Welsh bakery Clam's Handmade Cakes is very proud of its award-winning whisky cake, but its plans for wide distribution have been stymied by clipboard-wielding officials, who have declared the confection so high in alcohol that it cannot be sold by shops unless they have a licence. But the story has made Clam's the talk of its home town, Crickhowell, and everyone is keen to try a slice. Rumours that local police are planning to make cake-driving a criminal offence are mere speculation.
== Oct 7, 1955: Sainsbury's ends home deliveries ==
The words right are not those of a religious zealot. Neither are they transcribed from a holy book. They are, in fact, the Dr's prescribed cure for zits.
Whoever said that people who write in to newspapers have too much time on their hands? We found this letter sent in to the Jamaica Gleaner (never let it be said we're not thorough), and we don't know whether we should weep or be impressed. You decide...
"At the time the police agreed to let it go ahead, there were fewer than 100 people signed up. Now there's more than 1,200 and, unsurprisingly, the police aren't too happy about it."
The Scottish Association of Master Bakers (SAMB) conference, from 24-27 May, saw George Stevenson, MD of of Mathiesons of Falkirk, with 32 shops and mall cafés, and a growing wholesale business, take over as new president.
Combis, the multi-purpose workhorses of the oven world, can be used to roast, steam or bake food. When used in combination, the various heating methods within each oven speed up the cooking process, maximising efficiency and saving time.
As summer is almost upon us - or at least as much of a summer as Britain normally gets - most of us like to have a barbecue in the garden when the opportunity strikes, and salad is nowhere to be seen in shops by Sunday afternoon. But does this hot weather affect the sales of hot savoury food? Do consumers, who are out shopping in a busy high street on a hot summer's day, choose to grab a pasty-on-the-go, or a sandwich?
Where do you go for the taste of authentic Parisian artisanal bread? Middlesex would not be many people's number-two destination on this front. But in Upminster, you will find a self-proclaimed sourdough "mini revolution" under way. (Any sightings of Frenchmen roaming the countryside wielding their baguettes in an aggressive manner are purely coincidental.)
Italy is renowned worldwide for its gastronomy and that gastronomy is part of our history, culture and tradition," says Davide Nardini, vice-president of the Council for the Province of Ferrara. "Here in Italy, food is an expression of our cultural heritage," adds Carlo Alberto Roncarati, president of the Chamber of Commerce. "Each area has its own history and intrinsic character. You can see that even in our bread and, if you don't protect it, you lose your identity, you lose what sets you apart."
For bakery owners, buying a new vehicle to transport perishable goods can be an expensive business, particularly when looking for specialist vehicles such as refrigerated vans. Many fledgling firms opt for used vehicles when attempting to build up a small business or start-up on a tight budget. Most will be aware of the used commercial van dealerships. But there is an alternative option that offers a wide variety of vehicles and potential to unearth a bargain - the auction.
Where the Telegraph article does fall down is in its failure to recognise that UK bakers have already mastered the art of making large-volumed, fine-structured and soft-eating wholemeal bread products; but then I doubt that there were any bakers in the audience for the talk to make this practical observation.
When eating bread, most of us probably don't think about the empty space in it, but rather whether we like its texture and flavour. Yet both of these are driven by bubbles. This is because one of the key aims when mixing is to ensure that air is trapped in the dough and, for sandwich and toast bread, we want the air to be evenly dispersed.
Bubbles could be the answer to encouraging more children to eat sandwiches made out of healthier brown bread, proclaimed The Daily Telegraph in a recent article (tinyurl.com/5oxs96). In it, the article suggested that there is a basic problem encouraging people to eat more brown bread because of its inferior texture to white bread.
Making plaques, rolls loaves, pastries and decorating cakes - all against the clock - is challenging enough in a real working environment.
A new flavour has been added to Extreme Beverages' Bigberry drinks range. Bigberry Raspberry and Mango Smoothie is made from 28 pressed raspberries, six chunks of mango, five slices of banana, one pressed apple and two freshly squeezed oranges. The smoothies are made from 100% fruit and contain no additives, preservatives, artificial colours, or added sugar.
Smoothie company Love Smoothies has added a gourmet menu of four smoothies - Black Fruity, Popeye's Pick Me Up, Beat the Bluesli and Son of a Peach - to its range.
Burton Foods has added a healthier snack option to its Bertolli range. Made using Bertolli oil and inspired by Italian flavours, Bertolli Baked Bites will be available in Sea Salt & Black Pepper, Sweet Chilli and Red Pepper, and Italian Cheese and Red Onion varieties. "In a short space of time, the Bertolli savoury nibbles range has become a major brand in the category and achieved over 5% market share in the savoury nibbles segment," said Jaspal Chada, Burton Foods' marketing director. "Three-quarters of UK adults snack on the go, creating over five billion occasions for Bertolli Baked Bites to be consumed."
