Pear Cupcakes with Caramel & Hazelnuts

Pear Cupcakes with Caramel & Hazelnuts

Pear Cupcakes with Caramel & Hazelnuts

Pear Cupcakes with Caramel & Hazelnuts came into being thanks to one of my favourite clients here in Cape Town – Saa-rah Adams 😀

She is so cool! She and her family have ordered pretty much everything on my home bakery menu, TWICE! And sometimes when they order they’ll say the best line a baker wants to hear: “Surprize us!”

I actually baked Pear, Caramel & Hazelnut Cupcakes as a large cake for her, but today I would like to share the cupcake version. I love the cupcake version so much because there is more caramelization during baking which just makes the flavour SENSATIONAL!

Recipe Introduction

My Pear Cupcakes recipe is quite similar to German Apple Cake, in the sense that there’s no additional liquid added to the batter like milk, buttermilk, etc. All the liquid comes from the natural juices inside the fresh fruit.

For this reason the batter is really stiff when you mix it. It is more like something in between a batter and dough. DO NOT ADD ANY EXTRA LIQUID!

I know it is quite difficult to mix, but just take your time and “massage” the fresh pear into the batter with the back of a sturdy metal spoon. I once used a standard stainless steel dessert spoon to mix the pear into the batter and the thing bent over onto itself completely!

Another super important note is to have your cupcake pans ready and lined with cupcake cases BEFORE you mix the pear into the batter. I have a post on making your own cupcake cases as well.

The reason behind this is that the sugar inside the batter starts to draw out the pear’s natural juices very quickly. If these juices are stirred about into the batter, the caramelization of the cupcakes seriously decreases! By about as much as 30% I’d say.

The texture of the crumb is also then just all wrong and the pear pieces inside the batter are less pronounced. Bottom line, DO NOT LET THIS BATTER STAND, but scoop it into the cupcake cases immediately.

Since the batter is stiff, it is a bit more difficult to spoon into cases. Press the pear cupcakes batter in firmly and fill the cases right to the very top! The filled cases should be more or less level with the rims of the cupcake pan.

A Note on Pears

I like to use Bosc Pears. I have used different varieties of pear for this recipe as well with great success. Bosc Pears are just bigger, so there’s less peeling to do! Lol!

Whichever pears you use, just make sure they are NOT SOFT! In other words, they should be slightly under ripe.

Super ripe pears will just disintegrate entirely in this recipe, and you don’t want that. The pear flavour is more pronounced in the pear cupcakes when you bite into plenty little jewels of pear in every bite.

The pear pieces will spend 40 minutes in the oven, so they will end up being soft in the final taste experience.

These Pear Cupcakes are SO SCRUMMY! In one bite you get: crispy, chewy, fresh, smooth, depth and crunch. These Pear Cupcakes are just the quintessence of autumn to me and I absolutely adore them! Topped with Cream Cheese Frosting, salted caramel & hazelnuts - YUM!

What Makes These Pear Cupcakes so Good?

They are SO SCRUMMY! They have a deep and even slightly crispy caramelization on top and a super moist, crazy flavourful interior. Paired with Philosophy of Yum Whipped Cream Cream-Cheese Frosting, salted caramel & Toasted Hazelnuts the YUM factor is taken even further.

In one bite you get: crispy, chewy, fresh, smooth, depth and crunch. These Pear Cupcakes are just the quintessence of autumn to me and I absolutely adore them! And you know I don’t say anything like this very often!

Pear Cupcakes with Caramel & Hazelnuts
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 14
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C.
  2. Line 14 cupcake tin holes with cupcake liners/cases.
  3. In a mixing bowl; beat oil and eggs with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar and vanilla and stir well.
  4. Sift the flour, salt, bicarbonate of soda and ground cinnamon together in a bowl.
  5. Stir the dry ingredients into the egg mixture with a sturdy metal spoon until well combined. The batter will be very thick.
  6. Add chopped pears to the batter. Press and fold the pears into the batter. The batter will be super thick, BUT DO NOT ADD ANY EXTRA LIQUID!
  7. DO NOT LET THIS BATTER STAND, but scoop it into the cupcake cases immediately. Since the batter is stiff, it is a bit more difficult to spoon into cases. Press the batter in firmly and fill the cases right to the very top! The filled cases should be almost level with the rims of the cupcake pan.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) for 35 - 45 minutes or until they have a uniform dark golden colour. I really prefer to leave them in longer so that they caramelize a bit more. The flavour is just sensational! There’s heaps of fresh pear inside the cupcakes, so there’s no danger of them drying out.
  9. Leave cupcakes to cool in the tin.
  10. Once the cupcakes are cool, frost them with Philosophy of Yum Vanilla Frosting, drizzle with Salted Caramel and finish with a generous sprinkle the toasted chopped hazelnuts.
  11. Enjoy! Yummm!

