Confession time: in my head, I am a gifted pastry chef. My mum was an amazing baker, I can happily spend hours lost in books on fine patisserie, so it seems obvious to me that I should be able to whip up a delectable Delice or magnificent Macaron at a moment’s notice.
Unfortunately, the reality is that I somehow pick the most complex recipe in the book, then spend hours trashing the kitchen in a spiralling panic and end up with every utensil I own piled in the sink – all for an expensive, unrecognisable result I barely want to eat, let alone photograph. So, I decided it was time to go back to basics and try something quick and achievable to rebuild my confidence.
Cue Suzy Pelta. In the five years since Suzy won ITV1’s ‘Lorraine’ Show Cake Club Competition with her chocolate and banana cake with peanut butter frosting, she has focused on getting the nation baking. In addition to launching a range of home baking kits Suzy has presented at the Thame Food Festival and written a regular blog for the Metro.
Her first book, ‘Miracle Mug Cakes and Other Cheat Bakes’ published this year, is all about encouraging absolute beginners to give baking a go. Initially I was somewhat sceptical about baking using a mug and a microwave but, having been tempted by the idea of a speedy Peanut Butter and Nutella Mug Cake, I was willing to try.
I must admit, as much as I love the craft of fine patisserie, the possibility of having home-made cake with my coffee in about the same time it takes to boil the kettle really appeals to me. There are just so many times in my week when I NEED cake – and fast! Everything necessary was already in my kitchen cupboards, ingredients and equipment; no specialist gadgets required, we had a mug and we were off!
Santa has very kindly sorted out a copy of ‘Miracle Mug Cakes’ (I’m surprised I’m not on the naughty list!), which is much appreciated as I must say that I have been won over by mug cakes. They are so simple and satisfying, taste great straight from the microwave and are ready in moments – the perfect accompaniment to your morning coffee. And you know what? Even I managed to make one! Thank you, Suzy, for your patience and encouragement – Great British Bake Off tent, here I come!