Mix with the best, says Mono

first_imgThe Mono (Swansea, West Glamorgan) range of mixers offers a choice for most bakery needs from busy production units to craft bakeries, says the company. Mono offers Esmach spiral mixers and Varimixer Bear high capacity mixers. Part of the Aga Bakery group of companies, Mono is able to advise on the right mixer, taking into account particular requirements such as craft skills, volume requirements, space restraints and budget, claims the company.last_img

Rich chocolate muffins

first_imgI’ve taken block chocolate out of this recipe as it adds cost rather than value to the muffins.Instead, the richness is provided by condensed milk, which acts as a humectant to keep the crumb moist, together with custard powder to add a creamy flavour behind the cocoa.If you really want to double up on the chocolate, stir in good quality chocolate chips at the end.Strong white flour together with baking powder, rather than sponge flour, helps keep the crumb moist and avoids it crumbling too much when you bite into it.Combining the cocoa in a paste with soda, then whisking boiling water into it, removes any remaining acid in the cocoa before you begin mixing.Do look for a good dark reddish cocoa, like the Extra Brut manufactured by Barry Callebaut, rather than the cheapest you can find. It will give a much better colour to the crumb and appeal more to the customer.Makes 24 at 100g raw weightDark cocoa powder – 225gBicarbonate of soda – 15gCold water – 450gBoiling water – 450gUnsalted butter, softened – 450gLight brown soft sugar – 800gWhole egg, beaten – 250gCondensed milk – 550gStrong white flour – 800gCustard powder – 115gBaking powder – 35gMethodIn a bowl, beat the cocoa, soda and cold water to a smooth thick paste then add the boiling water and whisk until smooth. Leave to one side while you prepare the other ingredients.Whenever I am baking cakes I get the tins prepared first. Sit paper muffin cases either on a tray lined with a sheet of non-stick baking parchment (to keep the bottoms clean) or inside muffin trays oiled around the edge of each pocket to stop the muffins sticking.  Preheat the oven to 190ºC. Baking in a fan assisted oven will get more height from the muffins and help the top crust to burst well.In the bowl of an upright planetary mixer (Bear/Hobart type), with the whisk attachment fitted, beat the butter, sugar, egg and condensed milk for three to four minutes on a high speed until pale and fluffy.Meanwhile, sift the flour, custard powder and baking powder together two or three times to combine.Beat half of the chocolate mixture through the butter mixture, until smooth, then beat in half of the sifted flour.Turn off the machine, scrape down well around the sides, then add the remaining chocolate mixture and beat again.Finally add the remaining flour, scrape again around the sides and beat until smooth.Scrape the mixture into an easy-pouring jug and pour into the muffin cases. If they’re sitting in muffin pockets or dariole moulds, then fill to the top. If they are sitting unsupported on the tray, fill until around three-quarters to four-fifths full.Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the muffins comes out barely clean.last_img read more

Romanian baker seeks UK ally

first_imgAn Anglo-Romanian company plans to lead a full-scale assault on the Eastern European country’s bakery market. Bucharest-based Snack Attack will open a 50,000sq ft state-of-the-art sandwich factory there by the end of 2007, which is set to increase production from 10,000 to 100,000 sandwiches a day in the next three years.It has 11 sandwich shops in the rapidly developing country, with plans to open a further six this year and another 25-40 during the next two years. The company also supplies more than 200 customers around Bucha-rest with sandwiches, paninis, cakes and biscuits, including petrol stations and caterers, and has just signed a joint venture with Polish coffee chain, Coffee Heaven, to supply its first shops in Romania with sandwiches and snacks; the company plans to open 20 Coffee Heaven shops in the next four years.Snack Attack was founded seven years ago by MD Florin Balu and non-executive director Ben Greig, who said: “We now supply 60 petrol stations with sandwiches, but this will increase to about 600 by the year end.”As well as making its own bread for the sandwiches, Snack Attack produces craft breads and speciality loaves for sale in Romania’s retail stores. “About 75% of the bread we produce is for our own use but in future 75% of production will be sold to retail customers,” said Greig.The company is now looking for a bakery partner to help develop a new standalone bakery business. “We would like to find a UK firm that can bring equipment, experience and technical know-how,” added Greig.He hopes to attract a fully automated bakery and in return will give a partner shares in the company. “We will buy bread from the company for our own use and will work together to sell products.”last_img read more

