whip & whirl
Food & Home Entertaining|April 2020
From the precise art of delicately flavoured macarons to bespoke wedding cakes that enthral, Lauren Carr of Watch Me Whip is transforming Joburg tea parties, one sweet treat at a time!
MARION GARASSINO

It’s beautiful outside on the patio where I’m chatting with rapidly up-and-coming baker, Lauren Carr, about her delightful online bakery, Watch Me Whip. Yes, we thought it was a super-cute name, too! Coffee in hand and a platter of beautifully presented macarons before me, I resist the temptation to try them until I get to know the baker behind the dainty delights.

Lauren was raised in the south of Joburg, and with a grandmother who always had a milk tart and other delicious treats at the ends of her outstretched arms, it’s easy to understand how she grew to love baked goodies. But her decision to become a baker would only come later.

After achieving straight As in high school and going on to study law and psychology at university, Lauren began her working life at a school for children with disabilities. She still works part-time for private families who have children with special needs because she loves helping them overcome some of their challenges.

Lauren casually started baking a few cakes for family and friends, using recipes from her mother’s cookbook and from old school recipes. Her first effort was an elephant-shaped cake for a friend’s baby shower. “It was very flat,” she grins, “and it was covered in fondant icing that I had cut to shape with a steak knife! But I was proud of my effort at the time.”

She continued to experiment and, seeing her passion for baking gaining momentum, her boyfriend Darryn Wright surprised her one day with a whole heap of baking supplies and equipment. And finally, the baking bug bit.

The first challenge she set herself was to master the art of making macarons, which she says took ages to get just right. “But now I love watching them turn out perfectly,” she enthuses. “I’m proud of the technical accomplishment, and the fact that I taught myself how to make them.”

Lauren is, in fact, completely self-taught. She admits it took her a good year of trial and error to develop the recipes she uses now – mostly while sitting cross-legged in front of her baking business took off from there. Starting a new business is challenging for anyone, and Lauren affirms: “When I started out, the orders were so infrequent and I struggled to buy the right quantities as I was working from order to order. I didn’t make a profit because I used my takings to purchase ingredients and equipment. You also don’t factor in your time, and the cost oven, experimenting with ingredients and enduring many a flop. “I’m obsessed with UK master baker Georgia Green of Georgia’s Cakes, who studied at Le Cordon Bleu in London. I used to watch her videos for inspiration and to learn. I’m also inspired by Sweet Lion Heart Pâtisserie in Cape Town – they make the most beautiful cakes!”

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM FOOD & HOME ENTERTAININGView All

In Safe Hands

Managing the safety of our food – from freezer or fridge to fork or fingers, indoors and outdoors – has many hidden dangers. In tribute to World Food Safety Day on 7 June, we consult the experts on some of your most commonly asked questions

6 mins read
Food & Home Entertaining
June 2020

On The Pulse

With plant-based meals on the rise and winter in full swing, it’s the perfect time to stock up your pantry with pulses. Here, we feed your mind to inspire you to feed your body with these affordable, satisfying and nutrition-packed little marvels

10+ mins read
Food & Home Entertaining
June 2020

Hunter-Gatherers

Making tools to source food was humankind’s earliest act of invention and creativity – a quest that inspires the work of Cape-based blacksmith Conrad Hicks and food designer Caro Jesse de Waal

5 mins read
Food & Home Entertaining
June 2020

What Fathers Want

Four fabulous South African chef dads tell us exactly what they’d like to be served this Father’s Day on 21 June. Take notes so you can treat your dad too…

7 mins read
Food & Home Entertaining
June 2020

the big freeze

Take advantage of the versatility of Clover Nutrikids Low Fat Yoghurt Dairy Based Snack by making a batch of popsicles – this way, you’ll have a ready supply of yummy frozen treats to enjoy in a flash!

1 min read
Food & Home Entertaining
June 2020

sorghum

Sorghum isa grain which originated in Ethiopia and is commonly grown in South Africa and Africa. It is best-known locally in its malted and ground form, Maltabella porridge. This superfood grew in popularity largely due to the fact that the sorghum plant thrives in drier areas. In addition, it’s extremely nutritious, being naturally gluten-free and rich in phenolic phytochemicals (which are antioxidants), fibre and iron.

2 mins read
Food & Home Entertaining
June 2020

OUMA'S CABBAGE FRIKKADELS WITH APPLE CIDER SAUCE AND DEEP- FRIED SAGE LEAVES

This is the most wonderful, homely meal. Made with pork mince and simple spices, the frikkadels are amazingly tasty wrapped in soft cabbage in an apple sauce, just like Ouma made them

2 mins read
Food & Home Entertaining
June 2020

flavour burst

Give down-to-earth dishes like this sweet potato salad and risotto an extra-tasty kick with the help of Clover Butro

1 min read
Food & Home Entertaining
June 2020

A classic remix

This deliciously different spin on lasagne is ohso impressive, whether served to guests at your next lunch party or made with love for the most important man in the house on Father’s Day!

1 min read
Food & Home Entertaining
June 2020

Mono-minded

Young blood in the kitchen of Franschhoek stalwart Monneaux has reanimated the menu… and it’s drawing quite a crowd

6 mins read
Food & Home Entertaining
April 2020
RELATED STORIES

Lucifer

As the sinfully good Netflix procedural drops its final season, here’s what you need to know

7 mins read
TV Guide Magazine
The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Ultimate Collector’s Issue

The Archives

“In seconds, North America had suffered the worst blackout in its history. In about nine seconds, 61,800 megawatts were lost, and as many as 50 million people were abruptly left without power,” Newsweek reported.

1 min read
Newsweek
August 27, 2021

Amazon Unbound – Come At Me

When a gossip rag went after Jeff Bezos, he retaliated with the brutal, brilliant efficiency he used to build his business empire. From the new book Amazon Unbound , an untold story of money, sex, and power

10+ mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
May 10, 2021

Facebook Won't Apologize for Instagram Youth

It’s making a kid-focused version of its photo-sharing app, regardless of what critics say

3 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
May 10, 2021

Bumper UK race fleets forecast

A bumper racing season in the UK is being predicted this summer as the easing of restrictions to social gatherings meets pent up appetite for competitive events. The largest is likely to be the Round the Island Race, which takes place on 3 July, followed by Cowes Week and the Rolex Fastnet Race in August, both of which could see boosted fleet numbers.

1 min read
Yachting World
May 2021

STYLE ICON

Having wrapped her run as DAYS’s Jennifer, Cady McClain will miss spending time in Salem with Lauren Koslow (Kate).

1 min read
Soap Opera Digest
March 29, 2021

JOE EXOTIC'S DOUBLE IS ON THE PROWL!

TIGER King” fans were ready to pounce when they thought series star Joe Exotic had been released from his cage!

1 min read
National Enquirer
February 22, 2021

The World We Share

As 2021 arrives, RJD Gallery curated an exhibition that helps define inner feelings and the current times. The show, titled The World We Share, will feature artwork from artists such as Geoffrey Laurence, Julia Chen, Matt R. Martin, Salvatore Alessi, Margaret Bowland and Frank Oriti.

5 mins read
American Art Collector
January 2021

INSIDE Kim's ESCAPE!

KIM KARDASHIAN REACHED HER BREAKING POINT WITH KANYE WEST MONTHS AGO — BUT TOOK MANY STEPS BEFORE SHE FINALLY LEFT HIM.

2 mins read
Star
January 25, 2021

Green Dreams

Painter and gardener Lauren Knight branches out.

3 mins read
DesignSTL
January/February 2021