Let’s Be Pen Pals

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Baking is effective therapy. For me it is incredibly relaxing. No matter what I am going through, how messy and out of control my kitchen (or life) seems, as soon as I get out my mixing bowls and begin putting together a new recipe that has been mulling around in my head or bake something just because I like the sound of French Earl grey tea in my cupcakes, I instantly unwind.  It’s not just about the sugar hit or opportunity to eat something indulgent. It is the process of creating. Of doing something with my hands.

When I was a child I always loved making things. I remember scouring the family bookshelves for our two art and craft books, looking for my next project. No matter how many times I looked through those books, I always managed to find something to make. Those were the days before the internet when we had to look up  Childcraft  encyclopaedias for inspiration. I remember making a whole house full of rooms out of shoe boxes for my Smurfs, complete with tiny furniture and accessories. I always felt better when my hands were busy creating.

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Fast forward thirty years, the invention of Google, a happy marriage and nine children later, I still love to make things with my hands. To me, creating is like breathing. It is a strong force within me that constantly drives me to explore new possibilities and dream up all sorts of fancies in my mind. Occasionally I get to bring them to life.

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This recipe for chai tea and pear cupcakes brings together two delicious wintery flavours.  Add  sweet honeycomb frosting, a drizzle of butterscotch sauce, a crisp meringue and slice of dried pear if you dare, and you may just have  the ultimate winter extravagance.

Enjoy. xx

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