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James Wearmouth’s Things I Like: 3 – Baking

What? Wearmouth likes a bit of baking? Well, yes, I do! In my overly busy life, which consists of securing business deals, writing essays and doing coursework, I very rarely have time to slip into the kitchen for a bit of baking. Yet every time I do it is somehow immensely satisfying.

I think that my passion for baking has stemmed from religiously watching The Great British Bake Off. Nothing is more inspiring than the words of Mary Berry to get me into the kitchen and baking a cake.

I found myself in the kitchen today, baking “three chocolate brownies”. The preparation was minimal – just the way I like it. Baking (25 minutes) – frankly a bit of a faff. But then finally the little alarm on my oven sounded, calling for my attention. The Economist down, oven mitt in hand and apron tightly tied, it was time to see if the fruits of my labour had resulted in a culinary masterpiece or food for Boris (my rabbit). On close inspection the brownies looked nice, were certainly not burnt and smelled scrumptious. Aware that these were a donation to a charity cake sale I was apprehensive – the brownies could make or break my reputation as a man of the kitchen. Therefore, inquisitively, I decided to cut myself a small slice, just to check I wasn’t going to give anyone food poisoning. The brownies were good. Naturally I decided to cut another slice. Another brownie batch later, my technique had been perfected – these were upper-echelon.

However, I have found a drawback to revelling in the delights of home baking. It is not particularly cheap! Often I find myself spending far in excess of what it would cost for me to purchase the item from a shop. However, buying premade brownies doesn’t retain the novel experience with which I am embraced every time I reach for the cookbook. Furthermore, nothing is more rewarding than standing back after baking for hours and surveying your great culinary feat. That is if your skills are up to scratch!

So, it is with great pleasure that I have decided to become a man of the kitchen. I’m not quite “opening a bakery” standard yet, but I’m sure I’ll get there eventually! In short, baking is just one of those things I like!