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Moving Back In With Mum – a bit of a life update…

Hey cake chums and welcome back to Mr Baker’s Cakes: The Blog.

I thought I’d better get in touch with a bit of a life update as things have gone rather awry here at Mr Baker’s Cakes HQ over the last week or so and, as a result, you may notice some changes to my output in the weeks ahead.

life update - packing image
I WISH my packing looked this organised…

I guess it all started a week ago today, when I got a phone call to let me know that my mother had collapsed at home. Now Mummy Baker lives alone, which means that she is one of those unlucky individuals who has – up to now at least – been enduring this period of lockdown completely on her own. As you can probably imagine, I hadn’t been particularly happy about this, but ultimately it was her decision to make.

Thankfully, for whatever reason, she had come around from her collapse and been able to call my sister – who literally lives around the corner – and my sister was able to call 111. After discussions with the GP, they ended up dispatching an ambulance.

The paramedics weren’t immediately able to identify anything wrong, but collectively, we made the decision to have Mummy Baker head to hospital for further investigations. Obviously, that in itself is a tricky decision to make right now because one doesn’t want to risk exposure to Covid-19, but my take, as always with such things, is that it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Scroll forward a few hours and it turns out that Mummy Baker had suffered a pulmonary embolism, which for those of you who don’t know is when you have blood clots restricting the flow of blood to the lungs – a really rather serious condition, on a par with a heart attack or a stroke.

Thankfully, the amazing team at Southampton General Hospital were able to get her started on a course of treatment immediately and, after a week in hospital, Mummy Baker has recovered enough to be allowed to head home. She has also tested negative for Covid-19, which is a huge relief too.

Of course, we couldn’t have Mummy Baker come home to an empty house, and with my sister due to give birth any day now and my brother living a few hours away and coping with two children of his own, I made the decision to come and move in with Mummy Baker while she continues to receive treatment for her ongoing condition.

Oh, and you’ll be pleased to know that she is continuing to recover well.

Now, obviously I’m not normally in the habit of sharing quite such personal things here on the blog, so you might be wondering why I’ve made the decision to do so in today’s ‘life update’. Well, quite simply, my change in location does mean that there are going to be some quite significant implications for my online content over the next few weeks at least.

In terms of my weekly children’s baking videos – Mr Baker’s Cake School – I had already managed to film this Friday’s episode before my move, so, for this week at least, there will be no changes (and be sure to check out this week’s instalment as I will be announcing my BIGGEST EVER GIVEAWAY! For reals – you won’t want to miss it!).

However, from next week, I am hoping to still be able to cobble together some sort of filming space here at my mother’s house, however it might not be quite so… polished (?) as usual.

In regards to additional cake-related content, we will quite honestly have to wait and see, as, of course, I couldn’t realistically bring all of my gear with me, so I’m not sure what form, if any, this content might take. Obviously, it doesn’t help that, while Mummy Baker continues to visit the hospital for further follow up appointments and so on, we have to remain in complete isolation, meaning that I can’t go out to buy ingredients or equipment either.

I am still hoping to be able to continue to bring you our weekly #cakershour sessions on Twitter – including this evening, but as you can probably imagine, they might also be slightly less organised for the next week or so – at least while I am finding my new rhythm, so to speak…

But yes, that is where we are at the moment.

Thank you to those people in our community who have already been in touch to send Mummy Baker their well-wishes and offered support – it has all been very much appreciated.

I am only too aware of how much worse things could have been… If Mummy Baker hadn’t somehow managed to come around from her collapse or if we hadn’t made the decision to send her to hospital for tests – in honestly doesn’t bear thinking about. And it only serves to reaffirm my complete and utter admiration for the amazing NHS staff who are continuing to provide exceptional care, whilst facing one of the biggest crises the country has ever seen. They truly are superheroes.

Again, thank you so much for reading my lil’ life update and your continued support.

