Monthly Archives: January 2012

Baking Mad Valentine’s Blogger Competition

This Valentines we are holding a special Valentine’s Bloggervalentine cake Competition for 15 willing baking bloggers. 

We will be sending a range of delicious products out to passionate baking bloggers with the challenge being to make something delicious that you would like to receive on Valentine’s Day.

Once you receive the products you can use them to get creative; cakes, cupcakes, biscuits, chocolates, whatever you like, and when you’re done post your creation on your blog to be judged by Baking Mad with a description of what it is.

The winner will receive:

 – 30pc set of plunger cutters you can use to create beautiful shapes with icing

– A set of heart shaped silicone cupcake cases

– A range of Nielsen Massey Extracts including Madagascan Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract, Lemon Extract, Orange Extract, Almond Extract and Vanilla Paste

plunger cutterscupcake casesNielsen Massey

Three runners up will receive:

– A set of 24 Tulip Muffins Casestulip cases

If you think you’d like to take part then simply comment on this post with a link to your blog.  We will pick 15 top blogs who we think are most up for the challenge and comment on them on here, so make sure you check back!

If you don’t get picked you can still enter the competition. Blog about your own Valentine’s creation and send a link to with the title ‘Valentine’s Blogger Competition’ saying you would like to be included for the prize draw.

We’ll be sending the 15 bloggers a range of Silver Spoon Create products to get creative with; a range of edible cake decorations and baking ingredients from Silver Spoon.

For some Valentine’s inspiration see’s Valentine’s Recipes to keep the romance sweet this Valentine’s Day.

Sounds like fun? We think so!

* Any bloggers wishing to take part must comment on this post before 12pm 31st Jan 2012

*All competition entries must be published before 14.02.12, and Baking Mad notified of the post by contacting

* One entry per person

* Full terms and conditions will be sent via e-mail to participating bloggers

An Update from Eric


I have managed to escape from the set of Baking Mad for few minutes to give you a little insight into my fabulous world of baking!

We are on the last leg of filming of the second series of Baking Mad with Eric Lanlard – only a few more days to go!  Then it will be time for that well-deserved wrap party!  I really cannot believe it is almost over.  Then it will be time for the editors to work their magic and edit hours of footage and turn it into a television series – 20 – half hour episodes – coming to your screens in March.

Our amateur bakers have been very strong contestants and most importantly they have been lovely to work with.   I am so pleased to have met so many passionate characters during this last 3 months of filming.

It’s surprising that there aren’t that many men that feature in other baking shows because we have had some really amazing contestants – proving that BOYS ACTUALLY CAN BAKE!

Anyway if you fancy a little reminder or you missed the first series of Baking Mad – it is back on Channel 4 on Thursday at 1.05pm.

Baking like cooking is all about the ingredients even if it is not a 100% success at least if you use good quality ingredients then your efforts will still taste yummy.  And talking about baking ingredients I was very lucky enough last November to find myself in Chicago and visiting the head quarters of Nielsen-Massey.  They are responsible for producing beautiful vanilla extract and other natural essences. 

As with all of my favourite ingredients I like seeing it from the very beginning of the production line.  Visiting the Nielsen-Massey factory was both eye-opening and fascinating.  Without giving away too much detail – it is a long and painstaking procession to make the delicious vanilla extract.  I just cannot describe the phenomenal smell that hits you when you walk into their workshop.

The highlight of the visit was meeting the people behind this very special family business – brothers and sister – Matt, Greg and Beth Nielsen.  They are such down to earth people and just like their parents and grandparents – so passionate and committed to producing quality.

I have been using their vanilla when I was a pastry chef apprentice in France.  It was wonderful after all of these years to get to learn about the history of the brand first hand.  I will never look at those little brown bottles of vanilla in the same way.   It was such an enjoyable and memorable visit.
I wonder what ingredient I will be lucky enough to investigate next?

I would like to give a warm welcome to all of our Baking Mad Fans in India – my Glamour Puds series has just launched on their TV network.  Judging by the number of tweets and Facebook hits – there are a lot of keen amateur bakers in India.  It would be great to hear from you and maybe you would like to share your baking inspirations with us here in the UK.  Don’t be shy…

Next stop Brazil – who after trying their hand at World Cup wining football now can give some series attention to baking.  My Home Bake book has just published there – it’s called Feito Em Casa!

We knew the UK had gone Baking Mad but it seem it has gone global – bring it on!

Right, need to go back to the set – today’s Bake Off challenge is a children’s birthday cake – will I be impressed?  You’ll have to wait until the new series to find out…

Have a lovely rest of the week and remember Gloomy January is almost over …so time to drop all of those silly diet resolutions and start baking again!


A Bientot

Eric xx

Nancy’s Marmalade Muffins

 Hello! My name is Nancy and I am a member of the Baking Mad  team; the people that bring you!

