Fiddes Payne, the herb, spice and home bakery producer, has signed a character licensing agreement with Disney for Winnie the Pooh and the Disney Princess rights for home bake cakes.A new Winnie the Pooh product portfolio will consist initially of two Cup Cake Kits: the Winnie the Pooh medley pack and the Tigger Cup Cake Kit. Also available are six edible, hand-crafted Royal Icing character figurines for cake decoration.A Disney Princess range consists of two Cup Cake Kits: the Princess medley pack, featuring Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Belle and Ariel and the Little Mermaid, as well as the Snow White Cup Cake Kit. Also available are six edible, hand-crafted, Royal Icing Princess Character figurines for cake decoration.“We are delighted to be working with such an established and recognised brand as Disney,” said Chris White, MD of Fiddes Payne. “This licensing agreement enables us to use some of Disney’s favourite and most loved characters in our home baking range, ideal for celebrations and the occasional treat.”The new products launch in April.
Figgy brack is an easy-to-make rustic classic. This particular recipe is a variation on the traditional Irish brack, a rich moist heavily fruited cross between a cake and a type of bread.There are several definitions of how the name barm brack came about.One of these is that it evolved from the old English word ‘beorma’ meaning yeasty (some bracks are yeast leavened) and the old Irish word ‘breac’ meaning speckled, which is like the fruit studded dough of the barm brack.You can see how these two words could easily have become the name we now know as barm brack.Makes 24 loavesChopped glacé cherries – 820gCalifornian raisins – 1.6kgChopped dried figs – 820gCurrants – 820gStrong tea – 3kgRum Belmonte – 36g (UF&Bi 01700)Vanilla Mauritius – 36g (UF&Bi 01800)Bun Spice Flavour – 1 tspn (UF&Bi 02252)Whole egg – 600gPlain flour – 3.77kgBicarbonate of soda – 75gSoft brown sugar – 1.1kgTotal weight – 12.683kgMethodMake the tea and while it is still hot pour it over the prepared fruit and the combined flavours in a bowl. Cover and leave this fruit mixture overnight at room temperature.The next day butter and flour 24 tins before mixing the dough. Combine the eggs and tea-swollen fruit mixture in the bowl.Sieve the flour and the bicarbonate of soda twice. Then, add the flour, along with the sugar, to the bowl and thoroughly combine all the ingredients. The mixture must not be too firm so a little milk may be added, if needed.I use quite small tins, 18cm x 8cm, so the mixture above will give you 24 bracks of just over 500g each before baking. Bake at 160ºC for around 90 minutes, but they may need more or less time depending on the oven used.Inserting a skewer and checking if it comes out clean can test the degree to which they are baked. Once baked rest in the tins for 20-30 minutes before turning out and cooling on a wire rack.• When it comes to fruit you could use dried dates, dried cherries, prunes or dried apricots. Try experimenting to create seasonal favourites.• For a crunchy top sprinkle with demerara sugar before baking.• You could finish it like a stollen brushed with melted butter and dredged in icing sugar.• Store in an airtight container to keep for three to four days.
n Sales of New York Bagel Company-branded bagels have increased 30% in the last few weeks following a TV advertising campaign. Owner, Maple Leaf Bakery UK, said sales were flying since the adverts first aired on 6 October.n International food and drink exhibition IFE 07 will showcase 45 confectionery and bakery firms at ExCel in London – from 18 March to 21 March – including Roberts Bakery and Rich Products.The 15th biennial show includes new sections such as Food on the Move, Fit For Kids and Organic Natural Products.n Irish company WGP is seeking £2.8m in funding for further development of a new technology that enables cooked and frozen pizzas to be reheated in the packaging and delivered via an ATM-style vending machine.Some Italian restaurants in France are already serving hot pizza via this method, which is called “pizza regeneration”. WGP owns the worldwide rights under licence.n Dawn Farm Foods, based in Ireland and part of the Queally Group of companies, has bought TMI Foods – a supplier to the sandwich sector. TMI’s expertise in microwave-cooked bacon and vegetables will complement Dawn Farm Foods’ range of products, according to the company.
Established in 1932, village bakery Warings has invested in a major refurb that brings the shop up to date while maintaining its traditional feel. See 25 Jan British Baker
As part of the British Sandwich Association’s annual industry awards, I have had the dubious honour of sampling some 45 new sandwiches and 40 new ingredients that have been launched into the market over the last 12 months.After such a marathon session, I was not sure I wanted to see another sandwich for a day or two! But it is an interesting annual exercise, as the awards generally reveal some of the more innovative ideas currently being tried in the marketplace.Over the last couple of years, however, the judges have been concerned about the way some sandwiches are becoming ’over-created’ – in that they involve increasingly complex combinations of ingredients, which may look good but sometimes fail to live up to taste expectations. While we all recognise the importance of innovation in keeping consumer interest, enthusiasm sometimes needs to be tempered by the principles of ’Will it sell?’The reduction of salt in sandwiches over the last couple of years has also been noteworthy in the blandness of some products. While all the judges felt the standard of innovation was higher this year than last, the most striking factor in this year’s awards was how the independent sandwich bar sector is fighting back strongly against the tide of chain outlets in the high street, with more innovative sandwiches and an ’upmarket’ choice. Maybe there is a lesson here for the independent bakery sector.The results of this year’s British Sandwich Industry Awards will be announced at the BSA Awards Dinner on 15 May.
