Baking Addiction Series (Part 2)

True Confessions of a Baking Addict – I blame Adriano Zumbo
As always this is based on a true story (my neighbours do not talk to me anymore apart from the ones I feed cake too)

Baking addiction as you can see from part one of the series has a lot to answer for in my life.  When recently leaving for work I was having a bit of a baking addict episode and from referring to the handy guidelines in part one I knew I had already reached stage two of baking addiction that day as in the short space of 60 seconds I had:

1. watched erotic images of layered chocolate mouse cake by Adriano Zumbo (a highly recognised patisserie found in Australia).
2: stopped mid step down the driveway gazing longingly at the cake on my phone screen.
3. experienced a feeling of unusual warmth despite cold temperatures outside.
4. found myself licking my lips as if I could taste the velvety chocolate.
5. a twinkle in my eye reserved only for highly calorific sweet cakes that make me want to rub my face in them.

If you have not heard of Adriano Zumbo I found him winking at me from the Good Food channel with a series called Zumbo’s. Initially I thought is was quite inspirational to have an exercise program on a food channel to combat all those calories viewers must gain just from watching.  I soon realised to my utter delight that Zumbo’s was not an exercise program but a beautiful patissiere.  My luck was in as I was not going to be cavorting round my living room trying to look sexy but exercising my eyes over an unprecedented array of macarons and tarts and therefore he had my complete and undivided open mouthed attention. Wow!

The Confession
However Mr Zumbo and his staff got me into a spot of bother the other morning many thousands of miles across the World from the gorgeous patisserie.  Let me take you back to a normal school day.  If this was a confession style TV show you would hear the sad violins playing right now.

Mr Postman
After watching Zumbo’s the night before I knew I wanted to find the recipe for Adriano’s decadent chocolate mousse cake.  Completely besotted with the sultry chocolate images on my phone, my son got into the car ahead of me and a loud tutting sound made me look up.  I saw the post man approaching with his usual weary steps so I smiled in acknowledgement but instead of his usual morning cheery wave he turned abruptly and crossed over to the other side of the street his pace quickening.  How rude I thought to myself and I had another quick glance at the cake just to make it all better (click image for recipe).

Chocolate Junior Masterchef Challenge

Am I dressed?
After the cake imagery disappeared from view I felt a combination of withdrawal pangs and a nagging curiosity as to what could have upset the Post Man that morning who is normally such a cheery soul.  I looked down initially to make sure I had actually got dressed (it has been known). Luckily today was a day where I was fully ready to go to work, my skirt was not tucked in knickers (that is a whole other story) and was therefore fairly presentable, so what was it?  My gaze returned upwards when I saw the neighbour opposite quickly shuffling children into the car with a notable glare.  The dog next door just sat and stared at me, barked twice and whipped her tail high in the air before turning to show me a full delightful view of her backside (who says dogs can’t talk?).  Whatever I had done recently neighbours and dogs were clearly not impressed by it.  Whilst I may not notice much in my Adriano Zumbo ‘WIlly Wonka’ style bubble after a rule of 3 set of incidents I knew I must have done something very wrong indeed.

I got into my car still confused and looked at my son.  He shifted his eyes away from me so I asked him what I had done wrong?  The conversation went like this:

Me: Did I do something to upset the Postman and Neighbours?
Son: Well …. yes but it’s a bit embarrassing to explain.
Me: It’s OK you can tell me, now come on what was it I did?
Son: Well you were kind of yelling and panting.
Me: What an earth do you mean?
Son: Well you know that shampoo advert (long pause)
Me: The Herbal Essences one?
Son: Dunno, you know the one where the lady is screaming in the shower when she washes her hair?
Me: Yes , the Herbal Essences one (still not realising)
Son: Well you were making that kind of noise.  Loudly!
Me: Oh (awkward silence)

His reply caused a cold sensation that tingled down my spine as I realised with much embarrassment that I had truly arrived that morning at stage 3 of baking addiction courtesy of Mr Zumbo and his crew.  I can only assume this comes from the withdrawal symptoms from knowing that this particular cake is nearly a whole days flight away from the UK and therefore there is no way I am ever going to get my hands on one.  My inner psyche must have though it would be funny to involuntarily make me do the baking addicts call for cake by reenacting the restaurant scene with orgasm style yelling from ‘When Harry met Sally’.  I would not have minded so much but apparently my Son tells me I was in full Dolby digital surround sound for the whole street to hear just as the Postman arrived which perhaps explains why the Postman always rings twice at our house?  Mortified I quickly drove off from the house not daring to look at who else was out in the street and the car was oddly silent all the way to School. 