 

If you give this recipe a go, tag me on facebook, twitter or instagram #philosophyofyum because I would LOVE to see!

Chat soon

Aurelia 🙂

Hi! I'm Aurelia 🙂

I'm a Self Taught Artisan Home Baker empowering HOME BAKERS to
unlock their FULL potential 
&
MAKE A LIVING
from Home Baking!

Learn more about Philosophy of Yum




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Home Bakery Certificate and License

Home Bakery Certificate and License

Home Bakery Certificate and License

Please note that this process will vary from country to country.

I can only speak as a South African, so you will need to take responsibility to find out what you need to do in your own country. I have scanned a few websites and so far it seems that the process is more or less in the same in the USA and UK, but you will still need to do your own research.

This post is for South Africans yes, but also for Home Bakers in other countries – to ease your mind and show you that the process of obtaining your business license and health department certificates is actually not that complex or stressful!

 

Why You Need a Home Bakery Certificate and License

In South Africa they won’t really hunt you down and fine you if you do not have the correct documentation – we are a third world country after all. In other countries they might fine you though.

The main reason for getting a home bakery business license and certificate is because it is ETHICAL and LEGAL. I would not want to bake goods for the public in my kitchen if I knew something was not up to scratch. Would you?

The municipal standards for health and safety are there to protect us and our clients.

Most food markets will also require you to provide the correct documentation for your Home Bakery before you are permitted to trade. If you don’t have it and an inspector decides to pay a visit to the food market, both you and the food market owners could get into a lot of trouble – a severe fine or even being shut down.

 

Certificate & License Required for Home Bakery

Home Bakeries need to apply for 2 different documents.

A Certificate of Acceptability (COA):

This certificate refers to the condition of your food preparation facilities, in other words your home’s kitchen. An environmental health and safety officer will visit your home to inspect your kitchen and bathroom facilities.

They typically look out for the following criteria:

  1. Kitchen countertops are non – porous. This means that they do not absorb any substances during food preparation. For this reason, your countertops should always be treated to be waterproof. They don’t have to be stainless steel, they should just be waterproof. If they are not waterproof, they will absorb food and become infested with bacteria. Not cool.
  2. Adequate washing facilities. You don’t need a massive dishwasher or 3 sinks. They just check that you have running hot and cold water and at least 1 basin.
  3. Bathroom facilities – quite obvious I guess. It is important that you have a bathroom for staff to use away from the kitchen.
  4. Adequate refrigeration and storage for food products.
  5. Hairnets and Aprons – also quite obvious.

Hawking in Meals Business License:

This license refers to producing goods on one premises and transporting them to a different premises to be sold there. This is typically what Home Bakeries do, since we don’t have a restaurant or café at our own homes.

Whether you supply goods to restaurants, cafes or delis or sell your goods at food markets, this is a license you really need to do so LEGALLY.

The same Environmental Health and Safety Officer will ask to see your food transportation containers. They should be airtight and watertight with lids.

An Inspector may also visit you at any food market you do. There are also some additional criteria you will have to meet if you plan to prepare bakes at the food market itself and not at home. You can download all the additional guidelines for informal food trading.

