The nor’westerly wind is warm, often blustery and always unpredictable as it sweeps across the Canterbury plains in the South Island of New Zealand, where I call home. Likewise, I regularly sweep into the kitchen with cakey bakey inspiration and whip up a storm of delights (and dishes) – with sometimes unpredictable results!

The kitchen is definitely my ‘happy place’! I love throwing together some sugar, flour and inspiration, applying some heat, and waiting for the smell of sweet treats to waft from the process. I also love sharing what I make here at Sweet nor’westerly online, where my successes and not-so-successes are documented for learning from, for me and anyone who finds them useful. I’m always developing experience with baking and cake decorating, looking at tutorials and other bloggers’ amazing creations. Whether you’re a seasoned baker/caker, never touched an oven, or anywhere in between, I hope we can learn from each other and have some fun while we’re at it.

In an attempt to make the results of my culinary escapades more ‘predictable’, I’ve been delving into cooking and baking science to learn how to recreate recipes just as I like them, every time. As a result I tend to favour metric weights over volume measurements in recipes (though I still use inches to measure cake tins, go figure!) and I like to describe as best I can exactly what steps I took in making a recipe, so that you might get the same results. Hence my recipes can look deceptively long – but don’t let that put you off! I just want you to be confident about each step so that you’re more likely to have success and fun in the kitchen, too 🙂

Some websites/blogs that I’ve found helpful in my sciencey searchings are:

A few phrases that tell a bit more about me: cake adventurer, Myers Briggs junkie, chocolate connoisseur, problem tackler, green-thumbed grower, local government analyser, IBS ponderer, wifey to N, Christ follower.

You might notice some of my earlier posts are from my old blog,  http://irrepressiblebaker.blogspot.co.nz/ , which was a tribute to the two kinds of IBS in my life, the lesser known being ‘irrepressible baking syndrome’! A bit of a mouthful that, so Sweet nor’westerly is now where I’m at 🙂


Claire xo



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