I have always loved spending time in the kitchen. Even from a very young age I watched my grandma and my mom with great fascination. I love the fact that you can take an ingredient in its raw stage and mix it with another ingredient, cook it, change the way it looks and produce something that people can enjoy. The whole process always intrigued me.
I grew up to become a prolific cook. I would cook at every opportunity I had, even when I visited people, we would have a cup of coffee and I would think ‘this would go nicely with a cake’ and then rustle something up in their kitchen. My friends and family never minded as I have always done it and luckily they all love to eat.
Unfortunately, my love for cooking has never been matched by my earnings. I have a busy life and large family and work part time in a kitchen as a sous chef, this job has never been well paid, but I have never minded as I enjoy it so much I would do it for nothing.
This means, I have never had any top of the range gadgets in my kitchen, they have always been the best I could afford and most have been ok but some were not up to the job and some have even broken half way through making something. Not good!
On my birthday, my family clubbed together and gave me a substantial amount of money to buy a stand mixer I had always coveted and never been able to afford. My family know that I love to bake and use a lot of recipes that require mixing. I was truly touched; this was such a gorgeous thing to do.
To be honest, I had pretty much given up on ever having a top of the range mixer, so wasn’t sure what the latest models or features were, I knew what I needed but where to look? I know the internet is usually a reliable source of information when researching products and the first place my friends go when they are looking for something, so I decided to look around.
I bought the Kitchenaid Professional 600 in candy apple red. It had a 6 quart capacity and 10 speeds. Wherever I looked it had the best reviews, it was sturdy and robust and could handle frequent use and I just knew it was the right one for me.
I certainly was not disappointed. Not only is the mixer a thing of beauty, it comes in more than 20 colours. It has a modern, yet retro look. There is an attachment for every occasion and the machine is so powerful, it makes light work of mixing, beating, grinding and even has a large attachment for making ice cream.
I can honestly say I have never been happier in my kitchen cooking and I can make things I only dreamed of.
My mom and pop’s 30th wedding anniversary was coming up in a month and my mom had told me a story that when they got married they were very young, had a very simple ceremony and couldn’t afford a cake. I had decided on my gift…a wedding cake!
Luckily I had baked before, albeit not on this scale but I knew it was do-able. I researched the ‘’cake boss’ website, yes you heard me, this cake was going to be grand.
My mom adores flowers and my dad loves chocolate. I decided I would make a 5 tier, chocolate cake with flowers cascading around and down from the top to the bottom.
I researched every cake website, talked to bakers and looked at cake making techniques, I didn’t just want this cake to look nice, it had to taste beautiful. I did taste tests with my hubby, kids and friends until I perfected the sponge and icing recipes.
After 4 long weeks of planning, 12 hour baking days (and nights) and a couple of additional tiers, the cake was ready.
Even if I do say myself, it was beautiful. It had 7 tiers! The icing on the outside of each cake layer was dark brown Belgian chocolate (my pop’s favourite) and the flowers were white cherry blossoms (my mom’s favourite). The bottom cake was large and each layer got smaller, so the top cake layer was the smallest. The whole thing was dark brown with white flowers wrapping around the cake from the top to the bottom. It looked like a work of art and I was very proud of it.
It was transported to the venue very carefully on the day and when my mom and pop saw it, it reduced them and the rest of us to tears. It was so worth the effort.
What I didn’t envisage was the food fight that happened. My parents have always been fun and a little bit crazy and once we had taken photos and eaten a piece of cake, we all started throwing food at each other, including the cake I might add.
What a brilliant, fun day and one I will remember forever.