Cake International

Cake International – yep, it’s a thing. To answer your first question – no, sadly it is not a day of endless tasting samples. However, head down to Ally Pally at the time of this event and you will see tables upon tables of what I can only describe as sugar sculptures. If nothing else it’s definitely up there in the list of random, bargain days out (£6 on Groupon) and would make bake-off contenders want to hide their ‘show stoppers’ in shame.
Competition is tough with each ‘class’ having a different set of rules – I was surprised to see how many amazing cakes were disqualified because not all of the decoration was edible or the internal support could be seen by the trained eye.
Categories included flowers, countries, fascinators, birthday, novelty, 3 tier wedding cakes and even ‘pushing the boundaries’ where ‘the only limit is the imagination’. Competitors are awarded a certificate of merit, bronze, silver or gold but not all make the cut – this is serious, ruthless stuff. All you need to know is that everything photographed for this post is made of sugar and cake. Well done to everyone who took part, I was certainly impressed! Here’s some of my favourites.

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World’s Biggest Coffee Morning

Last week, people all across the UK gathered to serve tea, cake and coffee in aid of Macmillan – a charity providing emotional, financial, medical and practical support for people diagnosed with cancer.

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I organised an event in my (fairly new) office and was so impressed with the number of cakes and generous donations received. In fact, I had too many treats for our small office to eat, so had to load up a trolley and sell them to other firms in the building.

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All over Facebook you could see people advertising their own events, which warranted a ‘thank you’ to all those that hosted from Macmillan in the metro this morning. It created a real sense of community – working for a good cause that touches the lives of many.

If you are thinking of hosting a coffee morning  next year I would highly recommend it. It’s so easy to do at home, work, or perhaps even at schools. Macmillan sends you a free support pack with posters, a money box, cake labels etc making the event easy, fun and above all worthwhile.

My event raised £527.91 and I can’t wait to hear of MacMillan’s grand total. THANK YOU to everyone that supported.

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Beaumont’s Bakes

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This weekend I had the pleasure of attending the amazing wedding of my lovely friends Katie and James. Of course there are many photos of the stunning bride and handsome groom, but I couldn’t resist giving the incredibly talented Hannah of Beaumont’s Bakes a mention for her delicious funfair themed wedding cake tiered with carrot, lemon drizzle and red velvet. Hannah kept the theme going with vanilla ice-cream cone cakes and toffee-fudge popcorn cupcakes.

All guests at the wedding were spoilt with delicious food throughout the day, but despite being stuffed people were making sure they had their share of these phenomenal cakes. I was completely shocked when I read on Hannah’s page this was her first wedding cake. I know who I’ll be using if I ever tie the knot!

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Ready, Steady, Icing…! Gingerbread Event at Christmas

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I love baking around the Holidays and making festive themed treats is a great way to get in the Christmas spirit. Gingerbread is one of my favourite things to make as they’re good fun to decorate and look so cute once finished! See here for the recipe.

 

If you want to take the festive cheer of gingerbread to the next level, you can host a gingerbread evening like my good friend Jo. Every year a gingerbread army is baked ready for an icing competition; a large group of us hurry round her place, donned in our finest Christmas jumpers, hats and sparkly earrings, ready to grab a glass of mulled wine and take each other on for the grand prize.

 

We are usually given categories which we need to follow (e.g. occupation, Christmas or nationality) with three prizes given for the most creative biscuit. This year we upped our game with two teams competing for the best gingerbread house, with the below based on our local pub (complete with bouncer) taking the victory.

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Yes we are all in our late 20s and yes it is still festively fab fun. I’m excited for next year’s event already!

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Contact The Elderly Afternoon Tea

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Contact The Elderly  has been an established charity for over 50 years, with the aim of combating loneliness and social isolation among older people. How do they do it? With the help of fabulous volunteers who either host afternoon tea at their home, coordinate the monthly Sunday events or offer support as a driver.

I am very fortunate that my organisation sponsors Contact The Elderly by hosting a tea party for 25+ guests each Christmas. I am co-lead on the organising committee and love seeing the same guests return each year. I can’t think of a better way to spend my Friday afternoon than hearing all the stories of our guests over a pot of tea. If you’re interested in volunteering, in my experience, this is definitely a cause worth your time. See my post on top tips for hosting a tea party to help you get started, though for this particular afternoon tea I think your time and company are the key!

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Check out the crowd pleasing Yule Log from our Afternoon Tea last Friday!

 

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