Shameless Plug

Two of my friends and I have set up a food Instagram, we are called Kiwi Food Trotters. Kiwi Food Trotters as we are three Kiwi’s based in three different cities, Toronto, Wellington and Melbourne. We’reΒ  going to be searching for the yummiest bites to eat in our cities and where ever else we may be on our travels.

If this sounds like something you may be interested in, check out @kiwifoodtrotters on Instagram.


The Benefits of Baking

A party without a cake is just a meeting

I found that quote on pinterest when I was trying to find a caption for a photo I was posting on Instagram. I love cake, I love making it, decorating it, taking photos of it and eating it (obviously).

I once took annual leave to bake a cake for my brother’s 21st birthday, I took leave on Friday and made three cakes. On Saturday it was his friends party at home, so I went to that and had a bit to drink. On the Sunday, the day of the family party, sleep deprived and mildly hungover, I turned three cakes into one giant six layered caked. The result is pictured above.

This is the first cake I posted on Instagram in April 2012, the photo is taken on a crappy Samsung Galaxy Ace where I added way too many filters. I’ve come a long way as a baker in the past five years.

I hope to make baking a regular feature on this blog so I thought I’d start of with a look at the benefits of baking.

  1. Β Baking is meditative – Its an activity which takes your whole attention and once mastered it is some what of a calming exercises. This leads to my next point.
  2. It’s good for your mental health – I find the process of baking is therapeutic and relaxing. John Whaite, a former winner of The Great British Bake Off said that baking helped him deal with his depression. When I am baking I am concentrating on creating a good product, that is my sole focus so I don’t let any other thoughts get in my way that could distract.
  3. Creativity – I was never the best at art, creative writing was intimidating, but now decorating cakes have really become my creative outlet. For inspiration I go online, in particular I follow Cupcake Jemma. I have learnt so much from her videos, she makes it so simple and I always feels inspired and excited to bake after I see her latest creations. Another one is Katherine Sabbath, her cakes are ridiculous, colourful and so creative. I find that when a cake looks challenging on picture, I no longer feel intimidated by it, I’m actually excited to create it myself. “Baking has the benefit of allowing people creative expression,” according to this HuffPost article. There is much research showing the connection between overall wellbeing and creativity.
  4. It’s a great gift idea – Not sure what to get a friend? Bake them some brownies, or some cupcakes. Who doesn’t love food as a gift? Especially a baked good where time and effort has gone in to it. I know I have always been so appreciative of people who have baked for me.
  5. It makes other people happy – One of the best things about baking is that you can give away your creations and make other people feel happy and in turn you feel happy. I’ve only ever baked out of love of doing it, people have always been so complimentary and have even suggested that I set up my own shop, I’ll keep it as a hobby for now, I have so much more to learn.

Learn how to bake, its awesome. If not baking find something that can foster creativity in you. People now and again ask me how I learned how to bake and all I say is my mother gave me her cake recipe around 2011 and that’s what I make to this day. Practice makes perfect, sometimes it will go horribly wrong (and still does), but when you get it right it is incredibly rewarding.