Baking Memories

Mother’s Day is a time to celebrate family, we got in touch with our family from Kenwood Cooks Collective to share their Mother’s Day stories and news.

We’re biased but we think the Kenwood family of bakers are a wonderful bunch and so often we hear stories of how they got started, or why they continue to make baking their every day.

These stories touch on an article from Huffington Post which is appropriately titled, "The Very Real Psychological Benefits Of Cooking For Other People." It’s an oldie but a goodie that explores how cooking for others can have mood-boosting effects. Two points that stand out to us – firstly, cooking is a form of nurturing. An activity like baking “can help to encourage a sense of trust, community, meaning, purpose, belonging, closeness, and intimacy”. Secondly, cooking can create bonds. “If you’re cooking for someone, even if they’re not present during the act, it can absolutely bring a sense of closeness in that you’re expressing your love and your care for someone.”

Read on to discover what personally inspires some of our Cooks Collective family to keep baking and what special memories they've created in the process.

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Petite Desserts

Fatimah – “Growing up we never ate at restaurants. Mum always preferred to cook for us as it was her belief we were properly nourished that way. My earliest memory is standing in the kitchen stirring a pot or licking the mixer bowl after she baked us a cake. I learnt a lot just by watching my mum and having three children of my own now, I try and mimic my mother and get the children involved every time I'm in the kitchen. I believe so many life lessons are learnt cooking together and I'm proud of the opportunity I had to absorb everything I learnt from my mother and all those bowl-licking years.”

Fatimah shares her Mum’s Carrot & Walnut Cake, a recipe she now bakes with her daughter.

Carrot and Walnut Cake

- ¾ cup toasted and chopped walnuts
- 2 cups plain flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¾ cup vegetable oil
- ¼ cup softened unsalted butter
- 1 ¼ cup white sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 4 large eggs
- Orange zest
- 3 cups shredded carrots

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
2. Grate carrots using the grating disk on your Food Processor attachment. Keep aside. 
3. Sift all dry ingredients in the mixer bowl and mix on low until well combined.
4. Add the grated carrot, oil and eggs to dry ingredients.
5. Mix on low for two minutes then on medium for another two minutes.
6. Gently mix in crushed walnuts.
7. Pour into a lined 25cm baking tin.
8. Bake at 180ºC for 50 minutes or until baked through.
9. Serve with cream cheese frosting and salted caramel sauce.

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Sweet Layers

Almaza is the creator behind the beautiful Arncliffe baking business and now cafe', Sweet Layers.

Tell us about why you first started experimenting with baking?
My baking journey started 10 years ago. I have a son who is extremely allergic to nuts and for his first birthday we were too scared to feed him any type of cake and so he had to miss out. For his second birthday, we found a bakery that was able to safely make his cake without any traces of nuts. When I went to pick it up the lady dropped it as she was about to box it for me. We were devastated that he had to miss out again. On his third birthday I was determined that he would have his own special cake for him to enjoy. So I went searching for some recipes, ordered him an edible image of Ben 10, borrowed my neighbour’s mixer, found a buttercream recipe on the box of piping bags and set to work. It was a disaster to say the least. My cake burnt slightly, my buttercream took forever to beat and the edible image would not come off the backing. There was no Google to help me then. But I did it. And he was over the moon. Nothing made me happier than seeing him happy to have a cake to enjoy at preschool with his friends. Since then I have never looked back and he has had a cake made by mum every year. 

What do you love about baking?
My love for baking comes from seeing someone enjoy what I created for them. The way their eyes light up when they see what I have created is very rewarding. When I am in the kitchen I feel like I am in a different world, and to see people come in every day and pay money to try it is my greatest reward.

What else have you been up to since the Kenwood Cooks Collective?
Since the Kenwood Cooks Collective I have opened up my own little sweet cafe' in Arncliffe, Sydney. A place where you can try a selection of mini cakes and treats made by me. To think my little hobby stemmed into something so big is overwhelming and humbling at the same time. I feel blessed that I am able to work with companies like Kenwood to create my cakes.  

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