biscuit range, which now has a significant increase in chocolate content, as well as a new packaging design.

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