Picking Astrid’s Brain pt 2

Interview with Astrid Field

We’re Joined again by Astrid Field of Sweet Rebellion, and this time we wanted to get some more insight into what goes into this awesome blog. These are some highlights from the second part of this two part interview:

Astrid Field

Would you say you have specific flavors or styles of confectionery that you prefer?

I love classic flavours like chocolate and Vanilla. Raspberry is right up there too.

When it comes to pastries and desserts, I think the French are at the top!

What is it about those styles and flavors that sticks out for you?

Chocolate is such a versatile ingredient and universally loved, it’s always a winner.

I think real Vanilla is really underrated as a flavour, and pairs well with so many other flavours. I had the chance to see how Vanilla is grown and harvested in Reunion,  so I have a real appreciation for it!

With my scientific background I am stickler for precision and accuracy, which is probably why the French style of cooking appeals to me. It’s all about having everything prepared before starting, and following times, temperatures and techniques correctly.

Looking at the community of bakers and bakeries around you, would you say you cater to a specific niche?

Yes, I think a number of bakeries and food bloggers are going the healthy route with their recipes these days and my recipes are unapologetically decadent!

What advice would you give to someone who wants to either casually start following your recipes or has a desire to make baking part of their routine?

Invest in a scale and a sugar thermometer. Weighing ingredients is much more accurate than measuring volume in cups. A sugar thermometer opens the door to so many confectionery recipes like nougat, caramels, fudge, macarons and many more.

Set aside enough time to  concentrate on the recipe and not be distracted. Make sure you have all the ingredients and equipment before starting.

If you are stuck on something, drop me an email and I’ll help you where I can!  Also, be brave and try new techniques and flavours. You might surprise yourself!

In your kitchen, what is the one item/ingredient that would leave it incomplete without it?

Sugar! I use sugar in one form or another in every recipe.

Whether it be white sugar, brown sugar, castor sugar, honey or maple syrup, all my recipes are sweet so I can’t do without it!

Where do you see the world of baking going in South Africa in the next 5 years and what role do you believe you will playing?

There is a strong trend towards plant-based and vegan cooking at the moment, and I think that will continue over the next few years.  However, I believe there will always be room for a little indulgence and that’s where I come in!

Astrid, it was great chatting with you! Thank you.

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