There are few issues as pleasant as spending time within the kitchen making a cake or just a few scones. The straightforward act of baking engenders a way of happiness. Through the years, I’ve cooked in many alternative kitchens, from the cool Victorian rectory kitchen of my childhood, with its big painted dresser and north-facing home windows, to my present city basement kitchen, all German minimalism with clear traces and delicate gentle. In between, I’ve skilled all the things from gleaming stainless-steel restaurant kitchens to bedsits with little greater than a Child Belling, kettle and sink. Regardless of how small the house, I step into one other world after I bake – a sensation that I think is acquainted to many cooks.

Perhaps it’s the peculiar mixture of precision and creativity that baking calls for which takes you into one other zone. As your palms are exercised by sensible duties equivalent to beating or kneading, your thoughts drifts away on the currents of evocative smells. I may be in London on a sizzling summer time’s day, but when I whip up the strawberry cream cake my mom used to make for my father’s birthday, I discover myself again in a rural English backyard, transported by the candy scent of sugared sponge and ripe strawberries.

These three recipes conjure up the scents and tastes of spring – and a weekend spent baking one if not all of them is assured to make you smile.

Recipes from ‘Nationwide Belief Guide of Baking’ by Sybil Kapoor, printed on 15 April (Nationwide Belief Books, £16.99).

Lemon Victoria sandwich cake 

Historically, the sponge is unflavoured and crammed with raspberry jam or lemon curd; it is a extra luxurious, buttery lemon model.


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