Be Playful

Creative Inspirations #2: The Zen of Baking

Posted on: 9 November 2008

Inspirational quotations and uplifting photographs to reawaken your inner playfulness and creativity.

The Zen of Baking


“Forget meditation; forget yoga: bake a cake.”
~ David Myers


When I feel stressed or upset I love to bake.  The careful focus to measure ingredients, the aggressive stirring strength to fuse together solid and liquid into dough, the patience whilst the aroma of sweetness fills the house, the anticipation of wonderful food.  All these help to clear out the negative energy from my body, whilst the sense of accomplishment in creating something worthwhile puts my worries and concerns of the moment into perspective.

My favourites are chocolate chip cookies and chocolate cake.  Click through the links for two of the best ever recipes.   (Tip: Don’t put jam inside the chocolate cake.  Jam is for sandwiches).

What are your tips for clearing negative energy from your body?  How do you put your worries and concerns into perspective?

Thanks to Gaetan Lee for the photograph.


4 Responses to "Creative Inspirations #2: The Zen of Baking"

i like to doodle. i also like long walks and hot baths. baking is good though. im assuming your recipes call for high-rising flour? 🙂

Sue’s last blog post..please update commentluv plugin

I like to bake too. However I also find that cleaning helps to get rid of my stress too! Like your creative inspirations posts.

It’s so true – baking focusses the mind on creating something where you have a clearly defined goal. There is a wonderful sense of completion and a job well done at the end, and I think this is something that is very important in keeping oneself content. Many of our day-to-day tasks don’t have this same sense of completion: tidying, for example, never seems to have an end point.

However, I would include cleaning the bathroom till the fittings shine with silvery sheen and the glass on the shower cubicle is clearer than clear. Raking leaves on an autumnal day – it gets you out of the house and in the fresh air, when the temptation is to mooch around and acheive nothing. There’s nothing better than a big pile of leaves and a clear lawn.

I also like to put on nineties music from the boybands and dance around the living room or create harmonies when singing along to Eva Cassidy or even Audioslave. Baking, however, has my deciding vote!

When you bake, aside from the physical energy that goes into stirring and mixing, there is a spiritual energy that goes in, in the form of all your love for the person you’re baking for. And THAT is the secret ingredient of a good cake 🙂

Most of all, I like to bake this wonderful Ginger Cake:

(Makes 1 Loaf)


175g/6oz plain flour
10ml/2tsp ground ginger
2.5ml/half tsp mixed spice
2.5ml/half tsp bicarb of soda
30ml/2tbsp black treacle
30ml/2tbsp golden syrup
75g/3oz soft dark brown sugar
75g/3oz butter
1 egg
15ml/1tbsp milk
15ml/1tbsp orange juice
2 pieces stem ginger, finely chopped
50g/2oz sultanas
5 ready-to-eat dried apricots, finely chopped

1) Preheat oven to 160C/325F/Gas 3. Grease and line a loaf tin.

2) Sift first four ingredients on list – flour, ginger, spice, bicarb of soda- into bowl.

3) Place next four ingredients – treacle, syrup, sugar, butter – in saucepan and heat gently till butter has melted.

4) Beat next 3 ingredients – egg, milk, orange juice – together in seperate bowl.

5) Pour syrup mixture (step 3), egg mixture (step 4) and last three ingredients – ginger, sultanas, apricots – into the dry mixture (step 2). Stir it all together nicely.

6) Spoon into loaf tin, and bake for around 50 mins. (You can lick the cake mix whilst you’re waiting: it’s really yummy!)

7) Eat cake and enjoy!! 😀

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