Please, would you tell us about yourself? Hi my name is Jenny, I was born in Uruguay, in Latin America. My family decided to move to the U.S. for a few years before we returned to Uruguay. My passport, however, states that I am German. We as a family moved to Germany when I was almost seven years old and I have spent most of my life in Germany, going to high school here and graduating from university. While studying in Germany, I got to meet my sweet husband. He is Colombian and we have been married for seven wonderful years already.
What is your life like in Germany? My husband and I currently live in the north of Germany, in Hamburg. We both work full-time, my day-job is in HR, so not related to baking at all! I love to unwind after work baking something or simply checking new recipes. Usually I bake on weekends as we love to have guests. I see baking as a wonderful way to express my creativity and also to give joy to others. There is nothing more satisfying than to see somebody enjoying what I made.
After meeting and marrying your Colombian husband did your cooking change? Were there any great cooking revelations?My husband has definitely influenced the relationship I have with food. He is a real foodie. Beforehand food was just something to fill me up. He, however, really taught me to enjoy a meal, to sit down properly, to think of tiny details of setting the table nicely and to just be in the moment and taste the food. Food is very important in Colombia, I am happy that ‘has spilled over a bit. Since he loves to cook, I am free to focus solely on my baking. I can cook, too, but when given the choice, I will always prefer to bake.My baking has also changed in a way that I have baked many more traditional German recipes, such as the famous Black Forest Cake http://jennyisbaking.com/2017/06/03/the-real-deal-black-forest-cake/ (this still is one of the most read recipes on my http://jennyisbaking.com/2017/12/01/german-stollen/blog). Since my husband was unfamiliar with German cuisine, I felt the need to show him what it has to offer. On the other hand I have learned a lot about Colombian cuisine. I am slowly trying to include Colombian recipes on my blog. One recipe, which is popular is the sweet yeast bread with guava paste, see here: http://jennyisbaking.com/2017/03/01/roscones-colombian-sweet-bread-stuffed-with-guava-paste/.
Does your family have a favourite recipe that maybe you would like to share with us? What memories does it invoke?My family is more of the “no fuss” type. If a recipe is easy, quick and serves a crowd, my family will be interested. One recipe, which has been passed on in my extended family and which can always be found at any family gathering is the 5-minute chocolate cake. It literally is whipped up in five minutes and only uses standard ingredients, so that probably explains why it is so popular. I used the base chocolate dough for this chocolate cake with caramelized plums and pecans http://jennyisbaking.com/2017/09/04/easy-chocolate-cake-with-caramelized-plums-and-pecans/ and also in these mini cakes with pineapple and cappuccino Creamhttp://jennyisbaking.com/2017/10/20/pineapple-mini-cakes-with-mascarpone-cream/. I usually chuckle when I see this cake at family gatherings, it obviously is the go-to recipe for everybody.
What is one of your recipes that you feel especially sentimental about and why?That’s definitely the basic French macarons recipe http://jennyisbaking.com/2017/07/14/summer-macarons/. I had heard sooo many bad things about making French macarons that I never dared to try.At some point I just wanted to see what all the fuss was about and gave it a go. I just thought, if I fail, so be it, no big deal. In the end I deliberately posted pictures of my first batch of macarons on my blog even though they didn’t turn out perfect. I didn’t want my fear to hold me back. I also believe that food doesn’t need to look perfect. My imperfect French macarons still tasted delicious. I have now perfected my macaron recipe and have a very popular post on How to Host a Macaron Baking Party http://jennyisbaking.com/2017/08/25/how-to-host-a-macaron-baking-party-with-lots-of-printables/. I just wish that we would dare to try difficult recipes more often to learn how much easier they are than we thought and to also be honest and show our first attempts more often on our blogs. Sometimes the food blogger world just looks too perfect.
Please tell me about your journey to becoming a baker, blogger and photographer?I started to bake when I was a teenager. I would spend hours making really complicated layer cakes. However, once I finished high school, I didn’t bake so much anymore. I only started again when I got married. I still feel I am at the beginning of my baking journey and there is so much to discover. I started my blog www.jennyisbaking.com only in February 2017, so it is now close to a year. Since I have always loved art, I am currently trying to improve my food photography. We all eat with our eyes and it is so much fun to present food in a way that it is appetizing. Still a lot to learn, but I am proud to say that every single picture on my blog has been shot in manual mode, that is already a huge accomplishment for me. I hope I have many more blogging years ahead.
What is the ‘Spice it up’ Advent calendar all about and why did you decide to create it? What do you hope will come of it?Advent Calendars are very common in Germany. The basic idea is to make waiting for Christmas more bearable. So each day between December 1 and 24 you get a small treat. The traditional advent calendar is usually filled with chocolates. I had seen other German bloggers also doing virtual advent calendars and so I figured I may give it a shot. The food advent calendar “Spice It Up!” invites 24 bloggers from all around the world to create new recipes on their blog and to post it on a specific date in December. I chose the theme “spices” as during the holidays traditionally many dishes have special spices. I asked people to create a new recipe with a spice that is commonly used during the holidays in their country. My hope is that I get to learn more about Christmas all around the world. I love to connect with other bloggers and hope that all participants are excited as me to check the new recipe every day and to get new ideas and connect with others.
You recently won a baking competition with your Cherry Chocolate Mousse Cake, please tell us about that.A famous German blogger paired up with the brand Rittersport and asked to submit a recipe containing chocolate. I submitted a cherry chocolate mousse cake I had invented for my birthday and won first prize! I almost fell off my chair! I will go to a chocolate festival in December with my husband and travel and accommodation are paid for. Really excited! The recipe can be found on his blog: http://baketotheroots.de/cherry-chocolate-mousse-cake/
Last piece of advice?Just one thing: just start with baking and cooking. Start with something small like a cookie, but start. Homemade food is so much better and believe me, if people happily munch away your food, you will enjoy the feeling!Jenny’s recipe for the first day of December is now available. Check out her Stollen recipe on the advent calendar, “Spice It Up!”.