Cake! Everybody loves cake! Cake has layers!

On Friday, my mother and I departed for Manchester (120 miles away) to spend the day at the Cake and Bake Show 2014. It was an enlightening experience, not least because it’s the first time in a good decade that I’ve crossed the North-South Divide. For those of you who aren’t aware of the social map of England, the North-South Divide is the imaginary line that separates we civilised people down South from the heathens Oop North.

The day was a delightful experience which mostly involved gazing with lust at the expensive kitchen equipment (that blender could make ice cream in 35 seconds!), laughing at some of the more ridiculous stalls (dog biscuit wedding cakes, anyone?) and, of course, trying all the different cake samples.

My mother was very taken with the California Prune Board stand, which were offering individually wrapped prunes for consumption, but I preferred the marshmallow stands. Our eyes were opened to the wonders of cappuccino marshmallows, Marmite chocolate (I loved it, Mum hated it), and bacon and maple syrup cake.



These are some marshmallows. In display cases. Note the centre one, which contains squid ink and 24ct gold leaf flakes. And it is a marshmallow.
Each one of these meringues was bigger than both of my fists put together.


Why, yes, this IS an eight foot dress made out of individually iced cupcakes. I thought I might wear one when I get married.

Then we got to the cake decorating stands…

Leopards make everything better.

This one towered at least four feet above the rest of the cakes:

This one was at least four feet higher than any of the other cakes

Now for the themed cakes: guess the movie!

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Excuse the blurriness, these had to be taken at lightning speed as, for some unfathomable reason, everyone wanted a picture of these cakes.

This is a cake:


These are some more cakes:


This is a Frozen cake!


And all of these are cakes. Even the eggs are cake. Even the toast is cake. Even the cake is cake.


Then we headed for the jungle display, which was…incredible:

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Can I just reiterate: THESE ARE ALL CAKES! Honestly, it was cake-lover’s heaven.

And finally, the showstopper:


In case you were wondering, this is a life-size baby elephant cake. It contains 750kg of cake, 250kg of sugar paste icing and around 40kg of chocolate. It also contains 3 million calories and was being decorated throughout the show by sixteen professional cake-makers.

And all of this was held in Manchester Central, which appears to be the old train station, and therefore qualifies as an awesome place. It looks a little bit like Platform 9 and 3/4, if Platform 9 and 3/4 were made of cake. Which would be no bad thing, in my opinion.



Writing hard

I don’t struggle for post ideas. I don’t struggle with writing posts. I don’t agonise over my titles and I don’t compulsively edit and re-edit what I write before hitting ‘publish’. Yet nearly all of my ideas never make it onto this blog, despite my feeling that they would actually make good posts.

The reason for this is that I find it nearly impossible to write the first sentence. I will open a new post window, mentally run through the gist of the post, and stare blankly at the screen for the next twenty minutes. Half a sentence might be written, then I’ll backspace it all and start again.

I don’t revisit posts; most of them are written, read through once and published in the space of less than an hour. If I leave something unfinished it will remain unfinished, because by the time I get back to it I’ll have changed my mind completely about what it should look like and delete it. So if I’m not enthusiastic enough about the idea to churn out a complete post on the first go, it probably won’t see the light of day. While I’m writing a post, my ideas are constantly evolving. I’ll write five hundred words and then get rid of the first half of the post because the theme has evolved into something totally different.

This is, of course, a ridiculous and time-wasting way to go about writing, but it’s the way I’m most comfortable with. I’m a lazy person, and the time it would take to hone my writing skills to the point where I could put out a meaningful and thought-provoking article every time I post would most likely destroy my interest in blogging. And that would be a shame, because then none of you would get to read my brain farts!