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Cake Invasion

By Tamu Bakery, Jan 22 2016 03:35PM

“Let's face it, a nice creamy chocolate cake does a lot for a lot of people; it does for me.”- Audrey Hepburn

The wheels of my shopping trolley were groaning under the weight of cake tins of all possible shapes and forms, poppy seeds and nuts, vanilla sugars and assorted baking powders, baking magazines, five types of bread rolls and many more cake related items. I stopped, looked at it all and gasped. "How on the earth I am going to fit it all in my tiny rucksack?". I was in the middle of a Tesco in Brno, Czech Republic, my plane was due in a couple of hours, and I only had a hand luggage allowance and a huge list of cake places still to visit! It was day three of my expedition around the Central Europe or, to be honest, great cake places in Central Europe. Thanks to my understanding husband and son who had to adjust their sight-seeing to appease my cake-invaded mind!

Cakes and baking has had a constant presence in my life for the past five years. My oven hardly ever gets a day off. I bake for occasions, weekends, rainy mornings, business meetings, lunch boxes... I bring cake to work - boardrooms, brainstorming sessions, supervisions etc. Towards the end of working day my mind starts to wander, mentally combining flavours and textures. The more stressful the day, the more complicated the cake I will bake that evening. Recently I had a job interview and naturally the conversation turned to cakes! It is important to know whether my future colleagues are gourmets or sweet tooth owners! Working in the NGO sector, where contracts are just for a year or two, I often receive emails from ex-colleagues which start "Yana, we miss your cakes!".

So does my little sister, who says I am torturing her via Skype every time we have a chat as there is always a cake on the middle of my kitchen table. She is very stressed at the moment as very soon she is defending her PhD. If only I could walk into the university on that important day and open a bag filled with cinnamon pastries, letting the warm sweet aromas clear the minds of those doctors of psychology.

Doctors - they receive my cakes too, as so do my son’s teachers, beauty therapists, driving instructors, postmen and so on... My poor friends have been my cake testers for years, each time trying out a different bake. Presents for birthdays, weddings, christenings and job promotions all varying in taste and structure, but it is something that just keeps coming out of my oven. I remember once I was filling boxes with sweet creations for a friend who just done a cake photo shoot for Tamu. She looked at the mountain of cakes and said "Yana, you have to think of my wellbeing!"

But it is hard to stop when your life is totally invaded by baking. And do I need to stop if it is my escapism, and my way to help others? I don't know which cake does it for you, but for me majority of life events, along with kindness and laughter, simply require a CAKE!

P. S. As I am finishing this blog, my cake-invaded mind has a new challenge. When I am away in Kyrgyzstan to work with abused women, my son has a cake fundraising day at his school. And he has to have my cake. So if only..... )))