Cake with the Hairy Bikers

Jane Slater and Fiona Woodcock from The Cake Root.
Jane Slater and Fiona Woodcock from The Cake Root.

A north Northumberland food business is looking to the future following a move to new premises and an appearance on national television.

Sisters Jane Slater and Fiona Woodcock started The Cake Root company, which creates cakes from root vegetables, in 2007 when they decided they wanted to do something that was relevant to their farming backgrounds that allowed them to carry on with their jobs.

Jane said: “Carrot cake had gone well, but we knew we needed to do something different.”

After some trial and error, with friends and family as guinea pigs, they moved on to selling at farmers’ markets and Alnwick Food Festival and now the cakes are stocked in a number of cafes, delis and restaurants in the area.

And in a boost to the business, the sisters featured on the third episode of the second series of Hairy Bikers’ Best of British, which aired at 7pm last Wednesday on BBC Two.

The show focused on potatoes and in a six-minute segment in the second half of the programme, Fiona and Jane explained more about what the bikers described as ‘the dark art of making cakes out of root vegetables’.

They used the humble potato as an ingredient, making a chocolate, orange and potato cake. The pair explained that they had previously shied away from the potato fearing that it might be bland.

However, the cake went down a storm with the customers of Eleanor’s Byre at Embleton who tried it.

In another local link, Fiona and Jane sourced their potatoes on the show from greengrocer Brian at Heighley Gate.

In another positive step, the business recently moved into a purpose-built bakery in a former sawmill in Belford.

“It’s great having everything on one site,” said Jane. “It was upscaled quite a lot, we have a large oven now rather than just domestic ones and it’s a lovely site.”

Looking to the future, Jane explained that they want to maximise the opportunities afforded by the new site, potentially teaming up with other businesses, running events or letting other chefs rent space.