An Homage to Banana Bread

I recently wrote an article that paid homage to my first cake love, my baking constant, my moist, sweet life partner…Banana Bread. I wanted to include the same article here, on this little blog, along with a couple of my favourite recipes.   Anyone who has indulged me in a conversation about baking will know…

Hazelnut and Dark Chocolate Muesli

Cereal is, and always has been, my junk food of choice. When I was growing up the cupboard was stocked with Frosties, Coco Pops and Sugar Puffs. On rare occasions there would be Lucky Charms and my brother and I would spoon out the little furry pieces of marshmallow whilst the milk turned lurid green….

Butter-Goat Scones

I have already expressed my love of damper, a few posts back when I baked a chunky wheel of cheese and squash bread, short and crumbly with the sourness of a savoury scone. For me the damper the scone are interchangeable  entities, though some may disagree. What i’ve made here are essentially mini damper breads….

Almond and Apricot Cake

  Pastry school taught me some good habits and some bad ones. It taught me how to fold for a genoise, how to fraser pastry and how to slap dough on the counter with lazy force. It also taught me to accept nothing other than perfection. Off-textures, wobbly edges and puckered surfaces are now inclined…

Rice Crispy Therapy

“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” – Marcel Proust Last week I shared my woes and anxieties with a fellow pastry school student. We are similar in our neurotic tendencies but hers are tempered slightly by the insight that comes with…

Maintaining Motivation

Learning how to turn criticism into something positive is surely one of life’s trickiest skills to master. It must take enormous quantities of self-worth, presence of mind and strength of character to accept negative feedback without negative effect. In fact, I’m not completely convinced that such people exist. I’m still at the stage where I…

Pastry School Update

It started a couple of weeks ago. I turned up, wide-eyed, with a blank notebook and a sharpened pencil. ‘First days’ don’t get any easier, I didn’t know where to go, who to sit with or what to expect. I’ve been waiting months to start this Diplome de Patisserie, both eagerly and nervously anticipating the…

The Importance of Cake

Cake is important. It makes an appearance at almost every national holiday, occasion or festival. Cake is for afternoon tea, for fundraisers, for weddings and for funerals. Cake can be a thought, a peace offering or an unspoken, comforting gesture. Cake has many forms and many guises but none is so significant, so culturally, universally…

Sweet Energy

I’m very much into bread and cake. You may have already noticed this. Anything fluffy or doughy that requires me to knead, cream or fold it is recreational territory in my mind. But as of tomorrow my baking habit will no longer be a simple past time, it will be my study and my future….

Maple Nut Granola

  It is a simple joy to craft comfort from simple ingredients, to fill your home with sweet scents and store cupboard treasures. A fat jar of granola on the shelf is a welcome site whether you’re rummaging for breakfast or settling into your pyjamas. Granola is a thing of wonder, a nubbly tumble of…

Brown Sugar Butternut Loaf

It’s now only a few weeks until I start my training as a pastry chef. This fact is generating as much trepidation as it is elation. I can’t wait to work in professional kitchens and to spend my days discussing the nuances of dough formation with other baking nerds. Of course, I don’t look forward…

Bread and Butter

All of this Cornish winter air has me inspired to bake. My surroundings influence my baking behaviour and, in this instance, my surroundings are beautifully windswept and rustic. Muddy lanes, empty beaches and thick, white-washed walls are an earthy palette, reassuringly solid and peppered with the scent of the sea and woodsmoke. Cold winds create…