To celebrate our tenth birthday, the MiNDFOOD team are putting on aprons to create a cake – or biscuit, or tart – that shouts celebration. As part of our #MakeTheCake competition, we are catching up with some of New Zealand’s best chefs and bakers. Here, James Musk, head baker and owner of Dunedin’s Spelt Bakery, shares his experience with cakes.
What is your top baking tip?
Take it slowly, don’t rush the process, follow the recipe and make sure every part is done correctly, that way the end product can not fail. Most of all enjoy yourself.
What is your favourite thing to bake?
When I am in the bakery by myself I love to make sourdough bread, there is something magical about it that I just love. However when I am at home, I love nothing more than to get my daughters involved and whip up a cake. We have so much fun together and always enjoy the end product.
What is your favourite flavour pairing, e.g. chocolate and mint; peach and vanilla etc.?
Don’t know if I have an absolute favourite as it seems to be forever changing depending on the seasons, but really enjoying banana and salted caramel at the moment.
Why do you love baking?
Food brings people together, it’s an international language that everyone understands – I love to think that I am part of that bringing people together everyday through my bread or baked goods.
What is your fondest birthday memory?
When my eldest daughter turned 5, I picked her up from school and took her home and surprised her with a cake I had made. It was just a simple chocolate cake iced with pink ombre icing and a fondant pony on top. The look on her face made my day, I don’t know if you ever forget moments like that.