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Desserts, puddings and cakes have always been my very favourite things to cook.
When we were kids, my mum nearly always made some sort of pudding for dessert; nothing fancy mind you, but scrumptious nonetheless. For us at the time it was just normal, but hindsight is a wonderful thing, and I realise now how lucky we were to grow-up with such treats. I always loved helping her cook, but even more so if she was baking or making something sweet (I have to admit that the opportunities this led to for licking a beater or scraping out every last skerrick of batter from a mixing bowl with my finger probably added to my enthusiasm!) It was certainly no surprise to me or anybody else when I started cooking in restaurants for a living, and with a particular focus on desserts, cakes and sweet things.
I don’t think there was ever a happier time in my career than when I worked in an exquisite patisserie in Sydney. My days were spent up to my elbows in melted chocolate, cake batter and all sorts of doughs as I baked cakes, biscuits and pastries to be sold in the shop which also doubled as a tiny café. So when my lovely publisher, Julie Gibbs, asked if I might be interested in writing a book on desserts, it felt as though all my Christmases had come at once! It’s been such a joy to work on this book and to bring together so many of the recipes and stories from different parts of my life. I only wish my mum were here to read it. I have no doubt that if she was, she would be tying on her apron, getting out her mixing bowls and whipping up one of the many desserts!