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Francesca Ling

Baking with a

Fighting Spirit

   

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Hello! I'm Francesca Ling, and I live in beautiful Los Angeles, California. I am an actress and a singer, and I moved to LA from my hometown of Chicago to pursue my dream of working in Hollywood. I have worked on several movies and TV shows, most notably recurring as "Parker" on CBS's Sunday night drama, God Friended Me. When I'm not on set, I'm often at the gym! I love lifting, cycling, circuit training, running, and working out with friends. And then I discovered Muay Thai.

Muay Thai, or 'the Art of Eight Limbs," is a type of martial art. It's Thai boxing, but unlike Western boxing, the whole body is involved. I quickly fell in love with the strength and empowerment Muay Thai gave me, and I have been training regularly for the last seven years!

I became obsessed with the art and science of baking about but what most fascinated me was how important the science of baking is for success. I had made chocolate chip cookies from the recipe on the back of the bag of chocolate chips, and I had made muffins from a boxed mixed, but I never understood how it worked. Why are some cookies better than others? Why can you get different results when you follow the same recipe? Why does bread rise? My curiosity was peaked when I realized that baking was actually chemistry, and if you learn some basic rules, you can become a mad scientist. So, like with my enthusiasm for Muay Thai, I dove straight into the world of baking. I tackled cookies, pies, tarts, muffins, cakes, bread, Asian sweets, and finally French pastry. I devoured all kinds of baking books, learning as much as I could. And I began buying professional equipment as my techniques became more and more complicated. But as I tested new recipes, from trying 15 different chocolate chip cookie recipes to exploring the French vs. Italian method of making macarons, I needed some taste testers (and a way to get rid of all these sweets so I didn't eat it all myself!).

Of all places, I ended up bringing my baking experiments... to my gym! I was baking every week now, and I would always bring something new. And while I was working out, folks would come up to me or shout at me from across the gym how much they loved my creations! And I'd get specific feedback, which was helpful, like they loved the crispy texture or the kick of spice at the end or how it wasn't overly sweet like other ones they've had. I began to call the gym my "test kitchen." I also improved my photography game and started taking more professional looking photos of my baking and posted on Instagram.

And after a short time, my two "hobbies" became so much more. I was cast in the lead role of a film playing a woman who becomes a Muay Thai fighter, and I developed a partnership with my already favorite brand of combat sports gear and apparel, Hayabusa. I started getting hired to bake for birthdays, baby showers, bridal showers, and holiday desserts. My baking became a part-time business.

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So, when it came time to create an official website for my baking, it was my boyfriend (now fiancé!) who suggested I combine my Muay Thai life with my baking life! Thus...  Honey Punch Bakes.  :-)

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