THINGS I LOVE
I can’t get enough of my number-one sweet ingredient and baking essential
My love affair with vanilla goes back almost as far as I can remember. The sweet scent is woven through my childhood memories of baking cakes and biscuits, and it has followed me all my life, whether I’m at work devising new treats, at home making meringue, or whenever my boys are adding a (very) generous spoonful to their smoothies. I’ve been known to stir a little vanilla bean paste into my espresso, and, of course, it’s been in every birthday cake I’ve made! A little while ago I even won a cocktail-making competition, thanks to the secret weapon stashed in my handbag – a packet of vanilla beans. It’s undoubtedly my favourite ingredient, so familiar but still special, and I’ll always have some close by.