Today saw the beginning of London's Cake and Bake Show, a weekend once a year where baking fanatics descend on the capital city and - probably maintained on a sugar high - buy, try and make all manner of baking wares.
We of course could not let this go undocumented so went down this morning to see for ourselves how creative and varied the world of baking is and thought we would let you in on the fun too.
Our day kicked off with a baking master class from The Great British Bake Off's John Whaite who showed us how to whip up a batch of perfectly flat cupcakes by making sure your oven is not to hot and, when cooled, ice them with a mascarpone and vanilla frosting in a precise peak. The trick to that as it happens is to initially pipe a good splodge of icing in the centre of your cupcake before starting your swirl, from the outside in, so that it doesn't collapse.
From guarantees of perfect cakes each and every time to tips on how your mood could affect you bakes we didn't receive a single duplicate answer! We even managed to do some celebrity spotting and were cheeky enough to ask for their tips too (have a look at them all in our gallery!).
Amongst the obvious experts, running stalls and demonstrations, we thought there might be one or two excellent home bakers and decorators visiting the show on their own time. So, we asked the lovely Cake and Bake show public to share with all our goodtoknow readers their top tips, and what a response! We couldn't believe the things we ourselves didn't know!
Among the expected piles of frosted cupcakes and colourful cookies were some slightly more unusual offerings. Some of our favourites included the squidgy, sweet heaps of luxury marshmallows flavoured with things like violet and lavender, brightly coloured meringues varying from chocolate to passionfruit and ready-made thin, crispy and delicious fresh dough whole wheat pizza bases and Italian sauce toppers-all made with extra virgin olive oil.
By around 12pm we had eaten an impressive amount of sugar and elected a rest was needed to settle our stomachs for the next round. This is when the demonstrations come into their own. A little sit down and a celebrity chef making wonderful creations right in front of your eyes is the perfect quick fix for tired feet, and of course the prospect of yet another taste test was a hit we were willing to take.
If you are looking for baking and decorating quick-fixes the demos from industry experts are the perfect way to pick them up.
We rounded off the day by getting hands on. For a charity donation of £2 we were able to ice a pre-made biscuit with all manner of icings, gels, sprinkles and glitter.
It was then a choice of eating our masterpieces there and then or sacrificing them to the competition to be judged later for a chance to be crowned the biscuit decorating champion. We couldn't resist a bit of friendly competition and have left our little biscuit babies to be tried and tested. Fingers crossed!
It was a lovely nostalgic day out. Who wouldn't enjoy being surrounded by that much sugar and butter? A must see if you love baking.
See all the brilliant baking tips from all the lovely people at The Cake and Bake Show 2013
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