One of the benefits of the place I currently live in, is that it is very near to Düsseldorf. The city is not know for its beauty, and for what I have seen so far, it is rightfully so (but I’m always open to surprises, especially pleasant ones, so if you are of different advice, please do leave whatever suggestion you have). On the other hand, Düsseldorf is well-known for being a shopping heaven. I’m not exactly a fashion addict: I tend to get really attached to my clothes, and use them until they fall literally to pieces and sometimes beyond that, and I am able to wear only what I feel comfortable with; foodwise, though, I am the ‘shop-till-you-drop’ girl type, ready to fork out for a new ingredient. Düsseldorf hosts a big Japanese community, with a whole street where writing in Japanese is actually more common than writing in German.
There are two main types of cakes to me. The ones that disappear without any hopes for leftover, and the ones that last a bit longer. I usually bake or cook cakes that belong to the first group, which is a smart choice, dietary speaking – you do get a few extra calories that night, but it is a one-off and you usually share. This means that I usually bake only when I have friends coming over for dinner or lunch or tea or just cake, or when I plan to bring the dangerous goods somewhere else.
It might be a smart choice, but it is sad. It is so nice to have something sweet to enjoy every day, a little bit at a time, something very special that you have made yourself. I usually don’t do that and when my sugar cravings are too strong I just buy something ready made. Sometimes it can be darn good, of course, but then this tends to fall back into the first group – it will disappear, matter of minutes; so most of the times the sweet craving resolves into the ‘hateful commercial calories you should really avoid, bound to give you more guilt than pleasure’. On the other hand, when I bake something just for us, I know exactly how much butter and chocolate and… goes in there, and I know that there is no excuse, I did not share the thing with eight friends so over the course of those few days I had an extra X calories.