Baking Mad of course is all about BAKING and we do our best to make sure all the baking addicts out there have plenty of recipes to keep them happy and inspired.

My role within Baking Mad is to keep an eye on all the inspirational baking bloggers and what they’re up to in the bloggersphere, and to set willing bloggers fun baking challenges and products to review.

Working for a baking website, I am fortunate enough to get quite a few opportunities to improve my own baking skills. Before Baking Mad I have made a few batches of scones, muffins and easy peasy flapjacks. Now I will be trying out a range of recipes and writing about my experiences every month on the Baking Mad blog! I hope you enjoy reading my posts, and will (hopefully) see me progress in my baking journey.

Marmalade Muffins

The health craze is alive and kicking after Christmas time indulgences. And with research saying that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, a great place to start it some homemade breakfast baking! I decided to have a go at these Marmalade Muffins, bound to fill me up and give me a good start to the morning.

4 tbsp Billington’s Light Muscovado Sugar
225 grams Allinson Nature Friendly Plain White Flour
1 tbsp Baking Powder
0.50 tsp Bicarbonate Of Soda
1 tsp Salt
1 Happy Egg Beaten
225 ml Milk
50 grams Butter Melted and Cooled
1 tbsp Orange Zest Grated
6 tbsp EPC Henley Seville Orange Marmalade

First, I sifted all the dry ingredients into a large bowl, so that was the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, muscovado sugar and salt.

Then I beat together the egg and milk, then add the melted butter and orange zest. It seemed to be taking me forever to grate the orange until I realised I was using the wrong side of the grater…silly me.

I made a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and poured in the liquid mixture all at once, then mixed it all together lightly with a wooden spoon.


I spooned two tablespoons of the batter into the base of each of 12 paper muffin cases. I was a little generous with my scoops so as you will see from the pictures I ran out of mixture for the 12th case! Oh well, 11 muffins isn’t too bad.

I then added 2 teaspoons of my Seville orange marmalade, and then covered the marmalade with a spoonful of the remaining muffin batter.

Pop in the oven for about 20 minutes at Gas 6/200°C/400°F until golden brown. I poked one with a metal skewer to check they were cooked properly.


Of course I then had to let them cool on a wire rack. This was the hard bit! The muffins had made such a lovely smell in my house me and my housemates were champing at the bit! We ate them whilst they were still warm and they were delicious, even if I say so myself. And I took the rest in the next day to share with the rest of the Baking Mad team, and they said they weren’t too bad either. I think I might make some more and freeze them so I can have them throughout the week on the go. Result!

An update from Eric Lanlard

Salut My Baking Mad friends!  It is good to be back!

 I would like to wish you all a very Happy New Year!

 Fresh from a fantastic break in Australia I went straight back in front of the cameras for the final leg of filming for the new series of  Baking Mad with Eric Lanlard – it’s on your TV screens in March – 20 delicious episodes! 

 Yes an extra 10 episodes up on the first series – featuring quick bake recipes – my take on traditional puddings and desserts.  Plus a Bake Off between amateur bakers that takes place in my kitchen at Cake Boy. I saw some of the footage yesterday and it looks great – even if I do say so myself!  So far all of the contestants have just been amazing. I’ll keep you updated with more filming news over the next few weeks.

 The other exciting news is that I have just finished putting the final touches to my latest book TART IT UP!  It is compilation of my favourite sweet and savoury (yes savoury) tarts and pie recipes.  Hopefully I will be able to give you a sneak preview very soon and let you know also when you can pre-order it on AmazonUK.

 It looks like the whole of the country is Baking Mad – everyone is embracing baking!  2012 is the year of the Cake!  With so many baking shows on TV at the moment including my good friends Tom and Henry Herbert who are fronting the brand new Channel 4 show The Fabulous Baking Brothers.  I really enjoyed the Great British Bake Off for Sport Relief.  I was rooting for my pal Angela Griffiths who did very well indeed – and I promise you she didn’t get any help from me.  OK she may have attended a class at Cake Boy in the past!

 Talking about the Great British Bake Off – I will be joining Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry plus a whole host of baking stars at the Cake and Bake Show atLondon’sEarls Court- 22-23 September – it’s going to be Baking Mad!  Lots of experts will be hosting demos, talks and classes and there will be an abundance of fine suppliers.  Have a look at the website and book your tickets now – it’s going to be a sell out…

 Right, back to filming – the theme for today’s Bake Off is classic French Patisserie – it’s going to be a tough one for contestants – it’s going to take a lot to impress me…

 Have a fabulous end of the week until next time.



Eric x

PS  I’ve just had a sneak peak of the new packaging for Billingtons Sugar – all I can say is ‘wow’!  Let’s just say that baking is going to get even brighter – on supermarket shelves very soon.

Burn Calories with Tabasco

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