Media at the mill

first_imgThere is no doubt that one of the reasons the British became so effective at dismissing the Atkins diet is the hard-hitting media information campaign put out by the Flour Advisory Bureau (FAB).They had little need to tackle the nutritionists, but they did need to target the national media, including the consumer health writers and food writers. They needed to keep them informed about the goodness of bread.And it did not all end with Atkins. One fad can soon be replaced by another, or a food such as bread can be quickly demonised.That is why it is so important to have a factual response at the ready, but also to keep consumer magazine editors continuously informed about the goodness of bread.So the FAB invited a host of consumer editors to Wright’s Flour Mill at Ponders End, Middlesex, and I joined in to see what the consumer journalists would be learning about the natural goodness of breads and flour.The audience included BBC Good Food Magazine, BBC Easy Cook, and others who write for the national press.We began with morning coffee over a fabulous display of bread made by Chris Wylie of Wright’s. There were white breads, mixed grain breads, soda breads, organic breads.It was a display of bread in all its glory – and the journalists cooed.Next we were broken up into three groups for a tour round Wright’s flour mill, with MD David Wright leading the posse.As I look around, it is so evidently a family business. A glance at the walls shows a family history with portraits of forbears. But a reminder of how modern the mill is comes when you see the pictures of David’s sons – the new generation – and, synonymous with their era, the computerised controls for the mill, the modern testing laboratory and the very up-to-date range of flours.Indeed, it is lovely to see the distinct fusion of family history combined with modern entrepreneurship and forward-looking products.Wright’s makes flour for bakers, biscuit makers and cake creators. It also makes small bags of flour for consumers, which can found on the shelves of the biggest supermarkets throughout the land.Our mill tour takes us from farm delivery of wheat on massive trucks through to milling, sifting and end flour production.The consumer journalists ask lots of questions, but just in case they forget the answers, Claire Donnelly and Eva Neary of the FAB have ready a ’Think Facts’ sheet, with questions and answers about wheat, flour and the thorny issue of genetic modification, emphasising that GM wheat is not commercially available in the UK.After a delicious lunch, featuring mixed grain breads, tomato breads, parmesan breads plus white and wholemeal breads, all with nutritious fillings, we set off to a marquee, where celebrity baker of cable TV fame, Paul Hollywood, demonstrates the art of breadmaking.Paul is a baker and son of a baker. Highly skilled at both presenting and baking, he puts the 12 journalists in front of 12 bowls and soon has us making bread. We have a choice to make white or a seeded wholemeal.Some of the journalists have never kneaded or knocked back a loaf in their life, but they have great fun and gain a new appreciation of the goodness of bread.While we wait for our loaves to bake in Wright’s deck ovens Claire and Eva from the FAB are available to talk though faddy diets, myths about bread or we can learn more from the fact sheets about flour milling, the use of salt in breadmaking and what the Glycaemic Index really is.But the crowning moment, as any baker will know, is when the hot loaves come out of the oven, with the aroma and crust to be admired by all. ’Ahhh’, it’s like the old Bisto ad, just follow that scent!As an education process for consumer journalists, the day went really well. Miller David Wright and his friendly staff were always on hand for questions as they arose.Chatting to my consumer colleagues they said they had learned a great deal, while having really good fun. But the pride they took in their loaves told its own story.Most importantly, it also engendered a new respect for bread. And I have to say, modestly of course, that I was er… rather pleased with my own effort of a wholemeal seeded loaf, which they all nicknamed ’Duchy’, after a much more famous brand.Anyone need an amateur baker?last_img read more

