Interview conducted & written by
Attention bakers! Looking for some culinary excitement in your life? Why not join our monthly Butter Baked Goods cookbook challenge and bake your way through this beautiful book one recipe at a time. Each month we will be baking a recipe and comparing notes until all of the delicious treats have been made.
Described as a pink-and-pistachio slice of heaven, the Butter Baked Goods bakery first opened its doors in Vancouver in 2007 and owner Rosie Daykin’s childhood dream of owning a bakery came true. Famous for their homemade marshmallows, this bakery now has two locations in my stomping grounds. Last year’s release of a compilation of Butter’s favourite recipes has met with much success and just flipping through the pages you can see why. The whimsical look and feel of the cafe is carried throughout the book, with a variety of recipes ranging from muffins, cookies, bars & slices, cakes, cupcakes, pies and tarts as well as a variety of confections. Wanting an excuse to bake pretty much everything from this book, I came up with the idea of a monthly challenge and hope you join in on the fun!
To kick things off I had the opportunity to ask author Rosie Daykin some questions.
Butter Baked Goods (published by Random House of Canada, $35 CDN) is a compilation of recipes from one of Vancouver’s favourite bakeries.
Photo courtesy of Random House of Canada
You first opened Butter Baked Goods in 2007. What was the inspiration behind starting your own bakery?
A love for baking. Just as simple as that. I wanted to spend my days doing something I loved that I hoped would bring others the same enjoyment.
Six years later, what made you decide to publish a cookbook?
It seemed like a natural extension and evolution to the work that I was doing at Butter. I enjoyed the idea that Butter could reach far and wide so people could enjoy our treats even if they couldn’t make it to Vancouver and I love the creative challenge of it all.
Photo courtesy of Random House of Canada
Butter is a gorgeously illustrated cookbook. When you first came up with the concept for this book did you have an idea of what you wanted it to look like?
I wanted the book to feel and look exactly as Butter does. I wanted the reader to feel as though they were walking through the doors of Butter.
Butter is a collection of classic, nostalgic style baking recipes. There seems to be quite a trend around classic/nostalgic baking. Why do you think that is?
I don’t see it as a trend so much. I see it more about a desire for simple pleasures that are very achievable in an ever changing world moving at warp speed.
Define the art of old-fashioned family baking.
The “art of old fashioned baking” sounds a little intimidating to me. I think it is more about simple ingredients used to create memorable moments with family and friends.
The bakery’s marshmallows have earned a reputation as being some of the very best gourmet marshmallows in North America. What makes them so special?
Our marshmallows are truly hand made, from start to finish. Right down to the little bow that is tied on every bag. Just like the goodies we produce at Butter everyday, nothing is automated. Things that have had human touch are special like no other.
Your recipes are designed to be approachable for everyone from the experienced baker to baking newbies. How did you accomplish this?
It is the only way I know how to bake. Many of my recipes are the very ones I have been making since I was a little girl. They are simple and straightforward, just like me.
What’s your favourite recipe in the book?
Oh that’s a bit of a Sophie’s Choice! How could I possible choose just one of my recipe children? Though the Peanut Butter Marshmallow Slice is pretty damn fine.
You have no formal pastry training. To what do you attribute your baking success?
Practice, practice and practice. No better way to learn than by throwing yourself in and digging your way out.
In the book you say success “breed confidence and confidence is a baker’s secret weapon.” What are your top tips for baking success?
Remove all self doubt from your mind and if it doesn’t work out the first time just get back on that horse and try it again.
Our first recipe challenge is the Dream Slice – what should we make next?
The Dunbar is pretty delicious but a pie is always a good challenge.
In your book you say that your theme song would be The Cape by Guy Clark; “life is just a leap of faith, spread your arms, hold your breath and always trust your cape.” What’s your next leap of faith?!
I just planted my first vegetable garden and fingers crossed I’ll have something to show for it come summers end.
Any final advice/words of encouragement for our merry band of bakers?!
Just enjoy it and remember to share your treats.
Interested in joining our monthly Butter Baking Challenge? Leave a comment below!
To read more of our interviews with professional and celebrity chefs, please visit the Sound Bites section.