I have always loved to bake and have long been renowned for my sugary prowess in the kitchen. I am that faithful friend who will arduously craft you a birthday cake – or a cheesecake with macadamia-nut brittle and salted caramel sauce – but only if I really, really like you. Baking, like most of life’s worthy endeavours, is perfected over time. Things slowly become easier, simpler and more beautiful after sometimes-spectacular series of trial and error. It’s the holiday season, and I am feeling particularly generous, so, here are a few tricks and tips I have learned from my time at the oven.