I have a job where I don’t really make anything. It is a very enjoyable job for many reasons, but I mainly produce pretty PowerPoint presentations. I think a lot but I don’t do a lot. Therefore, there is something really satisfying and necessary about making something physical – going from an idea to an object. So I bake.
I have a confession – I am not a massive fan of cake. I rarely eat much of what I bake because I don’t have a particularly sweet tooth. I am certainly not a particularly cupcakey kind of woman. I object to the fact that it took me days to find regular old sprinkles for a cake I was making but baking sections were full of pink stars and butterflies and glitter as if baking is something only for little girls. However, there is something about the unit of cupcake that appeals to me. It is shareable, it is artistic enough without getting massively fiddly, it involves a range of skills, and you have greater permission to try new things. Salted caramel popcorn cupcakes, Clover Club cocktail cupcakes and Stroopwafel cupcakes are recent examples. If you can think of a flavour; I can probably make it in cake form.
There is not a lot of thinking involved in the way I bake. I come up with an idea (that is the most thinky bit) and then it is going through a set of steps to make it real. These steps have become like muscle memory – I just need to work out the sequence and they just happen. There has been a lot written recently about baking as stress relief (Stylist ran a special on Baking Yourself Happy a few months ago) – I am not sure baking makes me happy in and of itself but focusing on something outside of myself for a few hours a week is a positive, calming thing. Baking satisfies my need to be physically creative and the end product makes everyone around me happy. It makes my world a bit sweeter.
This post was written by a RWL Guest Blogger – You can find more of Dominique’s musings on the subject of baking, plus some of her wonderfully creative and delicious recipes, over at Bake It Instinct. Images by Dominique, via Bake It Instinct.