Monday, July 5, 2010

Of Baking and Patriotism

So it would seem that I am destined to be followed around by the letter B. Why, you ask? Let's see. My name is Brody. I live in Brussels, Belgium. I'm a blogger. And now, I bake! Professionally!

I had the absolute luck to be approached by the owner of a rather nice cafe here in Brussels to begin baking for them! He had heard I baked from another cafe owner and friend, and decided to give me a shot! Now, I have never in my life baked on such a large scale as I am required to do with this job. 12 cakes at a time, measuring flour and sugar by the bag, but, though I was daunted at first (and still am a bit) I find that I'm getting used to it, and actually really enjoying it. The only downside is... the heat. I know, I know, if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. And really, once I get going, it's not so bad. But when the weather is right around 90F (32C), and you are stuck in a basement kitchen doing heavy lifting with ovens blazing, well, then we can talk!

The great thing is, I love doing it. I've always loved baking (probably because then I have something tasty to eat), and so far I still do. I was posed the question last night that since I bake so much now, do I still enjoy doing it on my own time. I tested that out today, the 4th of July, by making an American flag cake. That was my plan for my big show of patriotism (as of last night after some bowling and a few beers).

My idea was to get some food coloring at Delhaize and use 3 different colors of frosting to decorate. Easy, right? Well, this is Belgium, so, wrong. No food coloring to be found (where I could have sworn I saw it before), so I decided to get a bag of M&Ms thinking to use those instead. When I got back home I found that I did have blue food coloring and colored red sugar sprinkles, score! Here are pictures, it's not the most beautiful cake ever, but at least it was tasty!
My friend Laura, also American, came over to share the cake with us. Fun was had by all!

So there you have it, I still enjoy baking, especially when it's an imperfectly rendered symbol of patriotism!


  1. Hi Brody,

    Great news on your baking gigs. I am sure it must be ok if you are doing it, but just wondering about the legal aspects of home food preparation for retail sale. I am surprised you do not need a special certification or commercial kitchen. Have you checked on this? I would also love to offer a couple of my specialties to the local market near where I live, if it is okay do do so! :-)

  2. Hi!

    I don't bake professionally at home, just for myself and my husband. I'm afraid I don't know the requirements (health, safety and legal-wise) for this. Before I got this job, I briefly considered baking and selling at local markets. While I didn't follow through with this, (as I got my other job!) I read that you would have to, at the VERY least, register for a VAT number, as well as write to the mayor (in my commune) to rent a space in the market. You should contact your commune for more information, as it tends to vary quite a lot.

    Good luck!