You have no idea just how excited I was to receive an invitation to Tate and Lyle's launch of The Cake Hotel, an edible house made with their new Taste Experience range of sugars. Oh my goodness, this was definitely a 'clear the diary' day.
So last week I arrived in Soho outside this lovely Victorian House eager to see what it was all about. Wow, just wow, each room was dedicate to one of their new sugars. Now, I've always been a fan of Tate and Lyle and if any one reading this has been on any of my courses or has my APP, Cupcakes, Muffins and Afternoon Tea you'll know I rave on about sugar made from sugar cane being massively superior to the stuff made with sugar beet which shouldn't even be allowed into the same category of food substances.
Those clever people at Tate and Lyle have created a new sugar crystal size with enables more flavour to be carried per grain, improve baking performance by creating more air bubbles for improved 'creaming' (again a point I harp on about incessantly) and increasing the ability to hold moisture and preventing our lovely cakes and scones from drying out quickly.
Each sugar has distinct tasting notes to help identify the best use, these have been created by the fabulous Lorna Wing who's also come up with some amazing recipes.
I could keep going on about sugar all day, but I really should talk about the fun stuff, the edible hotel. This was put together by 14 cake artists taking more than 2,000 hours to bake and 900 hours to decorate and using more than 600 kilos of Taste Experience sugar - it's cake, of course it's a sugar overload, der! Let me take you an journey through the rooms....starting with a balustrade of macaroons
British Inspired Golden Syrup sugar room
Gorgeous bowls of sugar roses and peonys, sugar teaspoons, a doughnut croque en bouche, brandy snap bowls and the amazing logo of Tate and Lyle's Golden Syrup the lion and bees in a cake, deliciously syrupy.
Guyanese Inspired Demerara sugar room
I've got to say that this was my favourite, a life sized sea turtle cake on a bed of sugar sand with duck eggs that had been blown and filled with cake mix so when you broke them there was cake inside, absolutely lifelike, just beautiful.
Caribbean inspired LIght Muscovado sugar room
My son loved photos of this, Pirate's of the Caribbean in cake, this treasure chest was beautiful, gleaming and glittering in gold and silver complete with gingerbread swords and dubloons, the chest itself is cake and totally edible.
Barbados inspired Dark Muscovado sugar room
The shells are all cakes, so realistic that I wanted to touch them to make sure but was too worried that I'd break them, so delicate and pretty. The rich rum soaked fruit cake was to die for.
Mediterranean Inspired Light Brown Soft sugar room
It was a hard choice between this room and the turtle for my favourite and the meringue rug blew me away, made from 1,080 rainbow coloured meringue shells with cake cushions on the bed, a bath
full of toffee popcorn, toast hearts with homemade jam, chocolate cake truffle bath bombs, edible book,
ooooh just amazing. OK I know I'm going on a bit about this being pretty good, but it was.
Mayan Inspired Golden Caster sugar room
In the deepest darkest depths of the basement, it actually felt like going into a Mayan pyramid and in the centre of the dark room, lit with a single light ...... a Mayan pyramid made of fudge with a Miss Cakehead lifelike edible heart and chocolate skull alongside, loving the hearts.
Easter Island South Pacific inspired Golden Granulated sugar room
Eating the brains of a giant Easter Island statue was a little weird but the chocolate cake was moist and yummy if a little decadent but then, it's cake, it should be.
The credit for the work goes to the following amazing cake artists:
Miss Cakehead as curator, Sarah Hardy Cakes, Cake for Breakfast, Sarah King, Miss Insomnia Tulip, Nevie Pie Cakes, Cakeadoodledoo, Carina's cupcakes, Conjurer's Kitchen, All Mine Patisserie, Rosalind Miller, Dan P Carter, Juliet Sears, Two Little Cats Bakery and of course, Lorna Wing, James Whiteley at Tate and Lyle and the team at Mischief PR