 

Applying for Home Bakery Certificate and License

  1. If you are not South African: Use Google to find your city’s main Municipal Office. Phone them and ask to speak to someone in the Environmental Health and Safety Department. Explain the nature of your business and ask them what licenses and certificates you will need to apply for.
  2. Decide which day you want to go to your municipal offices. Be sure to double check their office hours – in South Africa they are only open for like 5 hours a day! Take your Identification Document along and a black pen.
  3. When you arrive at the Municipality Building, ask staff to direct you to the Environmental Health and Safety Department.
  4. Wait in line – yay. When it’s your turn, explain the nature of your business clearly so that they can give you the correct application forms.
  5. Complete the forms and pay the fee. It’s really inexpensive. In South Africa it’s like R 10 ($0.92).
  6. The Environmental Health and Safety Department will the contact your closest Environmental Health and Safety Office. They will then contact you somewhere in the course of 2 weeks to set up an appointment for inspection.
  7. Make sure your home is nice and clean and all your pets are outside during the inspection. Be friendly and show the official your kitchen and bathroom facilities. Be available so that you can answer any questions they may have Also have your hairnet and apron on standby so that you can show them to the official. Once they are satisfied they will leave.
  8. The environmental health and safety office issues your Home Bakery certificate and license. The Municipality will phone you to come and collect it, but they also offer to post it to you if you live far out of town. The whole process takes about 2 – 4 weeks from start to finish.

Note that the Home Bakery Certificate and License are linked to your specific baking premises, aka your home. If you move house you will need to apply for these documents all over again.

I scanned my Home Bakery Certificate and License the moment I receive them. It’s always handy to have them on file in case the physical copies get lost! Which tends to happen in our home… to MANY official documents… like our marriage certificate!

Home Bakery Certificate and License you need to operate your Home Bakery legally. I also chat about Home Bakery Insurance and business registration. All the info you need with step by step instructions.

Business Registration

It is not compulsory to register your Home Bakery’s name if you are a sole proprietor. Sole proprietor simply means that you (1 person) are the exclusive owner of your business. 

However, it might be a good idea to register your business name if you want to prevent people from stealing it. In South Africa you can register your Home Bakery’s name through CIPC. Costing may vary, but you should budget for about R 1000 (about $80).

If you live in another country, you will need to do some research on companies that do business name registration.

 

Home Bakery Insurance

This also varies greatly from county to country. I’m aware that folks in the USA sue people for almost anything if they have the power to do so. In South Africa we can’t really be bothered.

I don’t believe insurance is necessary for a Home Bakery – no matter what country you live in. If you are worried that someone may sue you because they had an allergic reaction to your bakes, then include a thorough disclaimer on your Home Bakery’s website or Facebook page.

You can check out my Home Bakery’s disclaimer. Just copy it and sub in your own Home Bakery’s Name and details where applicable.

Obviously you should have household insurance to protect your entire home against theft, fires or floods. All your home bakery equipment will automatically be included in that. One of the many perks of baking from home!

 

And that’s it my friend! Please let me know if you have any other questions by commenting below. I’ll be more than happy to help.

Chat soon

Aurelia 🙂

Hi! I'm Aurelia 🙂

I'm a Self Taught Artisan Home Baker empowering HOME BAKERS to
unlock their FULL potential 
&
MAKE A LIVING
from Home Baking!

Learn more about Philosophy of Yum

POPULAR POSTS

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How to Make ANY Cake/Cupcake Recipe Gluten Free

How to Make ANY Cake/Cupcake Recipe Gluten Free

Make ANY Cake/Cupcake Recipe Gluten Free

Gluten Free Baking was such a challenging fete a few years ago, but today it’s a totally different story! There are so many gluten free flours available in most grocery stores nowadays.

And with the research of some amazing food bloggers like Art of Gluten Free Baking, Gluten Free on a Shoestring and more, gluten free ANYTHING is possible!

In my own Home Bakery, all my cakes and cupcakes are available in gluten free. This is not because I “saw a gap in the market” or anything, it’s rather because my husband, Adriaan, is highly intolerant to gluten.

I firmly believe that no home baker should try and sell anything they don’t believe in. Not so much because it’s inconsistent, but honestly, it just doesn’t work.

You can market products till you pass out, but if you don’t LOVE your products and really believe in the motivation behind baking them, you will literally not be able to sell them. Not nearly enough of them anyway.

There I go again, throwing in baking business advice. Back to the gluten free chat!

 

Gluten Free, But Also Lazy

The biggest problem I found with gluten free baking when I started exploring it, was that I needed to use a whole new recipe every time I wanted to bake something gluten free.

In other words, I couldn’t just use my favourite Carrot Cupcake Recipe, I had to go search for a gluten free carrot cupcake recipe – and even then there was no guarantee that the recipe would be up to scratch.

