Iced to perfection: simple icing techniques to wow the crowds

10 June, 2013

As one of the UK’s leading suppliers to the professional baking industry, BAKO North Western know that when it comes to cakes, most consumers are guilty of judging a book by its cover.

A baker could whip up the most deliciously moist sponges or beautifully crumbly shortbread biscuits but without attractive finishing details, many customers will never even stop to taste their creations.

Unfortunately though, many bakers just don’t have the luxury of spending hours crafting intricate icing details, so BAKO have come up with three of the simplest ways to make your cakes stand out.

Colourful cut-outs

With Renshaw’s Professional ready to roll icing range, available from BAKO North Western in a huge variety of vibrant colours, striking designs can be created in a matter of minutes. Use a biscuit cutter to cut out icing pieces in your desired shape and apply to your cakes using a little jam to help them stick. Hearts, stars and polka dots work well here, but you could also experiment with creating scenes using people or animal shapes for a child-friendly design.

hearts

Cute fruit and veg

What is it about re-creating things in miniature that makes them that little bit more adorable? We love this easy-to-achieve idea of creating miniature icing carrots to top your carrot cakes, which is as practical as it is appealing, since it helps customers immediately identify cake flavours on display. Taking inspiration from this idea, you could also try miniature bunches of bananas on a banana cake or even a tiny cappuccino mug on your coffee cakes.

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Hello petal

Icing flowers can be a notoriously tricky thing to achieve, particularly if you’re going for a highly realistic look with layer upon layer of paper-thin petals, as seen on many sophisticated wedding cakes. These blooms are a much quicker alternative for achieving a floral effect on big batches of cookies or cupcakes. Simply twist a line of icing into a spiral and pinch at one end for roses or cut out icing stars and curve the points inwards and upwards to create a petal effect.

icing flowers

Have any other top baking tips to share? We’d love to hear from you on Twitter if you fancy showing us your latest creations, passing on handy hints or even just saying a friendly hello.

A doughnut for every day of the week

13 May, 2013

As Saturday marked the start of National Doughnut Week, this week’s BAKO NW blog has been taken over by these lip-lickingly indulgent treats.

Running between the 11th and 18th May this year, National Doughnut Week sees bakers across the country cook up all manner of delicious doughnuts, with profits going towards national charity, The Children’s Trust. This is an opportunity for bakers to help out a very worthy cause, so to inspire local bakers to get involved we’ve come up with a different doughnut flavour idea for every day of the week.

Jam doughnut

Classic jam Mondays

The original and some say still the best, they’re also easy to craft thanks to specially prepared doughnut mixes like Craigmillar’s doughnut concentrate, available from BAKO North Western.

Healthy option Tuesdays

Readi-Bake brand baked doughnuts contain 40 per cent less fat than traditional fried ring doughnuts, making them a great alternative for more health-conscious customers who still can’t resist a good doughnut now and again.

Doughnuts

Zingy lemon Wednesdays

Lantmannen’s lemon crème doughnuts balance a refreshing lemon centre with sweet white chocolate flavour icing, all topped with lemon pearl sugar topping.

lemon doughnut

Creamy custard Thursdays

BAKO own label have created a piece of doughnut artistry with these continental custard filled doughnuts, decorated with swirling icing patterns for an elegant finish.

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Rich chocolate Fridays

The darker twin of BAKO’s own label custard doughnuts, these treats are a chocoholic’s dream come true.

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Sprinkle Saturdays

Available in a whole host of different colour combinations, sprinkle toppings from the Secret Ingredients range are an easy way to give home-baked doughnuts that extra element of excitement.

doughnuts

Gooey caramel Sundays

For a truly luxurious end to National Doughnut Week, why not smother BAKO Unfinished Ring Doughnuts in gooey BAKO caramel fudegice and liberally sprinkle with Secret Ingredients caramel cubes?

toffee cubes

Local bakers, we’d love to hear from you if you’re joining in with National Doughnut Week; what type of doughnuts will you be serving up for your customers?

French sophistication made simple

30 April, 2013

Walk into any patisserie in France and you’ll be greeted by the sight of a dazzling array of intricate fresh-baked delicacies, from buttery-soft croissants to multi-layered millefeuille slices and delicate tartlets.

Back in Britain, while our local bakers may be masters of transforming the humble sponge into the most impressive theme cakes imaginable, many bakers tend to shy away from the long, complicated process of creating French pastries.

We think it’s a shame for the North West’s consumers to miss out on these luxurious treats, so we’ve put together a blog dedicated to our top time-saving tips for perfect patisseries.

Macphie Choutex with mactop and i-zings

Speedy choux

Macphie have specially developed their convenient Choutex mix to turn difficult choux creations like éclairs and profiteroles into a simple task for any baker. Simply add cold water for a choux dough that rises to a light, airy finish, pipe in smooth Mactop filling and smother in BAKO’s gooey caramel or rich chocolate flavour Fudgeice topping.

Strawberry glaze


Tarts to entice

Give your cake counter that signature sheen of a Parisian window display without the fuss of spending hours stewing fruits through Bakels ready-to-use strawberry glaze. This versatile ingredient works wonders to add an attractive shine to everything from tiny petits fours tartlets, to fruit flan centrepieces or pavlovas piled high with summer berries.

Dainty details

Sometimes it’s that final finishing touch that really transforms an everyday cake into a gourmet dessert; just think of the elegant lettering piped on top of a traditional Austrian Sachertorte. Melted chocolate is one of the most effective ways to create all manner of different designs, many of which are explained in the CD guide to popular chocolate-work techniques that comes as part of Callebaut’s Spinning kit. Use with the disposable piping bags included in the kit and Callebaut’s chocolate drop callets, available in dark, milk or white chocolate varieties, which melt down easily for a glossy finish.

Dipped_2_LRBonne chance creating your French-inspired masterpieces, and don’t hesitate to get in touch with BAKO for a whole range of convenient supplies to help out busy bakers.

 

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