Feeding my Addiction
So what is a person to do when they reach this state of addiction?  Do I:

1. Attend Bakers Anonymous (#BA).
2. Continue to feed my baking soul with tasty treats.
3. Save up for 5 years so I can fly off to sunny Australia and drool outside Zumbo’s window and lick the glass.  I must have had this stuck in my head as when I googled the location of Adriano’s I put in ‘Lickation’ by accident and that is a place you do not want to go on Google!  I seem to have a fondness for standing outside shop windows – as you can read in my Tiffany inspired champagne layer cake post.

What would you do and which stage of baking addiction are you at – comment and let me know your baking confessions as I am sure I am not alone!  I’d love to write a book on it, in fact I can see the title now ‘True Confessions of Baking Addicts’.  More  in the series to come so sign up so you do not miss an episode of baking drama!


Valentine Bake and Craft Competition Entries 2012

Update:  You can see the winner here.

The virtual sounds of plans, laughter, a few ‘ah ha’ moments and whoops of twitter joy have headed my way as people created their Valentine bake and craft entries bringing out their creative and romantic sides. Take a few minutes to look through these wonderful virtual entries and click on the images to visit their pages. Do stop and say hello as they don’t bite (as far as I know!) and there have so many more images and stories on their blogs all of which are a very good read and all are competing to win this handcrafted oak heart trophy. This competition has been a real learning curve for me but an enjoyable one.  All being well I do think it will be back on a yearly basis as I don’t think DH will want to make trophy’s every month but this way it keeps it special.  A big thanks to all who entered and bonne chance!

The winner will be announced on Feb 14th as an update to this post (wi-fi permitting!) so come back and see who won. The competition will be judged by an independent professional cake eater and lover of beautiful things and will be done in full X factor style with photo’s of all the work, hours of indecision, caffeine overload but will lack the far flung visit to judges houses – although with these entries you are all welcome for tea anytime!

Triple Valentine Wedding Cake by @Rhixx (twitter only entry – no link to blog / website)

Valentine wedding cakeAmazing @Rhixx used her baking mastery to create this Valentine wedding inspired triple tier cake
Valentine ringCreative artisan Perles de Bijoux used the calling of beautiful sparkly Swarvoski crystal beads and wove them into a Valentine inspired ring of love
Made with love
Made with love is the story behind the meeting of husband and wife and surprising your man with a romantic packed lunch which also includes a heart shaped chocolate cake from talented Homemade by Fleur
Triple Valentine
We don’t do Valentines Day is the story behind this beautiful craft and bake inspired entry from amazing crafter ChouxChouxBeDoo which also includes cake and cupcakes none the less.
I Heart Cupcakes
Underneath their unassuming exterior lies a secret…a hidden heart! and this entry comes aptly from Laura Loves Cakes which also includes full instructions so you will never have to wonder again!
Valentine Whoopie Pies
A 21st Birthday prompted this entry for Chocolate Whoopie Pies with Marshmallow Icing and this delightful entry comes from Aga Girls and was inspired by Hummingbird Bakeries.
Luuuvvv Biscuits
27 years of marriage and being alone this Valentine inspired the creation of Luuuvv Biscuits and this delightful entry comes from inspired The Daisy Cake Co who was also the winner of the Hotel Chocolat box so she will be able to enjoy those in peace this Valentines!
Red Velvet Cupcakes
The intrigue of red velvet cupcakes proved too much for My Culinary Adventures who was unable to resist any longer which is good as they are perfect for this Valentines Day competition.
Custard Cream Hearts
A brand spanking new blog and it’s first post none the less was the entry with Custard Cream Hearts from All for Scone! who has been meaning to begin a blog and this competition spurred her into action which is amazing. A great first post – happy blogging and good luck!
An amazing entry of Valentine Raspberry and White Chocolate Cake from Baking Beats with his stylish creation complete with the ultimate Malteaser explosion I mean what’s not to like!
A teeny tiny entry of Valentine Fairy Slippers from Janice Pattie with her so cute fairy slippers which are oh so adorable. I just wish my feet were tincy wincy enough for these (sigh).
A fantastic swarm of cute little bees on the top of Nigella’s Chocolate Honey cake is the entry from the biggest Baking Addict I know. She truly lives up to her name and her cake is smothered in ganache. The bee’s look to cute to eat although I would have to give in due to the chocolate!

An unusual combination of half Carrot and Chocolate Cake Hearts which are lovingly smothered in an orange cream cheese icing is the entry from Baking Bachelor. A truly unique combination which includes love heart messages and as he now has lots of these treats he can delight many a lady with these!