Ulrick & Short has launched a clean-label alternative to ready-to-use egg- and milk-based glazes, in its Eziglaze range. 'Ready to use' Eziglaze has been developed in response to market demands for more natural ingredient alternatives, as well as an increasing awareness of people with allergies. It was developed with the help of the microbiology faculty at Leeds Metropolitan University. The glaze doesn't need to be chilled and contains no chemicals or artificial components, yet still has a minimum shelf-life of three months. The product has also been designed to match the viscosity of egg and milk, providing a realistic and easy-to-use alternative, says the firm.
Hell Pizza, has launched gluten-free pizza bases in the UK, following their success in New Zealand. The launch of the bases coincided with Coeliac UK's 'Food Without Fear' week. In the UK, around one in 100 people suffer from coeliac disease, caused by gluten intolerance.
Planglow has launched Natural Collection, a new range of 100% biodegradable packaging. The bio packaging has been designed in neutral earthy colours, so that it can accompany any existing brand logos or colours.
Ryvita has added a new snack to its range for the more health-conscious consumer. Ryvita Limbos are available from May and come in both single and multi-pack formats. The crispy baked snacks contain 90% less fat than regular crisps and around 70 calories per bag.
S Black has launched a "breakthrough zero-trans coating fat" in the UK. Couva 850 NH, made by IOI-Loders Croklaan, is an alternative to conventional, hydrogenated and trans fatty acid-containing coating fats.
Délice de France has added a number of new continental savouries to its existing range. A Spinach and Goats' Cheese Tart, made from shortcrust pastry filled with goats' cheese, mozzarella, crème fraîche and spinach is now on the menu, as are two new Pizza Demi Baguettes. Both baguettes have vegetarian toppings, one with mozzarella cheese and assorted vegetables including yellow peppers, aubergines and courgettes. The other has a tomato sauce, mushroom, onion and Emmental cheese topping.
== What was your route into the milling industry? ==
Beyond the Bean launched the latest addition to its range - a ready-to-drink fruit smoothie - at the show.
Exhibitors at London's Caffè Culture show said the event had been a success overall with a good quality of visitors and strong leads.
The Speciality Coffee Association of Europe (SCAE) will hold its Wonderful Coffee event in Copenhagen from 19 to 22 June this year. The event will feature an exhibition, conference and series of practical workshops. Talented coffee professionals from more than 50 countries will battle it out in competitions, including the World Barista Championship and the World Latte Art Championship.
Coffee Republic is dipping its toe into continental-style drinking culture as some cafés have started to sell alcohol. Speaking to British Baker at Caffè Culture, UK franchise director Kevin Frostick said Coffee Republic hadn't really pushed the concept of licensed cafes, but where franchisees wanted to sell alcohol, the company had helped with alcohol licence applications to local authorities.
Café businesses need to "get beyond Fairtrade" if they want to be truly ethical, according to Caffè Culture seminar speaker Paul Allen.
The founder of Glaswegian internet café brand iCafé plans to expand within Scotland. Umer Ashraf said he plans to roll out the café brand "one step at a time" in Glasgow, then in other parts of the country.
Pasty maker Crantock Bakery is now supplying pasties to the Cypriot market.
Lees Foods, which produces confectionery and cake products, is planning to diversify into the high-end catering market, after warning that its 7% rise in pre-tax profits for 2007 is unlikely to be repeated next year.
Icelandic company Bakkavör Group has said it will close its UK pasta plant in Scunthorpe by the end of the month. The closure may lead to the loss of 107 jobs, according to local press reports.
Lantmännen Unibake (LU) plans to expand Eurobuns' production into Danish pastry and croissants, following its purchase of the Milton Keynes frozen food specialist last week.
London-based café, Napket, has opened its third site in Vigo Street, Mayfair. Founded by French-born Christophe Moro, Napket aims to be a "dramatic and daring reinvention of the urban café".
A new company has been set up, which sources high-quality seeds for the baking industry.
The Handmade Cake Company in Maidenhead has moved to new premises in Gardner Road. The company specialises in round cakes and traybakes and is hoping to expand its enterprise at the new site.
The Scottish Association of Master Bakers (SAMB) took the momentous decision to change the whole set-up of its board at its conference last weekend.
Funding for bakery training in Scotland is "in dire straits" according to Arthur Rayer, head of skills training for the Scottish Association of Master Bakers (SAMB). It is in danger of losing all European funding.
Northern Foods has reported a strong performance in bakery sales for the year to 29 March.
The Richemont Club will again hold its annual competition at this year's Bakers' Fair on 19 October.
The Association of Bakery Ingredient Manufacturers (abim) 2008 forum, 'Growing A Sustainable Bakery Industry', is to take place on 6 June.
Belcolade's marketing executive Lydia Baines (pictured) holds aloft a chocolate dessert, made especially to celebrate the company's 20th birthday.
Solihull's Cooks the Bakery has completed the acquisition of 120 leasehold stores from the administrators of Three Cooks.
Bakers, millers and sandwich makers are being urged to join a new commercial trade body, which has been set a remit to represent organic food processors' commercial interests.
At the time this bread was developed, we were short of prover space and needed another line that required little work, writes master baker Ian Thompson of Newcastle's Thompson's Bakery. Paul Marshall a technical friend of ours suggested this product, so we adapted it from an old Italian recipe.