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Baking Bad

“Hum honge kamyaab ek din,
Mann mein hai vishwaas,
Poora hai vishwaas
Hum honge kamyaab ek din”

I enjoy eating delicacies. I enjoy making delicacies. All I do is find a recipe online, and get cracking to get the end result. This applies to all. All includes everything that’s being cooked on the stove. ONLY.

Baking has always been an ordeal for me. From setting the right temperature, to adding that exact amount of baking powder, every ingredient, condiment needs to be precise. The Indian in me, who loves jugaad, tends to experiment a lot when it comes to cooking and is left disappointed when it comes to baking. Because there isn’t much scope for experimenting. Until you know your ingredients very well, and therefore know your proportions

I remember the first time I tried to bake a cake. We had recently purchased a microwave oven, and were extremely excited to try making the succulent tikkas given in the microwave cookbook. But sister suggested that a chocolate cake might just be the perfect way to inaugurate the microwave oven. Having something sweet before starting a journey is considered auspicious.

With innocent aspirations we started our sieving, whipping, mixing and folding. The batter was delicious, tasting more sinful than the classic melted Dairy Milk. We thought we would get a nice, soft sponge cake, springy and light, cutting sharply as the knife sliced through it. After keeping it in the microwave for a prescribed number of minutes, we all waited outside, watching the container from the glass door, waiting for the batter to rise. Excitement turned to worry when we saw no change in height, and there were only 2 minutes to go.

And a couple of seconds later, it happened.

The batter slowly rose. So did the excitement. We had done it!

After we heard the annoying microwave beep, we sat down for a bit; sister had said that we should allow the cake to cool down a bit before we tried taking it out of the container. And after 10 minutes, we opened the microwave door, and saw a cake with cracked, slanting top.

The lifeless-looking cake was disappointing. Cutting through it, and watching the sponge crumble was even worse. We looked up reasons for failure on the internet. And the more we read, the clearer it became just how the tiniest difference in ingredients, mixing patterns can make or break what you’re baking.

We must have baked many cakes since then.  Over 50 maybe. It’s only now that we see consistency improving. The prep time has also become more efficient. But we are yet to make that perfect cake.

And that day is only closer than before. Just another 50 more to make.



Expert Hogger. Amateur Jogger. New Blogger.

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