Baking and cooking have always been part of my life and it’s importance has dipped in and out depending on what’s been happening around me.
I’m half Lebanese and have lived in West Africa so food has been a huge part of my growing up. Smells and images really evoke all sorts of memories and emotions. Some good, some not so much but that’s part of life.
The baking bug bit when I started secondary school and I discovered a world of magic. That’s how I see baking, pure magic. You mix different ingredients together and voila, you get this beautiful result. Magic! I baked my way through secondary school and was called upon when neighbours were having dinner parties to provide dessert. Funny how at 14 years old a Lemon Souffle didn’t faze me but I would now quake at the prospect of it flopping miserably.
Once the kids became teenagers, baking was only an occasional treat. Too busy a schedule and very little time to while away a couple of hours in the kitchen when you have starving kids, tons of dirty sports gear to wash and homework and study to supervise so I concentrated on cooking healthy, filling and tasty meals which kept me happy for several years (and the hungry hoards too).
We had a sad and heart breaking few years after losing our daughter and that’s when I found baking again and it became the best therapy for me. I spent hours going through the reassuring motion of making pastry for pies and tarts. Lots of time whisking away the pain, mixing, sifting, rolling and the rest. It’s provided so many hours of amazing benefits. Baking for my family and friends really helped me to regain the nurturing I desperately needed to provide and I’m so grateful for all the amazing social media pages set up by great bakers, the wonderful recipes from well loved and well known celebrity bakers and of course google!
Gluten Free Baking has steadily become the main type of baking in our home. As older children left the house our needs changed and I focussed more on trying to create coeliac friendly bakes for my husband and a gluten intolerant son. Weekly bakes of scones, brown bread and muffins were tried and tested to get perfect results which are almost impossible to differentiate. I have to say a big thanks to our Defence Forces members who were very willing test tasters for lots of recipes. I now have large gluten free section in this blog with easy to find ingredients and straightforward instructions to help get perfect results every time. As I have baked for over 30 years for a coeliac, I feel that gives me a great insight into what works and what doesn’t.
This blog is not only about me repeating recipes; I’ve tried and tested each one in my kitchen, adapting as I go along using a standard oven while doing my best to provide you with tips and helpful hints to create great results every time. I’ll let you know any pitfalls, what to watch out for, leave out or add in and anything else that I can help with. I’ve created several of the recipes myself and I’m very proud of these.
So here’s to some successful baking for all of us. My belief is once you bake with love, you really can’t go wrong.
Soraya – cozebakes