Top ten 2012 cake trends

January 10, 2012

What you will be gorging on this year, (apparently)

Cakes and the baking movement are majorly on the up, thanks to the boom in TV baking shows such as Great British Bake Off in 2011. The term ‘cake’ has surged on web searches in the UK, knocking ‘chicken’ off its number one food-search hotspot. So, with cakes looking to be huge this year, in what forms are we likely to see our beloved sponge pop up over the next 12 months?

1. The rival cupcake for 2012 is looking rather Frenchified…The James Beard Foundation in New York predict that canelés are going to be the thing to pop in your bouche. Watch out for this little Bordeaux treat, with a crispy, caramelised crust and chewy, custardy middle, made from crêpe-like batter.

canneleThanks@chezpim.com

2. Others predict other French fancy, the macaroon will be the big hitter this year,  a good competitor surely, considering it’s darn cute to look at and can be reinvented in all sorts of colours and flavours, just as cupcakes have been.Maccaroons

Thanks@goodtoknow.co.uk

3. Layered cake will be yet another cupcake rival, according to the dirtylaundry.com blog. Now this sure is not something you can whip up in half an hour though!

Layered rainbow cake

Thanks @Mariolacookingtherapy.blogspot.com

4. But the cupcake craze isn’t dead, despite certain critics who find the food garish and rather kitsch…and The Guardian’s Charlie Brooker who claims “Cupcakes are for people who can’t handle reality“. But surely Mr Brooker the off-the-wall nature of the mini sponge is precisely its appeal?….

Cupcakes

Cupcakes are still king of the bakes, in my book anyways

5. It’s all about moneysaving DIY cakes. Tough financial times have led people to become more resourceful with their cash, which means the bake at home trend is ever-growing. In uncertain times, we are likely to want to stick to trustworthy family recipes, says UK food and drink company My Secret Kitchen.

Cupcake batter

When the pennies are being stretched, get that apron on and bake your own

6. Cakes in a jar, a new way to present edible gifts. (But just be careful if you’re planning to take your present airborne, with airport officials now classing cake as a ‘potential weapon’ in some cases…)

DIY presents

In 2012 it’s all about the cake and the jar, ‘they’ say

7. Wedding cake trends: According to various wedding blogs, cupcake towers will still be big this year, along with beautifully crafted ‘cake pops’, macaroons and cookies, decorated in coordinated colours, says aprilbakery.com.Wedding cupcake tower

Thanks @Marthastewart.com

With a general return of the ‘old school’ cake, 2012 will also see us reunited with the wedding dessert trolly, claims jonbradley.co.uk.

8. Gluten free cooking. More and more people have been converting to G-free, as the category moves from a medical niche, to a mainstream empire, with more brits googling the term than ever. For these reasons many foodies, analysts and companies predict an ongoing boom in cakes, breads and such that don’t contain any of the belly-bloating ingredient.

9. South American treats. My Secret Kitchen also suggests South America will have a big influence on our eating habits. The Bakery Spot blog claims Argentinian Alfajores will be a big hitter: two round sweet biscuits held together by deliciously sickly dulce de leche (or jam). Alternatively the biscuits can be simply covered in black or white chocolate.Alfajores

Thanks @thebakeryspot.com

10. Bit of Britishness, aprilbakery.co.uk notes the year will be all about embracing our culture and heritage with major events such as the Queen’s Jubilee and the Olympics. You can see these special dates just crying out for ‘Will’s and Kate’ style cupcake fests as we wave our little union jack flags (nationalist or not, you will end up with one somehow at some point, there’s no escaping).

April Bakery claims the demand for huge, extravagant American style cupcakes, bulging in bright icing will ease, making way for more dainty, English-style cupcakes with natural flavours such as Vanilla, Lavender and Elderflower. Lovely.


3 minute micro-onde marvel (aka the best cake ever)

February 20, 2011

Microwaved heaven on a plate (p.s this photo does NOT do this cake justice...)

My move to France was difficult as a baking fanatic because I found myself for months without an oven. This means my cake making activities have been kept to a minimum…but thanks to my new-found (equally sweet-toothed) friends I can get my regular butter/sugar mix fix at chez-their house.

Three minutes is all it takes....

However, yesterday I had a little baking sesh with said friends and OMG I discovered probably one of the best chocolate cakes in the world (I owe you big time whoever invented it) and do you know what? It took ten minutes to mix up and…

three minutes to cook in the microwave. This means I can make this at home, sans oven!! woopwoop……(I am going to get very fat though).

The funniest thing is, at the same time we attempted to make some kind of gooey, caramel filled cupcake thing, which took us literally two hours of stirring, mixing, melting and glooping but this resulted in a broken bowl, 20 or so minutes in the oven, resulting in a cake with literally no flavour….the lesson? Don’t judge a cake by its cooking time!

Microwave cake:


That means:

Three eggs (we rebelled and used two – was still to die for)

150g butter

160g dark cooking choc

150g sugar

60g flour

Make:

Melt butter+choc

Flour+sugar

Egg action

Time to combine...

Now all we need to do is…..


And by the time you’ve made a cuppa..

DING!

What gorgeous creation…