In today’s blog we are putting a spotlight on a wonderful local business that are passionate both about baking and their community. Here at Thermapen we love to get involved with other local businesses and events such as helping out at the local high schools and supporting the sports teams. One other business that we frequently bump into at such events is Baked – a small cake cafe with a big heart. Located in Rowlands Road, Worthing this small but buzzing cafe is full of community spirit and delicious bakes. So, we popped down to chat to Lauren and Nicole and also sample their delicious Chocolate Italian Buttercream, made with the Thermapen!
When did you start Baked and why? What was your motivation behind it?
Baked began life in 2013 when, after finishing my doctoral research and returning to my hometown of Worthing, I was trying to work out what I wanted to be when I grew up. Toying with the ideas of post-doctoral research, teaching and civil service jobs, nothing really stood out for me. I wanted to do something a bit more hands-on, a bit more applied, and to work on something that I felt had a clear, even small, positive impact on people’s lives.
I had baked as a hobby throughout my time in research but particularly in the latter part, when deadlines were looming and comforts in the form of spongy, sugary goodness were on an equal level of importance as caffeine (red wine was also high on the list but not so acceptable mid-morning in the office). Baking became a means of escapism, totally separate from the world of political theory, and I loved it. And I ended up doing a lot of it.
Come 2013 and I knew there had to be a way to combine all these strands. Doing something I loved, working and mentoring young people, that took a hands-on approach, in a way that would make the world (just even a little bit) better.
Baked was born.
Baked is very much involved within the community, was this something you had in mind from the beginning?
Setting up Baked as a social enterprise (as a CIC) was something inherent in the business model from the start. I wanted to prove that businesses could be both commercially successful and socially driven.
Our social mission is threefold and led by offering innovative, bottom-up training and skills development opportunities for 16-24 years in Worthing and the surrounding area. To date, we have offered numerous work experience opportunities; barista training; peer support and mentoring for young people wanting to set up their own businesses; pop-up restaurant opportunities for aspiring chefs; and a space for local businesses to use free of charge (e.g. UKE-ADEMY by local business ST Teaching UK.
You use local produce and suppliers – was this also something you had in mind from the beginning?
Yes, a commitment to sourcing as many of our raw ingredients as possible from local suppliers. For example, our coffee is from Harrie’s (based in Chichester); our tea is from The Tea & Biscuit Club in Arundel; our fresh apple juice is from HfT; and our organic free range eggs are from Rookery Farm near Bognor.
What is your customers favourite bake?
Brownies, brownies, brownies. Salted Caramel and Toblerone are the favourites!
What is your favourite item to eat at Baked?
Lauren – Brownies or fruitcake, or lemon drizzle with an espresso.
Nicole – Bakewell cake or smartie flapjack and finished with a flat white.
RECIPE – Chocolate Italian Buttercream to frost an 8″ round 3 layer cake
- 300g caster sugar
- 60ml water
- 200g egg whites
- 525g butter, cold and cut into small cubes
- Flavour to add (e.g. melted chocolate/a shot of espresso/vanilla bean paste/etc.)
If using, melt 150g chocolate and leave to cool.
Wipe a bowl and whisk with lemon or vinegar to de-grease it.
Put the sugar into a saucepan but keep aside 6 tbsp.
Pop your egg whites into the mixer ready to whisk up.
Add your water to the saucepan and start to boil, it must reach 110°C so be sure to use your Thermapen thermometer to check continually.
At 110°C, start whisking your egg whites until they start to foam, then add the 6 tbsp sugar to the egg whites. Keep whisking until stiff.
During this time, keep an eye on your sugar water, continue to heat until it reaches 115-118°C.
Pour into the middle of the egg whites, while still whisking (not down the edge of the bowl as this cools the mixture).
Keep mixing until bowl feels cool to touch, and mixture appears whipped up.
Add butter cubes slowly while whisking, mixture may appear like it has curdled, have faith and keep going.
If it looks like it is not wanting to whip and move to a cream like state, fridge for a little while and whisk again.
You will finish with a smooth, silky buttercream (mousse-like), add your flavours at this final stage.
Frost and assemble your cake – sandwich the buttercream between each cake layer and then proceed to cover the entire cake in a nice thick layer all over.
Serve, slice and enjoy this beautifully light yet indulgent Italian buttercream cake!