A few weeks ago, I discovered The Cake and Bake Show was returning to Manchester.
Hearing the words “cake” and “Manchester” in one sentence made me super happy and I simply couldn’t wait to explore the event. But I must admit, the two people who I was most looking forward to seeing were Eric Lanlard and John Whaite. I’ve been a huge fan of both bakers since they first appeared on my television screen. I thought John was a great contestant (and winner) of the BBC’s Great British Bake-Off (GBBO) and always made such amazing creations. Eric on the other hand, well, he had me hooked ever since his Creme Egg Brownies.
We managed to catch John give his first master class in the Bakery by whipping up Stromboli Buns. Here he was entertaining the crowd with stories from GBBO, and gave away a few baking secrets he had learnt from Le Cordon Bleu.
John and I graduated from the same University and watching him give his talk was like listening to an old friend. Although, rather than baking Stromboli Buns – it would be more Baked Beans’n’Buns!
The Stromboli looked incredible and smelt amazing. Unfortunately I didn’t get a great photo as I was quite near the back, however they feature in his new cookbook John Whaite Bakes at Home. Prior to the event, my Mum surprised me with a copy and I can’t wait to get baking!
Later in the day, John returned to the main stage Cake Kitchen ready to bake his Giant Butterscotch Chelsea Bun. Well, I say ‘ready’, but only after declaring his love for Billington’s by jumping onto the table to ask the audience where the sugar was made. As you can imagine, the crowd went wild and a lucky lady who was sat next to me, won the goodie bag – unfortunately without any champagne!
I’ve never made a Chelsea Bun before but John’s version sounded mouthwateringly delicious. The sweetness of the dough, packed full with pieces of fudge and banana, topped with butterscotch sauce and a sugar glaze was exactly the type of bake I’d love. John made the whole process look seemingly effortless and the finished product looked too good to resist!
Some other recipes which I can’t wait to try from John’s book include his Mojito Cake, Popping Cranberry Chocolate Shards and Choca-cola Macarons. The entire cookbook is just packed with baking goodness and really fun, yet unique ideas.
When Eric took to the stage, I have to admit – I was almost bursting with excitement. Just like him, I am baking mad and can take cooking craziness to another level.
Within seconds of taking to the stage, he had the entire audience laughing to funny anecdotes from his recent travels. Eric had recently been in Dubai and Australia where he found cooking with chocolate, outside in roasting hot weather, slightly troublesome. Although, thanks to Manchester’s gloomy, yet erratic weather, I don’t think he had too much to worry about…
Eric has recently launched his Chocolat book and set out to create his Gateau Concorde – perfect for the chocoholics in the crowd!
One of the things which I loved about his talk was how he got the audience involved. Whether it was by getting a smart, young man to pipe out some meringues or by simply joking around, it was such a great show.
The Gateau Concorde looks rather tricky to create, but it is essentially meringues with a filling of chocolate mousse. Eric gave lots of great tips all throughout his show which would ensure the Gateau would go according to plan. However towards the end of his show – it looked like Manchester was actually a contender for warm weather as the mousse became slightly runny!
Nevertheless, some of the top tips which Eric gave included:
- The best way to melt chocolate? Set a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water – ensuring the surface of the water does not touch the bowl. When adding butter and egg yolks, remove it from the heat completely.
- Your ganache curdled? Simply add cream
And my personal favourite…
- Craving a big bowl of chocolate mousse and you happen to be in Paris? Visit Chez Janou for an epically, awesome and tasty chocolate experience!
After listening and being thoroughly entertained/enlightened by Eric, I will most definitely be treating myself to one of his baking classes at Cake Boy in London.
Who would have thought Baking Mad would be so much fun?
The Cake and Bake Show – Stalls
As we had spent the majority of the day watching various shows, I didn’t have a lot of time to explore the show. In my opinion, the shows were my favourite parts of the day – however as we went up and down the aisles, I couldn’t help but spot a few baking gems…
Can you actually believe these monkeys are cakes?!
The detail of each was truly incredible and they really were an amazing to see.
If cake isn’t really your thing, how about a cookie garden?
As seen on TV the Cake Boss was in town!
From sugarcraft demonstrations to cake decorating tools and kits – this stall had it going on!
The Little Round Cake Company had so many adorable cakes on sale and I simply loved the concept.
Although their giant merangz were something to be admired!
The meringues looked and smelt amazing – so sugary, sticky and simply delightful.
As we were making our way around the show, I noticed one of my favourite bakeries from London was in Manchester.
Primrose Bakery, of course!
The stall was oozing with so many different types of cupcakes and I was in my element!
They had lots of different Primrose Bakery merchandise too including phone covers, mugs, aprons and books.
I had an absolutely wonderful afternoon at The Cake and Bake Show. It felt and looked like Manchester had once again welcomed the show to the city and there was such an exciting buzz throughout. My highlights were definitely seeing John and Eric with their baking demonstrations as I didn’t think I would ever get the chance to see them live.
I can’t wait to get baking with all of my Billington’s goodies and John’s new book – it’s going to be a busy and indulgent few weeks, but my goodness it will be worth it!
Now it’s time to look forward to London’s Cake and Bake Show – happy baking!