A New Challenge

St Kilda, Melbourne.Cakes in the Polish Bakery. Unfortunately I can't claim that I baked them

I’ve always enjoyed baking, ever since attempting the classic fairy cakes complete with wings with my nana. Cookery classes at school were interesting, if irritating, with a complex dish washing rigmarole and spending 3 hours planning a fruit salad that would be basically chopped apples and banana soaked in lemon juice. Vile was the word.  Needless to say that recipe has not entered into my repertoire. I guess I never wanted to just do the basic version, of anything.

When given the option to make pizza from scratch, when others bought pre prepared bases I chose to make life difficult and make my own base. We froze our pizzas at school to cook at home later. By which point I had forgotten the fact that unlike shop bought pizzas, mine was not pre baked and simply throwing the pizza onto the oven shelf resulted in raw dough, pineapple and tomato sliding into the unsuspecting casserole my dad had lovingly prepared below.

Undiscouraged I persevered, baking batch after batch of rock cakes. The only thing I couldn’t ruin. Little by little, I’ve improved, trying out new things, travelling to a few countries, living in various shared houses, picking up new recipes and learning new techniques. I’ve come a long long way since my first boiled egg when living in student halls. Despite (pre internet popularity) typing out what I thought would be the most useful recipes from my mam’s cookbook. I didnt think that I needed to preboil the water and after 3 minutes of sitting in a pan of cold water, I was shocked and disappointed to crack open the egg to find a raw egg slipped out…

However I digress… What dawned on me today, after being given a copy of the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook and drooling all over it, I have attempted pretty much every recipe in it now and I’m a little bored. I love the recipes but I need something more. The Great British Bake off  on BBC has inspired in me a new respect for mastering techniques and induced me to spend the entire day baking.

I realised that since my cookery classes at school I haven’t attempted anything that technical since cheese souffles and bread. In fact I think that was the only time I ever made a souffle and it was pretty tasty! I don’t think I’ve ever made pastry before and in fact I never really thought that I liked it! Little did I know…

Today I decided that I really like baking. There I’ve said it. I am becoming middle aged in my twenties. But it is fun and despite getting egg up the walls and breaking a few bowls I think I’m ok at it. So, I’ve been to a few countries around the world now and every where that I’ve been to the best bit has been the food. So why not combine my two favourite things? Travelling and baking? Why not try to bake something from every country I’ve been to? Why not challenge myself that bit further and throw some other countries in that I’ve never been to?

That’s what I’m going to do. Around the World in Eighty Bakes.

Rows and rows and rows of beautiful cakes. Polish Bakery, St Kilda

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4 responses

  1. Goodness Lauren, how do you find the time!! You are going to get so fat ……? I could help eat some cake over coffee sometime. I will e-mail you a Zuccini cake recipe that I got in America from lovely lady called Joan Buck-Smith. Bridget

    • Hello Bridget! You can definitely help to eat lots of cake! That would be great if you could email me over your recipe, it sounds very nice. Hopefully see you very soon for a coffee and a cake! x

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