Sweet Lockdown Tales

If we were to find a silver lining to the recent lockdowns, we would definitely take a moment to appreciate the beautiful works that both baking enthusiasts and professionals have created over the quieter months. Sweet Lockdown Tales is a corner of our community, dedicated to introducing to you all those passionate existing or freshly turned lockdown bakers, who kept themselves busy and happy in the kitchen.

We are delighted to introduce you to Hannah, the founder of officialLuxeBakery.

When the pandemic started, Hannah was studying to become a social worker. Having had to spend so much time at home, she soon understood what her true calling was and with no hesitation decided to change her career path. She is now looking forward to starting a Baking Course this Autumn and we could not be any happier for her. Below you can find out more about Hannah, her passion for baking and her exciting future plans.

What does baking mean to you?

Baking to me is a way to escape, something to focus all my thoughts on. When I’m in the kitchen baking, it’s like I’m in a different world, a world where I can be creative, calm, and a place where I can make many mistakes but also learn from the things I do wrong. When I bake it’s more than just make a cake and get money for it, I make it because I love to bake and there’s nothing else I want to spend time on.

What is the most cherished childhood memory you have of baking?

The first memory I have of baking is when I was in reception and I wanted to bake cupcakes for my birthday. I remember standing on a chair in the kitchen and telling my mum that I want to try to make them on my own. I also remember loving every second of it, from getting the mixture everywhere, to icing the last cupcake. I guess you can say this is when my baking journey truly started, and that I’ve been destined to bake since I was a child! 

How did you start to bake?

I started baking during the first lockdown we had in 2020 out of pure boredom, but my love continued to grow for baking with the more things I made. However, I would say I’ve always been baking, since I was a small child I always wanted to bake, every time my mum was making something in the kitchen I always wanted to help as I found it so interesting.

Do you think that without baking, lockdown would have been different? If yes, in what way?

Yes I definitely think all the lockdowns we’ve had would have been completely different without baking. I believe that baking has kept me proactive because I was able to turn to it if I was having a bad day, or if I was simply just bored! If I didn’t have baking I might have gone crazy and I would have become lazier as I would have just sat and watched TV, or painted.

How has baking during lockdown impacted your future plans?

Before I started baking, I wanted to be a social worker, I even went to college to do a course on social work. However, since my business started to grow, I realised my future plans had to change because I’d become so invested into my baking and my love for it continues to grow everyday. So I’ve left my college course to take on more orders, but also to go to Blackpool and The Fylde Catering College to complete a course in bakery. 

What is your favourite thing to bake?

My favourite thing to bake is definitely occasional cakes (birthday cakes and wedding cakes etc) because every time someone orders a cake it’s always something different to the one before and it’s always a new challenge. I like to bake these sort of cake because when the cake is challenging, it furthers my skills in bakery and decorating as I push myself to make the cake as perfect as I can get it! 

Baking is said to help with your mental health, what are your thoughts on this?

I believe that baking does help with mental health, as it is something fun to focus on. From my point of view baking is a place where I can go to relax and be calm, it’s like I’m in another world. It’s also a place where I can be myself and be as creative as I want and as I mentioned earlier I can make as many mistakes as I want, but also be able to learn from them.

Tell us an awkward/funny/ challenging situation connected to one of your bakes and how did you manage to save the day. 

So I had this one birthday cake that was quite tough, I hadn’t done one like this before! I was putting the filling in the cake and it was all going really well and when I put the final cake layer on top I looked at it and thought I’m sure it looks a bit wonky so I straightened it up and started to put the buttercream on, but I had major disaster and it all fell apart! So I had 3-4 hours to remake the cake and decorate it before it was going to be picked up ! I have to say that was my biggest challenge.

 What advice would you give to someone looking to start their baking journey?

Don’t give up! Every mistake you make is a learning opportunity. If you are not happy with the outcome of some of your bakes then try it again but in a different way whether that’s whipping it for less or more time, turning the heat up a little or maybe a touch down, or even just keeping the goodies in the oven a little bit longer! 

What is the one bake that everyone should try from you?

Everyone that I’ve sold cupcakes to have said they were amazing and I have to admit they are the best to make so I would definitely choose cupcakes as my one bake.

How can we contact you for orders?

You can reach me via email: officialLuxeBakery@hotmail.com, Facebook: officialLuxeBakery and Instagram: @officialLuxeBakery

Love and Crumbs,

Mariana and Kay X