At the weekend my friend Cristina and I went along to the Squires Kitchen ’26th Annual Cake Decorating, Chocolate and Sugarcraft Exhibition’ in Farnham. Cristina is a wonderful baker and she was looking to expand her cake decorating tool kit and I tagged along happy to look at the cakes with the motivating factor that there would probably be free cake.
There was a whole hall exhibiting cakes of all shapes and sizes including suitcase cakes, ring pillow cakes, birdcage cakes, lace cakes and any other shaped cake you’d care to imagine. It was awe-inspiring to see what can be done with a little patience and a lot of skill. There was also lots to buy; books, magazines, cake tools, moulds, cutters and a huge variety of paste, paints and glitters.
After my initial disappointment that there wasn’t any free cake, I perked up when I saw there were free workshops run by some big names of the cake world. As it was a sell-out exhibition it was very difficult to get into any of the workshops. We couldn’t get into Debbie Brown‘s mini class, but we did manage to have a chat with her afterwards and she gave us an overview of how to make these gorgeous sugarcraft babies out of Rice Krispie cakes and she made what looks very difficult, sound surprisingly easy. Her book Baby Cakes has some amazing recipes for any baby-related events you may have coming up.
Unfortunately we didn’t get into Carlos Lischetti or Alan Dunn’s workshops either as they were too full. However, for the last workshop of the day we arrived super early, queued for 45 minutes and managed to get ourselves a great view in Peggy Porschen‘s mini class ‘Boutique Baking – Raspberry & Rose Dome Cake’.
Peggy made a beautiful dome cake by lining a dome mould with joconde sponge and filling with layers of fresh raspberries and German buttercream (a custard based buttercream). She then talked us through icing the finished cake and showed how to make sugar flowers and decorate the cake to perfection.The mini class was 45 minutes long but was very detailed and I was impressed with how much she covered. I was also impressed that we all got to taste the cake at the end which was utterly divine and convinced me to buy her new book. Alas, they had sold out so I will have to wait for the general release of Boutique Baking on 24th May.
For those of you who are serious cake makers, Peggy is running a full length workshop on how to make the same cake later in May. It’s pricey at £385 but you get the book included and you will learn some fantastic skills. Or choose from a whole raft of other courses at her Academy.
For those of you who are serious eaters (I fit into this category) and would like to try some of Peggy’s cakes, then pop along to her Parlour in Belgravia.
Until tickets go on sale for the ’27th Annual Cake Decorating, Chocolate and Sugarcraft Exhibition’ in 2013, have a look at Squires Kitchen’s huge array of goodies and tools to help turn your cakes into works of art.