Information Technology Services (ITS)
IT@UofT People — Brittani Holder
Published on: March 22, 2021
The backbone of any successful team is its hard-working people. The University of Toronto’s Information Technology Services (ITS) division is privileged to employ outstanding individuals with diverse talents that extend beyond work-related education and skills.
In this segment, entitled IT@UofT People, we will get to know our IT@UofT team across the tri-campus community and find out more about their hidden or not-so-hidden talents and/or pursuits outside of work.
Name: Brittani Holder
Department: Information Technology
Title: Security Analyst
How long have you worked at U of T?
I have worked at U of T for a year and a half.
What is your secret or not-so-secret talent(s) and hobbies outside of work?
My secret hobby outside of work is baking and being able to transform my favourite desserts into healthier alternatives, like low-carb and low sugar desserts; same great flavour without the health consequences.
How and why did you get involved in this hobby?
My family is really big on celebrations; we would celebrate just about any occasion. We’re normally good with food, but tend to go crazy with the desserts. Lately, I’ve been trying to be more conscious of what I consume so this prompted me to seek healthier alternatives to my favourite desserts so that I may continue to partake in these celebrations.
When/how did your interest in baking begin?
I would say that I’ve always had an interest in baking, I just couldn’t seem to find or justify the time to do it. As a student, you sometimes tend to get this irrational fear that any time not spent studying is a missed opportunity to learn a new concept and the last thing you would want is for you to be staring blankly at a question wondering why you didn’t spend that time studying rather than baking. For me, it was much easier instead to fit in a quick Sugar Rush (TV series) episode during my study break; allowing me to save on time and labour, while gaining the same relaxation benefits. This past year however has changed that. I have renewed appreciation for the importance of one’s health. I was able to finish my last semester of university online as well as work from home, which gave me three more hours in my day that would have otherwise been spent commuting (which is normally reserved for reading or light naps). I was able to dedicate this time to researching and experimenting with new food alternatives.
Do you have any professional training in this field?
No specific training besides one food nutrition class I took in high school and watching a multitude of baking competition shows.
Who/what are your inspirations?
I would say my biggest inspiration at the moment is Nadiya Hussain. Nadiya won The Great British Bake Off in 2015 and now has her own baking show on Netflix. I like that everything she bakes is true to her and how she puts her own twist on everyday recipes. I’m inspired by those who follow their passions wholeheartedly and remain authentic to themselves while doing so.
Is there a particular recipe that you make regularly and/or that you are especially proud of?
My favourite dessert is cheesecake (of any kind), so I had to start with that dessert first. It may not seem as technical or labour intensive, however, it requires the ingredients to be perfectly balanced otherwise you can end up with a pretty messy dessert. It took me a while to get the crust to a point where it was able to hold its form and not crack while baking. I like to substitute sour cream and mascarpone as a healthier alternative to traditional cream cheese. Additionally, adding some chocolate allows me to cut down on the amount of raw sugar needed to sweeten the dessert.
Anything else you would like to add?
Pursue your passions, you never know where it will take you.