Charity – baking for homeless people … Vanilla buns

Vanilla Bun

Over 100 million people are homeless around the world. Things we take for granted such as having access to a toilet is something over 2.5 billion people worldwide can’t take for granted. Lots of women are scared to go out late in the evenings or in the night to perform their needs due to the high risk to become abused. In 2001, the World Toilet Organisation, declared 19 November  World Toilet Day. The aim was  to raise global awareness about that so many people are living without access to sanitation.

No Change, No Hope

It’s difficult to calculate how many people who are homeless in the UK. One reason is that the are various forms of homelessness for instance rough sleeping, hidden homelessness, hostels and supported accommodation etc. One website I looked at stressed that there are about one million homeless people in the UK. The conclusion is that even in well-developed countries such as UK, there are still lots of people who don’t have a proper home. In Sweden, there are about 34 000 individuals who are homeless. Luckily the councils have become better at solving the issues surrounding  homelessness, so less people are sleeping on the street than before.

I have never been homeless so I can never imagine how it feels to not have a proper home. I can only imagine how horrible it must be.  I am spoiled with lots of warm water, a clean toilet and warm & cosy home. The winters in Sweden are sometimes very cold and often it’s not so pleasant to go out when it’s about minus 10-15 degrees Celsius and the cold icy wind is stroking your chin. Ten minutes feels like a very long time when you have to go home from the train station, but I am lucky that I have a warm home to go home to.

Think about the people who have to walk around for hours in the icy weather and probably have nowhere to sleep. I met a homeless person at the train station in Sweden before I had my exam in Law. He was asking for money and I asked him why he hadn’t tried to get any help from the council. The man replied that he was “too old, so he couldn’t get any help”. I also asked him how it feels to be homeless in the winters. He told me that it’s horrible and you have to walk around all the time in the nights when the train stations are closed just so you will not freeze to death. He had met a homeless man who just fell asleep and never woke up.

Certainly, many individuals do have a choice they can make such as the man from the train station, but he didn’t want any help from the society. Furthermore, maybe he didn’t want to stop drinking so he could change his life. Some people don’t have a choice. They might live in a society without a proper social welfare system and when you have to rely on your relatives and where money is something which lots of people are struggling with. I read articles about that the Swedish Clothing company H&M who only pay their wage earners in Cambodia 3 Swedish crowns per hour (about 0.47 USD, 0.29 GBP). Women are forced to work more hours than their health allows to them to do. Despite that they have to borrow money to buy food. When you are going to the supermarket and complaining about the food they have there just take a second to think about the people who want to buy food because they are starving, but they don’t have enough money to do it…

My Christmas charity task for this year has been to bake more than 100 vanilla buns for some of the homeless people. I gave them today to an organisation in Swindon in the UK which is called Threshold                                                                              (http://www.thl.org.uk/Threshold/Home.html). 😀 Threshold’s aim is to help the homeless people by for instance supplying safe sheltering. Thankfully, they accepted my gift and were happy and grateful to deliver the buns to the people who are homeless. 😀

Here comes the Vanilla bun recipe 😀 😀

Recipe (makes 40 buns) 

Dough 

  • 50 gr fresh yeast
  • 150 gr unsalted butter
  • 4 dl whole milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 dl granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 pinch of Swedish hjorthornssalt
  • about 13 dl plain flour

Filling

  • 3 dl vanilla custard 

For brushing 

  • melted unsalted butter 
  • granulated sugar

Crumble the yeast in a bowl. Melt the butter in a pot, pour the milk into the same saucepan and heat up to 37 degrees C.

Pour the milk over the yeast and stir until melted. Add the eggs, granulated sugar, salt, hjorthornssalt and plain flour.

Work the dough until smooth and firm. Leave in bowl and let it rise under a tea towel for about 30 minutes. Kneed it a bit and shape the dough into round balls.

shape balls

Flatten the balls, put a teaspoon of vanilla custard on each of them and shape them into a golf ball sized ball. Place the “ugly” side down into the papercase.

