Meet the Baker: Julianne Bell

Meet the Baker: An Interview with Julianne Belle
How has baking changed your life?
Baking is the one activity where I am 100% in the moment, and feel my greatest self. And in recent months, I have decided to make baking my life's work. As a result, I have never been filled with so much joy, humility, and gratitude.
How do you celebrate baking in your life?  What's your process?
Outside of working as a baker for my local bakery (shoutout to M&H Bread and Butter in San Anselmo!), which has been an amazing experience.  I love to bake for friends and family birthdays, holidays, and celebrations. The process of creating, followed by the smiles and joy my creations bring is pure bliss.

I also love to use baking as an emotional outlet. If I'm having a bad day, baking is my go to coping mechanism. The tactility, creativity, and meditative state it evokes, helps me to persevere whatever I am going through. 
You baked a Theory of Care inspired cake!  What do you find special about working with saffron? How did you choose to highlight it on the cake?
Aside from being gorgeous, saffron has one of the most unique aromas/flavor profiles, and is very versatile! How the spice is cultivated is also fascinating. Each saffron flower yields a mere 3 strings of saffron, which results in an extremely delicate cultivation process. 

I chose to use saffron as the main accent flavor in both the cake and the frosting. 
Your Saffron Vanilla Cardamom Cake recipe is incredible.  How did you decide on the flavors?  How do they complement each other?
When I think of saffron, I think of Persian and Mediterranean foods.  So the other flavors I was drawn to were cardamom and orange blossom water, which, like saffron, are all used in these cuisines. I also chose to work with vanilla, which is a familiar, and warm spice that pairs well with saffron. 
The flavors complement each other well, while the saffron remains the star of the cake.
What is your favorite part of baking?
Sharing my creations with others is my favorite part of the process! To bring a smile to someone's face through an entire life sensory experience is amazingly rewarding. I am also always open to criticism, so sharing with others brings opportunity for growth and improvement. 
Check out Julianne's work on her Instagram page @j.the.bakerr

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