It all started for Christmas in 2012 when a colleague gave me a cake recipe. The very same day I purchased all the ingredients and made my very first cake. I did not have an oven and resorted to baking the cake in a cooker. ( you need to be careful, you don't use water and gasket and the cooker gets mighty hot). Since then, I have tried a lot of cakes in the cooker. It did turn out tasty but often a little too hard with the bottom and the edges burnt,
I have also tried the traditional method of baking where the cake tray is inserted into a vessel with hot sand generally kept over the traditional chullah. The vessel is then covered with a lid with burning coal on top as well so that the cake gets evenly baked. I was too scared to handle that and it was my mother who was a master in that and me just a by stander.
It was only post marriage in 2014 that I learnt to use an oven to bake cakes. I had no idea about the right temperature nor the timings .After a few burnt and also sometimes under cooked cakes, I do have an approximate idea now.
Initially cake baking was a tedious and tasking job for me - sometimes the cake does not rise, I have too many bubbles in the cake, I have the nuts and fruits settling at the bottom and the top of the cake is not cooked enough where as the bottom is burnt. My husband is a wonderful 'analyser' and I would say 'get it right person'. He often googled up and found solutions to most of my problems.
I have not yet mastered the art of baking and I hope to some day. As of now, I am still learning and correcting as I go along.
Your cakes can turn out right if you learn to love your ingredients and handle them as instructed in the recipes you find across in different sites. For instance - make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature and stick to the measurements provided. Once you have a knack of it, you may try variations.
So let me move on to my carrot cake.
A wonderful evening with Tea, Cake and a Perfect book.
All purpose flour/Maida - 2 cups
Powdered sugar - 1 cup ( you may raise it to 1 and a half cup - neither of us have sweet tooth so I generally add lesser sugar)
Egg - 2( if the egg is really small you may add 3)
Buttermilk - 1/2 cup
Oil - 1/4 cup
Cinnamon powder - 2 tsp
Baking powder - 1 tsp
Vanilla extract - 1 tsp
Carrot - 2 grated
- Mix together the dry ingredients in a bowl - flour, powdered sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon powder. Sieve it in order to prevent formation of lumps.
- Beat the eggs well along with vanilla essence and add in the buttermilk and oil. Combine it well.
- Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients mixing it well as you add. Do not beat it further, just enough for the ingredients to mix else it may lead to formation of air bubbles.
- Add the grated carrot into the cake mix and fold in gently.
- Roll in the cashews and raisins in a little flour and keep aside.
- Preheat your oven at 180 degrees for about 10-15 minutes.
- Grease your cake tray with a little oil and dust flour on top of it. Turn the tray upside down and pat away the excess flour.
- Pour your cake mix into the pan and add the nuts and raisins evenly . Just run your spoon across once and cover the cake tray with an aluminium foil. Gently fold in the sides of the foil- no free ends should be sticking out touching the corners of your oven. Covering your cake with foil allows the top of the cake to be uniformly heated and baked.
- Place your tray in the oven at temperature of 180 degree. Check your cake after 20 minutes. Insert a tooth pick or pin and if it comes out clean your cake is ready. Else keep it for 10-15 more minutes. The cooking time may vary depending on the tray you use and the consistency of your mixture. The ideal time would be somewhere between 20 to 35 minutes. My carrot cake took about 25 minutes.
- Once baked , remove the cake from the cake and let it cool before your slice and have your first bite.
Enjoy every bite of your cake with steaming tea!!