Monthly Archives: May 2017

BAKO NW’s favourite summer baking events for 2017

26 May, 2017

Every year at BAKO NW, we select our must-visit food and drink festivals taking place in the UK and overseas. Not only do these offer great insight into the next big cooking trend, but while you’re consuming the local cuisine and discovering what delightful food combinations have been thrown together, you’ll also be able to take inspiration for your very own dishes.

Whatever type of professional cook you are, visiting one of these events provides plenty of opportunities to diversify your offering and learn something new, with hands-on workshops, taste testing, and even celebrity demonstrations. In fact, if there’s any particular food you fancy learning more about, there will almost certainly be a festival for you to explore. From the Isle of Wight’s Garlic Festival to the Great Dorset Chilli Festival, events dedicated to one food aren’t hard to come by and will open your eyes up to the cooking possibilities.

Food events that have become hugely popular over recent years, thanks to The Great British Bake Off (GBBO) and viral cake social media accounts, are baking festivals. These events showcase some of the country’s most talented bakers and highlight the latest techniques and equipment at your disposal. If you’re looking to expand your baking talents, or perhaps discover what others are doing, we’ve chosen some of our favourite baking events taking place over summer for you to enjoy.


Foodies Festival, various locations

Tickets are priced from £16 for adults, and £13 for concessions


Travelling around the UK, the Foodies Festival is a lively 3-day fete, providing a haven for professional and amateur cake creators. Each one has a plethora of recognisable bakers, Michelin star chefs, and television personalities: Newcastle’s Foodies Festival welcomes Candice Brown, winner of this year’s GBBO, while Edinburgh’s event features 2016 MasterChef winner, Jane Devonshire. You can expect a creative summer workshop, teaching you how to make some of this season’s most delightful desserts, and a dedicated cake theatre where you can show off your own baking talents!


The Great British Food Festival, various locations

Tickets are priced from £5

From Northamptonshire to York, The Great British Food Festival has been attracting professional bakers from around the country, with a weekend jam-packed with activities, live demonstrations, and even a foraging food walk! This year’s festival brings together local restaurants and celebrity bakers for a fun few days of all things food! Harewood House’s event features Howard Middleton from GBBO whipping up amazing gluten-free goodies, and you’ll also have the opportunity to learn baking tricks from talented Bake Off contestants, Val and Luis, at several classes over the weekend. Don’t forget to enter the Cake Off too!


Bakewell Baking Festival 2017, Derbyshire – 12th & 13th August

Tickets are priced from £7


In its 4th year, Bakewell Baking Festival brings together a wealth of cooking activities and great-tasting food in the heart of the beautiful Peak District. You’ll have a chance to learn from Molly Robbins, an award-winning sugarcraft tutor, and artist, Edd Kimber from GBBO, and master chocolatier, David Greenwood Haigh. Plus, you can try out mouth-watering local cuisine while wandering around a bustling baking and food village and whip up your own cake masterpiece to compete against other bakers. This really is one not to be missed!

With several baking events taking place over the next few months, you’ll have no reason to come back next season without a flurry of new menu additions, including a selection innovative, scrumptious desserts.

What are your favourite food festivals in the UK? Share them with us via Twitter!




5 fun edible wedding favours to treat your guests

16 May, 2017

Wedding favours have certainly come a long way since the classic sugared almond. From small tokens of appreciation to extravagant gifts, the modern wedding favour has become a far more inventive addition to a couple’s big day.

What we love, however, is the vast array of edible wedding favour ideas there are today, giving couples plenty of options for finding their perfect token. As we head into wedding season, we thought we’d offer some inspiration for bakers looking to add a little extra personality to a couple’s big day. So, say goodbye to those sugared almonds because we’ve picked out five fun wedding favours your guests aren’t likely to forget!

Mini eclairs


Mini eclairs

Adding a pop of colour to any wedding table setting, these mini eclairs are sure to go down a treat! We love these pink choux pastry delights, topped off with an array of forest fruits, sweets and pistachios. However, these sweet treats don’t have to don a pink hue, you can easily pair them to your own wedding colour palette too. Use blueberries and blackberries for blue and purple tones, or opt for the more vibrant shades of passion fruit and mango – whichever you go for, these eclairs are one wedding favour sure to impress!

Bride and groom cookies

Wedding favours, bride and groom cookies

Simple, yet incredibly effective, bride and groom cookies are a fun wedding favour option. Use a heart shaped cookie cutter to form the bodies, then decorate using a flood-and-fill technique to ensure an even covering of icing. Once the base has dried, add the tie and dress detailing using icing of a thicker consistency.

Design options are endless for cookie favours, so why not add a few personal details? From the bride and groom’s initials to mirroring the bridesmaids’ dresses, these cookies are the perfect opportunity to let your imagination run wild!

