The Silesia-Velox (stand B450) High Speed Contact Grill will be on constant demonstration at the show. All Silesia-Velox grills are available with smooth and grooved plates, in any combination desired, and come with a range of accessories. The company says its grills offer versatility and economy for minimum capital outlay, and that they can save bakers time and space while increasing profitability. They are said to be ideal for busy sandwich operations.
Grasmere Gingerbread is made using a 150-year-old secret recipe so secret, that it is locked away in the National Westminster Bank in nearby Ambleside. “My husband and father know it and that’s it. I don’t even know it,” says Joanne Wilson of Sarah Nelson’s Grasmere Gingerbread. “My son who is four said, ’Don’t tell me the recipe, daddy, otherwise someone will kidnap me.’”All our members of staff have signed secrecy and confidentiality agreements, although it is only my husband that mixes the ingredients and, therefore, the recipe is kept a secret,” adds Wilson.The shop has some famous fans, including Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman and Renée Zellweger who was recently filming in the Lake District for the film Miss Potter. “Renée was quoted in the regional newspapers and on an American chat show, saying that it was the best gingerbread she has ever tasted,” says Wilson.The gingerbread shop is located in Grasmere – a well-known tourist attraction, as it is home to William Wordsworth’s grave and cottage. In fact, the bakery building, built in 1630, was originally the village school where Wordsworth once taught. Measuring just 6ft by 6ft in the shop, with the two bakery rooms at 9ft by 9ft each, the set up is tiny.Over the years, little has changed. The school coat pegs are still in place and so is the cupboard used to house the school slates. In 1850, a poverty-stricken woman named Sarah Nelson rented the property. She started to make the gingerbread for Victorian tourists and it is her recipe that is still used. Apart from gingerbread, it also makes rum butter, homemade fudges and jams.The shop has been in the Wilson family for over 70 years. Third-generation Joanne Wilson is in charge of sales, marketing and PR, and her husband Andrew Hunter bakes. The shop and bakery have eight members of staff, two of which have been with the company for over 18 years.The bulk of its customers are tourists visiting the Lakes. “Ginger acts as an aphrodisiac, so our shop is wonderful for couples escaping to the Lake District National Park for romantic weekends,” says Wilson. It also mails out the gingerbread to people as far afield as the USA, China and Japan. “There’s a lot we want to do with the business,” says Wilson. “But if we mass-produced the gingerbread, it would kill what we are about. Money is not our primary concern. We have been approached by several retailers and wholesalers. But this would take away the integrity and uniqueness of the product.”
Improve, the food and drink sector skills council, plans to introduce new bakery qualifications by September 2009. The qualifications will be publicly accredited and will mean that workplace skills will be recognised outside the NVQ structure for the first time in 20 years.Improve said it will embark on a radical qualification reform, working with employers in order to develop the most relevant qualifications for the industry, as well as being flexible in order to suit employer and employee needs. “In many industries, including bakery, some employers have found that the NVQ framework has been too rigid and not relevant enough to the needs of their workforce,” said Jack Matthews, chief executive of Improve.It is hoped the new scheme will enable people to develop gradually, building on bite-sized chunks of learning. At every level of skill there will be three different sizes of qualification, starting with an Award, building to a Certificate, and finally a Diploma. All qualifications and Units of Assessment (UoA) will be accredited under a new Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) and would have credit values that could be combined in flexible ways to make up new qualifications.”We want to see the first replacement bakery qualifications in place in September 2009,” said development director Derek Williams. “So we need to have finished the development work by April 2009, but there are a lot of processes to go through, from development of the qualifications to funding issues, approval and creating awareness of them.”
