Sweet love hear me callin’ out your name
I feel no shame; I’m in love
Sweet love, don’t you ever go away
It’ll always be this way…
Listening to Anita’s “Sweet Love” while biting into your absolute favorite dessert, eyes closed so no one can see them rolling back. It doesn’t have to be an Anita Baker song but come on… her last name is clearly indicative of the path to taste bud Nirvana.
There are so many parallels between love and a sugary surrender. I can’t think of many things that bring unity among the restless like an impeccably presented platter of confections, devouring desserts with your eyes brings another level of pleasure to the table. Enter Frances Murray, owner and Head Mistress of Mmmmmm at Chez Fran Desserts. I decided to ask this designer of decadence about the link between love and lickerishness. Here’s what she had to say:
Name the most memorable dessert you baked with your mother. What lesson did you learn while baking with her?
“My most vivid memories of baking with my Mom center around the Jamaican tradition of baking rum cake. Caribbean rum cake is essentially one of the most delicious spiced rum infused pound cakes you could ever have. I’m biased, I know, but trust me when I say that if you tasted a slice made by someone like my mother, a rum cake baking genius, you would be instantaneously catapulted into Rum Cake Heaven. Yes such a place does exist, I would know, I’ve been there many times.
I remember helping my Mom by cracking what seemed like a gazillion eggs and watching her cream butter and sugar in the largest bowl I have every seen with the longest wooden spoon I have even seen. She would mix it for what seemed to be hours. To me it was magic. I was in awe every time I saw how much the butter and sugar increased in volume and how creamy and fluffy it got. Then in went all the other yummy ingredients. My absolute favourite part of it all, was sharing the duties of bowl licking with my younger brother. My mom would let us dip our tiny hands into the ginormous bowl and lick them clean. Yes, our hands; not fingers. After helping out a few times over the years, we figured out that if we moved the bowl away from Mom’s peripheral, we would have more time with the yumminess before we would hear Mom call our names saying; “that’s enough, you will get a stomach ache”. I know, totally genius right?!
You see, we didn’t have many luxuries growing up so we weren’t raised to over value material things. What we had an abundance of was love. For Mom, baking was a way for her to share love through the works of her hands. She baked with love in her heart which she extended to others willingly and with pride. Many who know my mother would agree that the word “love” perfectly summarizes who she is.
What value does your baking hold with your husband? Is he feeling the love too?
Interestingly enough, my husband grew up with his Mom and family members baking. Eating baked-from-scratch goods is a standard luxury that he’s accustomed to. He definitely appreciates when I bake at home and is my resident taste tester and critic. I asked him this question directly and was pleasantly surprised by this answer:
Frances’ passion for baking goes far beyond the taste and presentation of her delectable treats. Her vision for Chez Fran Desserts involves teaching others to mix affection, time, laughter and of course, sugar to create sweet love memories to last a life time.
Do you bake with family members? Leave some of your favorite creations in the comments below.