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Cake CULTURE

A GLUTENFREE GLASGOW?

Photography by bakery47 (bakery47.com)

Exploring new, trendy cakeshops and events


Cake CULTURE

ISSUE 1

Health 4. 6.. 8.

MAY 2016

GLUTEN FREE LIFESTYLE Why go gluten free? VEGAN BAKERY Why choose vegan cakes?

HAPPINESS IN CAKE Does baking help your mental health?

Business 10. 14. 18.

BAKERY OF THE MONTH Bakery 47 TASTE LINDA’S CAKES Specialist cake design BAKING SINSATIONS The story of a local Ayrshire bakery

Photography by bakery47 (bakery47.com)

Culture 20. 24. 26. 28. 32.

CAKE FROM THE NL Looking for the real Limburgse vlaai A SHORT HISTORY OF Indian Cultural Baking MEET AMNA ALI An interview HISTORY OF WEDDING CAKE Then and now; how wedding cakes have changed DELICIOUS TOO A successful Halal Bakery

CAKECULTURE.TUMBLR.COM

Social 34.

36. 40.

HOME BAKERS An interview with Maryan Omer

GLASGOW BAKING CLUB Cake, bakes and banter TROON WEDDING FAYRE A day out exploring wedding cakes and dresses in Troon


Everyone loves a little sweet something, don’t they? And many will attest nothing is sweeter, as diverse or as well-loved as cake. We all have our reasons for why we enjoy it so much. It could be for making an exciting occasion just that little bit more special or simply because it makes everyday life that much more wholesome. Whatever our thoughts, there’s no doubt that it has a power very few of us can resist. We here at Cake Culture are looking to bring a new exciting spin to one of the most beloved desserts of all time. With features ranging from investigating some of Scotland’s most creative baking businesses to finding out how you can convert to a gluten-free lifestyle without sacrificing the taste that we love. We will also be looking outside of Scotland to the Netherlands and Middle East, finding the great national and cultural forms of cake and talking with those who make them happen. From amateur bakers to professional companies, we’ve put in a little something for everyone to get excited about. We hope you greatly enjoy our debut and all of us wish you a baking good time!

Olivia Armstrong EDITOR

cakculture@outlook.com


Health

Glutenfree Glasgow Why go gluten-free? BY AMY MCGHEE

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or many years, a lot of people have struggled with the ability to eat “normal” cakes but now that has changed. This change has been due to the number of gluten free bakeries that have been springing up all over the country, which has allowed many people to enjoy cake once again. Gluten free is a very important and popular food choice for many people.

There are many reasons why people are choosing to eat gluten free food. One of the biggest reasons people choose gluten free cakes is simply that they are allergic to gluten. People who have a coeliac disease are intolerant to gluten which means that their small intestine struggles to digest food which contains any gluten. Gluten is a protein found in wheat and other grains, such as barley and rye. It is important in baking because it gives the dough elasticity and helps it rise and keep its shape. In order for gluten free cakes to work, the gluten has to be substituted with other things. As a substitute, gluten free flour can be used; it works just as well as normal flour. Gluten free flour is vital to people with coeliac disease because it allows them to enjoy bread and cakes like any other normal person.

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For people with an intolerance to gluten, the surge in gluten free bakeries and normal bakeries offering gluten free options has been a blessing to them, as they don’t have to worry asking if their food contains gluten or not.

The option of gluten free food has allowed people more options when they are choosing what to eat and has allowed them to expand their diet. The other set of people who are choosing to eat gluten free are people who are health conscious. In this day and age when eating healthy eating is a major issue, gluten free cakes could provide the answers to a health conscious person’s love of cake. The cakes are becoming more and more popular because they offer a healthy alternative to much loved treats. There are various ways in which these cakes can be made. Whilst many people may wonder how on earth a gluten free cake is actually made, Calum Bryce who owns the gluten free bakery Wild Flours, in Glasgow explains that it is actually very easy to do. They use alternative flours such as, white and brown rice flour, tapioca and potato starch amongst others. Calum believes that baking gluten free cakes is just as easy as normal baking, “It’s pretty much the same as baking with wheat but just with a few adjustments.”


increasing. Nowadays everyone knows someone who is gluten free for medical reasons or even through their own choice.” It certainly seems that gluten free cakes are on the rise and they will surely continue to soar in popularity. The special cakes offer an option for people with allergies or even health conscious people and are relatively easy to make. There is also the option of buying from a gluten free bakery. The prices of gluten free cakes vary depending on the bakery and the type of cake product being sold.

With the advantages of gluten free products becoming more well-known, there has been a surge in the popularity for such products. Alicks believes that they have become more popular due to “a combination of reasons.” These reasons range from “avancement in science which has made it easier to diagnose allergies to people who have chosen a gluten free diet because of For anyone interested in the bakeries mentioned in the its health benefits.” With more and more people choosing feature, they can be found at lickscakedesign.co.uk and these special cakes, Calum agrees that “the demand keeps on wildflours.co.uk.

Photography by Wild Flours Bakery (wildflours.co.uk)

One of the biggest talking points is whether or not gluten free cakes taste any different. Calum states that, “Before I started making gluten free cakes I’d never tasted any gluten free cakes that tasted as good as their wheat based equivalents. That’s why Wild Flours was started and now with practice I bet you wouldn’t be able to taste the difference!”. A fellow baker, Alicks Fraser, who owns Licks Cake Design in Edinburgh agrees, “It all comes down to how fresh they are made.” Freshness is key when baking any gluten free cake, so says Alicks, “The main thing that affects the taste is the fact that gluten free cakes don’t last as long as other cakes.” This seems to be one of the few disadvantages of these types of cakes. It seems the key to delicious gluten free cakes is time and practice.

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Health

Vegan Bakery Why choose vegan cakes?

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hese days, there are more and more different kinds of cakes. One of the most popular types of cakes these days are vegan cakes. Vegans are people who do not eat any type of animal products. However, there are different types of vegans. These range from strict vegans, who don’t eat eggs or dairy products to dietary vegans who are more interested in the health aspect of the diet which means that they might eat honey or other products which come from animals. There are many different reasons why people choose vegan cakes, such as they don’t like the idea of eating animals or supporting the killing of animals or any products which are forcefully taken from animals such as milk and eggs. Another reason is that vegan cakes can be a healthier option, although they can still suit people with a sweet tooth because many still include chocolate and other much loved sweet treats.

