One of the skill, I mastered before Cooking is Baking! Even though, in India, it is not a necessity that one will own an oven in every home! My mom owned a free white gas range with four burners and huge oven (that was her favorite appliance she brought with her when she moved to India) that is another story the oven has never been tested for any baking goods. She kept to store all her sharp knives and items! She used only the stovetop and the oven was just an antique dark piece.
After many years of good use, we just threw away the rusted huge piece! When the oven was in our kitchen, I never thought of baking, probably I was too young! But when I was teen, I tried to attempt to bake a cake.
Without an oven, measuring cups, even without a baking pan, I don't know how I got that idea & wanted to give a try for a plain vanilla cake, which I found pretty easy to assemble. The first move is to approach my opposite baker, if he could kindly bake my small cake, which was my brother’s job. Next for baking pan, I got the pressure cooker aluminium round pan (which we cook dhal and rice-now they give a stain steel)! For the ingredients, again my brother manages to get all equal amount with the local merchant: White butter, maida, sugar and egg.
One Sunday afternoon, I mixed the butter, sugar and egg in the blender jar (mixie), folded the flour with the spoon! I did everything under 15 minutes and my brother ran to the opposite bakery with the pan. I was little tense not for the outcome of my cake, worrying what the baker would think seeing my cake, laugh, tease? But after 30 minutes, the guy shouted : hey ur cake is ready! My brother flew to pick it up. My cake came back and it was my first success for a delicious attempt! Everyone appreciated the taste of the plain cake which turn out like a store bought. But my parents were not so happy that I disturb the friendly baker every Sunday. So I stopped baking until my dad gifted me a brand new Toaster oven for one of my X-teen birthday gift! Still the oven is living in my house, loaded with my memories.
This plain vanilla cake recipe date almost more than 15 years! The cake is still appreciated in my family. I was much moved when my grand-ma said: I never liked a cake but ur cake tastes just extra-ordinary :) So whenever I bake one a huge sliced is shared to my granny, whenever I go India this cake is a top priority in my kitchen.
I am dedicating my first cake recipe for my granny who is sick and stays in bed from the past one year! My uncle doesn’t need to e-mail me for this recipe to please his mom!
Note: the recipe is very easy simple rule: for every 50 gm of flour/sugar/butter add one egg +baking soda, powder and salt. The original recipe was in gram and I converted in cup!
Baking time: 30- 40 min
Preparing the cake: 10 min (exclude the mess u do in ur kitchen and washing ur dish)
Yield: 2 small loaf tins or one small loaf tin and 9 medium muffins
All purpose flour: 2 cups
Sugar: 1 cup + ¼ cup
Egg: 5 num (room temperature)
Unsalted Butter: 2 sticks at room temperature(1 stick = 113 gm)
Salt: ¼ tsp
Baking soda: ½ tsp
Baking powder: 1 tsp
Vanilla essence: 2 tsp
How to bake?
1.Preheat the oven for 350 F. Grease a big loaf tin or two small tins.
2. Beat sugar, soften butter, egg and vanilla essence together until smooth
3. Sieve the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
4. Sprinkle little by little the flour into the buttery smooth mixture
5.Fold the flour mixture into the buttery mixture with a spatula or if you are using a beater in slow mode (1 or 2).
6. Scoop in a greased loaf tin or pan and tap the tin slightly (release some air bubble) before placing in oven.
7. Bake for 30 or 35 minutes.
Important tips for Baking beginner:
Before starting to bake, preheat the oven and next mix the cake.
Never open the oven door once u placed the cake for baking, use the pilot light of the oven to check.
When you fold the flour into mixture do it in clockwise! The cake will be airy!
To check if it is done:Insert a knife in middle of the crack, it should come out clean after 30 minutes. U can increase 10 minutes at the time, if not.
If it is not silicone, grease generously the pan and use a wax paper.
Some people are frustrated when it comes to baking: If you are a person who follows each and every single measurement (like you do in Chemistry class) you will never fail in baking! Just follow blindly the recipe and measurements; it is not like cooking little bit of this and that…
Verdict: It is less rich than pound cake.
I baked in small loaf tin and made some cupcakes with different toppings.
I am sending this cake for baking for beginner hosted by Vandana , hoping some new baker will benefit!
And this cake is Just for You: sending to Alka's event.