Where it all began...
I have never been much of a planner, more of a ‘go with the wind,’ kind of girl…
Needless to say… I never made plans to become a baker.
However, don’t get me wrong… I did always love baking!
I love the way a fresh batch of cookies instantly makes a house a home and the way good food gathers people, making them stop long enough to create new sweet memories together.
I often dreamed of opening a little place. A place that brings people into community, to find rest and replenish. I guess I never truly believed this would be my reality, or that my life would begin to look a lot like this so soon. I didn’t plan it, it just kind of happened.
There are two questions I always get asked:
1. Where did you train to be a baker?
Truth is… I didn’t. I am completely unqualified for my job, and every day I am teaching myself new skills and learning new things. You see, I love making new things, challenging myself and then joyfully watching as the treats I bake bring sweet moments to the days of every customer, friend and family member. This motivates me to do my job to the best of my ability. In a way, my perseverance and determination is all I have ever had to qualify me .
2. What is your favourite thing to bake?
I love change, stepping outside of my comfort zone and stretching myself to try new things. Therefore, I love to bake EVERYTHING… This was a problem for a while… turns out not everyone loves change quite as much as I do. I loved making new and different creations every day, but as our customers became regulars, they also expected their favourite treat to be as regular on our counter as they were in our shop.
So now I have my daily treats, with a few specials mixed in. This keeps the customers happy and also allows me to continue growing and being creatively free in my job.
I thought I should put a couple of recipes I have been loving recently here for you to try…
First up… Cookies and cream blondies!!
1x 8” square baking tin
1 can of condensed milk
200g white chocolate
1 tbsp vanilla
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
(For the ganache)
100g (good quality) milk chocolate - I love cadbury
50 ml double cream
to decorate- 1 pack of oreos
Line you tin with baking parchment and heat oven to 180 degrees or 160 for fan oven.
Step 1, melt the butter,, condensed milk and white chocolate in a bowl over a pan of hot water. Mix until smooth.
Step 2, mix in vanilla and egg (beaten), then fold in the flour.
Step 3, Line the bottom of your tin with oreos (you should have about 4 left over).
Step 4, Pour your blondie mix over the oreos and place in the center of your oven for around 20 - 25 mins.
step 5, While your blondies are in the oven , on your ganache. Chop your chocolate finely and place in a bowl. Heat your cream in the pan until it almost reaches boiling but not quite (lift off as soon as you see bubbles beginning to form. Pour your cream over the chopped chocolate and stir until the mixture is completely smooth and all your chocolate is melted. Leave this to the side.
Step 6, Once your blondies are cooked (they will only be a little golden around the edges and might have a little wobble- this is good, don’t worry!) Lift them out of the oven and allow to cool for a couple of minutes.
Step 7, Pour the ganache over your blondies, chop the rest of your oreos into quarters and sprinkle over the top to decorate.
Step 8, leave to cool for an hour, then cut into 9 squares and enjoy!
Recipe number 2…
Easy, gooey, Vegan Brownies!
2 cups of medjool dates ( leave to soak in warm water for 3o mins)
1/4 cup warm water
1/2 cup almond butter (peanut also works)
2 Tbsp of coconut oil (melted)
1/3 cup cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder
you can also add a couple of handfuls of dark chocolate chips here (remember to use dairy free if you are vegan/ dairy free)
I also decorated the top with 1/4 cup of almonds and cashews
1 tbsp of maple syrup
Preheat oven (180 degrees/ 160 for fan oven).
Step 1, Line a medium 8” loaf pan with baking paper.
Step 2, Drain and whizz up your dates in the blender until smooth (scraping down the sides as needed)
Step 3, Add warm water and blend again until smooth, sticky paste has formed (now slightly lighter in colour).
Step 4, add the cacao powder, coconut oil, almond butter and blend again until all ingredients are in cooperated.
Step 5, add in chocolate chips (blend quickly to evenly distribute) *optional
Step 6, spread evenly into the loaf tin and decorate with the nuts, pressing lightly into the mix. Brush the top of each nut with the maple syrup to give them a yummy, sweet glaze.
Step 7, Place them in the oven for 15 minutes. (they will be a little firmer around the edges but still quite soft in the middle). Leave them to cool for an hour before cutting into six long bars (or to make lighter snacks cut into 12 squares).
I hope you enjoy creating these yummy treats, and perhaps they will help you gather the ones you love and allow you to linger in each other’s sweet company for a moment longer than usual, before the business of life takes over once again.