Now that really does take the biscuit

Auctioneers at Christie's are expecting a biscuit to earn up to $2,500 at auction. The 104-year-old biscuit is a survivor from explorer Ernest Shackleton's Nimrod expedition to the South Pole in 1907. Made by Huntley & Palmers, the biscuit, which was found in the hut at Cape Royds, Shackleton's base of operations during the expedition, was designed to provide energy and protein. If past experience is anything to go by, then the biscuit could achieve far more than a modest $2,500; a handful of crumbs from Shackleton's more famous Endurance expedition sold for $11,000 back in 2001.

Pimping mixers

National Cupcake Week also allowed us to discover a man with an unusual bakery-related passion for pimping Hobart mixers.

Mouthing off

"She's so glamorous with so much presence and she made a wonderfully clever speech I was in awe of her. No wonder people follow her she's a powerhouse." Then a quiet, near inaudible aside: "There's quite a lot of her, though."

Cupcake challenge

The bonanza that was National Cupcake Week saw all kinds of wacky behaviour come to light. On Twitter, two Cupcake Week followers @ksaxoninternet and @SEOMalc battled it out to see who could eat the most cupcakes in one week. By the end of the week @ksaxoninternet had conceded defeat on around 30 cupcakes, while @SEOMalc was actually starting to make his own cupcakes. He wrote: "In a surprising twist of fate, we are making cupcakes. After 50, my body is craving more." Having reached the grand total of his 50th cupcake, he filmed himself eating the last one We don't envy his sugar levels

Tunnel vision

Energy efficiency, hygiene and safe and easy access are among features winning bakers over to tunnel ovens, while bespoke solutions and versatility to alter baking programmes are closing the deal.

Functional flour

H ere's the idea. Launch a new premium speciality flour, maybe a gluten-free mix made with the ancient grain amaranth, milled under a full moon to the sound of harpsichord. Make a fat margin. Invest in your business. Never look back.

Start-ups: Time to get active online

By Mellissa Morgan, aka Ms Cupcake.

A modern take on... Chocolate Mini Meringues with ganache and pistachio

When making meringues, it is very important that all your equipment (bowls, mixers, spatulas, spoons) are completely clean, since the slightest trace of grease can ruin the outcome. Rub equipment with lemon juice, then rinse and dry completely to remove all traces of fat.

Online firm offers artisan flour range

Online supplier has launched an extensive new range of artisan stoneground flours, as part of its aim to expand its offering of hard-to-find ingredients sought by independent and domestic artisan bakers.

NZ company mixes it for UK market

New Zealand-based manufacturer ECS Engineering, has launched a range of high-speed Chorleywood Bread Process (CBP) mixers in the UK market.

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