2018: That Was The Year That Was

This post may be a little delayed. I had every intention of sharing this with you on New Year’s Eve as a way to wrap up the year but let’s be honest with each other, I was far too distracted by spending time with my family and friends, and you were probably off having fun too. Now that we are back in the office, you may well be looking for a way to distract yourself once again for a few precious minutes. Go and make yourself a cuppa as I thank each and every one of you for making 2018 such a fantastic year.

I have been up and down the country meeting many new people and seeing some now familiar faces – I am especially starting to feel this way when I visit Edinburgh! Some of you have been repeat offenders at Foodies Festival and you know that there is no greater compliment that you can pay to a feeder than coming back for seconds!

To every one of you who has come to see me and my incredible chefs in The Cake & Desserts Theatre at Foodies Festival in 2018, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Baking whilst wearing all white lace…

To all of my amazing Foodies family, I thank you too… from the heart of my bottom.

Taken at Foodies Tatton Park. With Colin Farquhar, Jen Perry, The Baking Nanna, Rob Allen, and Helen Cripps

With John Holland, the Jason to my Kylie

Serving glamour with Grace Hall and Becky Cummings

Stealing a cheeky kiss from GBBO’s Julia Chernogrova

We are family, with Mike Longman

With GBBO’s Steven Carter-Bailey and Masterchef Winner Kenny Tutt… who had said something very cheeky and made us all giggle! It’s unrepeatable…

Nice buns with Victoria Copley

OK, so I’ve not shared a picture of every single one of the amazing chefs that joined me in 2018 as this would take me 700 years to do so these are just the silliest pictures that make me giggle. You are all a bunch of nutters and it is your talent and energy that makes my job the very best in the world. Carry on baking and start thinking of what you want to cook up in 2019!

Yes, I have every intention of making 2019 even BIGGER and BETTER than 2018. This is setting myself quite the task.

In 2018 we started running with a crazy idea that I probably had in the shower or on the toilet (where I do my very best thinking) to combine food with light entertainment in Cake & Cabaret. My multi-talented chefs were on hand to make this idea a success. Thank you to each chef who got involved and showed off your talents.

Becky Cummings sang with her ukulele as we went head to head in a Red Velvet Cake Off

Colin’s Time To Bake went live for the first time with a rendition of Oreo (to the tune of Let It Go from Frozen)

Grace Hall’s alter ego, Bootsy Bonafonte, brought blue light Burlesque to the theatre

John Holland joined me for the hugely popular Kylie and Jason Special in which we used Salted Caramel Millionaire’s Shortbread to talk all things 1980s pop production

And to the very special guests who joined us and brought their sprinkling of stardust to our little theatre, it was a pleasure to bake with you and show you off to our adoring crowds. I cannot thank you enough.

Champagne Charlie brought Vaudeville to Syon Park

Gingzilla brought a monstrous serving of glamour to Edinburgh

Cazeleon served up old-Hollywood eleganza in Edinburgh

Scott Elvis serenaded the crowds in Brighton and ate Banana, Peanut Butter and Bacon Cake!

Jasz Vegas wowed us all with her killer magic. I was standing right next to her and still have no idea how she got my card into a lemon!

As you can see, I have an awful lot to do if I want to make 2019 better than all of this! I have a few tricks up my sleeve. Not as many as Jasz Vegas though!

Special thanks to our friends at California Raisins and Food Thoughts Cocoa for making this year of entertainment possible. Thanks also to Renshaw Simply Create, KitchenAid UK and SunSense UK for your support. I will never work with or endorse a brand that I do not genuinely enjoy or use myself – you can be sure of that. I can wholeheartedly recommend these wonderful products to each and every one of you and take genuine pleasure in ringing the ‘word from our sponsor’ bell at each show. If you have been, you will have seen just how much I enjoy that daft little bell!

Thank you to all of you who have commissioned me to bake cakes for you in 2018. It was wonderful to be a little part of your big days!

Five tiers of pale blue and gold with sugar anemones

One of the most rock’n’roll Birthday cakes ever

Jungle eleganza for a seriously stylish Wedding, photo by Lucy Davenport Photography (click to visit Lucy’s stunning website)

The cutest little sugar elephant for Freya’s Christening

A 100% Vegan fairytale Wedding in pastel shades

Gold and navy with blush sugar roses for a wonderful Birthday celebration

And thanks to the folks at Cake Decorating Heaven and Cake Decoration & Sugarcraft Magazine for publishing my cake decorating tutorials. I hope that some of you have enjoyed reading them each issue.

Dreamcatcher Cake from Cake Decorating Heaven (March/April 2018)

Rustic & Rust Cake from Cake Decorating Heaven (January/February 2018)

Liz Taylor inspired Wedding Cake from Cake Decorating & Sugarcraft Magazine (January 2018)

From my kitchen to yours, I wish you every happiness in 2019. May all of your cakes rise beautifully and may your home be always filled with the scent of a fresh bake.

Picture by Debra Somner Fraser

You’ll be hearing a lot more from me in 2019. I hope you’ll be up for listening!

Stay gorgeous!