work within your waking hours / baking

When I was 14, I started my first ever job. I worked as a Saturday girl in a bakery in the town I grew up in. I loved my Saturday's there. I got paid a pittance but I was undeterred by the number of pounds I took home with me each Saturday.

Every Saturday I got up at the crack of dawn to start loading the shelves with freshly baked baguettes and loaves of sweet fruit bread at 7am. Whether it was the influence of 5 years of waking up early at the weekend to do my stint at the bakery, or whether it is my Mother's influence on me, I still wake up early on a Saturday, and as soon as my eyes are open, my mind is wide awake and it feels like I should start the day.

{I learned to make these miniature piping bags at the bakery, perfect for decorating gingerbread ladies with dresses or for piping figure 40's}
This Saturday was just the same, waking at 6am. The thought came to me that it just makes sense to work within your waking hours, whatever they may be. Of course you are not going to work within your sleeping hours, but what I mean is that I am realising more and more that the mornings are a good time for me to be productive, and while I would sometimes love to have a little more rest, lazy mornings in bed is not the way my body works. Early nights? I am there, and that's how I get enough rest.

For me, when I wake up and it's 6am, I am learning to embrace that this is the perfect time to bake. So that is what I did this weekend. I whipped up batches of raspberry buttercream, cream cheese frosting and whipped chocolate ganache icing, while making candied carrot shavings for the first time ever - a surprisingly satisfying process where you boil carrot peel in sugar syrup, then roast for a short while, before twirling round the end of a wooden spoon, then roasting until crisp. The perfect way of making a healthy vegetable completely unhealthy! The end result was a tasty selection of cupcakes for a friend's 40th birthday. 
{carrot cakes with cream cheese frosting, candied carrot & chocolate orange figure 40's)
 {lemon cupcakes with lemon and raspberry buttercream marbled together in a beautiful union of pastel shades and delicate flavour}
 {rich chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream and whipped chocolate ganache frosting}