Monthly Archives: November 2014

The North Wests bakers are creating Christmas alternatives

24 November, 2014

As Christmas fast approaches many bakers have already started their festive preparations by adding a variety of tasty Christmas inspired treats to their menus. From fruity Christmas cake adaptations to alternative wintery puddings, bakers around the North West have taken on the challenge to revamp those traditional Christmas bakes and create their own festive selection that may even rival the classics.

Mini Christmas cupcakes from J&D Cupcake Co

These Christmas themed cupcakes from J&D Cupcake Co, are a great alternative for those who don’t require a whole Christmas cake to feed their family. We’re sure everyone will enjoy this alternative, but mini cupcakes are an even better alternative for those with mini hands! Children are bound to love these bite sized treats. Classic vanilla or chocolate sponge flavours also offers an alternative, for those who don’t like the traditional fruit cake. Topped with a swirl of velvety buttercream and adorned with sugar paste decorations they’ll get everyone in the festive spirit.

Penguin cake pops from Sweet & Sinful Cupcakes

Another great alternative to tempt your customers with are Christmas themed cake pops. These penguin pops from Sweet & Sinful Cupcakes make for a quirky Christmas treat that are sure to be popular over the season. Why not try creating some of your own Christmas character cake pops for your customers to enjoy?  Santa Claus, snowmen or Christmas trees would also make great designs. How about creating a cake pop Christmas collection and sell them gift wrapped as stocking fillers?

Jar of cookie ingredients from Deva-licious Cakes

Presented in a keepsake jar, this clever gift idea from Deva-licious is a perfect gift for your amateur baker customers this Christmas. It literally couldn’t be any more fool-proof, as all the ingredients needed for these delicious white chocolate chip cookies are provided and pre-measured for you.

Why stop with cookies? Cakes, biscuits and brownies are just some of the mixes you could put together in these jars, making great gifts this Christmas. Not only do they look good, but because everything’s pre-measured your customers will know they’ll taste great too!

Christmas pudding ice cream from Needwood Ice cream

Christmas pudding is renowned for being full of flavour, however sometimes it can be too rich to eat after a big Christmas dinner. Needwood Ice Cream have come up with the solution, by whipping up a lighter yet still indulgent alternative dessert, Christmas pudding flavoured ice cream. Why not try using traditional Christmas flavours in other desserts? Mince pie inspired cheesecake or mincemeat muffins with a brandy laced frosting are sure to be a hit with the grown-ups.

Or how about offering another wintery twist on dessert with a baked Alaska. Snowy white meringue baked around a chilled ice cream centre would make the perfect pudding for those with a sweeter tooth.

Snowmen cookies from Roses the Bakers

Biscuits are great for customers who are entertaining during winter as they can be handed round big groups with ease and can look impressive too. Traditionally shortbread is a real Christmas classic, and can be enjoyed on their own or even sold as gifts in Christmas wrapped tins.

Roses the Bakers have created a Christmas twist on the cookie with these snowmen inspired treats. Topped with chewy marshmallow and decorated with soft icing these would be great served alongside a warm hot chocolate. Or how about trying one of their robin inspired chocolate Christmas mallows instead? Try creating your own Christmas cookies that can be sold individually or by the tin as a perfect gift alternative?

Candy cane cake from Stuart Thornley Cake Design

This candy cane cake from Stuart Thornley Cake Design is definitely a unique spin on the traditional Christmas cake. Creating an attractive marbled design from candy cane flavours and colours creates a real surprise when sliced.

Christmas cake doesn’t have to just be a spiced fruit cake, why not try a red velvet cake filling for your menu? A vibrant red filling can still fit in with a Christmas theme and the contrast of a white blanket of silky cream cheese frosting could suggest a lovely snowy scene.

A yule log is another great Christmas cake alternative that still keeps customers in the festive spirit. A thick topping of rich chocolate buttercream spread onto a chocolate filled, rolled sponge would be hard for any chocolate lover to resist.

What festive creations will you be whipping up this winter? Whether they’re new and inventive or a festive classic we’d love to hear about them on Twitter. Don’t forget to send us your snaps too!

Celebrating #homemadebreadday

17 November, 2014

Celebrating #homemadebreadday

Baking the perfect loaf can be a real labour of love that bakers will gladly spend hours over and nothing can ever really compare to the joy of serving up freshly baked homemade loaves straight from the oven.

Today marks National Homemade Bread Day, and to celebrate the art of bread making, appreciating the long hours that our local bakers spend tirelessly kneading and proving dough, BAKO have put together a list of exciting variations on some the classic loaves to impress your customers.

Filled Loaves

Filled loaves can transform a humble loaf of bread, into something special by adding a sweet or savoury filling. These loaves also create a real eye-catching centre piece on any table.