Having a Home Bakery is quite a high paced job, so I mostly memorize my recipes so that my baking process is much faster. The idea of memorizing DOUBLE the recipes because of a whole gluten free repertoire was just WAY too exhausting to even consider!!

I’ve quoted my wise (and unconventional) dad on this before in my How to Freeze Crème Pat post, but he always said:

“If you want to be lazy, you have to be clever!”

There simply had to be a gluten free flour blend you can sub into ANY regular cake or cupcake recipes.

On top of that, MANY gluten free cake recipes are severely annoying. They ask for these crazy ingredients which I’ve never seen before in my life and still have not found in any supermarket or health food store in my area.

Things like Ultratex, Expandex and Whey Protein Isolate… What?! Or should I say “Gezuntheid”?

I’ve been on a mission to find something that could be made with ingredients that are available to me and can easily be mixed with no special equipment or effort.

So I came up with my own gluten free cake flour blend that has changed everything for my husband! I also started using this gluten free cake flour in my own bakery for all gluten free cakes and cupcakes. The POY gluten free flour blend yields such a soft and tender crumb!

And I love that I can find ALL of these ingredients in my closest health store/supermarket!

This gluten free flour can be substituted gram for gram in ANY cake and cupcake recipe!

I mix 1 kg of flour in a little sealed bucket and keep it in my cupboard to whip out whenever I need it. You are welcome to halve or quarter the recipe if you need to. I go by grams because the accuracy is just better when it comes to dry ingredients.

 

Not All Cake Recipes Are Created Equal

The worst mistake we can make as bakers is to assume that all cake and cupcake recipes should be treated the same way. I did a thorough post on Baking Perfect Cupcakes a while back where I also stress this fact.

Butter based recipes respond completely different to mixing than oil based recipes. Butter based cake/cupcake recipes can be overmixed so much faster than oil based recipes and this is amplified severely when you use gluten free flour.

 

Subbing With POY Gluten Free Flour Blend

I love to use my own gluten free flour blend that works PERFECTLY in all cake and cupcake recipes.

And here’s a super important tip for the subbing process: Go By Weight and Not Volume!

I never, ever, EEEEVERRRR use cup measurements for dry ingredients. EVER. Wet ingredients, absolutely, but not dry ingredients. The reason why is because cup measurements leave way too much room for error. A loosely poured cup of flour weighs about 150 g, but a scooped cup of flour can weigh up to 190 g!

If a recipe does not provide weight measurements, I like to assume I should use 170 g per cup which is in the middle. This has always worked for me 🙂

 

Mixing Technique for Butter Based Recipes

Cream your butter and sugar as you normally would. Beat in the eggs and vanilla extract as you normally would.

When you add the gluten free flour (remember to use exactly the same weight as regular cake flour the recipe calls for) and milk/buttermilk, be careful how you stir and how much you stir.

Gluten free flour in butter based batters, gets overmixed really quickly. Overmixed gluten free cake batter will feel very stiff when you stir it and will result in small and tough cupcakes once baked.

For this reason, I incorporate my gluten free flour and milk/buttermilk on the slowest stir speed with my hand mixer – not with a stand mixer – for about 10 seconds which gives me more control and eliminates the danger of overmixing. If your hand mixer does not have a super slow stir speed, stir super gently, by hand, with a balloon whisk.

When I can’t see any more flour, I then go in with my rubber spatula. Use the spatula to scrape and fold all the eggy butter at the bottom of the bowl into the thicker batter on top. Keep folding gently and scraping the bowl till the batter looks uniform in texture.

Then you may proceed to fill your cupcake liners or cake pans. You can read more about perfect batter distributing techniques in my post Baking Perfect Cupcakes – Advanced Tips 🙂

Just remember to NEVER stir a butter based gluten free batter vigorously.

There are some butter based recipes out there that instruct you to beat the batter after the flour has been added. This is often done to give the cake’s texture a little bit more density and some chewiness. BUT, ignore this is you sub gluten free flour into the recipe. It just flops entirely and you end up with gluten free bricks that no one wants to eat.

Mixing Technique for Oil Based Recipes

Great news is that oil based batters are WAY more forgiving! Score! Whether you are mixing carrot cake, chocolate cake or red velvet cake, you don’t need to be as careful as you are with butter based gluten free batters.

