cake stories


Every cake I bake has a story to tell – of the dairy farmer up at dawn to send me fresh, creamy milk and butter, the happy chickens scratching in the morning mist laying beautiful golden eggs, the wheat farmer eating breakfast knowing he has a long, hot day of harvesting stretching out before him, drawing on a lifetime of experience that tells him the grain is ripe. Now it’s my turn – to call on my lifelong love of baking, and with these wonderful ingredients and the magical alchemy that is baking, turn them into delicious cakes for all to enjoy.

I didn’t grow up surrounded by abundance. But I learnt early about the importance for our wellbeing of fresh food and its availability. My parents’ childhoods and youth fell between the Great Depression and two world wars. Many people were starving. Any piece of earth that could be turned, a handful of seeds that had been squirrelled away broadcast over it, represented life. Out of this poverty came a deep respect and understanding of the seasons and provenance, the value of uncontaminated land for our survival. We were city people but knew the real national treasures were those who produced food in a way that cared for the land.

Our lifestyles have changed and the way we consume seems to be to our own detriment. But deep down I think we all care about these things, because they’re something worth caring about. Freshly churned butter and fresh cream and eggs are things of value and to be appreciated. Golden grain, grown from seed that hasn’t been tampered with, it’s roots deep in dark, alluvial soils alive with organic matter, are to be coveted. Rest assured, they will continue their story through my cakes.

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