Food & Drink Expo adjoins BIE

first_imgFood & Drink Expo 2008, an exhibition for sourcing food and drink products and services from around the world, will run alongside Baking Industry Exhibition (BIE) at the Birmingham NEC from April 6-9 next year.Organic produce will be a key feature and the Soil Association will sponsor an Organic Village, where buyers will be able to meet organic suppliers. Some of the exhibitors confirmed include James Gourmet Coffee, Allison’s Kitchen and Franks Luxury Biscuits.The event will take place in adja-cent Halls 6 and 20 in the exhibition centre. For more information email [email protected] or call 01293 867639.last_img read more

grab etc

first_imgResponding to rumours that Maidenhead’s best loved independent baker of cakes is on the verge of some very exciting new developments, The Handmade Cake Company is proud to announce that May 2008 will see the budding business take up residence in its new twice-as–large bakery down the road. Although to some, popping down the road might not seem like the most audacious move, this is a born-in-Berkshire company that prides itself on its local roots and making the right decisions. This is why some twenty-five years down the line, phrases like handmade, small batches, no artificial anything and real ingredients still ring as true as ever.This isn’t to suggest for one moment however that The Handmade Cake Company is so tied to the best cake making traditions of the past that it can’t prepare for the new hot cakes trends as and when they arrive. For one thing, 2008 will be the year that The Handmade Cake Company, will finally have the space to broaden its cake horizons, no longer having to disappoint all those customers who keep asking when it will be bringing their unique brand of fresh thinking to the grab and go marketplace.According to Sales Director, Simon Law, ‘Our move to a new bakery, whilst exciting in its own right, is only the beginning of some very significant changes over the coming months.A move into individually wrapped cakes not only enables us to appease existing customers who are itching to expand their existing handmade repertoire, but also to reach an entirely new group of premium cake enthusiasts. We know there are many ‘always on the move’ individuals out there who would really benefit from a little quality cake time in their lives.’Looking a little further ahead, The Handmade Cake Company is only too aware that a historical leaning towards round cakes and traybakes means that there are a lot of cake connoisseurs out there who have enjoyed its fare, but not known the face behind the cakes. ‘Expect us to really raise the bar with regard to our customer identity and communications over the coming months,’ concludes Simon, ‘as we finalise our plans to well and truly put Maidenhead on the fine cake map.’ Editor’s NotesThe Handmade Cake Company currently makes over 40 different cakesThis summer sees The Handmade Cake Company celebrate its 25th anniversaryIn 2003 The Handmade Cake Company was sold by the Perry family to a new generation of cake-loving owners (Parry Hughes-Morgan, Michael Wheeler & Simon Law) and has enjoyed double-digit growth every year since.The forthcoming marketing communications upgrade was created in conjunction with Purple Pilchard Marketinglast_img read more

Designer put through night shift

first_imgA CyBake software designer got a feel for the baking industry when we went to help out at Geordie baker Thomsons.Andrew Throup, who has installed RedBlack Software’s CyBake business management software at bakers across the UK, joined the bakers on a couple of night shifts. He helped to make sourdough and prepped the next day’s orders.“To go and work at a bakery and see how they actually use the records that we produce and to have some hands-on experience of their processes helps enormously,” said Throup. “I didn’t realise there was so much effort in making fancies: little cakes that go in the shop window – chocolate-covered ones with a few sprinkles on. A lot of time goes into making one of those things and they only cost about 60p.”Thomsons Bakery is based in Westerhope Village, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. It produces speciality breads such as Newcastle “Broon Ale” Bread, Genuine Geordie Stotties, Sunflower and Lemon Bread and Italian Stonecuts.last_img read more

