The mention of cakes brings back fond childhood memories…I remember that the only thing B’days meant for me was cakes and gifts; cake cutting was THE most anticipated moment that evening. I vividly remember how I, along with the other kids used to ghetto around the cake and gazed greedily …and oh what a moment it was to lick the cream with the small finger when no one was looking!!
Having grown up, I realise my fascination for cakes has remained unchanged. However, I always thought that baking cakes was a REALLY BIG DEAL, and so never attempted baking one, till I got married; then I buckled under the Amit’s emotional blackmail ……I am so glad I fell into the trap.
The first time, I tried baking one; Amit and I were sooo kicked up; we went shopping for all the ingredients, surfed a zillion recipes and finally when the cake mix was in the hot oven, we stood endlessly gazing with the same childhood twinkle in the eyes. I really don’t remember how it turned out, but certainly remember that build up to it was exciting. For a first time, it wasn’t that bad at all.
The pleasure of eating a home baked cake is unparalleled; the fact that, this cake that I baked at dinnertime was half finished before midnight, proves the point.
Over last three years, I have perfected some recipes and introduced some variations, to make the cakes spongier and yummier. I will share several of these recipes in days to come, so do try baking, because it’s simple and everyone can do it, I promise!
This one’s especially for you Aditi!!
- 3 cups all purpose flour (maida)
- ¾ cup cocoa powder
- 2 cups finely ground sugar
- 1 cup refined oil
- 2 cups milk
- 4 eggs
- A pinch of salt
- 8 tsp baking powder
- 2tsp vanillé essence
- ½ cup walnuts
- ½ cup raisins
(For sponge cake take about 4 cups flour and no cocoa powder, rest all the ingredients and proportions remain the same)
- In an electric mixer or a big bowl, beat the eggs until they turn white
- Grind the sugar and sift it through a sieve, add this to the beaten eggs and beat the mixture to get a white frothy consistency
- In a separate bowl sift all purpose flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt
- Add these to the beaten egg and sugar and blend well in the mixer or the bowl
- Add oil, vanilla essence and milk
- If mixing by hand, keep adding milk gradually as you continue to beat the mix
- Mix everything together until smooth; either by hand or by using an electric mixer at slow speed (for about 2-3 minutes), I prefer using the mixer, because it saves all the hard work!
- To this add broken walnuts and raisins (wash the raisins well before using and squeeze excess water) and mix gently
- Grease a 9 inch cake tin with oil and then dust it with all-purpose flour, shake it a bit and allow the flour to stick to the base of the tin, shake off excess flour
- Transfer the cake mix to the bake tin and spread some finely broken pieces of walnut over it
- Preheat oven (convection mode in the microwave) to 180 deg C or 350 deg F, and bake until a wooden pick/ fork inserted in centre comes out clean, approximately 30-40 minutes
Most important and only tip; strictly adhere to the proportions; even minuscule changes can spoil all the hard work
For a smaller cake, halve the proportions