As always, until next time, happy caking…

xx

Spiced Apple Duffins 1
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New Recipe Alert: Spiced Apple Duffins!

Hey Cake Chums and a very happy Easter to you all!

I couldn’t let the day pass without giving you all a lil’ Easter gift from me, so in lieu of a chocolate egg, I am delighted to share the brand new recipe for my Spiced Apple Duffins!

Adapted from a recipe originally made famous by none other than Queen Nigella herself, my Spiced Apple Duffins – deliciously moreish doughnut-muffin hybrids – capture all of the best bits of both bakes and are the perfect light and airy treat, whatever the season…

Spiced Apple Duffins 1

You’ll have to forgive me, because it seems that I am rather late to jump on this bandwagon. Originally published in her book, How to be a Domestic Goddess back in the year 2000, Nigella’s Jam-Doughnut Muffins proved an incredibly popular recipe at the time. And once Bea’s of Bloomsbury released their version of the bake, coining the name ‘Duffin’, the trend well-and-truly exploded.

Yet, somehow – speaking as somehow who made the obligatory pilgrimage to the Dominique Ansel Bakery, New York for the highly prized Cronut – I’m rather ashamed to admit that the Duffin trend entirely passed me by!

In fact, it is only thanks to one of the baking groups I belong to on Facebook (who are currently going Duffin mad) that I became aware of them. And naturally, having made a batch of the traditional recipe, I was itching to create a version of my own.

As I have explained SO MANY times here on Mr Baker’s Cakes: The Blog, fresh fruit is one of my favourite ingredients to bake with, particularly citrus flavours and any combination of apple and spice. Thanks to a glut of indulgent baking of late (while the UK is in coronavirus-induced lockdown), I have had an overabundance of apples eyeing me disapprovingly from my fruit bowl for a while now and I decided that this was the perfect time to put them to good use.

My recipe for Spiced Apple Duffins combines a delicious, apple crumble-infused cake (courtesy of the always gorgeously-flavoured icing sugars from Sugar & Crumbs), a homemade smooth apple and cinnamon jam filling and a crispy cinnamon sugar topping.

Spiced Apple Duffins 2

And what’s more, they are so simple to make that you could be enjoying a batch of your very own Spiced Apple Duffins within mere minutes.

If you fancy having a go at my Spiced Apple Duffins, head to this link (or why not click on the Recipes tab above, where you can peruse all of the original recipes right here on Mr Baker’s Cakes: The Blog?). Oh, and don’t forget, I have EVEN MORE recipes over on my YouTube channel too – find it here.

Once again, have a wonderful Easter my darling Cake Chums and, until next time, happy caking…!

xx

 

episode 3 of mr baker's cake school
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Episode 3 of Mr Baker’s Cake School is LIVE!

Hey Cake Chums and welcome back to episode 3 of Mr Baker’s Cake School.

As you may already have seen, every Friday, during the national school closures, I am going to be uploading a child-friendly baking lesson (with the occasional bit of maths and more squeezed in too) to help support you and your families with your home learning.

This week, as it’s Good Friday, the choice was obvious… we’re baking traditional Hot Cross Buns and, if I do say so myself, they are absolutely delicious!

While they are definitely the most complex bake we have attempted so far at Mr Baker’s Cake School – they really aren’t as tricky as you might think. And quite honestly, once you have mastered my homemade Spiced Orange Hot Cross Buns, you’ll never want to to go back to shop bought buns again!

You can watch the video right here on the blog, or why not head over to YouTube where you can catch up on any episodes you may have missed and hit that all-important subscribe button?

If you and your family bake along with episode 3 of Mr Baker’s Cake School, then please do share the results of your baking adventures with me over on social media – I love seeing what you are all baking at home and, you never know, your photos might just make it into next week’s video!

You can find me on Facebook here, Instagram here and on Twitter here.

Oh, and please do share feel free to share the video with any individuals or groups that you think would find it useful.

Until next time… happy caking!