Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The baking bug

My baking bug has returned. While I was pregnant I struggled to look at food, or even be in the kitchen, let alone think about cooking anything. It is good that James does the cooking in our house (he says he likes to be hands on after working in front of a computer all day) otherwise we would have spent the last 12 months eating cheese on toast. But that did make me sad, as I love to cook desserts. Cheesecakes, cupcakes, muffins, all sorts of cakes, I love to make them.

I've always enjoyed baking and used to make a cake nearly every week when I was younger (probably from about 10 onwards). A few years ago this ramped up when I made some cupcakes for a work morning tea. They were praised quite highly and I started to think that it was something I was good at. It went from there and I became more practiced at all different sorts of things. I have some staples in my repertoire (white chocolate cheesecake, basic butter cake, cupcakes with butter cream icing) but don't shy away from a challenge either (lemon, lime and white chocolate mud cake, 4 layered chocolate sponge cakes, profiteroles, and my latest was a sticky date cheesecake with caramel sauce).

So I am so pleased that my desire to bake has returned again. I get such satisfaction from cooking and decorating a cake. I try to get Charlotte to help me in the kitchen too. She loves to pour out ingredients and of course to lick the beaters. I may not be great at keeping a clean house, but I can make an awesome birthday cake! Being a great cook is one of the things that I associate with Mum (although she disagrees). I hope that one day Charlotte and Angus will think of my baking fondly too.
Some of my creations:
Sticky date pudding with caramel sauce and almond praline

Charlotte's birthday cake for her 2nd birthday. It was the moon from "hey diddle diddle, the cat and the fiddle". I made the bowl and spoon from sugar paste but the other bits were store bought. I did try making the fiddle but it flopped. I still have alot to learn! I would love to do a proper decorating course but they are quite expensive. I guess I just have to keep practicing.

A min croquembouche (have to thank Masterchef for that one)

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