Megan Chow ’23
If you’ve noticed a delicious scent coming from the direction of Revelle House this semester, it is most likely Amalia Barrett ’21 whipping up a new dessert from the comfort of her common room kitchen.
Barrett blames the Food Network for initiating her passion for baking.
“Coming home from elementary school or over the summers I would binge cooking shows for no apparent reason, internalizing general recipes for foods I don’t even like to eat out of pure boredom,” Barrett said. “I think I actually started baking the stuff I saw because of Buddy Valastro, the one and only Cake Boss. I watched it like it was a weekly sitcom.”
Barrett is all too familiar with the patience, dedication, and precision necessary when it comes to baking.
“[There are] those few times where something just isn’t working (it’s usually french macarons), where I’m following the recipe to a T but it refuses to work with me–they droop, or are too tall, or taste nothing like they’re supposed to–and then finally after the smallest tweaks it turns out perfect and pretends like nothing ever happened,” said Barrett. “I like thinking [that] the baking gods take pity on me and finally let me succeed.”
However, when reflecting on her favorite baking memories, she recalls her more distressed moments.
“I remember in 7th grade I wanted to bring this elaborate Frankenstien’s monster cake to school, no rhyme or reason I just wanted to make it, and I was up until at least 2 am, having burst out crying multiple times because the nose wasn’t right or the frosting was lopsided,” said Barrett. “Now, I think it’s one of the funniest things because I have no clue why I was invested in this stack of cake I was apparently making for fun.”
Despite her dedication to the process, Barrett finds that the impact her creations have on other people is the most rewarding part of baking.
“I love making food for other people… I find joy in making sweet little things for others that might have been craving a specific thing or having a not great day,” Barrett said.
Barrett also participated in the Motley Student Bake Off last year, where she made cake pops as well as three different types of mini macarons. At this 5C competition, students can showcase their baked goods for a chance to be voted by their peers as a winner and sell their baked goods at the Motley Coffeehouse one day of the following week.
“I found out about the Motley bake-off last year and it was the perfect excuse to carve out more time to bake in my schedule, plus everyone else could try the baked goods and not just my roommates and friends (who I think were getting kind of stuffed),” Barrett said. “I had sold the stuff I baked maybe once or twice in high school, but the Motley was such a great opportunity for me and other student bakers to share our food.”
Barrett continues to pursue her passion for baking and is currently selling her baked goods to 5C students on Facebook.
“After the [Thanksgiving] break, I hope to be making some Christmas-y things; maybe gingerbread cookies, holiday themed cake pops, and other wintertime favorites,” Barrett said.
Barrett also accepts custom-made baking requests, whether it be for special occasions or simply a sweet tooth craving.
“I’m very open to making people desserts for special occasions, friend’s birthday parties or other fun events, or if someone just wants a specific food for themselves, I’m pretty confident I can make it for them!” Barrett said. “I just want people to have access to their favorite desserts when they want them, just like I would want.”