Baking Addiction Series (Part 1)

This is the first in a series of posts that each month will explore a different aspect of the phenomenon of Baking AddictionSubscribe now so you will not miss the next instalment…

Emotions of Baking
On a typical weekend or bored moment you will find me searching for divine cake led inspiration often of the virtual kind. The fact is a few minutes often dissolves into hours of gazing longingly at golden sugary encrusted online pages and sometimes I can be found stroking pages of cookbooks with lust exclaiming ‘would you look at THAT!’ to whomever is listening which is typically myself as the rest of the household scuttles off to dusty corners at this point.  Looking at food gives me that excited walk, you know the one where you have imaginary springs in your shoes and your bottom starts to swing from side to side and really you are trying not to make it too obvious that you are skipping with baking excitement.  After a few minutes of happy clapping and food lust my evil alter ego Cruella de Baker transforms into tantalising Little Miss Baking Addict with incredible apron ripping style.  ‘Roooaaaarrr!’ means I love you, didn’t you know?









A cake rush (or Crush by Pendulum)
Let me introduce you to Little Miss Baking Addict.  She raises her cherry topped peak whenever I stumble across a divine new cake, pie, bread or tart that just makes my mouth water in anticipation.  Once overtaken by Little Miss Baking Addict I reach out and touch the screen and give it a slow protracted stroke whilst telling it to ‘Come to Mummy’ in a bizarrely deep throaty voice which incidentally I have no idea where it comes from?








Baking House
Last weekend my love of baking was beginning to spiral out of control as I still wasn’t dressed by 2pm on a Sunday afternoon.  I had been playing (quite literally) with flour all morning and videoing it.  Realising the time I ran frantically out of the door to my Son’s football match with speckled white hair and white tell-tale hand prints across my backside.  This was not good and I realised out on that windy pitch that is was time I took control and consult the baking addiction guide: 

Using this guide
To conduct this test fairly you could click on the link to my Pinterest gallery of FoodPorn or use your own image of a suitably desirable cake or baked good.  To truly test yourself you should do this on a mobile device whilst on the move to fully check for all levels of addiction.  Take note of your initial reaction and consult the guide below to determine which stage of baking addiction you may be at:
Stage 1: you will present with full open mouth (possibly in awe) which looks like fly-catching or a re-enacting the  ‘catching the Malteaser’ advert.  This stage is often accompanied by a short intake of breath and ‘ooohhh’ sounds.   







Stage 2:  at this stage (look at your image on the move for this) whatever you are doing when looking at the image you will find you suddenly have the need to stand still and take a closer look.  This level of addiction may cause unsteadiness on your feet as food lust, gawking and moving requires a high level of multi-tasking which proves difficult to the affected.    








Stage 3: you may present with all the symptoms above and also experience quickened heart rate with a sudden ‘it’s getting hot in here‘ feeling which is similar to a hot flush but is not dependant on gender, age or room temperature  and removal of clothing may occur.  This is often followed by deep breathing and in extreme case you may make graduating volume levels of  ‘oooh, oooooooh , oooooooh yes, yesss,   YESSSSSSSSS!’  The shrieking bears similarities to the scene in the film when ‘Harry met Sally’ but is understood to be the baking addicts call for a hot sugar fix rather than a mate.   








Your  Results
If you suffer from some or all of these stage you are most likely suffering from baking addiction.  This is a less documented condition in the medical world but renders the sufferer incapable of walking away from a recipe book or online page and can cause disturbing side effects such as drooling, groaning and realistic dreams involving cakes, cookies and other foods. 








Partners of baking addicts must wear protective clothing at night and ensure they do not wear perfume or cologne that bear any resemblance to the sweet scent of baked goods (avoid Lynx Chocolate).  If this is not adhered to, partners risk getting bitten or licked in the night which is not as nice as it sounds as baking addicts know instinctively how to sink their teeth into baked goods (think piranha ) and in reality this can be a painful rather than pleasurable experience.  








Where are you in baking addiction? Comment and let me know

P.S: In my own personal experience I also advise not to use any hair products that smell of sweet desserts.  One night I woke up eating my hair but in my dream I had been devouring lemon cheesecake.  It did not take a genius for me to work out this is the fragrance of my ‘only use when really going out somewhere nice as it is really expensive’ hair mousse. Perhaps manufacturers could flavour their hair products to give us something to chomp on without any calories? Now there’s a thought, hmmm, I’d like a triple chocolate honeycomb cheesecake flavour please.

Levels of baking addiction

Next in the series : Confessions of a baking addict

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