This being said, I still wouldn’t mix it a lot unless the recipe states that you should do so. My Chocolate Cupcake Recipe, for example, requires you to mix the batter on medium speed for 2 minutes before adding boiling water. Since this is an oil based recipe, I do beat the batter for the required time even when I sub gluten free flour and they turn out great!

 

Baking Technique

When you sub POY Gluten Free Flour blend in a regular recipe, please note that your goods will bake a lot faster than when you use regular flour. It's hard to say how much faster because it all depends on your oven. For me it's usually about 10%-15% faster. Rather start testing your cake or cupcakes sooner to avoid overbaking.

 

Subbing Beyond Cakes & Cupcakes

In our home we like to use this gluten free flour blend in Shortcrust Pastry, Cheesecake Pastry and Fresh Pasta too! It produces a gluten free pasta we can even roll out in our pasta machine – so rad!

Important note: This flour recipe is not ideal for making bread or brownies, but I do have an Ultimate Gluten Free Brownie Recipe 🙂

If you have any more questions on substituting gluten free flour in regular cake/cupcake recipes, please comment below and I’ll be happy to answer them 🙂

Chat soon!

Aurelia 🙂

Hi! I'm Aurelia 🙂

I'm a Self Taught Artisan Home Baker empowering HOME BAKERS to
unlock their FULL potential 
&
MAKE A LIVING
from Home Baking!

Learn more about Philosophy of Yum




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Ultimate Carrot Cupcakes

Ultimate Carrot Cupcakes

Ultimate Carrot Cupcakes

The ultimate carrot cupcakes are not simply a carrot cake recipe poured into cupcake liners. It’s much more sensitive and complex than that for several reasons.

When you use a regular carrot cake recipe to bake cupcakes, the texture typically ends up being too dense for a cupcake.

Another problem is that cupcakes bake for a shorter period of time than a large cake, so that deep caramelization flavour is lost. Which is definitely not okay! That caramelised, slightly chewy top is the BEST part.

 

Flavour Comes First

When I speak of Carrot Cake, I’m NOT talking about those “carrot cakes” that are basically just a vanilla sponge with shredded carrot inside. That is not proper Carrot Cake. It is carrot flavoured Vanilla Cake. If it were a song, it would be “itsy bitsy spider”.

Proper Carrot Cake is much deeper and darker, with such a dynamic flavour and texture. If it were a song, it would be “O sole Mio”. EPIC. Unique. Gutsy. Excellence. (And yes, I’m listening to O sole mio as I write this post 🙂 There’s an AMAZING version where Pavarotti sings it with Bryan Adams – so stunning!)

This ultimate carrot cupcakes recipe is made with golden syrup, dark brown sugar and molasses, so it is absolutely brimming with caramel-ly depth!

The Texture

When I eat carrot cake as a slice of cake, the texture should absolutely be a bit denser than a sponge cake.

However, when I eat carrot cake in cupcake form it has to be just as moist and flavourful, BUT also LIGHT. Heavy cupcakes are just not pleasant…

So this recipe perfectly captures ALL the stunning texture of regular carrot cake, but also with a light, tender and super moist crumb – as a cupcake should be.

The way you prepare the carrots for your ultimate carrot cupcakes is key. Do not shred/grate them too finely. If you grate them too fine, they will just disappear into the batter and be less prominent in the final flavour experience.

Another reason to not grate the carrots too fine is because it leaves more surface area for the batter to react with the carrots. The batter contains sugar and salt which draws the moisture out of the carrots.

So IF you grate the carrots too fine, they react with the batter much faster, drawing moisture out of the carrots much faster and leaving you with a very runny batter in a matter of minutes.

This makes all your lovely raisins, pineapple etc. sink to the bottom when baking. So to avoid this, rather grate your carrots coarser.

 

As for all the extras beyond carrots, I like to use raisins, crushed pineapple plus toasted pecans.

I know that walnuts are more traditional in carrot cake, but the toasted pecans completely outshine walnuts in this instance.

The ultimate Carrot Cupcakes: Light, moist, deep flavour. With perfect cream cheese frosting and toasted pecans. SUPER YUM!

The Frosting

As you may know by now, I make no secret of my disdain for traditional buttercream and even cream cheese frosting as well, because they are TOO SWEET.

