I’ve been baking cakes for years, but have never really tried anything too elaborate, in fact my efforts normally always stayed within the few recipes I was comfortable with, so I’ve designed and created this 12 cakes project website in an effort to motivate me to bake one cake every month for the next year, hence the name ‘12 Cakes’.
There’s something unashamedly great about making cakes. They exist solely as a source of pleasure and enjoyment, and they can be as simple or elaborate as you like – nobody really needs a cake – though that’s part of the pleasure and the simple actions of beating together butter and sugar, folding in flour and rubbing mixtures together can be enormously therapeutic.
My interest in baking started from a very young age as both of my parents are great at making things in the kitchen and both of them have very different styles of cooking so I was intrigued by how two different methods could still produce excellent meals! It probably helped that I’m a big fan of food in general, and having been brought up in a house that always made cakes when it was a birthday, I was genuinely shocked when I tried a supermarket cake. The icing tasted weird and the cake also tasted very different to what I was accustomed to, but I couldn’t put my finger on what it was at the time. I later discovered that it was due to my parents baking with wholemeal flour instead of white and to this day I generally use wholemeal flour as well, although I sometimes use a combination of white and wholemeal, as anyone who’s tried baking a cake with wholemeal, will no doubt tell you that it isn’t the easiest flour to work with!
Cakes can be beautiful to look at as well as eat, and some are more like works of art than simple pâtisseries – just look at this amazing R2D2* cake as a testimony to that. Add to that the delicious smells that fill the house and the delight of those who share your baked offering, and the pleasure is complete. And remember that whatever you make, it will always be a million times better than anything you could buy that’s been mass-produced in some factory!
*The red colour actually makes it closer to a R4 P17 which is Obi-Wan Kenobi’s astromech droid if you’re a huge Star Wars geek like me!