Tie the knot pretzels


Tie the knot pretzels

Not a fan of sweet treats? No problem. This tie the knot pretzel is a great wedding favour option for those who prefer savoury over sweet. Roll your pretzel dough into a long rope-like piece, then twist it into the classic knot.

To create the perfect knot, lay the rope in a U-shape with the curve pointing in your direction. Take the ends and cross them over, then take the ends again and pull them backwards, pressing them into the curve of the U-shape. Complete the tie the knot effect by serving your pretzels with a few tongue-and-cheek labels and messages!

His and hers cupcakes

Bride and groom cupcakes

A great option for larger weddings, wedding favour cupcakes are incredibly popular. With a vast range of colours, designs and flavours on offer, cupcakes are an effortless way to add a personal touch to the big day.

We love this bride and groom cupcake design, using a mix of fondant and modelling paste to create intricate decorations, resulting in a beautiful overall effect. Flavour the cupcakes with the couples’ favourite ingredients to create a delicious wedding favour unique to them.

Apple-y married toffee apples


Apple-y married toffee apples

If you’re baking for an autumn wedding, these “apple-y married” toffee apples are the perfect addition. First, remove the apple stems and replace with lolly sticks. Then, coat the small green or red apples with a rich and indulgent caramel before adding an array of extra toppings. From sweet white chocolate and cinnamon sugar to colourful sprinkles and chocolate flakes, these toffee apple wedding favours are ideal for adding a seasonal twist. Add your apple-y married labels and serve on lace doilies to complete the look!

What’s the best edible wedding favour idea you’ve spotted? Let us know via Twitter!

5 imaginative doughnut designs we love

11 May, 2017

With National Doughnut Week in full swing, we’d thought we’d offer up a little extra inspiration for all the bakers getting involved! From the classic glazed ring to the jam-filled ball, these deep-fried dough treats are incredibly popular here in the UK, with numerous exciting varieties to choose from.

However, although we’ll always have a soft spot for the classics, doughnuts have come a long way over the past few years. So bakers, are you up for a challenge? For those of you who really want to stand out during Doughnut Week, we’ve picked out five imaginative doughnut designs that’ll really put your baking skills to the test!

1. Chocolate-glazed black cat doughnuts

Chocolate glazed black cat doughnuts

The classic ring transformed by a thick coating of dark chocolate ganache – these black cat doughnuts are sure to grab your customers’ attention! After frying your doughnuts, make your chocolate glaze using double cream, dark chocolate, icing sugar and black gel food colouring. To add the ears, push two whole almonds into the top of your doughnut, then coat the whole thing in the rich dark chocolate glaze. Finish your design using white and black icing to complete the effect!

2. Melted ice cream doughnuts

Melted ice cream doughnuts

Perfect for summer weather, these melted ice-cream doughnuts are sure to go down a treat this May! Coat one half of a ring doughnut in white icing, then pipe more icing around the edge to create the drip effect. Next, dunk a doughnut hole (a miniature doughnut ball) entirely in the white icing and place on one side of the doughnut, using a little extra frosting to cover the joints. Add the ice-cream cone on top of the doughnut hole, then cover with sprinkles, add a Glacé Cherry, and voilà! One delicious melted ice-cream doughnut ready to serve.

3. Unicorn doughnuts

Unicorn doughnuts

If you’re looking to stay on trend this Doughnut Week, then unicorn doughnuts are a must. Perfect for bakers with an artistic flair, these magical sweet treats are guaranteed to charm your customers!

Coat one half of a ring doughnut in thick white icing, and set aside to dry. Then, roll out white fondant icing, cut out two leaf shapes and mould them into curved ears. Next, roll out two 5cm pieces of white fondant before twisting them together around a cocktail stick to form the unicorn horn. Attach the ears using white frosting and insert the cocktail stick between them. Pipe spirals of pink, blue and lilac frosting beneath the horn, then use edible gold paint to add the inner ear detailing and decorate the horn. Finally paint on the black lashes for one marvellously mythical doughnut!

4. Marbled doughnuts

Marbled doughnuts

If you’re going for the ‘wow’ factor, these incredible marbled doughnuts are an explosion of colour. Simple, yet incredibly effective, create a runny white icing using icing sugar, milk and vanilla extract before adding at least two of your favourite shades of food colouring. Add the food colouring in small splotches using a toothpick, then simply pour the icing over the doughnuts to create the marbled icing effect. Finish with a scattering of sprinkles, if desired!

5. Fruity doughnuts

Fruity doughnuts

Want to really impress this week? Try whipping up a whole fruit basket of doughnuts! When it comes to fruit-inspired designs, we think the more tropical, the better. From yellow pineapples and vibrant watermelons to strawberries and tangy kiwis, why not match the flavour of your doughnuts to their designs as well? Swap your rings for filled doughnuts to add a sweet and fruity centre to complement the glaze.

Are you getting involved with National Doughnut Week this year? Let us know what you’ve been making via Twitter!