The Big Cake Show

I was excited and honoured to be invited to the Big Cake Show Exeter as one of their blogging team. I was mainly excited to see the demonstrations and what the stalls have on offer, and I was really looking forward to cake!

When we arrived we were shocked at the sheer volume of people queuing to get in! Luckily I had my golden ticket to gain VIP access!

I was presented with a VIP goodie bag that contained some Renshaw ready to roll icing, some granola samples, and some flavoured icing sugar by Sugar and Crumbs, coffee vouchers for Darts Farm and a show guide, Kingdoms chocolate and loads more.

The place was absolutely packed out! It was so difficult to move, we quickly headed to the presentation areas as Edd Kimber, winner of the first ever series of the Great British Bake Off, was showing us how to make his version of a s'more cake from his new book, Say it with Cake.   It seems a lifetime ago since he won the Bake Off, and it seems that entering has really paid off for him!  He is now relishing in doing something he loves daily, making cakes!

He spoke so highly of the bake off, and encouraged anyone to try it themselves. He has such a great personality, which made everyone really warm to him. He had some great tips, including adding cornflour into your basic sponge mix to make it lighter. The cake he was making was layers of sponge, meringue and chocolate ganache, then wrapped in meringue and blow torched!  He had a few issues with fake taps and electric whisks falling apart, but his glowing personality means this all just added to his charm. I felt really inspired to get baking after watching him, which is exactly what I was hoping for.  He welcomed any questions from the audience, and I asked what his biggest baking disaster has been.  He said that he makes mistakes daily, but it is how you deal with them that counts. He once had to make some Macarons with minimal equipment, and had to use his hands to test the mixture.  He then had to serve them with a green arm! He also took a photo of the crowd and posted it on his Instagram, and I somehow managed to take centre stage!

His cook book "Say it with cake" is available now.

Next was someone that I have a mild obsession with, Mr Paul Hollywood. I love him on GBBO, as well as his own shows, and I have to admit I also find him very pleasing to the eye!

He taught us about making a Simnel Cake. I say taught, it was mainly him reciting amusing anecdotes from GBBO, Mary Berry as well as the hosts Mel & Sue. He was a really good showman, and really lived up to the crowd!  He even asked at one point for a volunteer to come and "mould his marzipan balls", much to my disappointment though, he chose a man. Probably for the best. He cut off the top of his cake, and then gave some to ME and a few of the other ladies around me.  His hands touched that...and like only a true foodie could, I wolfed it down. It tasted delicious, but as his hands had been on it I almost feel as though I should have kept it as a memento!

Me getting my book signed
He drew in absolutely massive crowds, with people queueing to get his booked signed before he even started his demonstration!  He was really restricted for time, so the book signing wasn't very personal, no photos allowed and barely time to talk, but at least I got my book signed.

The book itself has some really delicious and practical recipes to try out.  Nick has already requested some chicken and Chorizo Empanada and a Thai chicken pie!

Stacie Stewart, a a great chef and who gives me insane hair envy. She possesses 36 inches of thick bouff, usually styled into her trademark beehive!

Sadly I only got to see snippet of her demonstration, and she made a great carrot cake.  She also seemed really down to earth and was having a wonder around the show and posing for pictures.  Gutted I missed her myself!

We then had a walk around the many stalls, but there were just so many people that it made it almost impossible to move around and see everything that I wanted to.  I saw a few familiar faces, like Sugar & Crumbs, and I stocked up on some strawberry icing sugar, chocolate and lime coco powder, vanilla icing sugar and chocolate orange powder.

I also stocked up on some Wonky Kitchen Fudge which I have reviewed previously and LOVED! I also came across Barefoot Wine.  As a lover of very dry wine, I was unsure what their sweet wine would taste
like.  I got myself a bottle and will be reviewing it separately!

I also met The Gastro Gays, fellow members of the blogging team who started their blog out of a love for Dublin and a complete under appreciation of the great gastronomic delights that lie mere moments from their doorstep, have a look at their fab blog!

I really wish that I got to see more of the stalls, but there were just so many people!  I also thought there would be more cake samples, but the demonstrations were great fun, and I got to meet the actual Paul Hollywood and bag a signed copy of his book. The weekend's proved very popular and a great success, a fantastic achievement by its organisers!

L x
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