Sweet, but not too sweet
Although I love cooking all different cuisines with all manner of ingredients from pantry staples to fresh seasonal produce, I feel most at home when I am creating something sweet.
I've been baking with my mother since I was a young child, and working with food since I was a teenager. Food is in my genes. Now, my one year old son spends every day in the kitchen with me. Preparing breakfast is his favourite daily activity. He has memorised each step of the process and (very) actively participates, sometimes too eagerly. I've never seen anyone get so excited about eggs.
Five years ago, I decided to make a career of "baking". I left my responsible job and moved to Paris to learn to become a pâtissière (pastry chef).
After learning the art of classic French pâtisserie and boulangerie, and working with vast quantities of refined white sugar and refined white flour in pâtisseries, bakeries and restaurants across Europe, I developed a preference for using wholegrain flours and natural sweeteners in my own baking.
The flavours were fuller and deeper, my stomach felt nourished and satisfied, and I felt at ease knowing that the sweets I offered my family and friends were better for them than the run-of-the-mill baked good.
I try to incorporate wholefood ingredients in my baking where I can, such as wholegrain flours (e.g. spelt, rye, wholewheat), unrefined sweeteners (e.g. muscovado, rapadura, unrefined caster, maple syrup, dates), nuts, seeds, grains, and fresh seasonal fruit.