One thing I really love about living south of my natural border is the close proximity to London and thus ready access to all kinds of fabulous events in the nation's capital. One such event is The Cake and Bake Show! I meant to go last year but for one reason or another it passed me by. Not this year, however. I was ready for some tantalising sweet treats and to see some celebrity chefs in action and I wasn't disappointed in either case!
From the moment you set foot in the exhibition hall at Earls Court you begin to feel light-headed and giddy. There are two reasons for this:
1) You simply cannot wait to be unleashed on the hundreds of stalls before your eyes and sample their wares!
2) The air is thickly laced with highly addictive levels of sugar and before you're even aware it is happening you have been drugged, doped and sweetly seduced. The sugar rush kicks in and you have yet to consume a single thing!
There is a floor plan in plain view but it does not solve the dilemma of where to start. You feel a heightened sense of anxiety, panic even, that if you don't get around the stalls as quick as humanly possible then all the free samples will have swiped and swallowed by those that have gone before you! I soon discovered, much to my relief, that there was plenty to go around and as such I settled down and allowed myself to peruse at a more leisurely pace. And "peruse" really was the word of the day in my case since funds are somewhat limited at the present time therefore I had given myself a strict budget to adhere to - £30 to spend and not a penny more, GW! I had to choose wisely.
My first stop was at a stall run by a company named SPONGE (I interview them on the video so don't forget to watch!) and there are no prizes for guessing what they had on offer! Not the most original of names, perhaps, but it does what it says on the tin and I was delighted by the originality and variety of the sponges on offer:
The mini millionaires was my first cake of the day and it was a looong way from being my last! Good thing I had been saving my calories for a few days beforehand and hitting the gym hard because I didn't feel overly guilty at my gluttony and I savoured every single bite!
As I continued my perusals I realised that there are some very clever and talented people out there. Such incredible and intricate creations!
Then how's about this one just in time for Halloween?
Witches too boring and commonplace for ya? Then's maybe a Zombie Mermaid is more up your alley:
Can you imagine sinking your gnashers into that?? If I hadn't seen them with my very own eyes I wouldn't have believed they were cakes. Like I said, there are some freakishly talented people on this planet.
Speaking of talented people I was happy to meet the acquaintance of these lovely ladies:
Ferial, on the left, has just set up her very own cake business by the name of Sticky Fingers and Chris came along to help her for the day. She was sellling five cupcakes for £10 and I bought a ferrero rocher one for Hezza my Bezza, a bounty one for her partner John and a Hello Kitty and Cookie monster one for Bonnie and Jessica. Oh! And a jammie dodger one for Craigy Boy. I'm so disappointed that I forgot to take a picture of them because they were BEAUTIFULLY decorated and according to those on the receiving end of my little presents they tasted even better than they looked! Ferial, you are an absolutely lovely lady and I wish you the very, very best of luck with your new venture.
While I was sorely tempted by the cakes, brownies, macarons and all manner of other yumminess I was surprised to find myself quite unmoved by the merchandise on sale. I had a budget and I was determined to stick to it! That is until this shimmery, shiny beauty came into my peripheral vision. Is that not the Queen of all cake stands I ask you?? What a perfectly splendid and elegant way to present your dazzling creations! And it was on special offer - £35 instead of the usual £45. What to do? I agonised, I stewed, I hemmed and hawed. My heart declared a resounding "YES!", my head knew better. And for once in my I-wear-my-heart-on-my-sleeve life the head emerged triumphant. And my heart wept. So Craigy Boy, if you are reading this then please allow me to offer up a present suggestion for my birthday next month. Just saying.
A particular highlight of the day was an up close and personal baking session with celebrity chef, Eric Lanlard. And it really was up close and personal:
I really don't know how I ended up on stage with him being the shy and retiring person that I am...
Alrighty, Warriors! I'm hoping that I have sufficiently whet your cakey appetite with this sneak peek of the event in question. It is now time to move onto the Cake and Bake Show in its full glory with this here video montage! See the cakes and bakes in greater detail and meet some of the bold and brilliant bakers including celebrity chef Monsieur Eric Lanlard who spoon fed me some of his deliciously sticky nuts as you can see above. And no, that's not a euphemism.
GW, over and out.
P.S. If you're having difficulties playing the video (some devices appear to be having a problem, my ipad included) then you can also click right HERE. :)