With quick movements, 6th grader Madeleine Bjørge ties her apron. Then she started making muffins.
– It’s important to have a good recipe, said the 12-year-old.
Since May of last year, she has been passionate about baking and decorating.
– I made a lot of mistakes in the beginning. There was too much stirring and I had added buttercream before the cake cooled, so that it would melt. Everything went well, said Madeleine.
She spent a lot of time on YouTube and TV shows learning the techniques.
She often searches for recipes during school hours and plans what she will cook when she gets home.
I have diabetes
Mom Lise Hoff is impressed with her daughter’s efforts to become a good baker. She admits that at first she was afraid of the mess, but realized she had to let go.
The hobby also took on a whole new meaning when Madeleine fell ill. In January, she was diagnosed with diabetes and made several trips to the hospital.
– When she cooks, she forgets about everything that is bothersome every day. It’s fun, says Hoff. In January, Madeleine was hospitalized for two weeks. On her first discharge from the hospital for a few hours, she went straight home to bake a cake on the second floor for the health workers.
In the blink of an eye, Madeleine shapes the muffin batter and puts them in the oven. Today, she has big plans. Not only are there muffins on the menu, but she has also made two cake bases that she will decorate. Maka will be allowed to take the cake with her to friends in the club.
– I often worry about whether people will like the cakes. And then I’m really happy when they do, says Madeleine. She admits she’s a bit of a picky eater herself, so she’s got some of her own baking.
In large plastic boxes, she has cooking equipment, baking colors and vermicelli.
While other 12-year-olds might like to go to clothing stores, Madeleine can spend hours in Jernia and other stores selling baking supplies. She also has an exercise set for cake decorating, so she doesn’t have to make a cake base every time.
Get the kids cooking
– It’s clear that Madeleine has practiced a lot, says Ole John Berntsen, president of Baker and the national association of the confectionery industry. He saw a picture of Madeleine’s cakes. Her advice for getting kids interested in cooking is to let them help in the kitchen.
– Give children confidence and cook together. It’s smarter for everyone, says Berntsen.
Compensation is key
Muffins have bones to walk on. The little sister Mathilda (10 years old) and her friend Guste. Today they can taste for free, but sometimes Mathilda has to pay when she orders pastries from her big sister.
– I do the job, laughs Madeleine.
It’s not just baking and decorating that Madeleine has learned. In order to keep up, she must also clean up after herself. She thinks it’s key for other kids to be able to express themselves in the kitchen.
Now she has a dream for the future.
– I want to be a pastry chef. I want to bake cakes and muffins and sell when I grow up, says the 12-year-old.