They say "The other side of the grass is always greener" - Yes, I am so fascinated about baking just as folks from here are fascinated about Indian cooking. I enjoy all kinds of baked goods and love to indulge myself & taste them whenever & wherever possible, except for the fact that they add more 'not so enjoyable' calories :(
I have tried to bake cupcakes just two times in the past, but both of them were not very successful. I did not have necessary equipments (just had a hand whisk), but still dared to venture into it. I still remember the look on my father-in-law's face when he took his first bite and guess what, he couldn't take the next bite (yeah, it was that bad :-(). He didn't want to discourage me either. He gave me a blank look (with no emotions) and said "nalla vandhirukkuma" (Cake has come out well). I knew he wasn't telling the truth. Still, Thank you Pa for your kindness and generous positive comments!!
Recently, I bought a hand held electrical mixer and that kind of, gave me hope to try my hand at baking "again". Last weekend, we had a get-together planned at one of my friend's and decided to bake a cake for them. I didn't tell her beforehand about my plans of baking for not wanting to raise her hopes on me / my baked goodies.
I decided to start with a simple eggless sponge cake recipe - especially one that doesn't require frosting of any sort. I borrowed the recipe from "The Chef and Her Kitchen". Couple of changes that I did to the recipe - I didn't have apple cider vinegar and so skipped it & instead of orange zest, I added a tsp of orange extract to it.
The cake did turn out good. It was fluffy, it was tasty, it was baked throughout uniformly - yet, me & my hubby felt that something was missing. It wasn't moist enough (maybe because of the eggs - we are so used to cakes from outside where they add eggs while baking and the cakes turn out to be very very soft & moist). But, to my surprise my friend & her hubby liked it very much and they emptied it in no time :) I am so glad I decided to bake it for them - it is so encouraging & thrilling when you see someone enjoy your food especially when food is from your "not so confident" genre - right ?!?!?!?!
Take-away from this baking experience -
- The recipe calls for cake to be baked at 180 degrees, but there is no mention about centigrade (or) fahrenheit. Oven at my home is really very old that there is no display of any sort and there is no mention about the scale anywhere (whether its centigrade / fahrenheit). I simply baked my cake at 180 degrees, and the cake took long time to bake (about 1 hr and 20 mins). If I were to try the same recipe again, I would bake the cake at 350 degrees (fahrenheit equivalent of 180 degrees centrigrade). Oh! btw, too much of baking also would have made the cake dry.
- After I got the cakes out from the oven, I never gave it any time to cool. I tried to get the cake out of the pan and the cake broke into two halves. Thankfully, I had baked in two different pans - so saved the other one for my friends.
- While beating liquid ingredients, I added "cold" orange juice (always have ingredients at room temperature) which is not right as it curdled (look at my pictures) the liquid ingredients (though curdling doesn't affect the taste of the cake).
- I should have ideally creamed sugar & butter first, followed by rest of the liquid ingredients whereas I whisked all of the ingredients together.
- Most importantly, cut them in the shape of cakes :) Mine looked more like bread/rusk/biscottis.
- It is advisable to use serrated knife (or) run your kitchen knife under hot running water and use it to cut the cake. I used a plastic knife to cut into the cake.
Is there any substitute for eggs - does anyone know? I am hoping to bake bakery-quality cakes without eggs and surprise my hubby someday.