Small shop owners have been warned that the cost of running a small business is set to rise sharply next year, sparked by rising commodity prices.According to a report by More Th>n Business, Britain saw fuel costs jump by 3.42%, while raw material prices rose by 1.57% over the Q3 three-month period. Meanwhile, gas prices fell by 16.99% and labour costs dropped by 0.22%. The overall impact meant manufacturing firms’ costs rose by 0.63% over the quarter.Falls in gas costs were offset by increases in other expenditure items including labour costs and a range of services costs.The quarterly inflation index revealed the cost of running a small shop rose by 0.5 per cent in Q3 2009. But over the year as a whole costs for small business shops remain 2% lower than a year earlier due to deflation in late 2008 and early 2009. The report, developed in conjunction with Warwick Business School, measures a basket of 20 of the most important expenditure items for small businesses. Head of More Th>n, Mike Bowman, said: “The results should come as good news to independent small shop owners. The figures are a clear sign that growth is returning to the economy.”However, the predicted sharp rise in commodity prices as we go into next year is likely to raise the cost of running a small shop, perhaps more than market demand. As a result, it’s important that small shop owners manage cash flow carefully as suppliers begin to push prices up again as markets revive. Small shop owners with a heavy dependence on heating, lighting and fuel are expected to experience the sharpest rise in costs.’’ Stephen Roper, professor of enterprise at the Centre for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises, Warwick Business School, added: “We expect small business costs to rise sharply at least until Easter, when we predict prices will reach the same level as they were before the recession. While costs are on the up, the disappearance of deflation means markets are strengthening and consumer spending is growing. This all suggests we are now beyond the crisis, but small shop owners must keep an eye on cash flow.’’
“If you want to enjoy good French bread, come to Taiwan!”Sacré Bleu! Taiwan’s ambassador to France hails his country’s victory over the heartland of the baguette at the international baking competition, The 2010 Master Bakers, held at the Europain show last month”There’s nothing that depresses me more than going into a library and being confronted by someone in authority who isn’t going to deliver the citizen-focused services I think should be on offer”culture minister Margaret Hodge, who has overseen a review of libraries, which proposes letting Starbucks into libraries reduces coffee culture to jargon
“I am the Nigella Lawson of breast milk cookery. Why would you prefer to drink milk from a dirty cow over a clean, healthy woman? Breast milk is sweeter and slightly oily it actually tastes of goodness, whereas cow’s milk just tastes of chemicals”Abi Blake, 30, who sells breast milk cupcakes at festivals, extracting it using a breast pump and freezing batches at home. It probably brightened the day of a NatWest small business adviser somewhere in Bristol”The pros are it makes you open-minded to everything in life. The cons were I wanted white bread and we only got homemade”artist Sam Taylor Wood she of filming-Beckham-sleeping fame when asked about her childhood growing up in a commune, reveals herself to be a fan of the Chorleywood Bread Process”Giving up bread can make you fat: gluten IS good for you”shock, horror, The Mail shows a national paper is capable of saying something positive about bread!
Allied Bakeries has announced it will be introducing 100% recycled packaging on its Kingsmill Little Big Loaf and Crusts Away ranges.The new packaging will be made using clean off-cuts from the bread bag making process, said the firm.“By developing a way to recycle our packaging off-cuts we will save 1.4 tonnes of CO2 for every 1 tonne of recycled film made,” explained Allied’s category director Guy Shepherd.Both the Little Big Loaf and Crusts Away ranges have been designed specifically to minimise wastage. The Little Big Loaf offers fewer slices for smaller households, while the Crusts Away range has been developed especially for lunchboxes, sandwiches and for children who don’t like crusts. The 100% recycled packaging initiative forms part of the firm’s on-going commitment to minimise its environmental impact.In 2009 it became the only major bread and bakery manufacturer to use the Trust’s Carbon reduction label as part of its commitment to reduce its carbon footprint and impact on the environment.>>Allied Bakeries launches wildlife conservation programme
Heinz Foodservice has relaunched its desserts brand with a new look as well as a refreshed range containing old favourites and some new recipes.The relaunch will begin with the reintroduction of Alveston Kitchens desserts, including fruit-topped cheesecakes, meringue roulades, and chocolate fudge cake.Chris Brough, head of sales at Heinz Foodservice, said: “The return of the desserts brand will enable Heinz to offer caterers great-tasting, quality solutions for every meal part. The brand will retain its identity while benefiting from the support of the Heinz stable. Further details of the relaunch and plans for the brand will be announced in the coming weeks.”Alveston Kitchens desserts are available to order via the Heinz order management team.