Baking can relieve stress of the festive season

Master baker Oliver Hurley (centre) with Kerry Mental Health Association General Manager, John Drummey (right) and MTU TV, Radio and New Media Student, Finbarr O’Donovan who recorded the video.
Picture: Domnick Walsh

KERRY Mental Health Association has a solution to help home bakers cope with one of the most stressful aspects associated with preparing for the festive season – the Christmas cake.

The charity has collaborated with master baker Oliver Hurley to present a video demonstrating how to bake a delicious Christmas cake without the stress and there’s also a chance to win the cake.

Members of the public have been invited to donate and guess the weight of the cake at iDonate.ie | Support Christmas Cake before Tuesday, December 21cfor a chance to win the cake and the €20 note that’s been hidden inside.

General Manager of Kerry Mental Health Association, John Drummey, said the theme of the Christmas cake is based on the continuing promotion of the 5five ways to wellbeing – connect, be active, take notice, keep learning and give.

“The video demonstrates how easy it can be to bake a cake for family and friends to enjoy over Christmas. We hope that some people will go to the fundraising page to donate and guess the weight to have an opportunity to taste how good Oliver’s cake is,” he said.

Oliver Hurley, an award-winning theatre director and owner of the Oliver Hurley School of Musical Theatre, turned to baking during the lockdown as a means of looking after his mental health.
He developed Olly’s Delights and has baked hundreds of cakes over the past few months.

“People panic when they think about baking at home and they think it’s going to take too much time. It actually doesn’t and the secret is to have everything ready before your start,’ he said.


Oliver with his masterpiece – but how much does it weigh?

“Have everything laid out – ingredients and utensils – and the mixture will be ready to go into the oven after 15 minutes. The key is preparation because it takes the stress out of baking the Christmas cake two or three weeks out giving you time to concentrate on the shopping,’ Oliver added.

Watch Oliver’s Christmas Cake Demonstration video on the Kerry Mental Health Association YouTube Channel while the fundraising campaign to donate and guess the weight of the cake runs until Tuesday, December 21.

All proceeds raised will go towards supporting the befriending and other mental health promotional activities undertaken by Kerry Mental Health Association.

The video was recorded and edited by Finbarr O’Donovan, a final year student of TV, Radio and New Media at Munster Technological University in Tralee.

If you or someone you know is experiencing a personal crisis, is unable to cope and needs support, text HELLO to 50808. If your life is in imminent risk, call 112 or 999 for emergency help.

Details of other resources are available from Local Supports – Kerry Mental Health Association.