I’m amazed I’ve had this blog for over two months and very rarely discussed baking. I do it all the time.
I started in first year of undergrad when I saw a lovely looking white chocolate and raspberry muffin recipe on a blog, Kate’s Puddings, and decided to give it a go. While I forgot to put cases in my muffin tray, the muffins themselves turned out very well and they were good fun to make. Most importantly, there was a nice amount of leftover mix for me to eat, which is my favourite part!
Since then I’ve done a lot of baking and acquired a nice collection of baking books, a fair number of which are quite chocolate focussed since that is one of my favourite things in the world. I’ve always liked chocolate and sweet foods so much more than savoury, “real” food and would quite happily go all day eating nothing but chocolatey things, and have indeed done this on one occasion. That was a very good day.
For every archery competition I attend, I bring something baked and yummy. I enjoy eating the things, and so do my team-mates and the people from other universities. I like to share baking with everyone and have been able to make/deepen friendships over this. It gives you the perfect excuse to go and talk to someone, and while some people will for some strange reason look at you like you just told them you’d murdered their mother, most will happily accept or (more often than not oddly), politely decline but be very nice about it.
After transferring universities for my PhD, I naturally carried on baking, but one of my team-mates is vegan. I asked him before the first competition we went to if he wanted me to make something vegan for him and he said it was fine, he didn’t normally eat a lot of sweet things. So I didn’t. Then the competition arrived and he saw tubs of delicious things he couldn’t eat and everyone enjoying it all, and obviously got a bit jealous as he then requested I do make something for the next one.
It turns out vegan baking is surprisingly simple and very quick to do. I can get some stuff out of the oven in less than half an hour from when I started making it! It’s really nice to do with a spare half hour/hour and a lot either is gluten free by design or can be made so so basically anyone can eat it!
My favourite recipes are the brownies, flapjacks, and cookies as these are all easy to transport. I have taken to adding raspberries occasionally to the brownie recipe and that works really nicely too! Even non-vegan friends are a fan, especially of the flapjacks!