Bad Girl Bakery: The Scottish baker making every treat count


It may appear humorous to call a bakery after that second while you’re chastised for reaching for one too many treats, however that’s the entire level behind Bad Girl Bakery, its founder Jeni Iannetta tells me. The title is meant to “gently poke fun” and “acknowledge that cake is an occasional treat”.

With a chapter named “Cake for Breakfast”, her debut cookbook would possibly beg to vary. Now I’m poking enjoyable, however with recipes corresponding to raspberry doughnut brioche buns and chocolate caramel fudge layer cake, I can see a future habit starting to kind.

The bakery and cafe of the identical title, run by Jeni and her husband Douglas on the Black Isle village of Muir of Ord within the Scottish Highlands, has a gained a loyal following for its unapologetically beneficiant and indulgent muffins, bakes and biscuits because it opened in 2017. It’s additionally gained a variety of awards, and now provides the Caledonian Sleeper, National Trust for Scotland and cafes throughout the area.

Jeni’s baking profession didn’t begin with formal coaching, although – she’s a house baker turned skilled. The e-book, out 2 November and accessible to preorder right here, echoes that spirit: by dwelling cooks, for dwelling cooks. These aren’t recipes with tons of of steps that require specialist package – they’re doable, quick, with easy directions and tips that yield the tastiest outcomes and look nice with out hours and hours of labor.

“This is a book for people who love cake and love to bake,” says Jeni. “People don’t tend to treat themselves as often as they used to, so when they do, it has to count.”

That’s an ethos that’s straightforward to get behind. I sat down with Jeni to speak concerning the e-book, every part from the most effective baking hacks to the most important misconceptions, and why it’s simply as essential to plan for fulfillment as it’s for failure.

Jeni had no formal coaching when she began – she simply cherished muffins


How did you get into baking?

It all began accidentally actually. My background is in arts advertising (working for the BBC, Scottish Opera and theatre firms) and I by no means thought-about a profession in meals once I was youthful. I at all times loved baking at dwelling and it grew to become one thing I dreamed about as an escape from a aggravating profession, however not a severe choice till, on a whim, I replied to an advert for somebody on the lookout for a baker for a restaurant in St Andrews and received the job. It all began from there.

What did you wish to obtain with the e-book?

I by no means imagined I’d write a e-book. When Kitchen Press received in contact and recommended it we have been blown away. She’s labored with so lots of my meals heroes (Gillian Veal at The Parlour, Mountain Cafe, The Seafood Shack in Ullapool). As a self-taught baker, it felt like fairly daunting firm to be in.

Writing the e-book was such a optimistic expertise (that saved my sanity throughout lockdown, I’m fairly positive) however the reality is, for a very long time I couldn’t deliver myself to consider individuals truly studying it! These recipes have been written by dwelling bakers for dwelling bakers. What I’d love most of all is for individuals to get pleasure from utilizing it, to see that it doesn’t should be difficult or aggravating. We nonetheless, even in spite of everything this time, get such a way of feat and delight with every bake and the concept that different individuals would possibly really feel that baking our recipes is extremely thrilling.

Where does the title ‘Bad Girl Bakery’ come from?

I believe everybody is aware of somebody who frowns upon treats. The one who is disapproving about indulgence, who says “oh you bad girl” while you attain for a treat. The title is about completely acknowledging that cake is an occasional treat and gently poking enjoyable at that disapproval.

What’s your favorite baking hack?

I’ve a pair actually. If you’re utilizing zest in your recipe, add it on the stage the place you might be creaming butter and sugar because it helps to launch the oils to deliver out the flavour. Toast your muffins! If you’ve got a sponge that could be a few days outdated, toast it in a frying pan and serve it with cream, yoghurt or berries for a scrumptious pudding.

What’s one of many greatest misconceptions about baking?

I assume for me it’s the notion that the extra difficult a recipe is, the higher it’s.

The e-book is out 2 November

(Kitchen Press)

Everything I do know I realized from cookbooks, baking exhibits and blogs and by trial and error and if I’m trustworthy I’m not significantly affected person or within the science of baking. I like bakes that pack numerous flavour with minimal effort.

If you may return to earlier than this all started, what would you inform your self then?

There’s a lot I want I’d recognized ha ha! I believe the most important factor is we didn’t give a single thought to success to get pleasure from it. When we opened the store, as excited and dedicated as we have been, we fearful a lot about individuals not coming, about not being busy and about failing that we have been fully blindsided by how busy we have been. We didn’t have sufficient workers, or house or time. I believe I’d say warning is ok however it’s OK to plan for fulfillment too. That and you’ll by no means have too many aprons!

How did Covid adapt the enterprise?

The final yr and a half have been extremely robust, however it gave us a a lot wanted likelihood to cease and take a minute to consider the enterprise, what was working, what wasn’t and take into consideration what we would have liked to do to get by means of. That enforced break gave us house and time to develop out savoury choices, to introduce a deli choice of issues made by and utilized by us, together with make-at-home cake kits, scone and pancake mixes in addition to rubs and spice mixes, and our granola, chutneys and jams.

We additionally launched a retail part the place we promote baking associated issues we love and use, from cake stands to dough scrapers and our Bad Girl branded aprons and baggage. By far crucial factor to return out of lockdown was a reminder of how essential work life stability is and remembering what provides you pleasure. I spend way more hands-on time within the bakery and fewer on paperwork than I did earlier than lockdown and I’m happier and extra fulfilled than ever.

What has been considered one of your favorite muffins to make?

That’s such a tough query. My favorite is at all times the newest recipe now we have provide you with. We spend quite a lot of time on analysis, recipe improvement and seasonal menus. Right now, we’ve simply launched our autumn menu, which is my absolute favorite season to bake for. Everything will get darker, spicier, stickier and slightly extra indulgent and comforting and it’s a stunning distinction to the lighter, fruitier summer season recipes. So as we speak, my absolute favorite is a sticky spiced ginger cake with a ginger spiced brown sugar glaze. If you ask me once more tomorrow, I’m fairly positive will probably be one thing totally different.

One of my favorite moments in baking has been the identical all through my profession. It’s nothing fancy however there’s a second when making brownies when the chocolatey combination seems a bit grainy and cut up after which it miraculously modifications into this lovely, clean, chocolatey combination. It’s simply so satisfying and it by no means fails to make me smile.

What’s a great start line within the new e-book?

Each of the chapters has a mixture of easy, fast bakes and others which are slightly extra detailed, however none are significantly difficult. “Cakes for Breakfast” or “Every Day Bakes” each have fast, easy bakes which are nice in the event you’re a brand new baker or in a rush.

You’re stranded on a desert island (that has a totally outfitted kitchen) – what cookbook are you taking with you?

Oh, that’s robust! I completely love cookbooks and have a tendency to turn into obsessive about a brand new cookbook, studying it from cowl to cowl and making tons from it until I transfer onto the subsequent one. My mother-in-law simply gave me a e-book she’s had because the ’70’s referred to as Lady Maclean’s Diplomatic Dishes, which is totally fascinating however in all probability no use on a desert island! The final e-book I purchased was Dishoom, so I’d in all probability go together with that. I’m an enormous fan of their meals however I do know little or no about Indian cooking so it might in all probability maintain me occupied for a really very long time.

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