Most folk get their baking skills at the knee of their mother (or grandmother), but that's not the case with me. I come from a family of non-bakers, whose desserts consist mainly of fruit, with the occasional yogurt or ice-cream for variety.
In a bid to carve my own niche, the first thing I cooked without supervision, age 10 or so, was a baked pudding. A banana and chocolate thing which consisted of slitting the banana, skin and all, slipping in squares of chocolate, wrapping in foil and baking. I was so proud, putting the little parcels on the plates of my expectant family.
My father unwrapped his, hooted with laughter and said 'Look, my banana's done a poo'. It's a miracle I ever went back in the kitchen quite frankly. But in spite of the emotional scars(!) I really enjoy baking.
It's a kind of alchemy - from variations on the basic flour, butter, sugar, egg combination appear all manner of fanciful treats.
Today was a vanilla cupcake basic batter, with blackberry jam swirled through it and a fluffy meringue frosting.
And I got to fiddle about with the twiddly bits of decoration too. Joy!
And at least from my offspring, I get the lip licking seal of approval for my baking.