The EC Commission has published a proposal to update and simplify the complex and long-standing rules that control food labelling. As a Regulation, the final text adopted will apply directly in Member States, without national redrafting or the scope for gold-plating. This would prevent, more reliably than previously, the emergence of bar-riers to trade between Member States on the basis of food labelling inconsistencies. Negotiations are ongoing and the final text may be significantly different from that currently proposed, but bakery manufacturers and retailers need to be aware of what’s on the table.ScopeThe Regulation will apply to all foods intended for the final consumer. Supply of raw materials, such as flour and intermediate products like shortening, from one business to another is therefore outside the Regulation’s scope. The draft title ’Provision of food information to consumers’ reflects this and that the Regulation applies not only to labelling, but also to other forms of accompanying material, including that provided electronically, such as on a website or verbally, across a high-street counter for example.Changes to controlsMany provisions remain unchanged, such as food naming and ingredient listing rules, the flexibility to use commercial documents in some cases, and specific exemptions or additional requirements for particular products.l Foods sold looseFor foods sold loose, or non-pre-packed foods, each Member State will, as now, have control over what information is shown on its national market, but businesses must be in a position to give consumers information on food names, ingredients lists, allergens and durability dates. It is proposed that clear information about the presence of 14 listed allergens must be shown for non-pre-packed foods as they are on packaged foods.l At a distanceProvision of information for pre-packed, distance-sold foods traded by mail order or over the internet is addressed specifically for the first time. Most information must be provided before purchases are concluded, but a few particulars, including the date mark, may be provided only at the point of delivery.l Quantity indicationsIt is unclear whether the national flexibility with regard to quantity indications will continue. In the UK, this flexibility allows, for example, bread rolls and small loaves to be sold by number rather than by weight. It is not known whether this is an intentional change, but the Food Standards Agency was made aware by trade bodies, including the UK Baking Industry Consultative Committee (serviced by Campden BRI), that this issue needs resolving.l ClarityThe draft Regulation requires mandatory information to be in a font size of at least 3mm and presented with a significant contrast to the background. Even though small packages are exempt, there is a view that this requirement is impractical. The FSA’s governing board believes that clarity relies on more than just font size. Meanwhile, the European food and drink trade association, the CIAA, is developing a Code of Practice on legibility, which it hopes will head off a statutory font size.l Origin labellingOrigin labelling remains voluntary, unless its absence is misleading. However, if origin information is given, and the origin of the product differs from that of its significant or characterising ingredients, then separate references to these ingredients’ origins must also be made – for example a Scotch pie made with Argentine beef.l Nutrition labellingOne of the biggest changes is that, with limited exemptions, nutrition labelling will become compulsory on pre-packed foods. Further, information on energy and some nutrients must be given in the principal field of vision (as defined). These nutrients are fat, saturated fat, carbohydrates with specific reference to sugars, and salt. Further provisions address tabulation, ordering, units and declaration basis, including by reference to percentage reference intakes, etc.l TimetableIt is thought that the Regulation may be agreed and enter into force in 2010. At present, a period of time to use up old stocks of packaging beyond 2010 is specifically provided only in relation to the introduction of the minimum font size and of compulsory nutrition labelling. However, the Regulation recognises the need for a more general transition period.
CSM United Kingdom has launched a new Craigmillar Cookie Mix, designed to give bakers flexibility and add variety to their cookie menu.”With this new mix you control the portion size of your cookies,” explained development manager Norman Chappel. “You control the unit cost of your cookies by varying the amount and type of inclusions. You even have the option for soft and chewy or more crumbly cookies all from one mix.”Chappel said the mix offers short mixing and baking times.The bakery ingredients specialist has also launched Arkady’s new formulation soft roll improvers, available in either paste or powder format. CSM United Kingdom has taken its established Arkady Soft Roll Improvers, such as Pearl 2000 and Softex pastes plus powders, Ultimate 2000 and has reformulated them to create a range of products that will help bakers meet FSA targets for sodium levels, said development manager Flo Lyn.
Following a huge overhaul of the French boulangerie and patisserie chain, Maison Blanc’s 14 shops are now positioned for the growth of the brand planned over the next three years.Maison Blanc co-founder Raymond Blanc told British Baker that the chain was “in the midst of huge changes”, but was back on track to deliver the authenticity of its brand values, with the business now returning to profit.The firm was bought by Kuwait-based Kout Food Group Company (KFG) in October 2007, having previously been owned by bakery group Lyndale. KFG UK was keen to go back to the original concept and values created by Blanc, who returned to the fold one year ago to spearhead a relaunch of the chain, which he founded with his wife, Jenny, in 1981.The financial model has been reworked, new staff have been brought in and it has invested heavily in training, said KFG’s chief operating officer Simon Wilkinson.The patisserie range has been taken from 120 to around 16 core products, and two seasonal patisserie products will be launched, three times a year. Its patisserie launches for spring are: Earl Grey Citron Chocolate Tart and Gariguette Strawberry and Cream with marshmallow. Wilkinson, who has been working with Blanc for the last eight months, said the firm would also expand the cake and patisserie range it supplies to Waitrose.Maison Blanc had previously bought in a lot of bread products from France, but now the bakery produces all its own loaves, explained Wilkinson, adding that it had a three-year strategy for its bread, patisserie and menus.Although there are also plans for more shops, the location and time has to be just right, he said. “We have identified around 30-40 potential locations, but we don’t want to compromise the quality.”
