For me baking has always been, and always will be, about friends and family. I’ve never wanted to be a professional baker as 1. I don’t believe I am quite up to scratch yet and 2. Baking is at its most fun when you are baking for loved ones.
I am also very lucky that I come from a baking mad family as both of my nans baked, my mum baked and my dad baked; which in turn meant all of my sisters baked. The end result of our baking attempts was never sheer perfection (we called it the ‘rustic’ look) but tasty treats made by someone who cares.
Since moving out of the family home and into university I became much more interested in baking and would bake as a way to break the ice; and believe me everyone wants a baker as a friend! I started off with the usual standard Victoria sponge, moved onto cheesecakes and I am now decorating birthday cakes especially for the little ones. The thing I have always taken from baking is not to worry and to give yourself plenty of time. Not all of my cakes have been a success but everyone has tasted great, just looked slightly odd in some cases!
Now, onto baking…
I, myself, do have a little toolbox of baking tools but to start baking all you really need is:
- Wooden spoon
- Mixing bowl
- Baking tin
I also would recommend either an icing bag, or my preference is an icing syringe, if you are baking cupcakes to give them a nice finish.
For a standard sponge cake recipe see Bryony’s blog:
This recipe can then be adapted to whatever you are cooking. One example is a fruit cake where I would swap the caster sugar for soft brown sugar and add a teaspoon of cinnamon and a teaspoon of mixed spice. Then add in about 150g of raisins/sultanas/both.
Here’s a few golden tips, about baking, that I have picked up along the way:
- Don’t open the oven as it will reduce the temperature. If you must take a peek wait until it has cooked 2/3’s of the way through.
- Make sure your butter and eggs are at room temperature. If they are not you can always warm the eggs up in a bowl of warm water and give the butter a blast in the microwave for a few seconds.
- If your mixture looks all bubbly don’t worry it’s all the air you’ve trapped and it will help make your cake light
- Lastly if you are making cupcakes to get the exact amount needed for a cupcake case use an ice-cream scoop with a trigger. It not only gives an equal amount in each case but the trigger will allow you to push out the mixture.
Well I think that, although this blog is quite short, you will now have an idea of who I am and what you need to start off your very own culinary creations. So I will say farewell and make sure you look out for my next blog which will give you a few tips on decorating your cakes. Although for now (to coin a well-known strictly come dancing catchphrase) keep baking!
This is me, taking no prisoners, when it comes to cake. Not homemade but a delicious treat none the less.
One of my cakey creations made from a recipe I found at: