It’s nine o’clock in the evening and I’m melting dark chocolate chips into hot double cream to make a silky chocolate ganache. I have Spotify’s ‘sad songs’ playlist blasting through the kitchen speakers.
This is my therapy.
Some people find solace in a large glass of red wine. Some people get their peace by pouring their heart out about their day. But give me a wooden spoon and some loud Bon Iver and all my problems melt away like the chocolate chips in my bowl.
I had forgotten for a while the huge benefit that baking brings. When it becomes your job it can be easy to see it as a means to an end. But tonight I remember why I started this in the first place.
This kitchen is my sanctuary.
Have you ever seen the film ‘Julie & Julia‘? There’s a scene in it where Julie is making a chocolate pie and she says:
“You know what I love about cooking? I love that after a day when nothing is sure and when I say nothing, I mean nothing. You can come home and absolutely know that if you add egg yolks to chocolate and sugar and milk, it will get thick. That’s such a comfort.“
And I couldn’t agree more. Sometimes I feel like I’m getting nothing right, like everything I touch just turns to shit, I think everyone feels that way from time to time? (Unless you are Gaston).
But when everything goes pear shaped, I get in the kitchen and I take the most simple ingredients – flour, eggs, sugar, butter, and can create something beautiful and delicious out of it. Something that puts a smile on people’s faces. That, to me, is an accomplishment. That is something of value. And I feel a little bit better.
Sense of Purpose
It’s no secret that I’m a bit of a feeder. And people make fun, but making a person’s face scrunch up in delight after taking a bite of the brownie I just gave them, that gives me a buzz, still, every time.
Giving people delicious treats, and knowing I created the thing that is making them happier in that moment, even if only for a few seconds, gives me a sense of purpose.
Sure, I’m not solving world hunger or curing cancer, but I am making someone’s day just the teensiest bit better for a few seconds – and that gives me so much satisfaction.
Soul Healing Cake
So if you’re having a bad day, week or month, get your apron, turn up the music, make some mess, spill the flour, lick the spoon, and whip up something that you can truly say was made with love, and heartache.
And then watch the finished product brighten someone else’s day, week or month…
Or just drown your sorrows and eat them all yourself, also a perfectly acceptable option.
For soul healing cake therapy, I recommend making French Silk Pie, it’s satisfying to make and turns out beautiful and irresistibly delicious every single time. I’m convinced this pie could end wars.
If you find baking as therapeutic as I do, let me know in the comments, I’d love to know I’m not the only one.
And send me pictures of your heartbake creations!
Happy Baking x