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Making a vegan cake is a little different to making a normal cake, as certain things have to be substituted. The main thing which has to be substituted is eggs. Eggs are important in cakes because the protein in them thickens when heated and allows the


other ingredients to be easily bound together. However, eggs can be substituted for various ingredients such as baking powder or using apple sauce. These egg equivalents are easy to come by and can be bought in the majority of large supermarkets. Although there are some excellent bakeries and cake shops all over Scotland, who provide great tasting vegan cakes for affordable prices. For those who wish to sample some vegan cakes, look no further than Bella’s Cakes. Bella’s Cakesare a home based bakery in Glasgow run by Sydney. Her cakes can be delivered to any address in Glasgow. According to Sydney, there are many different techniques and ingredients used to make vegan cakes. She says: “It is important when baking vegan to make sure the ingredients you are using are correct. There are replacements for such things as butter, milk and eggs such as vegan margarines, vegetable and coconut oil. ”Instead of milk, she explains that “you can use replacements for milk like soya, almond, oat and coconut milk.”.

The bakery is run by Bara and Hana,

nuts and coconuts. However, not all cakes from the vegan branch are healthy, of course you can get vegan junk cakes but we don’t tend to make those.”.

The question many ask is, do vegan cakes taste as good as normal cakes? The answer is yes they do, however they do taste differently from other cakes. This is something which Sydney also believes. She explains that “There is a difference in vegan cakes. However, I find them as equally tasty as non-vegan cakes. Some might find the texture and flavours are different with a vegan cake but you need to take into account the ingredients used in baking the baked goods.”.

Vegan cakes certainly appear to be on the rise and are soaring in popularity. Sydney states that “for me and my cake business, vegan cakes are very popular. I find that more and more customers are asking for either vegan or gluten free cakes.” Some people might say that vegan cakes do not need to be advertised, as they already sell themselves. Bara is one of these people; she believes that “We don’t need to encourage someone to try our cakes because there are more and more people who are interested in healthy food. For example, at farmer’s markets it is always very busy near the vegan stalls.”. She feels that “People love to try something new and if you think about the fact that you are not harming animals by eating vegan food then it is even better.”.

At the Happy Pumpkin Vegan Bakery, they also believe that vegan cakes are just as delicious. “I think our cakes taste even better than normal cakes because we bake healthy cakes, we try to avoid using refined sugar as much as possible and we use really nice healthy ingredients, such as, dried fruit, wholegrain flours, millets,

If any of these facts have made you wonder if you would enjoy a vegan cake then, Sydney says “If some-one wasn’t sure about trying a vegan cake, I would suggest giving it a try! Some flavours of cakes are not for everyone so maybe start with a vegan cupcake before going on to trying a vegan avocado chocolate brownie or a cashew cream cake.”

So if you are tempted to sample some delicious vegan cakes for yourself and in particular these bakeries, then they can be contacted at bellascakes.biz and facebook.com/happypumpkinveganbakery .

BY AMY MCGHEE

Photography by Bella’s Cakes (bellascakes.biz)

If you are not from Glasgow, another option for you to buy vegan cakes is to contact the Happy Pumpkin Vegan Bakery, who are another home bakery based in Edinburgh.

who are two working mums who aim to get the message of healthy cakes out there. There are many different types of vegan cakes which can be made just as easily as normal cakes. These range from vegan cheesecakes to vegan brownies. The cakes have just as much popularity as normal cakes, with some people even preferring the vegan option. The various different types of vegan cakes look just as good, if not better than many normal cakes.

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Health

Happiness in Cake Does baking help your mental health? BY AMY MCGHEE


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ake has long since been associated with happy memories and times such as weddings and birthdays. But does cake actually have an effect on our minds? For many, the sight of cake allows many to feel happiness and joy but how did cakes come to represent happiness?

The term “cake” derives from the Viking word kaka, meaning cake. Cake has been around for a long time and even if the types of cake have changed over the years, the happiness that it creates has certainly lasted. In times where baking shows such as The Great British Bake Off display the nation’s love of baking and sweet homemade treats, it appears that baking is one of the nation’s favourite activities. The Great British Bake Off had over 13 million viewers who tuned into the series finale last year, which made it the most watched television show of 2015. However, it has been said that over the years baking does not just appeal to one type of person and baking can and has changed people’s lives altogether. Cake has long since been associated with happiness and joy and many believe that baking and cakes can provide this. In this day and age, many people are suffering from stress or stress related illnesses and research suggests that baking can relieve stress and help people struggling with stress. In 2014/2015, there were 440,000 cases of people suffering from stress in the United Kingdom according to Health and Safety Executive. Stress affects many different people of all ages. This leads many people to try and find different ways to combat and relieve them from their stress. One of the ways some people are doing this is through baking. Baking allows people to relax and focus on other things, instead of dwelling on anything stressful. Baking has also been used by a selection of mental health charities to help people open up and talk about their problems. Baking can be used to distract people who are in need of some release and it also allows them to open up and talk more. This is what the world wide charity, The Depressed Cake believes. They regularly hold bake sales

which they believe help people to talk to others about their experiences with mental health and allows them to open up and receive help. The money raised from the bake sales all goes to mental health charities to try and help those in need get the support they require. These bake sales happen not just in the United Kingdom but in the United States as well. The cakes they sell are all grey, to symbolise the greyness that depression can bring over people’s lives. However, they can have ones with colour in it which symbolises hope. According to research published in The British Journal of Occupation Therapy, baking can boost people’s confidence, increased concentration and provided a sense of achievement. This does appear to display that baking helps people by not only teaching them life skills, such as cooking but also helps them destress and empowers them if they succeed.

The feeling a person gets when they succeed with creating a cake can be really helpful to people who are struggling with mental health. Baking allows many to relax and think of other things. It also allows people to work either on their own or with people. If they choose to bake with people then it could provide them a chance to talk to people and discuss their problems. Another charity who use baking and cakes to discuss mental health issues is the Hope Cafe. The Hope Cafe is a cafe in Lanark, which was set up to help fundraise for mental health. They hold different classes, such as baking lessons to help people learn how to bake and also help them to talk about mental health. They believe that by talking openly about mental health they can shake off the stigma which is all too often attached to mental health. The money which the cafe makes goes directly back into helping them put on more activities which will promote mental health and well- being. The cafe also have information about where people can go to receive help in and around Lanarkshire. So if you are suffering from stress or depression, why not give baking cakes a try or even just go along to one of the events mentioned? It could change your life.

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Business

Bakery of the month

bakery 47

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ometimes, we all crave a little something different. Something that we have to go a little out of our way to find. Something that we feel makes us all appreciate the hard work and passion that goes into what we invest in. And if you happen to be taking a trip down Victoria Road and pass a small shop with the title BREAD/CAKES/PASTRIES seen above the door, you might just have found the unique gem known as bakery47.

Bakery47 is the livelihood and passion project of Sam

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and Anna Luntley. The couple both came from creative art backgrounds, with Sam formerly being a photographer and Anna studying sculpture at the Edinburgh School of Art. They began baking as part of a study for their community. “This actually began as more of an art project,” Anna states “seeing how we could build the community in some ways through making bread and how that brings people together.”. From that project grew a genuine love for their craft

and soon the two were regular home-bakers. “We started baking at home and delivering and giving bread and cakes to friends and neighbours because we had too much,” Sam states. “And then some of them decided they’d like to start paying for it, so we made a bit more and started doing a bit more deliveries. We never really advertised what we were doing, it was more word of mouth.”. The demand of their services grew to the point that they began to take customer orders for their deliveries. Soon, they were sold out before they’d even left the house. Eventually both Sam and Anna came to realize they couldn’t continue as they were. The demand was now too high and an expansion was greatly needed. So, after a council application for the funding that they required, the couple were able to get the space they needed in order to continue their project turned passion.


Photography by bakery47 (bakery47.com) and Olivia Armstrong


“It’s nice to make people realise that business doesn’t have to be all about profit.” “We did do a lot of wholesale baking as well,” says Sam. “We were baking for twelve different cafes in the city but once we’d moved here, we realised it was so much work to keep going with the cafes and baking that one of them would have to go. Now we just bake and for our customer orders.”.

Both Sam and Anna feel that bakery47 is as much about its customers as it is about themselves as the owners. After all, the origin of the place simply came from giving spare bread and cakes to the people they knew. But even if the project has grown greatly since then, that sense of care for those they serve still stands out as the most important aspect of their work. They aim to help and support people with similar ideals, often renting their space to other young businesses and shops in order to bring together the people of their area. They also host a “bread barter” on the first Wednesday of every month, an event in which they open with freshly baked bread to exchange for trade rather than sale. Trading can include fruit, vegetables, flowers, preservatives and all sorts of other hand-made goods, in order to demonstrate the importance of both good food and the hard work of their own customers. Not to say they certainly aren’t hard workers themselves. All of their bread and pastries are made fresh every morning from Thursday to Saturday, with Sunday to Wednesday being time for them to rest and

prepare for the next opening. Anna believes that this method of business is more personal and helps their customers appreciate the lengths they go to in order to produce the best quality of food and baking that they can and their base of dedicated customers as a result speaks for itself. “We divide the baking so Sam does all the croissants and the bread-making on Saturdays and they’re actually the first things we always sell out in the morning,” she says. “They’re usually all gone by about 10 o’clock. I do all the sweet treats and savoury pastry work.”. However, both Anna and Sam believe that bakery47 is less of a business and more of personal labour of love they undertake for their community. They believe it is less about profit and more about the appreciation of wellproduced food, made fresh each day by the both of them. “We’re really interested in making people think about where bread comes from and the fact that all the bread and cakes we sell are made by us here and I think it does help people to value things a bit more. People are so used to a 24-hour culture where you can get whatever you want where you want. We’re real people trying to do something good and if we want to keep the quality and keep it interesting - which is very important to us – then we have to have days where we can rest and get energy back to start again. People seem to expect that we’d want to expand and grow but it’s nice to make people realise that business doesn’t have to be all about profit.”.

If you’re interested in visiting Sam and Anna to experience what they have to offer, they can be found at 76 Victoria Rd, Glasgow. They are open from Thursday – Saturday. You can also find more information on their official website: bakery47.com.

BY OLIVIA ARMSTRONG 13


Business

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ometimes, for whichever reason, some cakes just need to be a bit more special than others. Be it for your special wedding day, a memorable birthday or just as a gift to show someone how much you value them, a beautifully presented cake can make all the difference in the world. Enter Linda McDonald, Senior Cake Designer and owner of her own specialist cake designing shop known as Taste Linda’s Cakes. Linda has been baking and designing her own cakes for over a decade now and her many creations in her shop window speak for themselves.

Taste Linda’s Cakes

Specialist Cake Design

Photography by Taste Linda’s Cakes (tlscakes.co.uk) and Olivia Armstrong

BY OLIVIA ARMSTRONG

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“The shop has been here for two years at the end of July but I’ve been doing this way before that so Taste Linda’s Cakes was actually probably born in 2005. I was doing it on my own and decided that I didn’t like my house full of icing sugar, so I decided to move and open the shop.” Said shop quickly garnered a reputation, with glowing praise from many of their customers. Some of them include Lisa Gardiner, who states that she has used Taste Linda’s Cakes a couple of times for family birthday’s, stating that “each cake was completely different but equally spectacular. Great shop, friendly & professional staff who make you feel very welcome.”. Andrea Dingwall is another such client, describing Linda’s business as “a fantastic place. I get all of my edible prints and my boards and boxes from them. Very friendly and helpful, prints are done to a high standard and are always ready when I need them.”.


Business

Unlike most modern bakeries, Linda and her team of two staff cake designers, Amy McDonoughe and Michelle McLeod, focus purely on the specialist designs of each of the orders they receive. Each cake is hand-crafted by Linda and her team, with each aspect of the design captured in extraordinary detail. They can range from pleasing one-tier birthday cakes to extensively crafted wedding delights and almost anything in-between. Despite many cakes having a specific theme (for example; Halloween, Christmas and most recently Easter), no two cakes are ever the same. “They’re all slightly different,” Linda says “We all have our own personal touch for each of our cakes.” .

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“We all have our own personal touch for each of our cakes.”

With such a diverse ordering system with different cakes for any occasion, some orders are bound be more difficult and memorable than others. However, Linda states that one of the most difficult orders they had ever taken came in the form of an unusually large wedding cake. “Last year in July, we did a humungous cake. It was basically like Kate Middleton’s wedding cake. It was eight, maybe nine tiers? It was huge. And we probably worked on that cake for about three weeks and it took us four hours to set it up because there were sugar flowers just flowing out of the cake. It was quite a project that we worked on for weeks. I would say that’s probably the most memorable.”.


Amy and Michelle each declared that their personal favourites were a five-tier cake modelled after Ronald Dahl’s Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and another cake shaped and sculpted entirely like a cheeseburger. When asked about the most important aspect of her business however, Linda said it was undoubtedly her staff. “I think staff is what makes your business, really. And if you don’t have your staff then you don’t really have anything because they’re the driving force behind what you do and how you do it and when you work as a team it works even better. So I’ll attribute the success to staff and their contribution to the business.”.

If you are interested in the creations of Linda and her team, they can be found at their official website tlscakes.co.uk and Facebook page facebook.com/Taste-Lindas-Cakes. And if you wish to visit and see their skills for yourself, they can be found at 4 Stuart Street, East Kilbride.

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Business

Baking Sinsations The story of a local Ayrshire bakery BY CALUM FISHER

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n a remote farmhouse in the Ayrshire countryside, about twenty-five minutes out of the main town, lies a small bakery that is making a huge impact on the local scene. With its plethora of cake choices that are suitable for any occasion, Baking Sinsations is quickly becoming one of the most popular cake businesses in the local area. “To begin with it was just me, by myself, star It’s a tale of start-up success at ting my own Baking Sinsations as in 2008, head business with only really the baker Ruth Dorsey decided to start her own support of my business due to her passion for cake making family as any and her experience in the industry having sort of solid worked for other baking outlets in the past. foundation”. “The idea for Baking Sinsations really came from my experience in the business as well as my love for baking” says Ruth. “To begin with it was just me, by myself, starting my own business with only really the support of my family as any sort of solid foundation.”. Ruth wanted to offer a quality service to the local community and that is ingrained in her philosophy of making and designing cakes. The message is clear on the website; “At Baking Sinsations we’re all about cake. Whether it’s a cake for afternoon tea with friends, celebrating a special birthday, or your wedding we have something for all occasions. From simple sponges, to moist carrot cake or rich fruit cake, we have something for all tastes.”. Baking Sinsations supplies its products to trade customers as well as the public and those same products can be found in various outlets

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throughout Ayrshire. From the supermarket giants to the small bakeries and local shops around Ayrshire, you would be hard pressed to find a shelf without a Baking Sinsations product on it. When you visit Ruth at the Baking Sinsations headquarters on Macquttiston Farm in Coalhill, which is a remote Ayrshire village five minutes away from the nearest town of Coylton, you would be forgiven for thinking that you were in the wrong place. The rolling hills that surround the area are picturesque and tucked away in a little dark corner of the farmhouse lies the bakery, the epicenter of Baking Sinsations and the hub where Ruth’s ideas can come to life.

The kitchen area is small but full of life, there are three people working away busily on their designs and it soon becomes very clear just how busy a business like this is at this time of year. “Spring is traditionally the busiest time of year, with weddings and a lot of fayres this is when we get most of our orders.”. It’s a big jump from where Baking Sinsations was to where it is now, starting out with Ruth on her own in 2008, the business now employs around seven people and has over twenty committed clients who they deliver too each week, “Going from it just being myself in a kitchen to having other staff now working around me obviously took something getting used to but if you want to grow a business then it’s definitely the right way to go and with the Ayrshire area having quite a few cake outlets similar to ours then it’s important that to keep going we have to grow and that it is ultimately what will keep us


competing in the market we are in” explains Ruth. It isn’t all business orientated for her however as the business is still getting kept very much in the family; “Along with the staff members we have here my dad and my husband will jump in to help as well, they’ve been so supportive of everything that I have tried to do with Baking Sinsations and, like myself, they have a bit of background in baking and cookery so they help when they can.”

close to her chest initially but when pushed she revealed this; “I would say, and my mind changes from day to day, that it is probably the red velvet type cakes.” - “We saw a real boom in them over past couple of year because they were predominantly an American style cake and so it took a while for them to make a real impact over here but when they did hit, they hit hard. Demand for them is through the roof.”. The tireless effort that goes on at Baking Sinsations is extremely commendable and the passion everyone involved has for what they do is wonderful to see. With the cakes being great value for money and home deliveries being as cheap as £3, there’s no reason why you at home shouldn’t check out the wonderful products on offer and find out for yourself why Baking Sinsations is one of the most popular bakeries in the Ayrshire area.

It’s quite a sight to see, the range of different cakes and designs within the kitchen; from wedding cakes and birthday cakes to fresh biscuits and cheesecakes, it’s a testament to the hard work done by Ruth and her team that each cake appears to have its own unique design and its own feature that just leaps out at you. I asked Ruth what her favourite cake to make and design was, she kept her cards

If you would indeed like to try some of Baking Sinsations cakes then you contact them by phone on 07906559007 or by e-mail at info@bakingsinsations.co.uk.

Photography by Baking Sinsations (bakingsinsations.co.uk)

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Culture

Cake from the nl

Searching for the real Limburgse vlaai BY YVONNE MALLIE

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aking brings people together. It comforts, entertains, nourishes and delights. And most importantly, it’s universal. Every country in the world has its signature pie/pastry/sweet that has a rich history attached to it. France has souffle, Greece has baklava, Belgium has waffles and The Netherlands have vlaai. Or at least, the south of The Netherlands does.

Vlaai, also known or Limburgse vlaai named after the region it originated from, is a pie or tart consisting of a pastry and filling. Elaborate lattice works, almond shavings or swirls of whipped cream are often used to top off the pies that hold fruit or cream fillings. Originally, vlaaien would have never been topped off with whipped cream, but since they were popularised for the rest of The Netherlands by a woman from the city of Weert in the 20th century who would sell her vlaaien to people on trains passing through, it is considered a winning combination. A vlaai is usually about 27-30 centimeters (11 inches) in diameter and it is a typical product from the Burgundian province of Limburg (hence the size). However, many bakers throughout the Netherlands try to copy and popularize the pie for the masses. But none have come close to the true Limburgse vlaai just yet.

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ECHTE BAKKERSGILDE? Thijs is a member of the Echte Bakkersgilde. The Echte Bakkersgilde or ‘Real Bakers guild’ originated in 1967 when a group of artisanal bakers got the idea to rise up together against the oppressing bread factories. They decided to share their experiences, recipes and expert knowledge with each other. More and more bakers became involved in this collaboration and the Echte Bakkersgilde was born.


Kersenvlaai A recipe for cherry vlaai

When I asked Thijs the question on what his favourite vlaai is, he told me it was cherry. “Without whipped cream of course!”. As for adding whipped cream to a vlaai is for people from ‘ above the rivers’ , everybody that’s not from the south that is. This recipe isn’t one of Thijs’, but hopefully has the same award a spoon until dissolved. Pour the winning qualities that his have. Enjoy! cornstarch mixture and sugar into the hot cherry syrup, mix well and cook Dissolve yeast and sugar in milk. Add over a low heat until thickened, stirring a half of flour to the mixture and let frequently. Remove from the heat and add cherries. stand 10-15 minutes.

For the dough

For the filling 650-700g cherries in syrup 2 tbsp sugar 2 tbsp cornstarch

For the glaze 1 egg yolk 1 tbsp milk 1 tbsp sugar

Remove the dough hook, leaving the dough in a bowl. Cover with a tea towel or cling film and live to rise at a warm place for about 1-1.5 hour.

Preheat the oven to 200C. Grease your cake tin with some butter. Take about 2/3 of the dough and roll it out into a flat disk. Trim off excess pastry with a knife. Then sprinkle the bottom with almond flour. Spoon cooled cherry mixture into the pastry. Roll out the remaining dough into a 24 cm-round. Using a sharp knife, cut the round into strips about 1.5-2 cm wide. Arrange the strips over the filling to create a lattice pattern. Trim off the excess pastry, make sure that they stick well to the edges.

Drain the cherries and put the syrup in a saucepan. Place it over a medium Brush the lattice with eggwash and heat. sprinkle with brown sugar. Put in the In a small bowl combine 4 tablespoon oven and bake for about 25-30 of the syrup with cornstarch, stir with minutes.

Photography by Christine Msllie and pixlr.com

300g flour 3 tbsp sugar 1 egg yolk 150ml luke warm milk 25g butter 3g active dry yeast pinch of salt 2-3 tbsp almond flour

Put the rest of the flour, salt, egg yolk and butter in an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook and pour in the milk mixture. Beat at a low speed to combine for about 5 minutes. Then switch to a medium speed and beat for about 10 minutes. The dough should be smooth, elastic and not sticky.

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“We get customers from all over The Netherlands for our vlaaien”, says Thijs Koolen from Echte Bakker Thijs Koolen from the small village of Ell, Limburg. “And it’s usually the same people that keep coming back!”. Which isn’t that strange considering the countless awards they have won, including the ‘Beste Echte Bakker van Nederland’ for six years in row now. Vlaai is such a typically southern luscious dish, that when people visit the province of Limburg they can’t help but Google where to get the best. Which is how people find Thijs. Even though it’s the awards that draw people in, it’s the outstanding quality and dedication that gets people coming back for more. “Consistency is key” says Thijs “we always use the same recipe, the same dough and the same method for our signature quality”. And it has definitely paid off when two years ago, they tied with another baker during an annual vlaai competition. “After scoring us

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“Consistency is key. We always use the same recipe, the same dough and the same method for our signature quality”

again, they still came to the same result. So, the next day they anonymously came by the bakery and ordered the same vlaaien they judged us on the day before. Our vlaaien were fresh as ever, but our competition had laid out the vlaaien they baked the day before.” Thijs gleefully tells me, “my team and I strive to make a champion vlaai every day”. But the life of a baker is not an easy life, having to start baking at 4 am each day to ensure fresh products being ready for customers when the bakery opens at 8 am. But Thijs is very passionate – “it is a family business that my grandfather started. Then my father took over and then it was my turn. I grew up with it and found myself wanting to do more and more. It was truly my aspiration to turn my hobby into my profession.” When asked about the secret to an award winning vlaai, Thijs simply stated that “freshness” is the most important factor.


You can visit Thijs and Echte Bakker Thijs Koolen at Sebastiaanstraat 5, 6011 RD Ell, The Netherlands. Or if your in The Netherlands and want to place an order simply call 00 31 495 551 232 to place an order on one of Thijs’s delicious vlaaien.

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Culture

A short history of Indian Cultural Baking BY UMAIR BUTT

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ho doesn’t enjoy cake? I hope there isn’t many, except the people who have been advised by their doctors for health reasons. Cake is a universal, sugary, mouthwatering and delicious delicacy that can be loved by anyone and it is found in almost every part of the world.” Cake has a long history. They were first made in Egypt according to historians. In ancient times, when there was no any modern technology through which we make incredibly delicious cakes today; people used to make cakes from grains and milk by moistening and compacting, then cooking them on hot stones. It was something like biscuits of the modern days. Some modern survivors of this sort of mixture stil called cakes, (for instance oat cakes).

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I am from Pakistan, a well-known country regarding its delicious foods especially different sorts of curry. The whole sub-continent is rich with spicy foods. Cakes are something that have made their special space on our dining tables. When the French and the British traders arrived in 16th century in this region, they introduced this delicacy to the native Indians. It was considered the delicacy of rich and upper class people at that time. But soon, it became the most beloved dessert of every class. From poor to aristocrat, people loved it and began innovating different sorts of cake themselves.

Cake is above any caste, colour or creed. It is a delicious food and it is loved in this country as much as much as any other part of the world. Today, there are hundreds of different sorts of cakes that people make. Gone are the days when especially in this region, cake was considered the delicacy just for the special occasions. This is such a universal and adaptable food that none other has as much variation in design and taste as this has. People can design cakes by thousands of different styles. In fact, cake baking and cake designing is an art.

“Cake is an unique but universal food. Almost every religion, every culture, every part of the world is enriched with this fabulous desert.”


The people who create don’t get bored of creating this. The people who consume also appreciate the creative process as each different cake has its own attraction and taste. When I was a kid, the most famous cakes among the children were sponge cakes and fairy cakes to which we called ‘Kashiti cakes’ in Urdu. The word cake is also called cake in Urdu. Even the name is so sweet and easy to speak, that we couldn’t find its Urdu or Punjabi name. These were the cakes that we used to eat in school, at home and in fact anywhere at any time. Then birthday cakes were also special for all of us.

These cakes were simply made by are invited and then there is a cream, eggs, flour, honey, bread and ceremony of cake cutting. This ceremony had never existed before, as sugar. people used to distribute sweets. Then gradually, I have seen that how cakes have taken a But now cake has taken over. special place almost all of the We have birthday cakes, graduation Asian celebrations and occasions. cakes, business success cakes, ‘Hajj’ We have cakes on our marriages. pilgrimage cakes, Ramadhan cakes, Eid The first ritual that a newlywed couple cakes, Pakistan day cake, anniversary does now soon after their ‘Nikah’ cakes, driving test pass cakes etc. oath is done is cut the cake together. Cake is above anything. It is These cakes normally are a unique but universal food. Almost designed with the couple’s demand to every religion, every culture, every have their names written on them. We part of the world is enriched with this have inauguration cakes. Normally fabulous desert. The amazing factor these cakes are massive in size. In about this food is that the innovation in Pakistan whenever anything is this delicacy is growing and the taste is getting better. inaugurated, a number of people

Photography by pexels.com

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Culture

Meet Amna Ali BY UMAIR BUTT

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irls are taught how to cook from an early age in most Asian communities. Amna Ali is a 28 years old Scottish Asian woman from Glasgow. She is a cake-baker by profession and a mother. “I design my

Coming from a strong cultural Pakistani background, she is brought up with Asian seasoned food. She says, “The interest of baking itself came about to me was mostly in high school. I had the opportunity to bake and take home economics as a subject and I was really good at it too. Having positive feedback from my family members who would taste my dishes was always added bonus to my hobby and I would practise at home. I continued to take this subject to a higher level and started experimenting with food and taking on class competitions. I would always strive to achieve a better standard in taste and presentation with my dishes and this has continued throughout my profession as a cake baker.”

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Amna’s life was not much different from other Asian girls. She completed school, got married at the age of 19 and stayed at home. How she became a cake baker is a more interesting story as she tells; cakes beautifully “I enjoyed being a full time mummy to my with the touch of children and enjoyed cooking. However, I Muslim culture. gradually stopped experimenting with food and For example, I make minarets on stuck with dishes that were more commonly Ramadhan cakes, eaten. Asian bride and groom with their Then came my daughter’s first birthday special wedding dresses etc.” and I was looking to make this day a special day for my girl. I was searching for cakes online and was fascinated by some amazingly beautiful cakes. At that same time, I was having an egoistic moment that I could do a more glamorous job for my girl’s 1st birthday cake. Which I did and it was a poud moment indeed. I was complemented on the presentations and taste by my guests. From there on, I started baking for my sister and for her children.


With all the positive feedback and encouragement, I decided to practice and experiment at home.”. “After a deep conversation with my husband, we discussed about the possibility of making a profession out of my baking skills. We discussed the risks as we were sceptical. However after posting on social media of my completed work I managed to get some orders. I would get repeated customer orders for different occasions.”

beside the regular ones. People tend to come to her shop specifically because of her delicious baking, including her incredible cup-cakes. She expresses this idea that quality and innovation are the key elements to bring success in cake baking. She agrees that only relying on cake baking wouldn’t have been a financially suitable decision. “Christmas, Wedding season and other occasions such as Eids and Ramadhan are the busiest and successful period for us.”

But having success on social media does not guarantee anyone to adopt any business as a full time profession. However, Amna says, “I and my husband invested in opening a food shop in our local area with the help of my husband who would cater to Asian food such as samosay’s, pakoras Biryani etc. I would concentrate solely on cake-baking.”

The trend of cake eating is growing in Asian community, according to Amna. She says, “I design my cakes beautifully with the touch of Muslim culture. For example, I make minarets on Ramadhan cakes, Asian bride and groom with their special wedding dresses etc.”

Amna is pretty happy with her success in cakebaking. Being passionate about anything doesn’t guaran Amna’s shop is a busy in the area. Her tee the success always. However she suggests that people husband’s food is attracting more and more customers who really want to set up cake baking business need to be rational and aware of their market.

Photography by Umair Butt

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Culture

History of wedding cake Then and now; how wedding cakes have evolved BY CALUM FISHER

Photography by Taste Linda’s Cakes (tlscakes.co.uk) and pexlr.com

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hen you think of weddings, you think of three main things; the ceremony, the outfits and the cake. They are all an essential part of a couples’ big day and, with this being a cake magazine, I thought I would take a look back at the history of wedding cakes and where they all came from.

be a large round pie with pastry crust that contained oysters, pine kernels, cockscombs, lambstones, sweetbreads, and spices, this was commonly known as the Bride’s Pye. Certainly a world away from what we know wedding cakes to be like today.

Since the convention of what we all know now to be a wedding, a formal cake has always been part of the ceremony. It was seen as a symbol of good fortune for the newly married couple, who would then eat a few crumbs from the cake first and then the guests thereafter again for perceived good luck.

It was only when moving into the seventeenth century that Bride’s Pye turned in to Bride’s Cake and this is what can be seen to be the ancestor of the modern day wedding cake. The mainly meat celebratory pies were replaced with fruit cakes that were seen as symbols of fertility and well being. The Bride’s Cake consisted of two large pieces of shortcrust pastry, sort of like the Bride’s Pye, which were sandwiched together with currants and spices in-between and sugar on the top. Superstition is something which appears to have followed the wedding cake in its evolution through time and during the seventeenth century, the tradition was that after eating a small piece of the cake the bride had to throw the remainder of the piece of cake over her head so as to ensure that her and her newly wedded husband would not be founding wanting anything in their marriage. The grooms part in all of this was then to smash the plate that the cake had been eaten off of on to his head and if the plate did smash then it ensured good fortune for the rest of their lives.

The wedding cake would then continue to be an essential part of the ceremony throughout the years and the custom would continue to develop throughout this time as well. In medieval England, the concept of a wedding cake was a stack of small spiced buns which was to be towered as high as possible. It was said that if the bride and groom were able to kiss over the top of the stack, then it foreshadowed a lifetime of accomplishment and success. Indeed the earliest form of recipe from that time for a celebratory wedding dish was recorded in the book ‘The Accomplished Cook’ by Robert May, the recipe was said to

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There are plenty more superstitions that go along with wedding cakes. For example, it was often that thought sharing the cake with friends and family increased the couples’ chances of getting children at some point. This is possibly how it eventually became common practice for the cake to be cut and shared at the wedding ceremony. It was also seen as bad luck for the bride to bake her own cake and therefore taste it before the wedding, as this was meant to be signal the loss of a husband’s love. It was the beginning of the Victorian Era that cakes began to take a more familiar form to what we would recognise them as now; they began to have more icing involved with sponge in the middle and decorated to fit the occasion. They also became multi-layered at this time and it was in this era that guests would now experience a wedding cake that was actually made of complete cake, with no meats or currants contained inside. Since the Victorian time period, wedding cakes in Britain have remained with virtually the same design ever since. However, in the late 1980’s, more American customs began to creep in to the British wedding cake as layers containing such fillings as carrot cake, key lime coconut cake amongst others became the fashion. In modern times, the wedding cake in its traditional sense has been replaced with whatever suits the wedding party’s tastes. The cakes can be of any flavour, design or ingredient and taste. Wedding cakes are also something that has been heavily influenced by changing cultures and fashion trends, in fact many cake designers often hope to create their own trend as they always strive for new and innovative designs and ideas for their wedding cakes. There is no real rule book anymore for what can or cannot be part of the cake or indeed the wedding itself, it’s all up to the imagination of the bride and groom and that is what of the best reasons for why a big day for a happy couple can be totally unique to them.

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Culture

Delicious Too A successful Halal Bakery BY UMAIR BUTT

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ow much does the South Asian community love to eat cake? To find out this, I visited the south side of Glasgow. Pollockshields is one of the most Asian populated areas of the south side of the city. Asian food shops, cash and carries, mosques, veiled women walking on the pavements, men with their traditional dresses, all of these give a complete picture of Asian culture.

Photography by Delicious Too (halaldeliciousbakery.com) and Umair Butt

With a little effort, I found a famous bakery in Pollockshields. Delicious Too is a small but very busy and popular bakery at Albert Drive. This bakery is recognised as the most delicious halal cakes in the area. 54-year-old driver Ramzan from Glasgow says, “I am really

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thankful to this bakery to provide us fresh cakes since it was established a few years back. Before that, it was hard to find Halal cake bakers in Glasgow. I have been buying cakes from this bakery on my all the important occasions.” Pollockshields is considered the heart of Pakistani and Indian community in Glasgow. There is the largest Sikh Gurdwara and a well-known mosque just across the road, showing the diversity of the Asian community in the area. Delicious too was first established in Ellison Street in 2004. Saad, the manager, says, “The first branch of the bakery got a very good response from our customers. It was a successful business venture. We wanted to open another


branch but it took five years. The second branch of Delicious Too was inaugurated in 3 November 2009 at Albert Drive, and since then we have been much appreciated by our customers by their positive feedback. Though we are halal bakers, we have customers from all walk of life and communities.”

“The shop is decorated over the idea of customer friendly. Our customers are from all ethnicities but the majority are Scottish Asians. This branch is based at Pollockshields, which is predominantly an area Pakistani community. So our target customers are mainly Pakistanis and Indians.”

“ We firmly

Saad says that the bakery founded believe that on the principles of providing excellent value every customer for money and guaranteed halal products in is special” Glasgow. “We can proudly say that we are the pioneers of Halal pasties and cakes in Glasgow.”To understand the concept of halal cakes, Saad states, “Some of the ingredients, for instance some emulsifiers, contain gelatin derived from animals. Gelatin can be halal but most of the time it is not. If the animal part is been used to manufacture gelatin, then it needs to understand that the animal is slaughtered in ‘Halal way’. We make sure that if gelatin or any other ingredient like flavour enhancers are used, they are halal. People trust us and the relationship of this trust has gotten stronger with the passage of time.” On the entrance of the bakery, one can quickly get the picture of the Asian atmosphere. There are four small fridges particularly for cakes. There is a Pakistani flag at the roof ceiling above the fridges. There is also a small shelve at the right side of the entrance where customers can find numerous different Asian magazines, newspapers, leaflets and community announcement cards. Saad says,

Delicious Too has some special cakes that are loved immensely by their customers. The most special cakes are the Black Forest and Fresh cream cakes. Besides those, the bakery gets special orders on marriages, Eids, birthdays and special occasions. They also provide a home delivery service but this is only for marriage cakes. They say that because marriage is such a memorable event for everyone, they make sure that the cakes they order and deliver to them don’t ruin the design of the cake. Saad says, “We don’t offer cake delivery on different occasions apart from wedding. To cut the cake at wedding is one of the most important part of the marriage, and everyone deserves to cut a fully well designed cake. We firmly believe that every customer is special. We had observed in the past the most of the people couldn’t handle to deliver cake at marriage venue without destroying the design or cake as a whole.” Delicious Too is a successful halal bakery and their chefs have created their loyal customers. The cake industry tends to be not very famous in terms of generating decent revenue. However, Delicious Too is a successful example that cake baking can be successful if they make some delicious cake and as long as people are in love with their results.

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Social

Home bakers

The story of Mariyam Omar BY UMAIR BUTT

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ake is one of the most common desserts these days. It is loved by elders and young people as much as by children. There is a massive cake baking industry especially in the western countries. Mariyam Omer lives in Manchester. A 24 year old young Muslim girl with an extreme passion for baking. She started cake baking as a trainee chef in a small restaurant where she was working on the deserts and cakes for the banquets. She says, “I had a chance either to become an Indian curry chef or dessert chef there. I was good in making curries but my passion was cake baking because I love cakes.”

Initially, living in a typical Asian family atmosphere, it was hard for her to follow her passion. Normally, Asian Muslim families are stressing their children to go with medical, law or banking education. Maryam says, “I was different. I wanted to be a cake baker right from the start because I love to eat cakes. Problem within my family was that one of my uncles used to work in a bakery, and he

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somehow convinced my parents that this is a dead sector in terms of business. When I expressed my plan to become a professional cake baker in future, I was being opposed by everyone. They asked me that before I get admission in college, I should work in a restaurant first and then analyse either it is alright for me to be a cake baker chef.” “While I was learning to design and baking cakes I realised that the only limitation in this profession is our imagination. The exciting part of cake artistry is if I can think of a design then I will think of a way of making that design work in real cake and I am really good in this.” Mariyam’s creative skills forced her to start her own independent career. She wanted to get a proper qualification in cake baking industry from her college but because she was married at very young age, she couldn’t manage to go to college.


“People still think that cake baking doesn’t guarantee you the financial security. I don’t agree with this. If we have quality, delicious cakes then people love to eat cakes.” “Married life brought some gap to follow my career. Now I have two kids. It is hard for me to open up a small bakery or working full time in a bakery. My passion is still there. So thanks to social media, I have set up a Facebook page by the name of ‘Cakey Love’. I get enough orders per week and it is the best part time job for a mother of two kids. I still have this idea that once my kids start going to school or when they are grown up, I would open my own bakery.” “People still think that cake baking doesn’t guarantee you the financial security. I don’t agree with this. If we have quality, delicious cakes then people love to eat cakes. This how we will also make money.”

designing and structure,” she says. “Mostly all the cakes have same basic structure from the combination of the flour’s starches, by the proteins in whole eggs, egg whites and milk.” Maryam’s cakes are the most important part of Asian weddings and cultural occasions, because she receive so many repeated orders from her customers. However, she also receives some negative response from her customers. She says, “There are many negatives to this profession. The negative feedbacks and sometimes the aggressive customers can cause a lot of depression. I deal with this situation by staying calm and patient and remembering to focus on bringing satisfaction to them by giving my best efforts on my cakes.”

Photography by Cakey Love (facebook.com/cakeylove)

Mariyam receives orders mostly from Asian community. She makes different flavours of wedding If anyone is interested to enjoy Maryam’s Cakes, cakes, birthday cakes, Ramadhan cakes, new home then Maryam can be contacted through her Facebook page cakes, Eid cakes and so on. “To be honest it is all about named Cakey Love.

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Social

Glasgow Baking Club Cakes, bakes and banter BY YVONNE MALLIE

Photography by Bex M. for Glasgow Baking Club (glasgowbakingclub.wordpress.com)

An afternoon spent whipping up cakes, biscuits and pies doesn’t just reward you with tasty treats at the end, it could also help you make new friends and provide you with new recipes! That is, if you join Glasgow Baking Club of course. “The purpose is social, just like a book group” says Kirsteen, one of the founders of the Club “it’s a meeting of likeminded people”.

