Love Bake Nourish
Baking with Substance
Open up the new baking book ‘Love Bake Nourish’ and you’ll be greeted by page after page of beautiful and delicious-looking cakes, desserts and sweet treats. But this is not your average baking book; it’s author Amber Rose has a distinct food philosophy which is revealed with each appetising recipe. Rather than basing her cakes on a standard combination of sugar and white flour Amber champions fresh fruit, ancient and alternative flour varieties and natural sweeteners like honey to bring depth of flavour and seasonality to her baking. Here Amber tells us more about her baking inspiration and shares a recipe from her book. We can’t wait to give it a try!
What’s your food philosophy?
I love seasonal food that is simply prepared, with love. If you have really good quality ingredients then you’re able to prepare simple dishes that really allow the flavour of those things to shine through without too much fuss. I always base my cooking around seasonal produce; I find this enables me to be quite creative and allows new ideas to come through in a really natural way.
Where did your love of baking come from?
I’ve loved baking for as long as I can remember. As soon as I was able to skip from the garden to the kitchen and hold a whisk I was happy. The first thing I was able to bake on my own was great big piles of drop scones. I still love making them and they are my son’s favourite, with fresh raspberry jam and lashings of cream.
My style of baking has been influenced hugely by growing up in New Zealand in my mother’s incredible kitchen garden and orchard. Seasonal fruit was always within picking distance. I tend to base most if not all of my baking recipes around fruit and flowers. It’s something’s I have always loved and it’s this fresh approach to baking that has really stood out in my recent book.
What’s the best way to cut down or replace refined sugar, for healthier home baking?
I try not to use any sugar at all, I prefer to use natural unprocessed sweeteners such as honey or maple syrup. They contain so many trace minerals and vitamins, honey is known as nature’s own multi-vitamin, and maple syrup is three times sweeter than sugar while still being a good healthy source of slow-release energy. When I am having a sweet treat I like to taste flavours and textures not just overwhelming sweetness, and when baking with different honeys and maple syrups you can really bring the most heavenly combinations together.
Can you give us a few of your top baking tips?
Try to buy the best quality ingredients you can find; it does make a difference to texture and taste in the end. Use your recipe as a guide only. Learn how to test if a cake is done by gently touching the top of the cake when nearly ready; if it lightly springs back from the touch, its ready. This way you will know exactly when it’s done, as all ovens vary so much. Most importantly, have fun and bake because you love to do so. If you make mistakes it’s ok, you only get better by practicing.
If you could bake a cake for anyone, who would it be?
My ideal baking scenario would be for all my best girl friends, baking all my favourite cakes. I’d lay a beautiful table with fresh flowers and linen and pots of fresh tea made with herbs from the garden. I just love baking for other people, it brings such joy and allows me to express my love for others. It’s my idea of heaven.
Fancy trying a recipe from the book? Amber has shared her recipe for Caramelised Pear & Buckwheat Pudding Cake with us. Yum!