We all have a happy place. One person’s may be a sunflower field in the summer, another’s a park filled with golden leaves in Autumn. Mine isn’t a specific place, or a specific season. It’s anywhere when I am baking. I’m good at spreading my passion in the form of cake and cookies, but very rarely do I shout from the rooftops about why this pastime fills me with so much joy. So with the Season 6 of The Great British Bake Off looming (so excited I could scream) I think now is as good a time as any to explain how like me, you can bake yourself happy.
MAKE IT THERAPUTIC
OKAY so I know the idea of baking a cake is not everybody’s idea of a relaxing afternoon, however I am a strong believer that even if you see baking as a stressful chore, that doesn’t mean it has to be. Whether you are an amateur or one of those who can whip up a sponge with their eyes closed baking is known to be a fantastic stress reliever. Techniques used such as stirring, mixing and kneading are in fact very similar to the methods proven to relieve stress such as squeezing a stress ball. Working through the steps of a recipe in a methodical way helps clear your mind of everything else going on in your head, and when it’s just you, your kitchen and a bowl full of ingredients there really is nothing to be stressed about.
My favourite thing about baking is the fact that it’s almost 100% trial and error. I like setting myself a challenge as nothing is ever truly rewarding when it’s easy. And I LOVE that triumphant moment when I (to put it in so many words) NAIL IT! At the start of the year, when I established this blog as wholly baking, I set myself a few challenges; step up my cake decoration and tackle the ever stubborn macaron. Quite a feat for the year and my kitchen bin has seen many disasters; however there really is no better feeling than the moment you finally bake a successful batch of macarons.
EAT YOUR CREATIONS
If baking doesn’t make you happy, then unless you’re living off grass and water I can guarantee the feast afterwards will. I rarely bake for myself as I enjoy baking for others much more, however that isn’t to say I never eat my creations; after all they do need to be tested. This goes hand-in-hand with my earlier point on relieving stress too as eating a thick slab of brownie, a dozen macarons or a slice of cake releases the warm and fuzzy hormone that relaxes the muscles and causes a grin from ear to ear, and that in my opinion is worth the additional calories.
BAKING FOR OTHERS
As mentioned earlier although I do eat my own creations, I actually get the biggest kick out of baking for others. Not only does it give my bake a purpose, but it also gives me a chance to share my passion with those that I love. While on the forefront it looks like a rather solitary hobby, when you look at it from this perspective in my option it could be argued as rather social. Another bonus of course is knowing that somebody has enjoyed what I’ve made. Whether it be a cake I’ve made for an order or a new batch of brownies I’m testing, getting a compliment is such a boost and spurs me to go on and make even more.
And on that note, if anybody needs me I’ll be in the Kitchen!