Hi! I’m Hen, and welcome to my course, Clean Cakes. I grew up in rural Suffolk, UK, with my brother, sister and my parents who love to cook. Having our own vegetable garden, fruit trees and chickens and procuring the rest of our ingredients from nearby friends and shops, led me to value the importance of cooking with local, seasonal and fresh produce from a young age.
After graduating from Edinburgh University where I studied French and Italian, I enrolled on the Professional Pâtisserie Scholarship at Westminster Kingsway College, London and graduated with distinction two years later. I loved it all, learning about new ingredients, the precise methods of cooking and fine craftsmanship involved. I went on to work as a pastry chef in a range of award-winning kitchens, including the Lanesborough Hotel, London.
In September 2013, I moved home to Suffolk. After nearly five years of working in professional kitchens, I realised that I wanted to be my own boss and create my own food. I started my business, Henrietta Inman Pâtissière, the following December. I now do pop-up pâtisseries, farmers’ markets, food festivals, celebration cakes, bespoke orders and take private commissions from a single tart to dessert for 200.
The response has been incredible and I truly love being able to meet my customers, see them enjoy my food and hear their feedback. But the more first-hand interaction I have with them, the more I become aware of the amount of people today who have either cut down on gluten and dairy, or cut them out of their diets completely due to allergies, intolerances and sensitivities. Another comment I often hear is, ‘Oh, I really shouldn’t, too much sugar!’. At the same time, after cooking with refined wheat flour, caster sugar and butter for the last five years as a pastry chef, I have become a bit bored of them to be honest! There are so many other interesting and varied ingredients out there to use so why limit ourselves to these so-called ‘staple’ baking ingredients? As someone who has always been interested in healthy and flavoursome food, this led me to begin to work on my Clean Cakes, free from gluten, dairy and refined sugar and packed with nourishing, whole and unrefined ingredients to create my new, naturally delicious pâtisserie.