What to expect from the Spring baking season

4 March, 2015

With Spring just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about steering away from the rich flavours of Winter and revamping your menus with lighter seasonal bakes.

The team at BAKO have put together some of the key baking trends and flavours you can expect to see this Spring along with a pinch of edible inspiration so your business can make the most of some special calendar events.

Floral flavours

Spring is classically associated with the blooming of new flowers, so why not embrace this in your baking? When used subtly, floral flavours can give bakes a delicious and unique flavour that’s perfect for Spring.

Fluffy marshmallows pair beautifully with the delicate flavour of rose water so why not try creating some floral flavoured marshmallows? Simply beat in a tablespoon of rose water with a drop of pink food colouring before spreading the marshmallow mixture to set. Why not take it that step further and top with sugar crystal rose petals? Not only would handmade marshmallows make a beautiful addition to your cake counter, they would also make a lovely gift for Mother’s Day.

Homemade marshmallows

Blending dried or fresh lavender with sugar creates a delicious flavour infusion. Add this to your classic cake mix to add an exciting twist to your cakes and cupcakes! To add the finishing touch, why not add a generous helping of violet coloured buttercream and a sprig of fresh lavender to create a tasty spring treat.

Three lavender cupcakes

Vegetable cakes

The idea of baking with vegetables may seem unusual but vegetables that are naturally sweet add delicious flavour, texture and help to keep cakes fresh and moist.

Carrot cake, perhaps the most famous vegetable infused cake of them all, is loved for its naturally sweet sponge and subtle hum of spices. So why not try whipping up a carrot cake for your cake counter this Spring? Carrot cake is a guaranteed hit with customers of all ages when smothered in fluffy cream cheese frosting and topped with sugarpaste carrots.

Carrot Cake Squares

Beetroot gives cakes an indulgent fudge-like texture making it the perfect partner for chocolate. How do beetroot brownies sound for your spring-time menu? Simply replace half of the butter in the brownie mix – beetroot puree not only cuts half the fat, but gives a rich purple tone to your brownies.

We’ve also heard that cheesecake brownies are going to big this Spring.
Simply add an indulgent swirl of cream cheese, sugar and egg yolks into your brownies to give a delicious tangy contrast against the rich chocolate flavour. Your customers are sure to find these hard to resist!

Cheesecake brownies with raspberry stacked on a plate

 

Easter

During Lent, we’re sure many of your customers have been counting down the days to tuck into tasty Easter treats. So don’t hesitate to indulge your customers this year with a variety of seasonal bakes that are sure to satisfy their sugar cravings!

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Hot cross buns are a classic during Easter and we can see why, dotted with dried fruit, these soft bread buns are delicious when simply toasted and served warm with plenty of butter. Why not try adding cacao nibs instead of fruit for a surprising sweet addition?

Or will you be trying your hand at a traditional Easter Simnel Cake this year? Packed with dried fruit and citrus zest and decorated with marzipan balls, this is perfect for those who like a classic treat.

St Patrick’s Day

A celebration of all things Irish, St Patrick’s Day is an ideal holiday for your business to celebrate for the sheer range of green-themed treats and bakes to enjoy.

Guinness is a beverage traditionally enjoyed by the Irish, so why not incorporate this rich, flavoursome drink into your baking? Gingerbread embodies the strong flavours of Guinness perfectly without losing any of its characteristic taste. So how about putting a twist on the traditional ginger cake by adding some Guinness to the mix. Served warm with custard, this is sure to be a hit during the Irish holiday.

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If you’re looking to celebrate St Patrick’s Day without having to make any drastic changes to your menu, why not replace your red food colouring with green to create a green velvet cake? When sliced, the surprise of vibrant green sponge instead of red will be a fun way of getting into the Irish spirit. Finally, don’t forget to decorate with plenty of sugar paste shamrocks!

Will you be embracing any new Spring baking trends this year? Or will you be sticking with the classics? We’d love to hear about your bakes on our Twitter.

BAKO North Western Easter Workshop

2 March, 2015

On the 19th February, the team at BAKO North Western proudly hosted a workshop, in association with a number of our suppliers including Macphie, Renshaw, Dawn, Richs, Ireks featuring plenty of the delicious products from our BAKO Own Label range.

The workshop aimed to inspire bakers to help them make the most out of the busy Easter period. As one of the first major holidays of the year, it’s important that bakers are ready for the wealth of shoppers who may be looking to tuck into some tasty Easter treats on the bank holiday weekend.

With approximately 50 customers in attendance, our BAKORY facility was jam packed with bakers ready to learn techniques and recipes to take away to their businesses.

