Baking is often referred to as an "art". The very act of assembling all the ingredients, mixing them in the right proportion( this bit is really important, while baking a cake if you were to add a little more of this or a little less of that, you could end up with either a gooey mess or a rock hard cake) . Once you have mixed everything together you need to wait patiently for the magic to begin. The lovely smell of cake/cookies wafting through the house is an instant mood uplifter. Just what the Doc ordered for you when you were feeling low. I find anything to do with cooking therapeutic and baking especially makes me feel really good.
Unlike cooking where you kinda control every stage, thicken the gravy if it is too watery, add a boiled potato if the salt seems high, add some dhania/jeera powder if the dish tastes too bland, in baking you can do very little once the process of baking begins. Hence the excitement/anticipation: will the cake rise or won't it, will it be soft or hard, will the chocolate taste too bitter or just right, will it have an eggy smell or will the vanilla essence do the trick? I guess that is what makes the process of baking so much fun. At some level it almost seems like child's play( my thirteen year old has baked this one) but at another getting the recipe right seems like a challenge. There are recipes for triffle pudding which go: you need a badly made cake :-)
Raindrop had come home with a freshly baked cake about a week ago. The kids just loved it and gobbled it up in no time. They had been pestering me to get the recipe from her. Thankfully she obliged. The rest as they is for you to see and for us to sample.
Raindrop's Chocolate Cake
Maida: 1 cup
Castor sugar: 1 cup( about 3/4th cup of granular sugar when ground will give you a cup of powdered sugar)
Eggs: 4 large ones
Vanilla essence: 1 tsp( one of the few chocolate cake recipes that has vanilla essence as an ingredient, cake has a lovely chocolate flavor with a hint of vanilla)
Vegetable oil: 3/4th cup( I used Sundrop but I have tasted cakes made with Olive oil and they taste as good, so all you health conscious foodies you could try it with olive oil)
Cocoa powder: 1/2 cup
Baking soda: 3/4 tsp( I also added 1 tsp of baking powder though this was not part of the original recipe, soda helps the cake cook and baking powder helps it rise)
Amul butter: To line the tin
This is the bit that I really love. Mix all the ingredients together( unlike other recipes which ask you to mix dry ingredients first, eggs separately and then fold in the flour bit by bit this is just one quick easy step and you are done). Transfer to a greased dish( grease the dish with some Amul butter).
Bake in the conventional oven at 200 degrees for about 45 minutes or till cake is down( In a microwave with convention cooking it should take about 25 minutes). I use a square oven. Baked with the lower coil only for about 30 minutes and then both lower and upper coils for the last 15 minutes.
Check if cake is done by inserting a toothpick or fork. The toothpick or fork should come out clean.
If serving it to children, decorate with cake toppings as shown.
Happy Baking! This one tasted delicious and is "almost gone" as I write this post.