Northern Foods’ major plant investment leads to job losses

first_imgNorthern Foods has announced it is to plough £26.5 million into its Fox’s Biscuits brand in an investment that could see new automated technology replace hundreds of jobs.In order to “ensure it has the most appropriate biscuit facilities to remain competitive”, Northern Foods will introduce automated technology at its Batley, Kirkam and Uttoexter sites, resulting in a reduction of approximately 220 employees. According to the firm these will be “mainly through voluntary redundancy”.In a statement of its half year results, it said key investments over the next 18 months would include a new Creams line at Kirkham, new automation for its Melts line at Batley and a new wrapping system at Uttoxeter. However, it said its overall objective was to “transition” from three sites to two. “Once this current investment is completed in the first quarter of our 2011/12 financial year, further phases of investment will be benchmarked against those investment opportunities available to Northern Foods at the time,” read the statement.Like-for-like sales for the 26 weeks ended 26 September 2009 grew 2.9%, with strong growth in its Chilled and Bakery divisions. Total sales hit £466.9m (H1 2008/09: £468.6m).Within Chilled, its sandwich sales were driven by the early summer weather, its new discount range for Tesco, and other customers plus additional sandwich volumes supplied into Marks & Spencer.Divisional revenue within Bakery rose 3.9% with profits up 26.2% to £8.2m (H1 2008/09: £6.5m). A planned £2m spend on a marketing campaign for its Matthew Walker pudding brand will be launched ahead of the Christmas period.last_img read more

Premium muffins add profit

first_imgCountry Choice has added a number of premium muffins to its product porfolio.The topped and filled muffins are available in Victoria sponge, chocolate orange and breakfast muffin varieties.They are supplied fully-baked, for operators to thaw and serve. They have a one-day shelf-life once they have been defrosted, if displayed unwrapped. According to the firm, if the muffins are sold at the recommended retail price of £1.39, then profit-on-return would be in the region of 34-44%.The new muffins join Country Choice’s range of four standard and two wrapped muffins.last_img read more

British Baker Saturated Fat Round Table Debate

first_imgDate: Wednesday 30th March 2011Venue: Leatherhead Food Research, Leatherhead, Surrey, KT22 7RY>> location and map for Leatherhead Food Research What are the technical, cost, time and resourcing issues facing bakers tasked with reducing sat fats?In 2009 British Baker organised a meeting between craft bakers, manufacturers, fats and oils suppliers and the Food Standards Agency (FSA), to give voice to the technical challenges in meeting proposed saturated fat reduction targets. Eighteen months on and a new government is in place, the regulatory landscape has changed, and the FSA’s nutritional role has shifted to the Department of Health.This follow-up meeting will draw key retail and manufacturing professionals in the bakery industry together to explore how the sat fat reduction agenda is developing. Following the meeting, British Baker will present the industry’s views to the Department of Health to help its food reformulation programme.Discussion points:How difficult is it to reduce saturated fat without compromising the quality of your products?What % reductions should be targeted? Is a blanket approach feasible?Should certain treat products such as indulgent cakes and butter pastries be exempt from the process?What if the baker also offers a healthy alternative? What are the differing challenges facing large and small suppliers and brands?Do credible fats, oils and ingredients alternatives exist in the marketplace?Given labelling restraints, what are the marketing incentives for brands to reduce saturated fat?Is sat fat reformulation the right strategy to tackle obesity and nutrition issues?What is a credible timescale to achieve sat fat reductions in light of resourcing and cost constraints?Agenda09.00-09.30 Registration and coffee09.45-09.50 Welcome, Sylvia Macdonald, editor, British Baker0950-10.00 Introduction, chairman, Geoff Talbot, ‘The Fat Consultant’10.00-10.10 Presentation10.10-11.00 Discussion (includes coffee)11.00-11.10 Presentation11.10-12.30 Discussion 12:30-14:00 Networking LunchReserve your free place today!To reserve your FREE place call:Rachael CannonTel: 01293 610433email: [email protected] are strictly limited to manufacturers and retailers only and will be allocated on a first come first served basis. (Suppliers may attend only if sponsoring the event). Sponsored by:last_img read more