Why not try re-creating Richard Burr’s Pesto Pinwheel from this year’s Great British Bake off?

Cinnamon rolls are a classic example of filled bread, but have you tried adding a savoury spin on these sticky spiced delights? Try filling them with bacon, cheese and mushrooms for an exciting variation to tempt your customers.

Or if your customer have a sweeter tooth, what about the Chinese coconut bun? Otherwise known as a honey bun, made from soft dough and filled with a mixture of coconut, honey and butter and topped with a gentle sprinkling of desiccated coconut, these are sure to provide a sweet fix.

Why not make lunchtime more exciting by creating a twist on the traditional sandwich and try baking your fillings into the dough? Your customers are sure to find it hard to resist crispy bacon and oozing cheese fillings.


Advanced Dough

Advanced dough has the potential to really show off your bread skills to your customers. When fats are introduced they change the dough’s texture and retard the yeast making it a more challenging bread to master.

Made from enriched dough, Povitka is an Eastern European delicacy traditionally served at Christmas. Filled with a hidden design of cinnamon swirls and walnuts, we’re sure you’ll agree that it would make a delicious afternoon tea treat at any time of the year.


For those of you with less time on your hands why not try making a chocolaty Babka? With a similar but simplified design to Povitka, it is made from enriched dough, filled with chocolate and twisted into a loaf. The end result is rich buttery bread that will melt in the mouth.

A classic enriched bread and a tricky one to perfect is the much loved brioche. Delicious on its own it makes for a sweet breakfast treat but why not try using brioche as alternative to the traditional burger bun? Making for an exciting contrast of juicy, meaty flavours against sweet buttery bun, your customers are sure to keep coming back for more.

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Sweet Bread

More cakelike in consistency, sweet loaves are delicious served with afternoon tea or as a satisfying dessert. Why not try replacing your traditional loaf for a sweet loaf in a bread and butter pudding? Covered in lashings of crème anglaise, this is definitely one for the sweeter tooth.

As Christmas draws closer, sweet loaves are sure to be a sell-out. European Christmas favourites such as Italian panettone or German stollen are always extremely popular around the festive period. Studded with candied fruits and citrus flavours panettone has been a firm favourite amongst many for years. How about adding vanilla and chocolate chips as an alternative?

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Shaped Breads

Bread can often be moulded and twisted into various shapes and designs that are visually appealing. Plaited loaves are an easy way of shaping bread and once you’ve mastered the technique it’s well worth it to show off the delicious chewy crust to your customers.

Serving a plaited loaf in many different shapes is an ideal way to cater for a group as it can be easily torn into small servings and enjoyed dunked into a variety of dips. Offering a tear and share bread alongside a variety of flavoured fondues would be a great way to get everyone involved this winter.

bread 5Another popular shaped bread are pretzels. Twisted into knots and glazed to give them their dark golden colour and unique appearance they’re often enjoyed warm and fresh out of the oven. Most commonly coated in a salted glaze, how about offering a variety of toppings such as chopped nuts or candied fruit so that the customer can make their own choice.

BAKO’s Bread

While bread, in its simplest, form is not too tricky to make, baking bread can be a laborious task. BAKO stock a range of convenient mixes for anyone who doesn’t have the time to spare to bake from scratch.  BAKELS Artisan Bread Mix, with added sour dough to which water and yeast only are added creates top quality crusty, artisanal style breads, baguettes and ciabattas. BAKO also stock a range of ready-made frozen breads, from ciabattas to panini’s and baguettes, which are quick and convenient carriers for delicious sandwich fillings. How about creating a meatball baguette to go on your menu?

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We’d love to hear what you have been baking to celebrate the day? Do let us know on Twitter.

Cake International returned to Birmingham

10 November, 2014

This weekend Cake International, the sugar craft, cake decorating and baking show, returned to Birmingham’s NEC centre. After last year’s success bakers from across the country gathered to showcase their talent and share their enthusiasm for all things cake.

The three-day event featured a variety of baking attractions such as workshops with experts, in crafts such as refined sugar craft and chocolate decoration. There were also famous guest appearances from Mich Turner, Edd Kimber and 2014 Great British Bake Off star Martha Collinson, sharing their baking expertise.

Bakers also had the opportunity to put their skills to the test in an array of competition categories from non-edible decorations to novelty cakes and three-tier wedding cake designs. As always the North West’s bakers did not disappoint and the team at BAKO were impressed by the talent on display from both the professional and amateur baking categories.

We’d love to hear about your Cake International highlights from over the weekend! Let us know on Twitter what you enjoyed most about the show or share snaps of your favourite bakes.

The BAKO team are already looking forward to the shows return to Manchester in February 2015, but until then you can see our highlights from the weekend here: