Interview with Ceri Griffiths

Interview with Ceri Griffiths

 I have been lucky enough to be taught by Ceri on a couple of occasions, and not only is he extremely talented at what he does, but I can also confirm that he is a thoroughly nice chap! He has an excellent teaching style and he gives you the confidence to produce creations you never thought possible. Ceri is a published author and has an online school – you can find out more here http://ceridz.co.uk

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Read on to find out more ~Sister Victoria x

 Define your business/ style in three words

A. Knowledge Sharing Nurturing

 How did you get into baking/decorating?

A. I was a cook then a trainee chef, I was always asked to do the deserts and my head chef recommended I moved out of the kitchen environment and went to train as a confectioner as it was much more creative and lent itself to my artistry.

What’s your favourite thing about your job?

A. Seeing the faces of the students when I’ve got them to create something they never thought they could do.

  What has been your worst cake nightmare?

A. Once I was asked to create a modelled horse with a the bride sitting on it and the groom leading it, it was a chocolate cake and model, I’m not the greatest of modellers but I was determined, the week before the wedding my client called up saying that her mother had changed her mind and wanted to do the wedding cake…..they never knew how much I was struggling and I was very grateful that they cancelled.

  What is the most challenging cake of your career and why?

A. I would say the next one I’m working on as I’m always trying to do something new and different and believe me they don’t always work but I love the creative journey.

How do you find a work/life balance and has it always been this way?

A. I’m very bad at the balance thing, I’m a little OCD and definitely a workaholic therefore there normally is no work/life balance, but I believe all of this effort will pay off one day and then I can sit down and enjoy the ride.

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  If you could be another cake artist for a day who would it be?

A. Karen Portaleo, so that I could understand what she sees when she models

  Who inspires you/has been your biggest influence?

A. There are too many as it is not just one person but a couple of people per medium

What would you do if you weren’t a caker?

A. Be a photographer

  What are you working on right now?

A. My next book

   What drives you?

A. The love of what I do and possibly the fear of failure

Are you where you thought you would be in the cake/royal icing world?

A. When I first became a baker and confection in 1980 people didn’t do what I do now so no I never thought I would be where I am today and certainly didn’t even imagine that I would be as well know as I am today and for doing what I do every day…. but back then there wasn’t the world wide web

  What is the worst part about cake decorating?

A. Trying to understand exactly what your client wants, also trying to convey your imagination to a publisher as I can’t always draw what I want to create.

   What made you decide to start the online school?

A. People wanted DVD’s from me and I personally feel they are a thing of the past, for me to reach everyone who wants to do class with me and to be able to keep things current, I had to do it virtually.

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  You travel around a lot with your teaching – have you had odd experiences at airports regarding your equipment?

A. Yes the official’s don’t seem to understand what I do therefore when you scan my luggage, piping nozzles can sometimes look like bullets, there have been a few funny faces when I open my suitcase and have to explain toothpicks, nozzles, edible flowers and packs of icing sugar.

  What do you find people ask for most help with?

A. Making royal icing and the consistencies you require

What is your favourite part of your business?

A. When I’ve been travelling and I come home and have a cup of tea in my own kitchen and then sleep in my own bed.

Describe yourself in three words

A. Cheeky, caring, fun

Morning, noon or night?

A. When I’m awake I’m awake

  What was the last film you saw?

A. Transcendence 

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

A. Alaska 

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  What did you eat for breakfast?

A. Very little as I don’t like breakfast but if anything its normally crumpets

  What is your favourite cuisine?

A. Chinese

  Which three people would you invite to dinner?

A. The Queen, Richard Attenborough, Cher

Where would you visit if you had the chance? 

A. Antarctica 

Interview with Britt from She Who Bakes

We’re very excited at Spatula Sisterhood HQ to bring you the first in our new series of interviews from amazingly talented bakers and decorators from around the world.

Today it’s the turn of Britt Whyatt of She Who Bakes….

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Define your business/ style in three words

Fun, colourful, informative.

How did you get into baking?

In 2009 I was off work for a little while and a friend asked me to bake a cake for a charity bake sale. The result was a packet mix filled mess. But I was so proud and so the obsession began!

What’s your favourite thing about your job?

Stepping back from a finished cake after hours of baking and decorating and having that feeling of accomplishment.

What has been your worst cake nightmare?

The first time I ever stacked a cake. I didn’t realise just how important dowels and supporting cake cards were. It, obviously, collapsed and I cried. A lot. I swore I’d never bake a cake again, but I’m a drama queen and that feeling passed.

What is the most challenging cake of your career and why?

I always find it challenging to make cakes for those closest to me. I feel added pressure as the friends who knew me before I became She Who Bakes are the ones I want to impress the most. I made a Harry Potter spell book cake for my oldest friend and I was terrified of his reaction. Luckily, he loved it and so did I.

How do you find a work/life balance and has it always been this way?

I like to keep a good balance. Some days I will work from the moment I get up to the moment I go to bed but it means the following day I can take some time off and chill. You always have to make time for yourself or you will burn out.

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If you could be another cake artist for a day who would it be?

Mich Turner. She always looks so flawless and is so very talented.

 Who inspires you/has been your biggest influence?

My mum. On both accounts. She is the reason I strive so hard for success. When she was alive, she was a single parent looking after her dying parents and bringing up a high maintenance teenager (that was me…) all while working full time as a night nurse in the prison service. To me, she was super woman and she always will be my biggest inspiration and influence.

What would you do if you weren’t a caker?

I honestly can’t think what else I would be doing. I’ve put my heart and soul into baking and it’s become a part of me.

What are you working on right now?

I’ve recently started filming my web show which will consist of video tutorials for baking and sugarcraft. I’m also working on my first book!

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What drives you?

Making my mum proud and knowing I deserve all the happiness in the world.

Are you where you thought you would be in the cake world?

I always knew that I wanted more than just to bake cakes. I wanted to teach tutorials and share my knowledge and through my YouTube channel and books, that is exactly what I’m going to do. So I’m almost there.

What is the worst part about cake decorating?

The washing up!! All of the bloody time!

What made you decide to start the blog?

I’ve always had blogs. Most were filled with teenage angst and following bands around the country. So when I got into my baking obsession, it seemed to be the natural progression for a place to keep my recipes and product reviews.

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 What is your most shared recipe? Did that surprise you?

My cinnabon cake. I had hoped the recipe would be popular as it’s my absolute favourite, I just didn’t realise it would be SO popular! Ha!

What do you find people ask for most help with?

How to bake a flat topped cupcake. I had so many emails asking this question that it is the subject for my first web show episode.

How did you get into the journalism side of your business?

That was kind of accidental. I’ve always loved writing, it’s another passion of mine. And through my work affiliated with Sainsbury’s as I’m one of their official food bloggers, I was invited to the Cake & Bake show as Sainsbury’s guest. I really enjoyed my day and wrote an article about it as soon as I got home which I shared all over my social media pages. After that, I was lucky enough to be invited to more shows and it went from there!

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You’ve been very open on your business page about the personal struggles and difficulties you’ve had growing up and into your adult life, how has that helped you, and has the response from your followers always been positive?

I never wanted to hide the things I had been through. They have made me the strong business woman you are talking to today. Being open about everything has helped in many ways. I get emails and messages daily from complete strangers telling me that my story has inspired them and that makes me so happy. I have always received a positive response from everyone and that really has helped me personally move forward too.

What is your favourite part of your business?

It has to be the baking and modelling toppers out of sugar.

Describe yourself in three words

Baker, Canadian and a Whovian.

Who is your celebrity crush?

David Tennant.

What was the last film you saw? 

A Haunted House on Netflix.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

My hometown in Canada.

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What did you eat for breakfast?

Coffee.

What is your favourite cuisine? 

Italian.

What foods do you dislike?

I don’t really like things like shepherds pie and sausages and mash. It’s all a bit boring for me.

Which three people would you invite to dinner?

The Doctor, Marilyn Monroe, Stephen Hawking.

Where would you visit if you had the chance?  

Japan and eat real sushi.

Any new or exciting news you’d like to share?

My web show will be up soon! So make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel to be one of the first to see it! www.youtube.com/shewhobakes1

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Nickname?

I don’t really have one I don’t think. My mum used to call me Queen B but I believe Beyoncé has that now…

What is your best childhood memory?

Going to Disneyland Paris with my mum followed by a Spice Girls concert. A 90’s girls dream.

Any pet peeves?

Bad grammar and prejudice.

Like your job?

No. I love it.

How many tattoos do you have?

13. But I want so many more…

Has your world ever been rocked?

Yes. In both good and bad ways. But the way I see it, every life is a pile of good things and bad things. The good things don’t always soften the bad things, but vice versa the bad things don’t always spoil the good things and make them unimportant.

The best piece of advice you’ve been given?

“If your dreams don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough.”

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Many many thanks to Britt xx

 

Naked wedding cakes shared by our followers

We have some amazingly talented bakers and decorators which follow our fb page and when we ask them to share they never disappoint! Here’s some of the amazing naked wedding cakes they shared this week. And don’t be fooled, just because they’re naked doesn’t mean they aren’t any less tricky to make look beautiful!!

tasty bakes

Tasty Bakes of Hoylake

sovereign cakes

Sovereign Cakes

lulabelle

Lulabelle

kathryn matthews

Kathryn’s Homemade Cakes

haleyscakekitcen

Haley’s Cake Kitchen

cheshire cat cake company

Cheshire Cat Cake Company

cakes galore

Cakes Galore by Polly

baked by jane

Baked by Jane

angel's kitchen

Angel’s Kitchen

Thank you for sharing your nakedness!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Baking round up May 2014

I’ve loved sharing the baking posts this week on Spatula Sisterhood, but they can get lost on a fb page, so I’ve added them all here so they can be saved and pinned from here. So if you need to get your bake on, you might find inspiration here! Click on the links below each picture to take you to the recipe you’ll need to recreate these yummy cake and bakes. I’m not sure which is my favourite- I might have to make them all to find out!

 sugarhero

Sugar Hero

mb3

Marie’s Bakehouse

sally's baking addiction

Sally’s Baking Addiction

martha stewart

Martha Stewart

mb 2

Marie’s Bakehouse

sally's baking addiction2

Sally’s Baking Addiction

 Happy Baking!

Sugarpaste faces ~ an inspiration

Improving my technique at making sugarpaste faces has long been a passion of mine, I suppose I was driven to do this when one of my first cakes had the figures described as … well not really up for discussion here, but the mouth on the Brownie guide really wasn’t the look I was trying to achieve.  Since then I have been obsessed with getting faces ‘right’, I’ve certainly moved on from where I was but I feel I am still on that journey, using different mediums, tools, techniques, being inspired and motivated to get better.

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Through this I hope to inspire you to keep at your own journey and keep striving to improve.   Below I’ve put together a little collage from where I started and those troublesome Brownies to my latest competition figure who won me first in class at Cake International in London 2014.

faces collage

 

 

My early influences came from people like Rouvalee, Lorraine McKayLiz Marek and Christine Hamilton who I followed on Flickr.

But the more I researched I found more people to add to my inspiration – Karen Portaleo, Cecilia’s Sugar art, ChokoLate, Mimicafe Union, Eva Benavente, Emma Ball and Carlos Lischetti

All very detailed and beautiful, but here are a few more I want to share with you to show just even the simplest of faces can be effective and totally absorbing.

Karen of Ivy Jane’s Bakery, Debbie Brown, Geraldine Gabasa, Margie Carter, Mutlu Dukkan, Dosolina Silovogio and a few others I’m afraid I’m not aware of who the creator is.

If you want to be completely amazed take a look at this video by Le Torte di Twins ~ click on the image for the link

torte twins

 

So keep working at your figures, watch video’s, read sculpting books and above all have faith, find your style, something you are comfortable with or maybe take a class to get that hands on help.  Start simple work at keeping your work clean and smooth, think about proportions – maybe another post to come !!

I hope I have inspired you to just have a go or keep trying, I am now looking at working in other mediums other than sugarpaste which has been my medium of choice for the past few years and start to work in chocolate based mixes.  Above all have fun and as long as the little people keep you smiling you’ll not go far wrong.

Sister Rhu ~ Sugarpaste teacher and artist at Pimp my Cake and French Cake Breaks

 

May The Force Be With You!

I love all things Geek and have enjoyed sharing some geek inspired cakes with you all on our facebook page these past few days. I would probably need to post 10 times a day for a month to share them all so in honour of Star Wars Day I thought I would share my all time favourite top 5  Star Wars inspired cakes with you …

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MilleniumFalcon4e                                                                                  www.eatwicked.com

boba-fet                                                                                  www.weddingcakes.com
190817_10150141808527135_8236526_o                                                                                    www.cakepower.com

Star_Wars_Jabba_the_Hutt_Cake                                                                                     www.rosebudcakes.com

Thank you for popping by and May The Force Be With You ~ Sisiter Sweetpea x

www.thesweetpeakitchen.co.uk                     www.facebook.com/thesweetpeakitchen

Cake International London 2014 ~ just a taste of the detail

A taste of just some of the exquisite detail on the exhibits at Cake International London 2014

You can view the pictures as a slideshow by clicking on one of the images.

The Cupcakes

The Wedding Cakes

International Category

Decorative Exhibits and others

It’s funny I was sure I had taken more, but I seem to have missed a whole section of cakes, including the novelty ones, which is a shame.  To much distraction meeting so many lovely people.

Hopefully these will give you just a taste so some of the hard work that everyone put into their entries.  We also have a gallery of all the gold award winners on our Facebook page for you to enjoy.

Thank you for taking time to look

Sister Rhu x