Someone once told me that you can’t buy happiness, but you can buy cake. And that’s kind of the same thing. Isn’t it?
This has been my mantra in life so far. Cake has an amazing capacity to bring joy to those who I bake for… even if it’s only for 5 minutes… before they realise they’ve consumed more calories than their diet allows.
Where it all began
My love of baking began in the kitchen of my grandma, who loved an egg custard tart and baked for me all the time. Especially when I was off school, ‘sick’. Although, I was momentarily put off by school cookery lessons when it was fashionable to use sweetener instead of real sugar. And Quorn instead of meat, come to that. I’ve never been a fan of anything that pretends to be something it’s not. Anyway, back to the good stuff. Cake.
My baking journey
I’ve been nurtured by Be-Ro in my youth. Seduced by the charms of Nigella’s Malteser Cake in my 20s. And in my 30s, I was hopelessly smitten by the The Hummingbird Bakery’s cupcakes. You name it, I’ve probably tried and tested it on every colleague I’ve ever worked with. Luckily, they’re all still alive. (The survivors, I mean.)
The best of the bakes
If you’re looking for great recipes to bring happiness, I can recommend the following – based on popularity polls conducted at SHARP:
And that’s part of the reason I do it. Because another thing I really love about baking, is that it’s a lot like creating an advertising campaign. You need the perfect mix of art and science. You can measure every ingredient exactly, bake it at exactly the right temperature for the right amount of time, but if you dare to forget the importance of creativity and pleasing your audience… you’ll be left with a plain sponge and no one to eat it with.
So make sure you get the balance right and everyone’s happy… nom nom nom.