It has been a long and hot and slow summer and I have obviously been neglecting my blog. With no summer vacation looming remotely close to my dusty horizon, the past few months had been rather uneventful- that is until I got myself an oven! My spanking new Morphy Richards 18 litre oven is my new best friend and I have turned into a baking machine of sorts.
Ever since I can remember, I have always been enormously fascinated by baking. I baked my first cake when I was eleven years old and was amazed by what a simple combination of flour, sugar, butter, eggs and a dash of food colouring could create. My mother has been an enthusiastic baker herself and we have always baked our Christmas cakes from scratch. I guess it was this warm smell of baking in our kitchen which nudged me towards the oven to start baking myself. As a child I began experimenting with simple Marble Cakes, Sponge Cakes and I as I gained more experience, I ambitiously moved onto Black Forest Cakes, Brownies, Bread Puddings, Jalebi Puddings (a unique family recipe) and Cookies. Having said that, I am in no way an expert baker, at least not yet. With each cake I bake I learn something new- I realize I could have added a little more, or a little less or something, or maybe I could have turned down the heat of the oven, or maybe increased it. Each recipe teaches me something new and that's one of the many things I love about baking.
Apart from writing, the other thing which gives me immense joy is baking. I am a terrible cook and even if I follow a recipe step by step, measuring out ingredients in exact amounts, I inevitably make a mess of what I’m cooking- but not when I bake. Baking speaks to me and I find it almost therapeutic to line a baking tin with butter paper, mix batter and watch a cake rise in the oven The other day a colleague asked me what would I have been doing if I weren't a writer, it didn't take me long to say, I’d have been a baker. People who know me know I hate sharing my food, but when I bake I want to share it with everyone I can, only tasting a slice to see if I've got it right.
Before I forget I should mention that most of my baking (except the chocolate cake) is thanks to a book called The Big Book of Treats by Pooja Dhingra, the founder and owner of Le 15Patisserie, a French style patisserie in
These recipes are hers and her book is turning into a baking Bible of sorts for
me. But moving on, I wish to experiment with new ingredients, try out
unique combinations and come up with my own recipes. Ever since I've tasted them, I have always wanted to bake a perfect Red Velvet Cake and Macarons and I know I'm getting there. Till then, here are
glimpses of what’s been baking in my kitchen so far. Bombay
|Warm Banana Walnut Loaf. Goes perfectly with a late afternoon cup of tea.|
|My version of a busy day chocolate cake. It's quick and can be made in a jiffy even on a weekday evening.|
|This is what sin looks like. Chocolate Walnut Brownies, rich with butter and two kinds of chocolate.|
|Chocolate Walnut Brownies in the making. Baking with chocolate is always such a joy.|