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Glasgow Baking Club was founded in 2012 by four women with a passion for baking including Kirsteen, who says she read about Cake Clubs and got in touch with Edinburgh Bakers via Facebook to ask how to form one - “They invited me to attend their next event and by the time that event took place, one of the other founders had been in touch with them to ask the same! So Edinburgh Bakers swapped our details. We met up, involved our two friends that were also keen to be involved and that’s how it started. We consisted of a mix of one hobby baker and three baking related business owners – a cafe, a home baking farmers’ market stall and a cake decorating school. Baking Clubs were very popular at that time”. Baking Clubs are still very popular, with nearly one in every city in the UK. Fuelled by the likes of The Great British Bake Off, the passion for home baking continues to grow unabated. But the purpose isn’t as much baking as it is


Social

“Each meeting has a different theme” Kirsteen stated “bakes can be sweet or savoury. We host events in the evening usually midweek in a venue that is happy to host us. We have no money to pay for room hire, so we try and find a venue that will give us some space or agree to stay open a bit later especially for us.” Previous themes have been ‘New Year, New Ingredient’ and ‘The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party’ where the participants, as with every Glasgow Baking Club meeting, were asked to bring along their own sweet or savoury bake. This way, everyone has something different and unique to offer. The Club is a non-profit, there is no money involved and it runs on volunteers. Making its sole purpose truly social. But the bakers never go home empty handed, “The bakes we make are eaten at the event and members take a selection of bakes home with them at the end of the evening.”

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Even though Glasgow Baking Club is doesn’t charge any admission fees, they have still managed to get amazing guest speakers to make an event even more exciting. “We have had Francoise Coccoza, founder of Patisserie Francoise in Byres Road, Melanie Andrews, founder of the Scottish Baking Awards and Joyce Brady, owner of the Wee Fudge Company. One of my personal favourites was an outdoor picnic in the Botanic Gardens. Each event is different and so are the people that come to them.” Kirsteen said. “Popular events have been ones where we have had a guest speaker, but on average 10-15 people attend each event”. Which seems like a good amount of people to hang out with, and bakes to try, to me. Or as Glasgow Baking Club’s slogan reads “Sharing cakes, bakes and banter”.


To join Glasgow Baking Club, simply like them on Facebook to see all events and have a look at their Wordpress blog at glasgowbakingclub.wordpress.com. Their blog is full of stories and lovely photos of previous editions to give you an idea of the atmosphere and yumminess that awaits if you wish to join Glasgow Baking Club.

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Social

The Wedding Fayre A day out exploring wedding cakes and dresses in Troon

effect that the sheer scale of whiteness hits you. From the cakes to the dresses, the colour is quite simply everywhere. This wedding fayre was everything you would expect from it; stalls upon stalls in competition with each other in order to give visitors the best deal or the best product. In particular, the cake makers had clearly brought out their A-game. The cake stalls were certainly the highlight of the whole day and they were, in my humble opinion, the main attraction. They stood out marvellously and were the jewel in this wedding fayre’s crown. Cake businesses from all over Ayrshire and beyond were there to show off the best of what they had to offer as well as offering samples of their treats to visitors.

BY CALUM FISHER

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hen you at tend your first wedding fayre, it is

easy to get taken aback by everything that you see. From the plush cars sitting outside, to the hundreds of dresses on display and the seemingly unrelenting amount of cake and treats that are on offer. This was the case for me as I went along to experience the annual Troon wedding fayre on the Sunday the 24th of April at the town’s concert hall. Troon itself is a beautiful seaside town and on a picturesque spring afternoon, there seemed to be no more of a perfect setting for couples to come and get ideas that they hope could make their wedding day absolutely perfect. As the sun was splitting the sky, the first thing that couples would have seen as they made their way in to the concert hall was a row of expensive and beautiful white Rolls Royce that would’ve taken anyone’s breath away. Accompanying the cars were chauffeurs dressed in the finest of suits who were more than happy to answer questions about the cars and give as much information as they possibly could to inquisitive visitors. Whilst it was pretty obvious that having one of these cars at your wedding would cost you a pretty penny, in a dream wedding scenario you can’t really imagine it without a vehicle such as a Rolls Royce.

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Making your way inside the concert hall, it is with immediate

From red velvet to lemon sponges, chocolate to carrot cake and even a cheesecake wedding cake, there was definitely something on offer in the cake department that would suit even the fussiest of wedding guests and


would sure be able to keep the bride and groom satisfied on their big day. “The cakes are just amazing and they really are the standout” said one woman I spoke to, “Everything about the cakes just makes a wedding complete”. It was clear with every brief conversation I had with people that the cakes and baking products were certainly what they were enjoying most about their day, especially the free samples!

That’s really the theme of this wedding fayre interaction. It’s why all these representatives are here; they want to sell you on something that they hope will add to your enjoyment of your wedding day. Everyone I spoke to seemed genuinely passionate about what they were trying to sell and whilst you could be standing for hours if you really wanted to with a cake maker or a dress expert about any number of different things, you would always come away with a far more vast knowledge of their product than you did at the beginning of the conversation. As someone that isn’t married and doesn’t plan to be for quite some time yet, my visit to the Troon wedding fayre opened my eyes to the size of a wedding and the ridiculous amount of planning that goes in to it. As I mentioned, it was my first visit to a wedding fayre and it was certainly a visit that left a sizeable impression on me and from what I saw left a big impression on the future happy couples as well.

For anyone interested in the bakeries mentioned in the feature, they can be found at lickscakedesign.co.uk and wildflours.co.uk

Photography by Calum Fisher

Of course it would remiss of me to only mention cake and cars. The sheer volume of suits and dresses on display was stunning and hard to comprehend at first. So many clothes and so many options - it’s a wonder how anyone manages to make a final decision with these things. Like everything else in the place, there’s an ‘expert’ or representative on hand to tell you everything you wanted to know or didn’t want to know depending on how much time you have in a day to hear about different textures and seams in a bridal dress. Speaking to Linda from Diane Honeyman, who are one of Ayrshire’s most popular dress companies, you get a sense of how big a day this is for companies like the one she works for; “These days are huge for us, it gives potential customers the chance to view what we have to offer and it gives

us the chance to interact with people in order to make sure we can deliver the best service possible and that our customers biggest day of their lives is a happy one.”

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OLIVIA ARMSTRONG Editor YVONNE MALLIE Designer AMY MCGHEE Writer CALUM FISHER Writer UMAIR BUTT Writer

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Photography by bakery47 (bakery47.com)

Cake Culture  

Issue #1 of Cake Culture.

Cake Culture  

Issue #1 of Cake Culture.

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