Baking is one of my favorite hobbies. It helps me learn how different ingredients work together and how different textures affect the outcome of baked goods. Baking is also a great and delicious way to kill time. Having the ability to create yummy treats that bring smiles to peoples faces is a wonderful feeling.
I have many fond memories of baking and experimenting with different recipes. My baking successes and failures are all memories that help me improve at this. Also, the memories of what inspired me to take up this skill are still cherished in my mind. These moments help me to remember the good times I have while baking and why I bake.
When I was younger, many strange things would interest me. I still wonder how my parents handled my sisters and my wild behavior. We were hyper young girls and one of my fondest memories of childhood was making mud pies with them.
After a rainy day my sisters and I would run out onto the lawn to play. We would sit right into the slimy mud and begin to toss it around. I can remember the nostalgic, cool and squishy feeling of mud between my fingers. My sisters and I would smear mud into stray jar lids and pretend to bake them. The result? "delicious" mud pies. I hoped they were delicious, but I don't recall actually eating them. Let’s hope not. Afterward, my sisters and I went back into the house and tracked mud on the floors. We were covered in mud. My grandma would scold each of us and would have to rewash the floors.
These childhood memories interested me in baking as I got older. I tired of pies I could not eat and began to bake real treats. Starting out with already prepared mixes from boxes that made baking seem easy. As I got older I began using recipes online that were made from scratch that were much more difficult. The slightest change in texture, measurements, heat or time could alter the outcome of the pastry. All the different results you can get from these little changes made it all the more challenging and exciting! Now, thanks to the idea of making mud pies, I can bake a wider variety of actually edible pastries.
One of my favorite treats that I made easily, was egg tarts. They sell these pastries at almost all Chinese bakeries and are a very common snack among asian families. Egg tarts are usually small, bite-sized tarts with a flaky crust and filled with custard made from eggs. My dad had bought me twelve brand new mini tart tins and I needed to try them out. I decided to make egg tarts because they were my favorite pastry since long ago. My dad doubted I could master them and supervised as I worked. I realized I didn't have enough ingredients for the traditional crust so I substituted it for a different crust recipe. This crust recipe is commonly used for tarts also, but weren't usually used for egg tarts. It wasn't as flaky as the usual crust but it was still good tasting and complimented the custard. When the tarts were done baking I noticed that they had puffed up! They were large and round and I was worried they would remain that way. After a few minutes, the custard began to set and shrink to perfectly resembled the egg tarts you see in bakeries. They also tasted the same too! I garnished them with strawberries and blueberries to brighten them up and bring out the golden color of the custard.
I remember that my dad had fallen asleep while they were baking, so I woke him up. "Daddy, look", I told him as I held up my glorious creation. Eyes half open, he said "Oh wow!” I giggled at him as he smiled and stared at it. He managed the stuff the whole tart in his mouth and went back to bed in a second. That left me feeling very proud of myself knowing I could make something that I used to always have to purchase. Next, I will talk about ideas that I adopted from others and turned into my own creation.
My older sister, Danielle, read a cool idea from a forum she found and immediately suggested it to me. The forum was made by a person who posted a picture of a cake they made. This cake was no ordinary cake because of the rainbow swirls inside of it. These swirls were made by putting food coloring in different batches of batter. Others posted up pictures of their cakes following the idea of rainbows and perfecting the art of it. This intrigued my sister and me and we quickly decided to adopt the idea.
After making a plain white batter from scratch we divided them into six smaller bowls. We used a different food coloring for each bowl, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple. Next, we poured the red batter in the center of the cake pan and then added the orange into the center of the red batter. This causes the red batter to spread evenly out to surround the orange. We continued this method with the rest of the colored batters until many rings of colors filled the cake pan. While it baked, Danielle and I made the frosting from scratch and colored it gray. When the cake was baked and cooled, we covered it in the light gray frosting and piped a darker gray frosting around the edges. We piped out a dark rain cloud and rain drops in the center of the cake
I loved this cake very much and it was the first cake that I every used my piper for. The boring gray outside with a depressing gray rain cloud seemed dull, but once it was cut open, it revealed a beautiful brightly colored rainbow. So far, this cake was the most successful cake I have ever made!
I have made many wonderful memories of my baking experiences. My love of baking has brought me to great heights and development of wonderful new skills. Baking is a great because after having fun mixing ingredients you can enjoy a splendid treat. What is there to lose? It is a fun and delicious hobby that I suggest everyone to try.