I’ve been invited to meet Buddy Valastro!

If you are wondering “Who is Buddy Valastro?” He is an oh so cool New Jersey Baker who is the star of a very popular show, “Cake Boss” on TLC. He is famous for making some seriously incredible cakes. Cakes that are the size of cars. Cakes that are so intricate and detailed that they look like works of art. He is basically incredible, and very funny. He also has two other shows – “Next Great Baker” a competition show to find the next great baker,which is a lot of fun, and “Bakery Boss” which I have to admit I haven’t seen yet but looks to be a little like Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares…. but in Bakeries, which sounds like it would be very good fun!

And I have been invited to meet him! Moi? Little old me? I have blogged about his amazing Red Velvet Cake recipe before (which is incredible) and somehow, that blog post has led to an invite to a press event! Me and approx. 14 journalists are attending an exclusive cake decorating Masterclass in London. I can’t believe my luck! My initial response to the invite was a LOT of nervous giggling and it took me a few hours to get my head around it! Heck I’m not sure I do have my head around it! But I am definitely excited!!

My version of Buddy's Red Velvet Cake

My version of Buddy’s Red Velvet Cake

Hubby was very excited for me and is happy to look after Monkey while I trot off to London for the evening where I will be attending L’atelier des Chefs for said Masterclass and ‘chat’ with Buddy Valastro!  They are even going to pay for my train ticket to London! I’m dead excited (have I mentioned that?) but also really nervous! I love baking and I love his cakes, but he and his staff are INCREDIBLE and create some serious masterpieces. Have a look here for some of their recent cakes.

After a bit of trial and error I have managed to succeed in baking his Red Velvet Cake but this is a cake decorating masterclass, and, well, look at Monkey’s 1st Birthday Cake! Decorator Extraodinaire I most certainly am not! So the masterclass will be great and hopefully I will pick up some tips, but I also hope I don’t completely embarrass myself either!

Decorator Extraordinaire? Ummm .... No

Decorator Extraordinaire? Ummm …. No

Not to mention the fact that the other attendees are journalists, I am just a mummy blogger who likes baking, I have a feeling I will feel ever so slightly like a fish out of water! I will have to put a lot of effort into faking some confidence I think! I just can’t believe that I have been picked to attend a press event with a celebrity. Little old blogging me! Crazy, but awesome 🙂

I am hopefully going to get a chance to chat with Buddy (eek!) so I need to come up with some questions for him. Are any of you fans of Buddy or Cake Boss? Any burning questions you’d love to ask him? I can’t promise I’ll be able to get answers to any of them but I will give it a good try!

To see Buddy for yourself you catch him on TLC as follows

The current series of Bakery Boss is on every Friday at 9pm 

Cake Boss is on Fridays at 9pm from June

Next Great Baker is on Fridays at 9pm from September



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Beating Boredom with Baking Blog 2 – Buddy Valastro’s Red Velvet Cake

If anyone has ever watched Cake Boss, or The Next Great Baker, then you will know who Buddy Valstro is, and what Red Velvet cake is. He is an amazing and hugely successful baker from New Jersey who runs a family baking business. One of his most popular cakes is his red velvet cake. Here in the UK it is not a well known cake at all. Most people have never even heard of a Red Velvet cake, let alone tried one so whenever they have mentioned it on the show I have been a little intrigued to say the least.

A couple of months ago at a restaurant hubby and I tried our first ever slice of red velvet cake, and Oh My God it tasted amazing! Right then and there we vowed that we would try and make it at home. But you know how it is, life gets busy. I had looked up a few recipes online and it seemed a little complicated so it got put on the back burner. I hadn’t watched any of his programmes for ages, but caught an episode recently and thought ooooh, red velvet, hmmmm and decided to give it a try.

I found quite a few different versions of the recipe online but thought my best bet was probably to go with the recipe of Buddy Valastro himself, which I found here.

One slight problem is that his measurements are all in American measures, cups, which leaves me a little blank. So with a little help from hubby and this handy conversion site, I converted the ingredients into more familiar measurements, which are as follows:


315g Plain Flour
25g Cocoa Powder (I use Green & Blacks)
½ tsp Salt
115g Unsalted Butter
300g Normal Sugar
2 Large Eggs
Strong red food colouring (more on this later)
1 tsp Vanilla extract
240ml buttermilk
2 tsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp Bicarbonate Soda

It is worth mentioning a couple of things at this point.

1 – The food colouring, the first time I used a tube of Dr Oetker red gel food colouring, as it was what we had and I had seen it recommended on a few websites, but honestly the cake was more of a chocolate brown than red. The second time I used 1/2 a pot of gel food colouring which I got at my local Hobbycraft shop. The brand is Wilton and it is called icing colouring. Much better result though like I say I did use half a pot of it and it is strong stuff! I don’t think that normal liquid food colouring that we have in the UK is strong enough to make the cake red after baking it.

2 – The recipe calls for distilled white vinegar, but I couldn’t find that so bought white wine vinegar which works fine

3 – Buddy’s recipe uses baking soda, which is an American term, I used Baking Powder the first time, without really thinking, and the cake turned out way too dense! So I used Bicarbonate soda the second time and it was light and fluffy, so definitely use Bicarbonate soda.


Preheat the oven to 170°. Grease 2 sandwich tins, ours are 8″ I think and they worked fine. Line the bottom of the tins with greaseproof paper.

Sift the flour, cocoa and salt into a bowl.
In a larger bowl, using a hand mixer, beat the butter at a low temperature until creamy.
Add Sugar and blend on a medium speed until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each.
Add the food colouring and vanilla .

On a low speed, beat in the flour mixture in thirds, alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour mix. So 1/3 flour, 1/2 buttermilk, 1/3 flour, 1/2 buttermilk, 1/3 flour. Mixing well in between each.

In a small bowl, stir together the vinegar and bicarbonate soda. Stir into batter.
Divide the batter between the tins and spread evenly.

Bake until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. The recipe says 25-30 mins, it took nearer to 40 mins in my oven, though I would check it at around 25 mins.

Cool in pans for 10 minutes, then run a knife around the edges and turn onto racks. Remove the paper and flip cakes.

Here are the pictures of my cakes, the first one, with the baking powder, just didn’t rise and was really dense. It was also much browner. The second time with the bicarb and better food colouring, it rose much better and was a much better colour.

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Now for the yummy Cream Cheese Frosting

450g Full Fat Cream Cheese
115g Unsalted Butter
400g Icing Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
Pinch of salt

Beat the cream cheese and butter at a medium speed until smooth. 
Add Sugar, vanilla and Salt. Stir the icing sugar in a bit before beating, to avoid sugar clouds, then beat on a low speed to start, and then a medium0high speed until the mixture is fluffy.

Once the cakes have completely cooled, cut each layer in half using a serrated knife. (Buddy’s recipe mentioned freezing them but I didn’t have room in our freezer so didn’t do that). Use the frosting between each layer. Roughly frost cake all over once, then put it in the fridge for 20 minutes, before continuing frosting with another layer. I’m not that good with the frosting but this definitely helped! Use some of the crumbs from the tins as decoration et oila!

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The first cake I made still tasted fine  but the second one was muuuch better. Hubby says it’s his favourite cake in the whole world, and Monkey loves it too. It is really sweet though so you don’t need big slices of it.

Yummy Red Velvet Cake

Yummy Red Velvet Cake

Maybe if you did Freeze it as Buddy’s recipe suggests, you may get less crumbs in the frosting layers? I have no idea though may be worth a try. Happy baking!

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