Saturday, November 16, 2013

Baked passions !

I had always been interested in baking.It looked glamorous with all icing & toppings ! It was exotic ! I looked on baking with awe.My office colleagues presented me with an electric oven when I was transferred to another office.I had no time to learn baking those days  & this when I had asked for an oven hoping to learn to bake .The oven just lay unused.After some years,I donated it to an old age home as I presumed that there are others who are waiting to bake  but for want of an oven !

Then the Microwave oven hit the markets.I brought one, imagining  that I will cook exotic dishes in minutes if not seconds.And yet, hours,days ,months & years passed before I even touched the microwave !  I was working full time &  had a baby.When my kid was about eight  years old, suddenly my interest in baking rekindled.I came across a recipe of cake & tried it.It was a date cake.It turned out fine.I had made an eggless cake with dates,maida & milk among many ingredients.Then I repeated the recipe.It turned out fabulous.Still,I never made any more cakes till two  more years went   by.I still can't understand why my baking spree ended abruptly.

Time passed.I gave up my job.I started blogging.I had to take care of my kid & so on.Slowly, as I felt more energised by my writing, to explore new avenues,I felt drawn to baking.I searched for recipes online.My initial attempts were complete  disasters as I was paying hardly any attention to details of the recipe- the measurements perhaps.Moreover,the wastage was very high as I would use the same amount of flour & other ingredients as used by experts.It  never entered my head that I could  halve the ingredients & try it.Now,when I think of the wasted ingredients,I feel ,a  whole village could have have been fed .But of course, all would have ended up with stomach upsets after eating my caked bakes !

Painstakingly,I kept trying & finally my cakes started getting better.They became fluffier.They became more healthier.I bake eggless cakes & have even made vegan cakes.I use healthy ingredients like yoghurt,buttermilk,flaxseed powder,vinegar,fruit juice,apple sauce as egg replacers.I have a microwave to bake cakes & that remains the same.I have daringly experimented.I made a cake using Sapota or chikoo fruit.I have started using multigrain atta which has a mixture of different flours like wheat,ragi,oats,corn,jowar etc.I have used jaggery in mycake recipes.I made a pineapple upside down cake using ragi or fingermillet flour ! I have used leftover flavored milk in one of my cake recipes.I brought a brown coloured powdered sugar from a local shop & used it many cakes as it is a healthier sugar.I have made chocolate cakes by using Bournvita powder ! My cake recipes make use of veggies like carrots,beetroots,& fruits like apples,bananas,,dates,pears,peaches,strawberries etc.I have even tried a banana bread which turned out awesome with a superb texture ! This is my passion -to bake from ingredients which can be commonly found at home & which are health boosters.

The best cake baked by me so far has been a cake using apple sauce -I made the apple  sauce myself, by pressure cooking the apples & pureeing the apple pulp.

baked methi muthias for oondhiyon.I must try more savoury & salty bakes apart from sweets like cakes & breads.I made a corn bread once & it turned out  nice & crumbly.

I love baking as I feel that no other cakes can be as healthy as made by me.In the microwave,it just takes ten minutes to bake a cake which uses one cup of flour.So my cakes use less energy to get baked.So it helps me be green as well . Baking is a passion  -as the cake rises, it inflates my ego. This is so, as I don't have any assistants & junior colleagues at home ,who boosted me while  in office.Moreover, so far my cakes have not split at the top as they rose & rose.So, my ego boost is within limits !I want to slowly & surely learn to bake breads & buns.I am sure ,I will in days to come.I even intend buying an electric oven to get cakes & breads with brown crusts which is missing from my microwave bakes ! 

Just looking at pictures of cakes ,breads,buns makes me drool.I hope my bakes will make many behave the same way !

This was written for the "Baking story "contest on Magical Homes I won the first prize ...a large red heart shaped silicone cake baking dish !

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