Monthly Archives: November 2016

4 quirky ways to decorate a Christmas cake!

30 November, 2016

Is Christmas really Christmas without its staple bake? Jam-packed with raisins, sultanas and cherries, this deliciously sweet fruit cake, covered in marzipan and icing, goes hand in hand with the jovial celebrations experienced during this time of year. Christmas cake’s ingredients may often stay the same, but its texture is created depending on preference – whether crumbly or sticky – and as a whole, the bake can be decorated as you wish – encompassing the festive season with edible decorations, colours and more.

In this blog, we’re showcasing how you can truly make your Christmas cake as striking as possible, taking inspiration from several eye-catching designs.

1. Iced snowflakes

Who says you can’t change the colour of your Christmas cake? Swap white icing for blue!

Roll out your brightly coloured icing and place on top of the marzipan, trimming off the excess icing with a knife. Then, using a snowflake icing template, cut out your winter wonderland designs and stick them to the icing using water. Simply finish by sprinkling edible glitter all over the cake!

Your cake’s flavour will still have its traditional taste, just wrapped up a little differently!

2. Frosted pine trees

 

Frosted pine trees

For a true winter wonderland, why not create your own festive landscape littered with Christmas trees and decorations? By taking advantage of the various frosting techniques out there, you can create your own iced pine trees in differing styles (that still taste great!). Start with a green fondant cone and a small flower cutter. Begin to cut out your fondant flowers one by one, folding them in half as you go along. Then, using a little water, stick your flowers onto the fondant cone, pushing up the individual petals. Do this until the cone is completely covered. Once finished, why not sprinkle with icing sugar for that desirable snowy effect? Here’s the full technique for impressive nature necessities!

3. Delicious cookie holly leaves

 

Holly leaves cookies

If you want to push the boundaries with your Christmas cake, what’s stopping you from combining two delicious bakes in one? Instead of focusing solely on icing decorations, you could create simple festive cookies to add to the top of your cake. You don’t want to cover it entirely, but instead, selectively place a couple onto the centre of your icing.

Keep your biscuit simple, and turn your attention instead to its design. Using green icing, draw the outline of your holly leaves, before filling in their centre. Outline your leaves with ivory icing once dry and finish with red iced berries! Want to add extra flavour? Swap the iced berries for cherries!

Then, all you need to do is place your cookies onto your Christmas cake. You could even serve extra cookies separately as an added festive treat!

4. Handmade Rudolf cake toppers

 

Rudolf cake decorations

For a showstopping design, why not create an iced Rudolph topper to sit on your Christmas cake? With many intricate features on this loveable reindeer, creating an iced character does take a little patience, but it’s certainly worth it. With a selection of coloured fondant and modelling paste, you can turn your baking techniques into perfecting the ultimate Christmas cake design – with Rudolf, and even Santa Claus, ruling your festive bake. Why not create Christmas cupcakes as well and add this little treasure on top? Here’s the full instructions – suitable for the advanced baker!

At BAKO NW, Christmas is just another excuse to perfect our baking skills and experiment with different techniques. How have you decorated a festive bake in the past? We want to see your images! Simply show us your beautiful Christmas creations via Twitter.

Unusual pie fillings that’ll tempt your customers this winter!

15 November, 2016

It’s no surprise that during the darker seasons, the popularity of warm, filling and hearty foods soar, as customers desire a meal that’ll stack up against the cold and warm their stomachs. A traditional food at this time of year, alongside dishes such as casseroles and homemade stews, are pies.

Bursting with a satisfying filling and encased in crispy puff pastry, pies can be served on their own as a delicious snack or alongside their popular counterparts: mash and gravy. The simplicity of its outer ingredients means that as bakers, you can experiment with a pie’s filling without really going wrong, and come up with a unique dish that your customers will love.

We’ve found a number of unusual pie fillings to give you inspiration; ones that offer a great alternative to the loveable classics.

Bacon, egg and mushroom

 

breakfast-pie

 

Who says you can’t have pie for breakfast? Being acknowledged as the most important meal of the day, ensuring your customers are satisfied for what lies ahead at breakfast means you’re guaranteed to remain in their good books. A bacon, egg and mushroom pie filling brings all your breakfast favourites together, flowing out of a light pastry. Sautéed mushrooms keep the pie moist, while smoked bacon adds that all too familiar breakfast flavour, coupled with fresh eggs. This tasty pie makes a great grab-and-go snack.

