Barely five years ago, whilst finding myself elbows deep in mixer rumblings, greasy butter and flying flour, traipsing alone in the kitchen in the dark of the night working on orders, a thought that would constantly fill my head was the day when, God willing, I will have someone to bake for. A little someone, to be precise. That the day will come when all this practice of working on adorable cartoon-themed, rainbow-coloured sweet treats topped with hand-moulded sugary figurines will come in handy for my own little one. The day I will get to see the tiny-toothed smile, cheeky grins my clients had always told me of; only this time, it will be the best gift to myself, to see my own child enjoy my work.
Fast forward four years later, whilst finding myself pinned down on the stomach by a determined one-year-old trying to snatch my glasses by the bedside, yanking my hair and nose in the wee hours of the morning, a thought that plays in my head is that the day has come, all praises to God, when I have my own little someone to bake for. And as fate would have decreed it, those years of practice did not exactly come to play the way I had imagined it to be ever since I donned the mommy badge. With my oven dead and replacement plans on halt till our new place comes along, and with the realisation that I am not exactly comfortable with loading my child with refined sugars, food colourings and dirty dozens, baking for my little A comes with a twist; from the airfryer, and with no added (refined) sugar, and no egg and dairy (under one year old). And with every baking day, I get to see that tiny-toothed smile, cheeky grin, and excited hand-flapping action accompanying “Mmmm!”, and deep inside, I know that I have given her the best gift I can, a healthier (yet still fluffy and delicious) version of one of my favourite baked goods.
It is that time of the year when I rummage through my pantry (and book shelf, don’t judge) for long-forgotten and / or long-purchased-but-never-used baking ware and items. After all, it is only natural that certain baking tools get less attention than others, seeing its novelty and perhaps just the lack of occasions requiring you to whip out your blowtorch or your much-adored Elmo baking pan. And I reckon it is also only inevitable that you enter a new store, not expecting to purchase much, but end up leaving with some irresistible offers on items you may not need, but have always had on your wishlist. Right?
Case in point here would be the Nordic bundt pan I got on offer at ToTT many months ago, wrapped neatly and tucked into the depths of my bookshelf. For a small household not big on cakes, I did wonder (perhaps just for a moment) whether such a large bundt pan would be fully utilised, but after having had baked this beautiful and moist German apple bundt cake, there will no longer be any room for regret of purchase, even if it means baking this recipe over and over again.
I am well aware that it has been slightly over a month since my last post, and thanks to the kind thoughts and concern by some of my readers and blog friends who dropped me a note (you know you are), I reckon a slight nudge was all it took to get me off my rear and resume sharing my bakes. You could call it a long writer-cum-baker’s block of sorts, I guess. Anyway, adhering to the mantra ‘better late than never’, here’s wishing all my Muslim readers a blessed and joyous month of Ramadhan! It has already been well into the second week of the holy fasting month now here in Singapore, and if my Twitter timeline is anything to go by, it seems that more people are keen on baking their own sweet treats for Eid, and have already begun their own oven experiments.
It appears to be the most opportune time then to kickstart this year’s edition of Ramadhan Baking, where I share some of my own ‘Eid-bakes’ experiments, as well as household favourites.