Let the buns rise on a baking sheet for about 40 minutes and then bake them in the middle of the oven at 225 degrees C for about 6-8 minutes (until golden brown).

golden brown

Let them cool on a wire rack.

Brush the buns with melted butter and dip them in granulated sugar.

Brushing

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Dip

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Can be frozen.

vanilla buns

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vanilla buuuuns

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Ready to go! 

Ready to go

Outside Culvery Court; The main hostel! 

Culvery Court

Happy Vanilla Bun Baking! 😀

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Baking Poem

We are kids from all over the world…

who enjoy to create and bake…

yummy and wonderful cakes…

filled of Chocolate and Vanilla…

but we will not give them to a hungry gorilla!

Instead, we will give them to the people we love…

Instead, we will give them to strangers who have nothing to eat or nowhere to have a proper seat.

Instead, we will eat them alone and sing a song when we deserve a treat which you can’t beat!

Our Chocolate and Vanilla cakes are definitely something you cannot beat…

but you would love to receive them as a treat!

We bake our cakes with love and passion …

And no! They are not out of fashion!…

because they are filled of Chocolate and Vanilla

and can even make creatures excited such as a hungry and happy gorilla! 😀

Happy Baking from Sugar and Spice Baking! 😀

Happiness…

I have had my blog sugarandspicebaking.com for almost two months now. What makes me keep going with it? The main reason is that I just LOVE to do the things I am doing. Baking is a BIG part of my life and to see that I can make other people happy with my pastries is very rewarding!! To hear words that people I know (family and friends) are PROUD of me; find my cakes, biscuits etc lovely and delicious; love my blog posts and pictures, mean a great deal for me!! 😀

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To hear that people believe in what I am doing and mainly that I believe in myself feel like a blessing…and make me keep going what I am doing.

It has given me happiness to get the chance to have contact with other bloggers on this site. It is amazing what people can create with just being creative and using their strong skills to create wonderful things…

You don’t have to be a masterchef or top “bakerista” to show the things you bake and love. The most important for me is that you show your passion for it!

I have always, during my 29 years, preached about that it is important to find your own way in life to try to reach happiness in life! This is my best advice I can give you all. Let the heart and soul guide you to happiness. Don’t be afraid to reach your goal even if obstacles can occur on the road when you are trying to reach happiness in life… It’s only YOU who can create your own happiness in life and it comes from the inside… so listen to your internal voice and don’t be afraid… be brave, honest, strong and happy instead… 😀

Happy Love Day! 😀

Cake judge…

A bad habit I’ve got is that I, unconsciously or consciously, judge the cakes I am being served.

It just “happens”, can’t help it… the reason for that is that I LOVE cakes, buns and cookies too much and LOVE high-quality ones. Sigmund Freud would probably disagree with me if he wasn’t dead. Maybe his Spirit will hunt me now. Freud said that nothing happens by accident—instead, there is a reason behind every act, thought, and feeling. 😀

Sigmund Freud! 

Yesterday, I ate a beautiful cookie! My auntie had baked it. It was the most TASTIEST Toffee cookie I have ever tried in my life!! 😀 I guess I told her at least 3 times how lovely it was…. and it certainly was. She’s an EXCELLENT baker! I will try to bake those cookies some day in the future and share the recipe with you guys… 😀

Me happy! 

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Are you a cake judge too?! Please, share your thoughts… 

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Where did my passion for Baking begin?

Some people have previously asked me where my PASSION for baking began. Like I have mentioned in a previous blog post, I started to use my mum’s pots and pans when I was two years old and LOVED to be with her in the kitchen. I also have loved tasting my amazing 91 years old Grandma’s cakes, she is also an EXCELLENT Baker like my mum! In the future I will share some of my Grandma’s baking recipes with you guys.