Coconut: Prices this year have continued to climb steadily and recently settled around 25% higher than at the start of this year.Raisins: The vine fruit markets have been experiencing something approaching meltdown over the past two months. Total crop has been downsized by over 20% and the rains during harvest have affected Turkey’s capacity for optimal production. In California prices are now extremely firm.Sultanas: Turkey has seen a major reversal of its view on its new crop as well as its subsequent and predictable price increases. Despite very hot temperatures, Iran appears to have produced a good total crop of around 150,000mts and China’s crop of around 50-60,000mts is largely sold out.Currants: Greek currant prices are firming. Although there was a negligible carry-over from the 2009-10 season, the good news is that the new crop should be around 30,000mts, meaning that future currant pricing shouldn’t be too much higher than at present.Apricots: Prices are currently some 35% higher than those at the start of 2010. Earlier frosts had caused considerable damage and appear to have reduced total production to 25,000mts, plus or minus lower than worldwide demand requires.Prunes: With reduced Chilean and Argentinean crops this year, and with prices on prunes looking extremely attractive comparatively against other tree fruits, it seems difficult to imagine prune pricing going anywhere other than north.l Based on information supplied by ingredients supplier RM Curtis
Given that world news was dominated by one story over the last two weeks (it’s Journalist Union rules to go over the top with a Royal wedding), we’re holding ranks with our brethren in the press by rounding up the best Wills and Kate stories. (Ok, so there were two major stories of late, but finding a bakery angle on the death of Osama bin Laden is going to prove a long waiting game.)l Royal wedding-inspired cakes by famous names in fashion, from Paul Smith to Estée Lauder, as showcased in Harrods last week…on.msnbc.com/kOH5Qrl Kate Middleton’s cake leads to a revival of fruitcake in the US… on.wsj.com/ki9Xibl Not least when they’re sold as ’deep fried Wedding balls’ – battered fruitcakes tailored to New York’s connoiseurs of grease…bbc.in/k4aCgkl James Middleton is looking to cash in his chips having raising his profile speaking at the wedding, by building his bakery empire, having registered ’Nice Cakes’ at Companies House… bit.ly/lMzAbjl Brilliant royal wedding cupcake oppor-tunism of the week came from Wir Machen Cupcakes in Munich, which turned Princess Beatrice’s much-criticised Treacy hat into an attention-grabbing cupcake… on.fb.me/iyQ1Hj
Two new cutters, specially developed for the DrieM d’Artagnan Artisanal Breadsheet bread and pizza dough line, are now available in the UK through distributor Benier (UK).The cutters can produce up to 10,000 baguettes per hour, and aim to create an authentic artisanal look.The company said that, in order to compensate for the fact that doughs used in artisanal breads are typically more fluid than those used in automated bread plants, the DrieM bread and pizza dough line uses sheeting technology. The dough is reduced through a patented sheeting process, using three progressively tighter sets of rollers to produce the initial undamaged dough sheet.The technology then sets the dough sheet in length and width to produce the final dough sheet while maintaining the original dough structure.The new cutters give bakers the opportunity to cut the end of the bread to give the baguettes a more handmade look, said Benier.
Peter’s Pies has teamed up with a Welsh comedian to launch a new savoury pie range supporting the Noah’s Ark Appeal.The Caerphilly-based bakery, part of Peter’s Food Service, visited the Children’s Hospital for Wales with comedy performer Max Boyce, who is vice-president of the charity. Pies were handed out to builders as part of the launch, who are working on phase two of a building project at the Cardiff hospital. Boyce said: “It’s really good to see a Welsh business supporting such a worthy charity, and I was delighted to be a part of the launch. Peter’s support will help the Noah’s Ark Appeal to raise vital funds for sick children in need of critical and intensive care.”The range of savoury pies is available nationwide and carries the Noah’s Ark Appeal logo, with a proportion of each product sale going directly to the charity. They are 30% larger than the existing range and are available in steak, steak and kidney, minced beef and onion, chicken and mushroom and meat and potato varieties.Welsh singer Shirley Bassey, who is one of the charity’s patrons, has also backed Peter’s Pies’ promotion and partnership with the Noah’s Ark Appeal.Neil Court Johnston, director of Peter’s Food Service, said: “We’ve worked with the Noah’s Ark appeal for many years, and have renewed our commitment to support the appeal and raise its profile. Our plan is to generate as much money as we can for the Children’s Hospital for Wales over the next three years. “We’re delighted that high-profile celebrities like Dame Shirley Bassey and Max Boyce are supporting our cause. Their endorsement, alongside our bigger, tastier pies and a really worthy cause, will help us to raise a really significant amount of money for a fantastic charity.” It is believed that the support of Peter’s Pies could raise funds of around £50,000 each year for the charity, which solely raises money for the hospital.