The live presentations and demonstrations displayed the vast array of cakes and bakes that can be utilised for the seasonal period. These included buttery Egg Shortbread Biscuits, Cookie Nests and Irish Cream Cheesecake. Not only were all these treats delicious, with a little know how, they were easy to put together too.

Marzipan flowers, chocolate eggs and sugarpaste carrots were just some of the Easter inspired decorations demonstrated live by our suppliers with a range of classic Easter flavours enjoyed on the day. From BAKO Own Label Mini Simnel Cakes to Dawn Spiced Easter Muffins; the team at Renshaw embraced almond flavours in their bakes with marzipan featuring in most of their creations!

BAKO Own Label Product Demonstration BAKO Own Label Products Displayed in Cabinet Macphie Product Demonstration Renshaw Product Demonstration Riches products

Bakers to go nuts for #NationalAlmondDay

16 February, 2015

The 16th of February marks National Almond Day, and this year the BAKO team have been incredibly impressed by the ingenious ways local bakers have used almonds in their creations to celebrate the annual event.

From ground almonds to almond butter, flour, oil and milk, almonds make a great addition to bakes for their delicate but distinct flavour. Whether you’re replacing flour with ground almonds or stirring whole almonds into your dough to add a crunchy contrast to biscuits, almonds add an exciting new texture to treats.

Of  course there’s no reason to limit using almonds to just one day a year, so we’ve collected some of our favourite almond-inspired recipes so you can experiment with new ways to use these delicious little treats.

Macarons

The macaron is considered to be the jewel of French pastries in Europe. A crisp, rainbow-bright shell, that’s soft yet delicately chewy, and a silky filling which sandwiches the two halves together, quite simply, they’re delicious.

Macaron

Macarons are notorious for being difficult to get right but are definitely worth the effort. We’ve put together some of our top tips for perfect macarons here.

Classic flavours such as chocolate, vanilla and rose are often a popular choice but why not try adding a salted caramel twist to your macarons? Stirring flaky sea salt into gooey caramel and sandwiching macaron shells together with the mixture could be perfect for adding a touch of French sophistication to your menu.

For those of you with less time on your hands, BAKO stock a delicious range of macaroon pastes.

Macaron 2

Battenberg

Known for its characteristic pink and yellow checkerboard pattern and for being an afternoon tea classic; Battenberg is an ideal way to embrace almond flavours. The yellow sponge is traditionally flavoured with almond extract, ground almonds and vanilla, while a healthy shake of pink food colouring creates its rosier companion. The cakes are then coated in either apricot or raspberry jam, and finished off with a covering of smooth marzipan; making this bake one not to be missed.

Battenberg

If you’re after a richer flavour in your Battenberg, a chocolate twist could be ideal. Why not try replacing some of the flour with cocoa and omitting the pink food colouring to create a brown and yellow checkerboard? Using creamy chocolate spread instead of jam could be the perfect way to add that final chocolate twist that your customers are bound to enjoy.

Almond Brittle

A crunchy buttery confection, brittle is made from set caramelised sugar and chopped nuts. Why not try roasting whole almonds with a light sprinkling of salt and stirring into molten caramel to create your brittle?

Brittle

The addition of dried fruit would be a welcome twist and create a delicious fruity contrast to the deep flavours of caramelised sugar and savoury almonds. A box of brittle could also make a beautiful gift for customers this Mother’s Day.

Brittle 2

Vanillekipferl

Vanillekipferl are one of our all-time favourites – traditional German biscuits with a melt in the mouth texture. Easily recognisable for their distinctive crescent shape and generous coating of vanilla infused icing sugar, these classic cookies are sure to be a hit all year round.

vankip

Made from rich buttery dough similar to shortbread, these biscuits are flavoured with ground almonds and vanilla. But why not try omitting the vanilla and kneading grated orange zest into your dough? Once baked and cooled, dipping the biscuits into melted orange flavoured chocolate would make them a treat you’d be proud to display on your counter.

Almond Cake

For those with less time on their hands, an almond cake could be the perfect way to celebrate. When replacing flour with ground almonds it can be substituted at a 1:1 ratio in some recipes, but because its weight, fat content and absorption rates are so different from that of wheat and other grain based flours, it does not always reliably cross over. So it is often best to use recipes that specifically include ground almonds as an ingredient.

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Lemon and almond make for a beautiful flavour combination that’s certainly worth trying. Lemon drizzle cake is a British classic loved for its airy sponge, light flavour and moist texture, so why not try whipping up an almond lemon drizzle cake? Simply replace half the flour with ground almonds and after the cake’s cooked, soak it in a sweet but tangy sugar and lemon concoction, then add a generous sprinkling of flaked almonds for decoration.

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Will you be celebrating National Almond Day this year? Which almond classics do you plan on whipping up for the big day? We’d love to hear about your creations on Twitter.

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