Who am I?

Who am I?

Who am I? Well that sounds  deep, doesn’t it…. I promise you though that I have no intention of  sending you off to sleep…. Really! Just stay with me and read on….

So who am I? Well, I am a mother of two beautiful girls, I am an Area Manager for Autism at Kingwood,  I am an only daugther to my parents, I am a business owner of SugarLace and Swirls, I am a fiancee to an amazing man called Kevin, I am lucky to call myself a friend to some amazing people in my life. Easy peasy…..straight forward answer to my deep question! Job done!

Or is it?

The above are just the roles/ titles that are assigned to me in one way or another, but those are not the answers that I am looking for. So you ask “What answers are you looking for then????”

Me: Ohhh, thank you for asking. I am glad you are interested….. so please hear me out as I do have a dilemma. I was born in Poland, I am considered Polish, but I have lived in the UK for most of my life now, my children are British, my life is here in Britain. So who am I? Where do I belong?

I often tell myself that if I am Polish I should feel Polish, I should know at least some of the major Polish traditions, I should know how to cook some Polish dishes, how to write an official letter in Polish, how to deal with adult duties such as birth registration, death and funeral arrangements, my children should speak Polish etc. But yet, I don’t know any of the above and no my children don’t speak fluent Polish and yes they were brougth up on English nursery rhymes and stories… I can only imagine that if you happen to be a Polish reader you might at this point think negatively of me….. I can understand that. I encountered many situations in which I have been criticised for the above, in some situations criticise is a mild description of what actually have happened.

So overall other than Polish roots and given nationality I don’t feel or “behave” Polish, but yet I am not British either…. for starters I don’t own a British passport and I don’t have the same rights as British nationals. I came to the UK straight after my A levels. My intention was to go back after a year, but I fell in love with Britain, all that it has to offer and British people…. after few months of being here it started to feel like home; I just fitted in…. so I stayed….Whilst here I completed my Bachelor’s degree and postgraduate qualifications, established my career, got married and gave birth to two amazing girls (who are british), started and continue to live a grown up life, British life with all its traditions and customs. I feel like I belong here, that I am a part of British furniture…. but then reality kicks in.

I am not British, and us immigrants sometimes face moments in our lives that make ys feel unwelcome. I think Brexit was a big eye opener to many in similar position to me (but those are politics, a whole blog post in its own right). When I say reality I refer to my Polish roots… My whole family is back in Poland. After divorcing my husband, the only family I have in the UK are my girls…. you might say “you knew what you were doing when you decided to stay in the UK”. And yes I agree; to some degree I was aware that I will be living a reasonable distance away from my family, but only as I grew older that distance seems to became greater than it orginally was…. maybe I am just getting soppy in my old age…. but I crave popping to my parents for Sunday dinner, or just popping in for cheeky coffee after work, going shopping with my mum, taking my dad to a gig, my parents being able to watch girls growing up, being part of their regular childcare, education….. I am jealous that many of the people around me have long standing friendships which often developed in childhood or school. I often feel I am usually an addition to existing groups of friends… And no I don’t feel sorry for myself. I love my life with all its ups and downs but I just wonder….

Can you see my dilemma?  Is it important to find the answer? What’s your opinionon the matter? Come on, don’t be shy….lets hear it!

 

 

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Thousand layer cake…

Thousand layer cake…

Today’s post is all about Thousand Layer Cake. It has only been couple of weeks since I came across the above picture on the internet. I was intrigued by all those tiny layers and I wondered how one can achieve such precision…. So I started to investigate, but the task was not as straight forward as I thought. Thousand layer cake can refer to mille crepe or kue lapis legit; completely two different things…..

Mille crepe Instead of expected layers of sponge has multiple layers of crepe. One can say it is literally layers of crepe and cream cake;  Ohhhh I find it so so tempting!!!! I often make crepes for my girls at the weekend…. but never in the quantities that would be needed to make a thousand layer cake! I certainly respect the baker as it must be such hard work to prepare hundreds of cakes layer by layer daily….. My hat off!

Kue lapis legit refers to the type of Indonesian layer cake. It is a cake that requires patience as it requires to follow a very labour-intensive process. The batter is made of butter, flour and sugar with an approximate ratio 1:1:2. No eggs! Each layer is made by pouring a small amount of batter into a baking tin, which is then put into the oven and grilled from above until the layer has turned golden. The process is repeated with remaining layers. Because each layer is grilled the cake is very moist, delicious and highly addictive!

When I made my first kue lapis legit cake the other day it took me an hour to prepare the batter and then another two hours in front of the oven watching each layer grill. You can’t really take your eyes off as the thin layers can burn so easily and quickly. But trust me it is so so worth it! The cake is just as delicious as described online, and knowing how to make it is an extra bonus as you can save £50-£70 if you needed to buy one(price reflects the amount of effort needed and quantity of ingredients).

Recipe that I used:

500g of cold butter cubed

80g condensed milk

30 egg yolks

200g icing sugar

90g of flour

30g milk powder

1tbs of spekkeok powder

Method:

  1. Prepare 30 egg yolk and make sure they are at room temperature

  2. Beat the butter and condensed milk together until pale (around 10min)

  3. Pre heat oven to 180C . Grease your tin and make sure it is pre heated in the oven as well.

  4. Beat the egg yolks and sugar until very fluffy and triple in volume.

  5. Slowly out egg mixture into the butter mixture and beat as slow speed until mixture comes together. Don’t over mix it!!!

  6. Funnily sift flour, milk powder and spekkeok powder. Fold gently.

  7. Remove tin from the oven, switch to top heat only! Pour 100g for first layer and 60g for following layers. Brush each cooked layer with butter before adding the next layer.

I got 18layers in total! Yum!

 

Happy baking! Trust me, its worth it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The start of my journey….

The start of my journey….

I have started my journey with cakes around 6 years ago, but the adventure of having a registered cake business is still very new to me. My cakes have always been popular within the circle of my family and friends. I have plenty of experience in baking and decorating cakes but somehow it still feels so very scary to make cakes for paying customers… Unhelpful thoughts of; What if something goes wrong? What if the client is not happy with the final result? What if I accidently drop a tier of a wedding cake whilst assembling it and therefore I ruin someone’s special day? But then I think to myself…. I only worry because I care; because I strive for perfection; because I have this desire to make people happy and make their cake dreams come true…. This somehow calms my nerves and offer a very welcomed reassurance…. so a step at the time I keep going forward…

I can honestly say that I have never imagined that my cakes will be popular or that people will be willing to pay for them. However, here I am looking at my busy cake diary…. I am still trying to get my head round it all; how is it possible that only few months ago I had idea of having a cake bussiness and now I do have one…. and it is one that has regular orders….For years, and still now, I have been admiring professinal cake bakers. And there are so many that I aspire to; I am jealous of their sharp edges, perfect sugar flowers, imagination… Sometimes I have days when I question my abilities as I find that I compare myself to others…. I do recognize this is unhelpful, but yet I still catch myself doing it. Silly I know! BUT….on the other hand this motivates me even further. It gives more enthusiasm to get even better at what I am doing. So I practice, search for ideas on Pinterest ( oh what a goldmine that is), try new things…. I want to make it a success and I am a true believer that at the end of the day the imagination is your only restriction…..