With around 20,000 tickets sold, the first ever Cake and Bake show was a resounding success.
Cake lovers were treated to the first ever Cake and Bake Exhibition in Kensington this weekend.
With around 20,000 tickets sold, the queue was out-the-door for the first day yesterday.
I was literally like a child in a sweet shop and it was clear the organisers and headline sponsors, BakingMad.com, had gone all out.
Celebrity chef, Eric Lanlard, kicked off the day by baking a white chocolate and raspberry lemon cheesecake.
“For the first time ever you’ve got everything under one roof,” Mr Lanlard said.
“It’s just showed that the country has gone baking mad.”
One of The Baker Brothers, Tom Herbert, also started the day with a splendid display of bread baking.
Mr Baker said: “Since World War Two it’s been about making food more available, but food’s about nourishing us too and people are waking up to that.
“These are hard times but people are choosing to spend time with loved ones with good food and that’s important.”
Visitors Nuala Gibson, 51, and Pippa Baddeley, 47, shared their enthusiasm for the day while we viewed the Edible Beach Cake Competition.
They said: “It’s like being in Heaven, we’re totally awed and feel like we’re not worthy to be here.”
The feeling of awe continued throughout the day as Paul Hollywood got stuck into judging the Bake Off competition.
Every bit as charming as he is on the Great British Bake Off, Paul stood out as the main attraction, with crowds flocking to his demonstrations and cheering when he called Mary Berry and put her on speaker phone.
With shows such as The Great British Bake Off, it is no wonder that baking is becoming a fashion trend.
The set up of beautifully decorated stalls, offering everything from pre-prepared icing to blow torches, grabbed my attention from the moment I walked in.
The 1950s-look was particularly noticeable, with Betty Crocker demonstrator, Ashleigh Valintine, wearing a fabulous red polka dot dress.
After taking a workshop on how to make the perfect chocolate cake, she said: “Baking has boomed. Chefs are now celebrities and there has been a new surge in home cooking.”
Cupcake Commoisseurs, Gingercups, also caught my eye, in their display of 50s attire.
Nicci Newman, owner of Gingercups, said: “We want to create absolutely beautiful cakes and be fabulous at all times.
“It’s not necessarily a return to the 1950s but a renewed interest – it’s more of a futuristic 1950s.”
Macmillan Cancer Support also stood out from the crowd with their signature green colours and told me about the impact baking has from their perspective.
Judy Spence, Area fundraiser for Macmillan in South London, said: “Anything to do with cake and we’re there! Our World’s Biggest Coffee Morning is in its 22nd year and cake is always an essential ingredient to its success.”
Ms Spence added: “We hope with baking becoming more ‘en vogue’ in recent times we can maximise our reach and get people together and baking for an important cause.”
The next World’s Biggest Coffee Morning will be held across the country on September 28.
Another passionate campaign was lead by Chris Young, coordinator of the Real Bread Campaign.
Mr Young said: “Our big thing is about finding bread that is better for us, better for our communities, and better for the planet, so we’re working to support small bakeries.
“Real bread should be at the heart of a local community which it isn’t in many cases today.
“There’s been so many years of people buying factory loaves from supermarkets, because they’re cheap a lot of the time, that they’ve forgot the importance of a bakery and now people are asking: how can I do something about it?”
When asked about the return of the classic 1950s image of baking, Mr Young said: “I don’t think it’s a return to the 1950s but a moving forward, its progress. The campaign is not a retrospective one but saying here and now, there’s a problem here and what can we do about it?”
He added: “We’ve lost bread that has character.”
For more information about the Real Bread campaign visit Realbreadcampaign.org
For anyone that missed this event, do not fear, the next Cake and Bake Show has already been scheduled for April 5-7 in Manchester.
For more information visit www.thecakeandbakeshow.co.uk.
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