Frosting is supposed to CONTRIBUTE to the flavour experience, not just round off the visual presentation of cupcakes.

Philosophy of Yum Cream Cheese Frosting is balanced and DELICIOUS and it pairs perfectly with these ultimate carrot cupcakes 🙂

It’s made with cream, cream cheese, vanilla and 75% less sugar than traditional cream cheese frosting. The frosting is super light and pipes beautifully as well.

These are seriously the Ultimate Carrot Cupcakes. Deep, gutsy, EPIC flavour, but with a light, moist and tender crumb. Topped with the best cream cheese frosting ever and toasted pecan nuts. SO YUM!

So here we go – my recipe for the Ultimate Carrot Cupcakes!

Ultimate Carrot Cupcakes
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 15
Ingredients
  • 230 g Flour
  • ¾ tsp Baking powder
  • 1 ¼ tsp Bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ Tbsp Cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp Ginger
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 130 g Eggs
  • ½ T Vanilla Extract
  • 65 g White Granulated Sugar
  • 100 g Demerara Sugar
  • 130 g Canola Oil
  • 70 g Golden Syrup
  • 15 g Molasses
  • 40 g raisins
  • 270 g grated Carrots
  • 100 g Crushed Pineapple, scooped with juice
  • 100 g Toasted Pecans
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C/356°F.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, spices and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, place the eggs, oil, vanilla, white sugar, demerara sugar, golden syrup and molasses. Whisk together with a hand mixer on high speed for 90 seconds. It should be pale and almost doubled in volume.
  4. Fold dry ingredients into the wet ingredients using a large metal spoon.
  5. Add the grated carrot, raisins and crushed pineapple to the bowl and fold in. Be sure to mix everything together thoroughly as the fresh carrot can often hide together in little huddles in the batter.
  6. Proceed to fill the lined cupcake tins immediately. Do not let the batter stand. Divide the batter evenly between 15 lined cupcake tin holes. I like to first fill each liner halfway, stir the remaining batter again, and then fill the liners the rest of the way so that the first 5 cupcakes don't get all the extra bits and the last few cupcakes just get batter with no raisins, pineapple, etc.
  7. Bake at 180ᵒC/356°F for about 25 mins, rotating the tins halfway through baking. The cupcakes should be a deep golden brown. Also test the cupcakes with a toothpick – if the toothpick comes out clean, the cupcakes are done.
  8. Leave to cool in the tins. Once completely cold, remove from tins.
  9. Make Philosophy of Yum Cream Cheese Frosting. Pipe onto cupcakes as desired and sprinkle the remainder of the chopped pecans generously on top. Enjoy!

 

If you give this recipe a go, tag me on facebook, twitter or instagram @philosophyofyum because I would LOVE to see!

Chat soon

Aurelia 🙂

Hi! I'm Aurelia 🙂

I'm a Self Taught Artisan Home Baker empowering HOME BAKERS to
unlock their FULL potential 
&
MAKE A LIVING
from Home Baking!

Learn more about Philosophy of Yum




POPULAR RECIPES

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Yummiest Frosting on the planet! It is so flipping DELICIOUS!!! So delicious in fact that it makes you giggle, squirm and dance from the deliciousness.
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6 Tips to Restore Your Baking Inspiration

6 Tips to Restore Your Baking Inspiration

Restore Your Baking Inspiration

Ever heard that quote by Confucius: “Choose a job you love, then you’ll never have to work a day in your life.”?

Well…

He was lying.

He may have been a deep genius, but he was still lying.

Truth is that no matter what work you do, there are some days when you just won’t feel like doing it.

My high school Math teacher had this hilarious line she pulled out of her archives whenever we complained about our schoolwork: “Ons is nie in die hemel nie, ons is in Afrika.” Which translates to: “We are not in heaven, we are in Africa.”

But whether you live in Africa or not, ANY work will inevitably be difficult on some days. And some days are worse than others.

  • There are always random days when the inspiration is low and your pillow is just SO FLUFFY.
  • Then there are other days where you have energy, but just feel a bit “meh” and baking doesn’t seem so great and before you know it it’s 3 hours later and you STILL haven’t started (because you just keep scrolllling and scrolllling on Instagram – like me)!
  • And those days a client asks you for something new and NOTHING comes to you.
  • If you’re like me, you may even have had weeks where you just keep steam rolling on, FORCING yourself to keep going… Please tell me I’m not alone?

