This post today on something boozy is very apt. I never touch alcohol apart from the odd sip here and there. When I say ‘the odd sip’, I really mean ‘the odd sip’. Anything more and I’ll be tippling over. But that doesn’t mean I don’t like some alcohol in my cakes! I love the strength of flavour they can give to liven things up. Moreover, by the time the cakes are baked, most of the alcohol would have evaporated off.

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So. I actually went for a job interview last week. Say what?! Yep. A job interview. Now I love what I do. I love waking up and heading into the kitchen and getting ingredients prepared and messing the entire place up only to tidy it all up again after my baking is done for the day. The reason I thought to apply for a job in the formal sector was because I’d thought it’d bring some financial stability into our home especially since the income of a home baker tends to be rather erratic.

I decided to try for a Guest Relations Officer position back at the hotel I started in as a Pastry Commis. I’d be starting from the bottom in terms of salary and title but with hard work, I know that I’ll be able to climb the rungs of that ladder and do well. I know that I can be quite the people’s person and while it will mean giving up baking as what I do for a living, it will mean new challenges in a new field.

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The interview I went for was with the Director of Guest Relations, together with the HR executive who basically sat in. It went well. Really well. So well that the Director told be straight up that he was extremely impressed with me and that he was being very picky about who he chose because they only had the one position available. He wanted me. Only I have commitments up until the end of the year and then we got into a pickle over whether they would be able to wait or if they couldn’t, that they will be happy to take me if there is a position open first thing 2018.

Flo and I have spoken about this and while it’s exciting to embark on something new, it will be sad having to leave all that I’ve worked to build up over the last few years. Also, a hotel never sleeps so there will be midnight shifts where I will be working all night, morning shifts where I’ll go in earlier than Flo goes to work, afternoon shifts that will see me coming home hours after Flo, on top of our plan to settle down and start a family next year.

Flo and I went through much discussion and we talked about the possible stress from work stacked on top of having to work shifts on top of putting in overtime on top of being on my feet a lot of the time, he mentioned that it wouldn’t make for an ideal environment for making babies. Of course, ultimately, I know that whatever my decision, Flo will fully support and after much deliberation, I’ve made my decision… Which is why now would be a good time to indulge in a slice of this Apple Cinnamon Walnut Bundt complete with a shot of Rum.

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Boozy Apple Walnut Cinnamon Bundt Cake (Makes 1 bundt)

115g Butter
180g Brown Sugar
2 Eggs
300g Fine Wholegrain Flour
90g Ground Almonds
12g Baking Soda
5g Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
300g Buttermilk
30ml Rum
3 medium-sized Apples, Peeled, Cored and Cubed – coat lightly in some flour
100g Walnuts, Roughly Chopped

Extra butter, melted
50g Sugar
2 tsp Ground Cinnamon

  1. Preheat oven to 170 deg C. Prepare your bundt tin by brushing melted butter inside and coating it with a light dusting of flour.
  2. Cream butter with sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Add eggs in one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  4. Mix rum together with buttermilk.
  5. Alternate the addition of dry ingredients and buttermilk mixture, starting and ending with the dry ingredients.
  6. Gently fold in cubed apples and walnuts.
  7. Pour mixture into prepared bundt tin and bake for 40-50min until springy to the touch and a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  8. Allow the cake to cool about 10 minutes before removing from tin.
  9. Brush with melted butter and coat with cinnamon sugar.

If you like you can for sure add more rum to the melted butter for the extra alcoholic kick!

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Alcohol is often present when there is cause for celebration, or when one needs a little mood-lifter. I think for me right now, it represents a little of both. I’ve decided that I want to continue to bake so that when children come along, I will still be able to have some form of flexible income as well as recreation without the pressure to return back to work and leave my baby at home.

Of course, it is slightly sad to think that if I were 6 years younger and entering the front desk of the hotel industry, perhaps I would have been able to carve quite a career for myself. I think that even if I started now, I could go a long way. Only something’s got to give and if I put my head down to try and climb up a career ladder, I would be sacrificing time with my family, the possibility of family even, and perhaps my relationship with Flo given that I will only have small pockets of time with him.

With bundt cake spells of Autumn. I love how the scent of cinnamon wraps its way around you in a cuddle with the sweet apples whisper words of comfort in its familiarity.  The toasty walnuts remind me of sitting by the fire (OK in London, we’d sit by the radiator) cracking walnuts and trying to keep them whole. This cake as an entirety reminds me of family. Having now made my decision, with this bundt cake, I drink to family – the family I have now, and the family Flo and I hope to have in the near future!

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