Try baking cakes at home and you’ll discover that a passing fancy could soon turn into an obsession

If you are a busy working woman or man desperate to de-stress after a hard week, if you are a stay-at-home mum who needs some “me” time to re-energise, if you drool over bake-offs on TV and wonder if you can “nail the flavours”, then simply try baking at home. It may seem a daunting task for a beginner. But beware! Once you begin, this age-old rhythm of turning simple ingredients into something that is fresh, warm and wholesome could soon transform from a hobby into an obsession!

Baking, like gardening, is therapeutic and teaches one the art of patience. The tastes, the accents, the smells that it brings can have a meditative effect. Baking also teaches the importance of precision — how the quantity and quality of every ingredient is significant for the flavour and texture. Once you get the hang of it, then the possibilities of experimentation are endless!

From the comfort of your home, if you have a passion for baking, you can turn it into a means to enter the trade, what with the frenzied demand for cupcakes and designer fondant cakes. Of course, in striving to meet professional standards, it is imperative not to lose touch with the pleasures of the process. The joy of mixing the ingredients, tucking them into the oven, patiently waiting for the cake to rise, enjoying the blissful smell that wafts around the house and sharing the cake with loved ones is something money can’t buy. Not to mention licking off a spoonful or two of the batter!

Baking at home is a sensible way to control the ingredients that go into your children’s favourite cakes. You ensure that each ingredient is of good quality and not stale. It is also less expensive than prepared baked goods, which could have chemical additives or synthetic flavouring agents.

Those of you, whose family has passionate bakers for generations, will agree that the aroma emanating from the oven when baking is the quickest way to usher in nostalgia and take a dreamy trip down memory lane.