Cake and Bake Show 2014

Today I went to the Cake and Bake Show in Manchester. My friend Lesley invited me to go along with her and her daughter Chloe, and we had a blast.

First off we paid a visit to the Cocktails and Cupcakes stand, it was a great way to start the day!

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Then we had a mooch around the stalls in The Marketplace, there are so many of them. I bought some gluten free brownies from the Devilishly Good Brownie Co. and I have to say they are some of the best brownies I have ever tasted. They were named ‘Vanilla Sea Salt’ and the contrast of the sweetness with the salt is what I think made them that extra bit special. I’ve never been a massive brownie fan, and I can honestly say I am now converted. I’ve not made brownies for years so this inspires me to try them again. Now I just need a great recipe.

The brownies were only topped (and ever so slightly) by the slices of pistachio and lime cake, also gluten free, that I bought from Ginger Bakers. Having checked out their website I am doubly happy, as not only do they attend regular events throughout the region, but they hold classes! I’m going to have to get myself to on of them sometime in the near future.

It sounds like all we did was eat, and believe me, a large part of the day was exactly that. Lots of opportunities available to ‘try before you buy’. I particularly liked Joe and Seph’s Popcorn and managed to taste some of their more interesting flavours such as ‘Gin and ‘Tonic’ and ‘Madras Curry with Black Onion Seed and Lime’. However, at £4 a pack it is certainly reserved for very special occasions.

However, it wasn’t all eat eat eat, I even got the chance to reign over my cupcakey subjects, in my role as Queen of the Cupcakes.

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I am far too busy to reign over my subjects all day, as I need to spend some time meeting and greeting culinary geniuses such as the loveliest man in a cooking apron, John Whaite.

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And one of the nicest cooks we had on British TV last year, Kimberly Wilson. Who is so very very nice and a wonderful baker to boot.

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Towards the end of the day we did some shopping. I bought some lovely food boards from Gourmet Food Boards that are going to look great in my kitchen. I also picked up lots of baking bits and pieces; a macaroon baking tray (which I’d wanted for ages), some patterned icing rolling pins, giant disposable bags (for those larger icing projects) and several packs of cupcake holders.

We also had a lovely chat with the staff behind the Martin’s stall, who told us they were 4th generation bakers. If you are in the Manchester area I strongly suggest visiting one of their shops as their cakes and breads look fantastic!

All in all a great day, albeit a tiring one. The only question now is what should I make first from my new John Whaite book, because everything in it looks absolutely delicious.