I really enjoy cooking and baking and have been doing so for as long as I can remember (I know, I sound like a dodgy X factor story but it’s true) and even tried to write my own recipe book when I was about 9! I haven’t had any professional training therefore I see something I want to bake and just make it up as I go along. I call myself “Old School Amateur” for this and several reasons.
1. I don’t have or use much fancy equipment, I mix all cake batter by hand or with my £5.99 electric whisk which I’ve had for 9yrs still going strong. I have a Kitchen Aid but find it can over beat cakes, it’s fantastic for butter cream though and well just to look at; but that’s it.
2. I don’t sieve flour or icing sugar, I’ve never noticed any difference –Bite me Nigella.
3. I much prefer things that taste good and look homemade than professional perfection.
4. I avoid all complicated recipes...I just don’t see the point when you can make lush things without 30 steps, 2 days and organic unicorn dust.
People are always saying to me, I couldn’t make that but there’s no secret, well not in my book anyway and if you follow the recipe you can’t go far wrong. I’m a big fan of all these baking shows and I love that baking in particular is so trendy now as you can get great supplies even just at the supermarket. The only down side in my opinion of these shows that they can put people off being so complex and I often shout think “Its ONLY baking not heart surgery”.
My tips for baking are:
1. Pick something simple but that you want to bake...I don’t want to know anyone who regularly makes their own hot cross buns.
2. Read the recipe 1st and get everything ready, quite a few times I have poured something in only to read next step I should have waited till the end.
3. Buy fresh ingredients, now I don’t mean organic, expensive or gluten free, I just mean if you haven’t baked in a while your baking powder etc probably won’t rise and congealed vanilla essence won’t be the same.
4. Go for it, even chocolate crispie’s are so satisfying!
I hope to post some of my favourite and easy recipes over time so stay tuned, and feel free to ask me any questions, Good Luck!