Getting my bake on: How a Marie Kondo binge led to cakes, buns, and bread

Like pretty much everyone else I know, I've been watching Tidying Up with Marie Kondo on Netflix. And like most of those people, I then fell in love with Kondo, and the way she inspires you to take a decluttering magic wand to all your crap. I started on the kitchen a little while ago in the interests of saving money by using up the food I had at home, rather than heading straight out to the supermarket and stocking up. After watching Tidying Up, I thought I should finish the job and take on those ingredients that have been haunting the corners of the store cupboards for years.

My favourite victim of the kitchen clear out was a package of flour meant for making Chinese dumpling and buns. I bought it because I loooooove Chinese dumplings and buns, but the instructions  seemed to go on forever (make up the flour with other ingredients, knead, leave, steam, I forget the rest) and I just never got around to it. Who has time for kneading dough and waiting for it to rise? Phhht. Not this vegan. The flour went out of date in 2015.

I like to view use by dates as a challenge, and I was determined to finally thank the flour for its service and put it to good use. I followed the packet instructions like it was the secret recipe for turning lead into gold. I didn't quite end up with a shedload of bullion, but I did end up wowed by how one neglected package dumpling flour could turn into amazing fluffy buns. I used them up first with some leftover stew, then with a big bowl of hot and sour soup, with loads of tofu and veggies.

Then I tackled the another of my kitchen ghosts: two tiny one-teaspoon size packets of instant coffee. I don't drink instant coffee, so I can only imagine some thoughtful kitchen sprites had left them when they popped around for a cuppa. They didn't have any use by dates on them, but I reckon if they had, they would have been even older than the dumpling flour. Maybe even older than time itself...

Luckily, they were still old enough to make some incredible bakes. I tweaked the recipe for coffee and walnut cake here, and the icing recipe here, and make some mocha cupcakes. I made about eight, the perfect size for eating with lunch during my placement. And with homemade cakes on hand, I resisted the urge to buy Rhythm 108 bars instead - that's nearly a tenner saved! Cheers, Marie!

And having made those glorious bakes, I decided it was time to use or lose a hand mixer I bought in 2015 to make aquafaba meringues, and used only a handful of times since then. It wasn't doing much joy sparking, I'll admit. But having seen how flour and bit of ingenuity can yield beautiful results. I thought it was time to get the hand mixer doing what it was born to do.

Instead of venturing back into aquafaba territory, I pressed the dough hooks into service to make more bread. I tried making focaccia, and then a cracking crusty loaf. I don't think I've ever made any breads that were quite so good. I've been saying thank you to the hand mixer - and Marie Kondo - ever since.


  1. I have been avoiding Marie Kondo but I did a clean out of Sylvia's clothes that mean we have lots of clothes to get rid of and now I am wondering if the op shop (charity shop) will take them as they seem very full lately. I love your kitchen kondoing. Those buns look so perfect and the slashes on your bread are very impressive

  2. I spotted Tidying Up with Marie Kondo on Netflix but for some reason it hasn't appealed to me, perhaps because I am not the housey type - my husband is more house proud than me and considers me messy. Admiring everything here, esp. the soft buns which do look fluffly - ive never made anything like that in my life and must do so this year. You don't drink instant coffee I was surprised to learn that, as I do these days simply out of convenience - its at the w/e I have proper coffee and the loaf does look proper crusty.

  3. I haven't seen the show as I don't have Netflix but your skillful use of expired pantry items sparked joy in reading about it. :-)

  4. Cor blimey this is impressive! We didn't get rid of much food stuff, we seem to do pretty well with using what we have. There were a few tins of kidney beans lurking from Mr J-M's bachelor days- they don't agree with my digestive system at all so we donated them to a neighbour who is super healthy and vegan so happily he didn't find that as weird as it felt...


Post a Comment

Popular Posts