Meet the Maker: Karen Bland
Karen explains that she has always enjoyed cooking, and even remembers the first thing she made at primary school : Raspberry Buns (which sound rather tasty and quite ambitious for a first cooking lesson, clearly Karen has always aimed high!) These days, Karen cooks and bakes pretty much full-time; and says that she loves to make all kinds of things; savoury, sweet and anything that needs decorating – hence the edible artworks at The Kiosk. “The decorating part is quite time-consuming,” she says, “but luckily, I really enjoy that bit. That's why I'm always on the lookout for unusual cutters!”
As well as her masterpieces for The Kiosk, Karen supplies the renowned sandwich-capital of Bedford, Roosters, with cakey treats. She is also part of the talented team of home-bakers who supply a home-made goods stall for the regular Country Market Stall on Wednesdays in town centre. Karen is a keen jam and chutney maker, and also makes a mean Victoria Sponge. Keen to pick up good home-baking advice from reliable sources wherever possible, The Kiosk grilled her for some top tips for successful sponges:
- Your grandma was right; weigh your eggs, and make sure the weight of the flour, sugar and fat match the weight of your eggs. For further advice on this, see the article here
- Try using an electric hand whisk to whisk in the eggs. Karen thinks this is a crucial stage in the cake-making process. She uses her Kenwood hand-whisk to get the lightest results.
- Get your oven nice and hot before the cake goes in.
The proof of the pudding is, of course, in the eating. So in the name of balanced scientific research, why not head down to The Kiosk and try out some Victoria Sponge for yourself. Or even a cookie wand. They really are hard to resist; often vanishing in minutes after delivery. Perhaps they really are magic?