Somehow baking is thought to only be for people who have way too much time on their hands and have nothing better to do with their lives. For people who spend many years mastering the art of mixing a few simple ingredients together. Turns out that that’s not the case.
My approach to baking is to stop fussing over little things like measuring each ingredient to the exact gram or waiting impatiently for your pie to bake for exactly 40 minutes. I prefer to leave my baking to do what it likes. Let it grow or rise or melt in its own time and in its own way. That’s true baking. Leaving a few simple ingredients to make magic.
A lot of my inspiration comes from memories of my Ouma and her kitchen, which you could smell from miles away. She was a real baker. She would mix a little of this with a little of that. Then she brought her mixture to her little oven and baked it. The oven would do all the hard work for her. She used her eyes and nose to test if her baked treat was ready or not. I loved watching the way she baked, so sure of what she was doing. What ever was in the oven, and there was always lots, would come out the hot and steamy and tasted of the most delicious thing you could ever have dreamed of.
I’m not very different to my Ouma. There’s always a piece of cake or a little slice of homemade bread sitting somewhere in my home. Baking is my life. I love it with every part of my body so much so that I see each of these recipes as my children. I love them.
Confidence in the kitchen is one of the most important ingredients to any baked treat. You have to believe that you are in control. Make your ingredients believe that too. Make them want to be used by you. And if your cake cracks or you aren’t happy with the way your pie’s turned out, cover with a dusting of icing sugar. That’s what I do.
Baking makes you slow down and focus for a moment. It’s about starting a few simple ingredients and ending with something so great, you have to share it with everyone you know. It’s about tasting those subtle hints of citrus, watching a pie slowly bubble away in the oven, hearing the sound of a knife slice through a crispy bread crust or smelling the warmth of a freshly baked pie.