Little Box Brownie: Believing in a dream

Believing in a dream

I have some very exciting news to let you in on. I'm publishing a baking book with the help of the amazing team at Random House NZ. Can you believe it? I can't, Its been such a long road to get here.\

I started the book about 4 or 5 years ago, long before I started the Blog. A baking book was something I felt like I had to do in my life time. So one day I simply started it, not knowing if I would finish it and not knowing if anyone would want to print.
I took it one step recipe at a time. My plan was to get to 100 recipes, slowly and surely the book began to take shape, the further I got into it, the more it began to excite me that I was actually doing it and it was really taking shape. It took me about 2 years to complete, a real labor of love. I didn't tell anyone really what I was doing, except my family and a few close friends, in someway I guess I was embarrassed to let anyone in on my little secret. What if it was a huge flop and I didn't finish it, what if I was just wasting my time and it would never see the light of day. So day in day out I plugged away in secret, distributing all the baked goods to neighbors and friends who remained unaware they were my taste testers. They really helped form the shape and the direction of the book and so I owe them a huge thank you.

After I had developed all the recipes and photographed them, I began trying to re-teach myself Indesign. A program I had touched on during my Photography degree, of which I remembered nothing, to lay the design. So with my text book in one hand and a lot of cups of tea in the other the book was slowly formed into something that resembled a book.

I began sending the book out to different publishing houses, Random House NZ was first Publisher I sent it to and was the publisher I really, really, really wanted to publish it. I love their work, they do such and amazing job with their books, they make them all look so professional and truly beautiful. I was so excited to get an email from them asking if I had found a publisher and if I was still interested.
They said they were interested in publishing it, however because I was an unknown it would be difficult. They had some interest from different book clubs and book chains however not enough to do a decent size book run. So the book was put on the back burner for a few years while they tried to find away to get this book printed.

In the mean time, I sent it to some more publishers in both Australia and New Zealand, I had one other publisher interested and a lot of knock backs. I had my heart set on Random House Printing it so about 6 months ago I approached them again asking if we could work together and if I could take a proportion of the books and distribute them myself in Australia, while they distribute them in New Zealand. I really believed in this book and sometimes in life you have to believe in yourself and take a chance, before anyone else believes. The way I see it, life is for living and if you don't live it and do what you truly desire to do, whats the point? We should all be doing what we love and trying to achieve our dreams, sure they might flop, sure we might tread water and get no where, but if we don't try we will be left wondering, what if? So I took the step and I took the chance. For the first time in my life I really did believe in myself and that this book deserved to see the light of day. So I am taking the chance and I am hoping that someone out there might buy a copy or two or ten:)

For the past few months I have been pretty slack with the blog as I have been working with the RH team, to proofread and relay the book. I have re-shoot some of the book and added a few recipes from the blog, but generally it has stayed the same book that I sent them 2 years ago. The team at RH have been so helpful and taught me so much about the publishing industry and how it all works. I owe them a huge thank you, for not only their work and bringing the book to print, but for the continued believe in it and in me. Even though I am an unknown, they saw potential.

So heres to taking a chance, happy baking

Sophia xxx

Ginger and Pear Cake

1 cup plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/4 cup brown sugar
50 butter
1/4 cup milk
1 egg
1 soft pear
1 cup white chocolate chips

Caramel sauce

1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup of cream
100g butter
2 teaspoons ground ginger

Pre heat the oven to 160C

Sift the flour, baking powder and ginger into a bowl, then stir through the sugar.
Place the butter in a heat proof bowl and melt in the microwave. Whisk in the milk and eggs until combined. Pour into the dry ingredients and stir until combined.
Core and chop the pear into bite size pieces then add to the mixture with the chocolate chips and stir though, pour into a lined 20cm cake tin.
Bake for 40 minutes or until cooked.

To make the caramel sauce, place the sugar, cream, butter and ginger into a saucepan and stir for 5-10 minutes, or until smooth and golden.

Pour the caramel sauce over the warm cake and serve