I Learnt A Special Life Lesson Whilst Baking


I’m not much of a baker, if at all. I’ve always excelled at cooking. Even my mum knew that my attempts as a child through to my teens, my cookies were always going to end up in the bin. However, i’ve never let my bad experiences of baking ever put me off…although they should!

On Sunday, I saw Mike from Bearded Bakery tweeting about how he was going to make brownies and suddenly the thought of gooey chocolate brownies sounded ideal. I asked him for his recipe (can be found here) and trotted off to the supermarket to grab the extra ingredients I needed.

Come 8pm, I finally got around to starting the brownies. I told myself I should be done by 9pm since it only takes 25 minutes to prep and 30 minutes to cook… but here I was until 11pm still making these brownies.

For starers, I didn’t read the recipe properly. I just assumed I would have all the tools required to make these brownies. Which relates to my over excited spirit that often means I don’t always get the outcome I desire, just because I haven’t researched into it a lot.

I continued anyway, feeling positive that I will make do with what I had. Along the way, I managed to flick and entire sieve full of flour over my £2,000 Macbook and set a tea towel alight, not mentioning the state of my kitchen. You would think I would have given up by this point? Heck no!

I carried on to the final stage of the baking.

Only to realise I needed an electric whisker to combine eggs and caster sugar and it would take atleast 8 minutes at full speed. So, I got out a big bow, poured in my sugar and cracked my eggs. Grabbed my fork and set off whisking. Yes… my fork.

My determination and motivation to make it work was real. So real. I started with the most ambitious attitude, but as I went on, I struggled. It was never going to get to where I need it to be, is it? My arm started to hurt. Nonetheless, I carried on. I WAS going to do it. I looked up techniques of whisking on Youtube, put on motivational music to keep myself whisking.

I stopped. I gave up. A little voice in my head stopped me though. “You can’t give up. You always give up when times get hard and I won’t let you do it again. Keep going Aftab, you CAN do it.” After a recent moment in my life, when I did exactly that, it made me more motivated than ever. As I continued, there was just so much doubt in my head, so much negativity, i’m definitely doing it wrong. I googled, I asked my mum, but they told me to keep going. The more air I added, the harder it got to whisk but it was closer to where I wanted it to be. Whisk, come on, whisk! I kept going until I was at the moment where it was good enough to make the brownies… 45 minutes and a very sore hand/arm later. Instead of the usual 8 minutes by electric mixer.

Mixing all the ingredients together and getting it into a pan, I anxiously ran back and forth between the sofa and the oven in hope that it was going to turn out alright. That I would get the end result I was so insistent on having.

When they came out the oven after 25 minutes. They were just perfect. The sense of achievement, happiness and utter joy just ran through me. There was an ever beaming smile too. I did it. I’m not a baker, but I did it!

Baking the brownies and whisking is just an analogy, but I learnt something special through a simple everyday practise. I learnt that if you want something enough, you have to work hard for it. You may not always get the chance to take the easier road in life and that’s the biggest test of all. You will come across many hurdles that may cause you to doubt yourself and make you want to give up. If you want it enough, you’ll push through the hard times and get to the finish line, no matter how long it takes because when you get there, it will be all so worth it.

A photo posted by Aftab (@freshandfearless) on

Until next time…