So even if you work on a rose plantation, some days just aren’t that rosy.

Today’s post is all about sharing practical tips to help you on such days to get you out of Baker’s Block and restore your baking inspiration!

Warning: Some of these tips may be quite confrontational and intense (especially the first 2), but I’m sharing what has undeniably worked for me.

Freedom and Inspiration usually involves laying down our pride in one form or another.

More often than not, baking inspiration returns after applying tips number 1 & 2, but I’ve included 4 others as well for desperate times 😉

So here we go 🙂

1. Rest and W(h)ine

Because we are bakers and we overwork ourselves (more often than not), I simply HAVE to start with this tip.

When we are tired and worn out, we can’t push ourselves to keep going for too long. It’s so weird, but over time, society has started branding REST as “laziness” or “idleness”, but that is completely false. I read this amazing article by The Guardian about rest and productivity.

Tips to get your creative juices flowing again in your baking and restore your inspiration!

Alex Soojan-Kim Pang wrote a book about the importance of rest and its power to actually BOOST productivity beyond belief! Here’s a quote from the interview that hit me straight between the eyes!

’More hours equal more productivity.’ This is an assumption – a mistake – that we’ve been making for a very long time. And now there’s more than a century’s worth of research that OVERWORKING ourselves is bad for people, organisations and also BAD FOR PRODUCTIVITY. It’s something that can be sustained for periods of a few weeks but after that you start creating more problems than you solve.”

When we are overworked, there is zero inspiration.

Important note: Intentional rest is not watching Netflix or playing Xbox. Stay away from screens. Research has shown that physical hobbies help our minds to recover from exhaustion much faster.

Due to my physical reality, I am not able to do any exercise, but talking a leisurely walk in our neighbourhood does WONDERS for my mind and mood! Barefoot is even better!

When I take a walk, I also try to focus on what I SEE, rather than what I think. I’ll focus on the delightfulness of the breeze, the beautiful singing of the birds, the movement of the trees in the wind, etc.

If I stay inside my head for the whole walk, I don’t feel any better by the time I get back to our apartment.

Other options can be reading a good novel, playing cards or a board game with friends/family (laughter is the best rest!), a picnic, a nap, playing with your cat/dog, drinking a glass of wine while listening to your favourite music, a walk in nature or even just in your neighbourhood…

If you have more ideas, please share in the comments below!

2. Processor (Mind) is Overloaded

I’m busy reading a psychology book called “I’m ok, you’re ok” which deals a lot with our thought patterns about ourselves and others. (I’m quite a nerd yes, but bear with me – I promise I have a point!)

Dr Harris likens our minds to computer processors. When there’s too much for our minds to process (conflict in relationships, harsh self-criticism, bitterness, unforgiveness, overwhelm of emotions) then we LITERALLY CANNOT BE CREATIVE. It is impossible, because there’s no processing power left at all.

In fact, we can actually only be efficiently creative and inspired when there’s nothing negative and overwhelming for our minds to process.

Tips to get your creative juices flowing again in your baking and restore your inspiration!

You may have noticed that I’ve been totally absent on my Instagram Account the last 2 weeks. It was not intentional at all. I just had some conflict going on with a friend.

This conflict was occupying my mind 24/7! Constant analysis – back and forth on repeat. As soon as it was sorted out, I had the ability to start experimenting with my baking again and resuming my writing and posts 🙂

Bottom line:

  • Sort things out with your loved ones. Forgive.
  • Have grace for yourself in every area of your life – let your thoughts about yourself be kind.
  • Journal, take a walk, talk to a friend or do whatever you need to do to PROCESS your emotions and not ignore them.
  • Our emotions don’t magically disappear, we need to deal with them in order to free up our minds’ processors for creative productivity.

3. Go Eat your Favourite Dessert

Weird little fact… I hardly ever eat anything I bake. Sure, I taste the cake scraps (which is not much since I figured out how to bake perfectly level, flat, cake layers), or a bit of left over ultimate frosting. But I sell all my goods in batches so there are never extras.

And on top of that, things just taste better when someone ELSE makes them for you, am I right? 😉

When I’m in DESPERATE need of inspiration (because I'm super frugal and don't like spending money when I can make something myself), it does wonders to go and eat one of my favourite desserts that remind me why I’m baking in the first place…

For people to experience the euphoria of sensational FLAVOUR & QUALITY.