Chicken, chorizo and cider

 

chicken-pie

Chicken pie is nothing new, but why not laden your filling with even more chunky foods? Slices of fresh chorizo will add a kick to your filling, while marinating your chicken in cider beforehand creates sweet aromas and taste. With strong flavours, this filling is perfect when creating mini pot pies, and should be served with a delicious side dish.

Roast vegetable and houmous

 

Roast vegetable and houmous

Cost effective yet just as delicious, roast vegetable and houmous is a satisfying filling that combines smooth chickpea with chunky courgettes, peppers and other roasted vegetables, producing a healthier pie alternative. Flaky puff pastry complements the soft filling perfectly, while thin sweet potato slices enhance the flavour with underlying sweetness. Serve by the slice!

Sausage, apple and leek

 

Sausage, apple and leek

You’ve probably baked an apple pie, but what about creating a savoury delight with Cumberland sausages and thin slices of fresh apple? Caramelised apples provide a soft, sweet base, while pieces of herb-infused sausages on top turn this treat into a satisfying, hearty dish with so much taste! Serve with cheesy mash for the ultimate finish. Creamy, filling and crispy – what’s not to love?

Tequila and orange flavour liqueur with cream

 

margarita-pie

The tequila and orange-flavour liqueur filling creates a tangy Margherita pie – an unusual dessert option. Okay, we admit, it might not be a proper pie, what with its cracker crumb base and cream topping with hints of tequila, but it really does make a great dessert. Refreshingly intense with lime and orange liqueur, Margarita pie is a light yet flavoursome dessert – and tastes great following a hearty main.

With the days getting colder and nights darker, a warm, nourishing pie is just what your customers need. If you’ve had pie-making success recently, why not send us your images via Twitter?

4 beautiful winter wedding cake designs to inspire your customers

10 November, 2016

Forget brightly coloured bouquets and long summer nights, this season’s weddings boast frosty mornings, candle-lit wedding breakfasts and deep, rich colours. And the best part? The cake of course! (Not that we’re biased!)

Winter weddings certainly provide plenty of opportunities to get creative with your designs, and no matter if you’re crafting crisp, white icing, indulgent flavours or even something with a little sparkle, your traditional centrepiece is sure to be a showstopper.

To spark a few new winter cake design ideas, here are four breath-taking winter wedding cake styles we think are perfect for this season.

1. The traditional wedding cake

 

The traditional wedding cake

There’s no better time of year to opt for simple elegance. Spread and smooth crisp, white frosting over a classic fruit cake and marzipan base, creating clean lines with a little texture around the edges. Then, contrast the stark white icing with vibrant red berries, thistles and frosted pine cones to complete the seasonal look.

Want to add a little something extra? Lightly dust with white glitter to add a subtle sparkle to your cake.

2. The city wedding cake

 

The city wedding cake

If you’re looking to add a little drama to your cake, try defining each layer by decorating them with different textured effects for maximum impact. Use a neutral colour palette to create a chic, elegant finish, while styling each layer to contrast the next.

Build up the base layer of icing ruffles by using white ready-to-roll icing and crimping each strip using a sugar craft tool. Cover two layers of cake in edible glitter crystals and create contrasting icing effects on the final two layers by manipulating the buttercream.

3. The relaxed wedding cake

 

The relaxed wedding cake

Sometimes, the best wedding cakes are all about flavour, and when it comes to flavour, it doesn’t get much better than chocolate! A brilliant way to show off this fantastic ingredient, this cake layers up dark, milk and white chocolate, using their natural colours to create a clever ombré effect. So simple yet so effective, surround your cake with festive sprigs of holly to finish. Planning a hearty wedding breakfast? Why not serve up this delicious wedding treat as your dessert as well?

4. The country wedding cake

 

The country wedding cake

Perfect for couples planning a rustic, country wedding, this winter delight provides a great alternative to the floral naked cakes created for summer ceremonies. Cover your cake in white frosting, then create a woodgrain effect to give the impression of tree bark. Finish with a love heart etched into the icing and finish by serving on a log cake stand.

What are the best winter wedding cake designs you’ve come across? Let us know via Twitter!