When I was a teenager, I travelled one summer by train with eight heavy cook books from Austria, through Germany and France and back to Sweden. They were all in German or French. God knows (!!) why I bought books written in FRENCH, even if I have studied French for six years. I only understood a few words of them, for instance gâteau (cake)…but I was stubborn, I wanted to try to bake some of the recipes so I bought a dictionary in French (I already had a German one).

In my time I have made a few mistakes such as when I used the Austrian measurement’s conversion and thought that 10 dkg was 1000 gram instead of the 100 grams, which is the correct number. When I tried to make Kaiserschmarrn with 1 kilo Margarine instead of 100 gram, I was pretty surprised that they had so much margarine in their food in Austria, but it was me… who hadn’t read the information correctly. Haha 😀  But hey ho… the Kaiserschmarrn tasted beautiful even if it was a bit fatty ( I got rid of lots of Margarine… so don’t worry 😉 ).  😀

My family and friends have been VERY SUPPORTIVE and tasted all the buns, cakes, biscuits I have made over the years…. From BIG cinnamon buns to SMALL Coconut cookies. The kitchen floor in one of my previous apartments was pretty well used. I used to sit there and talk and wait for the dough to rise with one of my girlfriends meanwhile we were drinking coffee. We baked for hours, almost every single day, and I was even forced to get a second big freezer in my kitchen so I could store all the things I baked. The neighbours got home-baked vanilla buns and bread on many occasions. My ex boyfriend got so tired of having go to buy flour in the supermarket all the time,  he came home one day with a big 25 kg sack of flour and said “Now you can bake!!!”.  Lovely memories….

I haven’t baked for a few years because I was studying pretty much at the University. During those years, I always felt that something important was missing in my life. Early this year, I just got the inspiration to bake again…when I was spending time with my dear and lovely British boyfriend. I felt that I had found that important puzzle piece in my life… my passion for baking and to see other people’s smiles on their faces! BAKING for me is not only a hobby, it’s a lifestyle…  😀

”Let them eat cake” – Marie Antoinette

I have always loved to bake and cook food. Even since I was two years old I used to borrow my mum’s pots and pans.  The most joyful thing was to be with my mum in the kitchen when she baked her delicious and beautiful cinnamon buns!

The word cake has even been mentioned  in the History book.  A famous quote “Qu’ils mangent de la brioche” is taken from Marie -Antoinette (born 2 November 1755, died 16 October 1793). The people were starving in Paris and the Queen Marie -Antoinette lived in luxury in her castle Versailles. She could not understand why the citizens were asking for bread when they could eat cake! Marie-Antoinette was the Empress  of Austria Maria-Theresia’s daughter and Marie-Antoinette was married to Louis XVI.

Marie-Antoinette

Versailles 

William Shakespeare is also a great historical person who has used the word “Cake”. “Dost thou think because thou art virtuous there shall be no more cakes and ale?”  (ShakespeareTwelfth Night, 1602). According to the website Phrases cakes are synonymous with the good life and it can be used as a metaphor for a “good thing”.

Shakespeare (pretty handsome huh? Haha) 😀

Why are cakes and baking so good for your health? Like I mentioned in my previous post, for instance it makes people smile. Even depressed people could probably be treated with baking therapy. I also have mentioned in my post about “baking and dementia” that people with memory difficulties could gain better memory when they are doing something stimulating as baking.

 What is my point with this blog post? The point is, when you are walking around in the supermarket or going out with your friends/family for some coffee and cake you should really understand a bit of the background of the amazing thing you see in front of you. It is not only a cake, baked with flour, eggs, sugar etc. It has a history… from a historical and social perspective.

Still, people are starving in the world, like the ones who lived in Marie-Antoinette’s France, but at least, we nowadays have many people who’ve started Charity Organizations to help those people who are in need. Isn’t it amazing? I surely think it is… More need to be improved and done though, but we already are doing a great job, if you think about how many people who are living on this Earth. Luckily we don’t have to beg an arrogant Queen like Marie-Antoinette, to try and get some bread. We have ourselves, we have the love for baking and cooking, and most of all we surely know how to treat people with respect and dignity… 😀