I bake because it’s my business but actually I bake because I love it.I find it therapeutic and love the end result, i always get a little rush of adrenaline when i take that perfect bake out of the oven, and mutter to myself “now that’s a sexy bake”
And it is often said baking is a science closely related to chemistry in fact its basically chemistry you can eat. You see i believe anyone can bake and the reason some people believe they cannot is in my opinion that they either skip a process or don’t weigh anything, you cannot just throw ingredients together, you have to carefully weigh your ingredients, beat, fold,whisk, be gentle or knead to within an inch of your life so whether its bread, pastry,or cakes be patient and you will get the perfect result and it is this that is the therapeutic part for me. When i am cake decorating i can find utter tranquility with the most mundane of repetitive task.
Mary Berry once said. “It is not just indulging in the end results – the cake, the biscuits, the scones – that helps to brighten up a blue day, but the therapeutic process itself”.
But it doesn’t stop there,baking and its ability to bring calm to an otherwise busy and hectic day has shown to contribute to better mental health.
John Waite (remember him) he was the winner of the third series of the Great British bake off in 2012 was diagnosed with manic depression and found that baking helped him to manage his condition.
“When I’m in the kitchen, measuring the amount of sugar, flour or butter I need for a recipe or cracking the exact number of eggs – I am in control. That’s really important as a key element of my condition is a feeling of no control.“
With this organisations were set up who realised the process of baking can really help so many people and the most well known must be the Depressed cake shop.
I had heard of the Depressed Cake shop a few years ago when i saw grey cakes, macarons, cupcakes with grey buttercream popping up on Facebook timeline, how very depressing (i thought) but that’s the idea, the grey cakes were used to raise awareness of mental health, Depression and mental health issues through the restorative powers of cake and baking. http://depressedcakeshop.org/about/,
images from http://depressedcakeshop.org/gallery/
The Depressed Cake Shop ran a series of pop-up cake stalls across the country that sold only grey cakes. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-23756645 sometimes with an array of colour made visible when you cut into the cake. and was a really excellent way to portray how people feel with mental health issues (grey)
Melanie Denyer is the the host of London’s Depressed Cake Shop in Brick Lane, and says the success of the event was phenomenal.
“For a lot of us involved in this project, mental illness and baking are linked. A lot of us turn to baking when we’re feeling low. Some of us even started baking because they were ill and needed something simple as a focus. And there is genuinely something very therapeutic about baking.
But in general people love to get there bake on, nearly every year when the new series of great British bake off begins sales of baking equipment goes through the roof,
Tesco homebaking buyer Darren Atherton added: ‘The Great British Bake Off is the biggest thing to have happened to homebaking since cake mixes first appeared nearly half a century ago and has inspired a whole new generation of younger bakers.’
But according to retail analyst Mintel sales of manufactured cakes have dropped because many of us are making our own.
and the popularity of the baking gatherings such as the Clandestine cake club http://clandestinecakeclub.co.uk/ proves this.
started by Lynn hill the clandestine cake club is a world wide phenomenon with over 200 clubs in the UK and international clubs from Argentina to the USA. The meetings are always held in secret locations only known to members and the only rules are no Cupcakes or brownies but you go along with your cake, a spare tub and an empty stomach,chat,eat cake with like minded people. sounds like loads of fun.
So the next time you have had one of those days, get the scales out and get your bake on, i bet you will be hooked.