Baking is my new hobby. (And quite a good one for the winter months). I don't have a particularly sweet tooth so I'm happily feeding everyone I know with my experiments, usually the family here in CH.
Most people, I am happy to report are quite pleased with this set-up - me randomly showing up with home baked goodies !!
I really enjoy being in the kitchen, music playing, the food processor whiring, the oven blowing out yummy smells and just the chaos that cooking creates.
I've love cooking for people and having people for dinner, so baking was really the next step. Since my desserts had always been a bit 'simple' this has given me a whole new culinary avenue to explore. Before I'd manage maybe a Tiramisu or profiteroles made with ice cream inside - but now I am really enjoying making cakes and 'proper' desserts, and I'm looking forward to trying out some petit fours in the New Year.
I bought some new cook-books and downloaded the Great British Bake Off TV shows which really inspired me to get started.
My first attempt was a chocolate cake with piped roses (in the picture above), then a lemon cake with lemon roses piped on it, followed by cupcakes, fruit torte, chocolate torte, lemon torte, apple strudel and even my own Christmas Stollen. My cookbooks are plastered with post-it's stuck to recipes I want to try next and my cupboards are filled with different types of sugar and food flavourings.
The next big influence was the macaron class I took when I was in London in September.
Both my husband and I love Macarons but it is not easy to find a good one and when you do they are so expensive it really has to be a special occasion to justify the cost. Since the class I've been making them on a weekly basis, much to the pleasure of my husband.
I made them for friends when I was visiting the USA for Thanksgiving and I made a small mountain of them to give to friends and family here in CH instead of Christmas Cookies.
Its been a rough road trying to perfect the technique and also getting the ingredient quantities right when changing the flavours. Everything right down to the oven temperature needs to be spot on... so believe me there have been many mistakes, albeit tasty mistakes, and a fair bit of 'colourful' language, but it has still been fun.
The other thing I want to start making in the New Year is Ice Cream.
I want to eat an ice cream with ingredients that I know, not the E-numbers in the shop bought ones, and also it will be a great use for the left over egg yolks from the macaron making.
Both cooking and baking make me happy, my day is filled with something productive, we eat relatively 'clean' food with very few preservatives. Also there is nothing quite as rewarding as the look on someones face when they taste something (and enjoy) something you have created.
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