Me! I'm Maxine, founder of Den Bake Shop.
When it comes to cake, I'd always been more of a consumer than a creator until I was given a top secret recipe for traditional honey cake by a dear friend's mum. The resulting loaf went down a storm at the office, bathed me in baking glory, and I've been pretty much covered in flour since.
Well, that's not strictly true. I was seven months pregnant with my second child at the time, so I obviously left the kitchen briefly to give birth and spend a little time getting used to life as a family of four. Night feeds helpfully turned out to be a great opportunity to binge-watch baking videos on YouTube. I took a short evening course, got busy experimenting in the kitchen and haven't looked back.
What started with a festive pear and ginger layer cake for a family get-together quickly progressed to regular batches of macarons, bespoke birthday cake creations, and that most important responsibility in the hierarchy of baking, wedding cake. And just like that, this baker was born.
Everything I produce is homemade by me in my kitchen in Harlesden, so when it came to naming my business, I chose something to draw from both myself and my neighbourhood. I'm a born and bred Londoner, a Brit of Jamaican heritage and a lover of most things Parisian. I think of Harlesden as a diamond in the rough here in London's NW10, a heady blend of cultures, flavours and traditions just right for my own family's den.
When you eat something from Den, it's been rigorously quality tested by friends and family - anything pistachio is done for my husband, berries for my kids, chocolate for my mum, citrus and mixed spices for...well...me, and salted caramel for pretty much everyone I know...suffice to say that our little village's palate and passion shines through the menu.
I truly hope you enjoy my sweet things as much as I love making them, and that you keep coming back to Den Bake Shop for more.