I’m not a baker. I’m a baking enthusiast.
A baker is someone who knows the science inside and out, who can whip up something magnificent out of a handful of ingredients, who can bake a multi-layered cake with mascarpone frosting and perfectly sculpted fondant without batting an eye. I’m not any of those things.
I understand enough of the science to bake something that tastes good, but I’m still learning. I usually have to use a recipe as a starting point, although I tweak and try to add my own twist as much as I can. I struggle so much with cake it’s not even funny. I revel in the little things, my favorite of which are whipping meringue, using sea salt as garnish, and trying to find excuses to add cinnamon to everything.
With that disclaimer out of the way, I want to start chronicling my adventures in baking here with the hope that I’ll see improvement as I continue to post. I’ll share photos, insights, and inspiration. Hopefully, I’ll eventually be able to post my own recipes fresh from my newly minted baker brain.
For now, here are a few things that inspire me to evolve from a baking enthusiast into a baker:
Jake Cohen’s Instagram – He’s a food critic who covers more than just baking, but his flawless cookies and galettes leave my mouth watering. He once liked my Instagram post showcasing my chocolate chip blondies and it made my life.
The Great British Baking Show (or The Great British Bake-Off, as it’s known in the UK) – I feel like everyone and their mother (including mine) has seen this show, but it’s always worth mentioning. I went into the new season skeptical about the change in judges and hosts (except Noel Fielding, who I already loved via The Mighty Boosh and The IT Crowd), but by the end I was declaring it my favorite season yet. I wanted all the bakers to win, and I loved Noel and Steven’s banter so much I wanted them to start their own spin-off show.
The Curious Creations of Christine McConnell – Christine McConnell has my dream life. Not the one where she has a super popular Instagram and a Netflix deal to showcase her artistic and culinary creations, as amazing as that seems. No, I want the life where she lives in a Gothic-infused house filled with strange resurrected creatures and just bakes all day. How can I achieve that?
Simply Recipes – I’ve been following Simply Recipes since it was a one-woman blog, and it has since grown to include several writers as part of the Serious Eats platform. I kind of miss the old days when every recipe would come with a personal story, but I still love it. The recipes are simple, as the name suggests, which means they’re the perfect base for me to start with and then tweak and add my own flavor. It’s a great site if you’re just beginning your baking journey as it can really help you learn the building blocks of a recipe.
And here three of my favorite personal creations, which I hope to share more about in the weeks to come!