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Karen and Kevin Clifton Karen and Kevin Clifton

Baking and shaking

This week was Kevin’s Birthday and I baked my shiny new hubby a Victoria sponge cake.

k1

This is one of my favourite cakes to make because it’s so easy and I dance around the kitchen the entire time. I think my neighbours think I’m crazy because they see me jumping up and down in my kitchen from their windows. But I don’t care – I’m baking!!

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I followed Mary berry’s Victoria sponge cake recipe if you would like to have a go…

I love baking but I wasn’t always that great at it.
Three years ago I baked Kevin a birthday cake for the first time.
It was not pretty at all. Tasted okay, but it was definitely not one Mary Berry would have been proud of, soggy bottoms all the way.

k3I couldn’t fit Happy Birthday onto one cake so I made another one to say Kevin and even that didn’t fit. I was proud of my creation that I even nicknamed it the “Frankenstein”. I knew from that point on that baking was something I wanted to venture into.
I discovered The Great British Bake Off and my life was completely changed. Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood became my Fred and Ginger. I was in pure chocolate-sprinkle-muffin-fruit-tart heaven.

I met Mary Berry on my second series of strictly. I was dressed as a cupcake with a big cherry on top of my head! One of my favourite looks..

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I was absolutely star struck and completely short-circuited when I met her. I didn’t know what to say, but I knew I had to say something. I ended up asking her one of the most ridiculous questions ever…

Me: Hi Mary, I’m a huge fan. I love you… If I were a cupcake what flavour would I be?

Mary: (Looks up at my head and says) You would be a cherry.

Me: (Giggling) Oh yeah…why?

Mary: Because you have one on top of your head.

Duh!! Karen!! Duh!!!

k5

I want to keep her. Maybe I can change my name to Karen Grape or Karen Banana?? By the way, Kevin looks mighty sexy as a chef!!

I then met Paul Hollywood while Kevin and I were performing at Chris Evans’ Carfest this summer. Once again, I short-circuited and Kevin had to tell me to get a grip because I was acting like an idiot. I couldn’t even say hi to him because I felt shy and those who know me know that I am not a shy kinda gal.

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I kept on just spying on him the whole time we were there. Me, a stalker?? Never!!

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Baking relaxes me. It challenges me. I can get extra creative and use as much chocolate and whipped cream as I like without anyone stopping me.
I can also use the measuring spoons as accessories…

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I never thought I would find something other than dancing that I was so into. I was always afraid of the kitchen. I thought that I wouldn’t be able to figure out the measurements or know how long to keep the cake in the oven for.
What helped me was finding a recipe that was really easy and for a complete beginner. Slowly I started gaining confidence in what I was doing and started creating my own little recipes. It’s all about repetition, practice, experimenting and, most of all, enjoying yourself.

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I can’t wait to teach my babies how to make cupcakes and giggle with them while we sprinkle chocolate all over ourselves!

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