Tips to get your creative juices flowing again in your baking and restore your inspiration!

In general I’m more into simple bakes, done exceptionally well. Unless it’s a cinnamon doughnut… I’ll eat it ANY way I can get it. (Fresh and warm is obviously best, but fortunately I’m obsessed with them so even yesterday’s cold cinnamon doughnuts will still make me happy. I’m cheap like that and it’s fine by me!)

So my go-to favourites in Cape Town are Pasteis de Nata by Hoghouse Brewing Company (totally mentioning it first for a reason!!), Flourless Chocolate Cake by Fork Tapas & Pincho’s Bar, a fresh croissant by Woodstock Bakery or Rosetta Coffee Ice Cream by The Creamery.

Every once in a while we need to spoil ourselves with an amazing treat that makes us SMILE involuntarily. It tends to spark our inspiration back into flame!

4. Watch Unique Sweets

I’ve mentioned Unique Sweets a hundred times before and I’ll mention it another hundred times! You seriously cannot be an Artisan Baker without watching this show at least every 2 weeks.

There are few things that make me as excited about baking as Unique Sweets does.

Every episode inspires me so much! There are always such unique eateries on the show with the most amazing passion, ideas and creativity. I always keep my notebook handy when I’m watching an episode because I know that I’ll be inspired with at least 10 new ideas – without a doubt!

Of course it’s also inspirational to watch bakers that are inspired themselves. It’s so contagious!

Tips to get your creative juices flowing again in your baking and restore your inspiration!

5. Go Buy Amazing Seasonal Ingredients

We all have our best-selling bakes. There’s nothing wrong with that at all, but baking the same things over and over and over again can definitely throw a wet towel on our inspiration.

I bake for 3 local coffee shops every week, so I play brownie-brownie quite a lot in my kitchen. Needless to say, it does become a bit monotonous at times.

The best antidote for this inspiration sucker is to go out and buy amazing, fresh, seasonal ingredients. Go to the grocery store; take a good look at all the seasonal fresh produce. Pick one type of vegetable/fruit and commit to baking something with it.

An even better idea is to go to a local farmer’s market (WAY more inspirational than a grocery store!) and chat with the vendor. They are SO passionate about their fresh produce! By the end of the conversation you’ll be excited off your rocker to bake something with the fresh blackberries you just purchased.

New, fresh ingredients bring back the wonder of baking in moments.

6. Stop & Smell the Cookies

This is a tip I try to apply every single day – even when I’m not lacking inspiration.

It’s quite shocking how many days you can just carry on, on auto-pilot, without appreciating the incredible BEAUTY of BAKING. And when that happens, our joy and inspiration quickly flies out the window.

Fellow Home Bakers, let us never forget how profoundly blessed we are to be ABLE to bake.

Let’s not take it for granted; whether we bake full time, part time or just as a hobby. We are BLESSED to be able to enjoy the wonder of baking.

Whenever I forget this and start complaining about the long list of things I have to bake on a particular day, I try to intentionally focus on the beauty of baking.

Like that moment you pour the thick, gloopy, shiny brownie batter into the pan. Or the moment that chocolate ganache comes together and you realize that there isn’t anything else this luscious on earth!! Another favourite is the sound that baked goods make when they come out the oven.

Tips to get your creative juices flowing again in your baking and restore your inspiration!

Photo by Alice Swan

 

And the aromas we get to inhale… All day… Come on… WE ARE SO BLESSED!!

Name another job that satisfies all of our 5 senses on a daily basis? We get satisfied on every level: sight, sound, smell, touch and taste.

Whenever I turn into a spoiled, ungrateful brat in my head, I just remind myself of these facts and focus on them throughout the day. It does not take long at all for the inspiration to return when I start paying attention and being grateful.

Those are my 6 favourite tips for restoring my Baking Inspiration 🙂 Let me know in a comment if you have a favourite tip or any other tips that have helped to restore your baking inspiration!

Chat soon

Aurelia

Hi! I'm Aurelia 🙂

I'm a Self Taught Artisan Home Baker empowering HOME BAKERS to
unlock their FULL potential 
&
MAKE A LIVING
from Home Baking!

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