Wednesday, July 20, 2011

My First Attempt At Baking a Cake :)

Its my mom's birthday today... and her favorite cake to devour on her birthday has to be a vanilla cake as its been her only choice since several years now. In my family on anyone's birthday a home-cooked meal, and a vanilla cake has almost become a tradition now. My mom always bakes a cake for everyone in the family... but when its mom's birthday I accept that I’ve always cheated and bought the cake from a bakery. I always made excuses to my dad for why I was never able to bake mom a cake… no time, had to work, no one was not going to eat what I bake. Those were the most common excuses. I’m sure there were many more. But in actuality, I was and still am intimidated by baking. It’s too precise for me. I like cooking savory dishes so much more because a little dash of this, and a little dash of that, and voila!… a tasty meal. No measurements, no thing. Just pure intuition :)

I’m a horrible baker. The last time I attempted to bake was when I was fifteen years old. I was trying to bake chocolate chip cookies from store-bought ready-made cookie dough. The cookies baked by me looked nothing like the original cookies. They were flat, and dry. Ugh.
I mean, how can you mess up ready-made cookie dough?! They are made to be fail proof. You just drop dough onto a buttered cookie sheet, and wait 8 to 10 minutes for cookies! But it wasnt the same for me...!!! The cookies ended up in the garbage as even the street dog refused to eat it. From then on, I swore to myself that I would never try to bake anything sweet ever again. Ever. Until today...
I wanted to show my mom how much I care for her, so I decided to bake a vanilla cake for her on her birthday.
In order to overcome my bake-o-phobia I asked my best friend 'Anu' to stay over night on my mom's birthday eve at my place so that we can surprise her early morning on her birthday. Anu came on the day I called her (19 July).
So today (20th July) was the day. The day to bake. The day that I’ve avoided for a very long time.
It took us three hours to make, bake and assemble. I don’t think it should have taken this long. I also had many other revelations along the way of making this cake. Firstly, I can’t believe that of all cakes I tried to bake, this was the one.
Secondly, I had many horrible mishaps along the way of baking. I think it was a sign that I was not meant to be a baker.
Lastly, I realized how important it is to have at least a hand-held electric mixer. I hand-mixed and hand beat EVERYTHING in the batter. My forearms were very sore by the end of the process.
I think this was probably the most adventurous cooking attempt I’ve ever made. I really mean that. Simply because I’m not good at baking at all!

And as this was my first time baking a cake so to minimize damage, I stuck to a single-layer cake, and so I simply used half the proportions in the recipe (That I found on net.. lol). I somehow managed to produce a cake that baked really well (its really spongy)... but I cant really comment too much about the taste of the cake as it was slightly salty because by mistake I used salted butter in it... However the mission "baking a cake" was a huge success and I am really satisfied :)


vaneneng said...

wow that looks yummy! surely, you made your mom really happy.. lesson learned: don't use salted butter the next time you'll be making this cake again..^_^ hi madhu!:)

Madhulika said...

Hi Vaneneng :)
Thank You for your comment..!! and yeah.. i am never gonna use salted butter ever again :)

Pat Hatt said...

Glad it came out so well and your first shot at it was a success!

Madhulika said...

@ Pat Hatt: Thanks :)

Prateek said...

I shouldn't have read it; now I feel hungry. :|

Madhulika said...

hehehe... I wish you get your piece of cake soon Prateek :)

rivercat said...

well done...i mean good job. Its a good lesson to learn how to cook, especially since you can buy anything pre made. There is always at least the sense that you are in the cooking and have made something special even if it is just a pinch of some herb that can barely be tasted, or even if you just cook vegetables frozen in some water! you can get the feeling its special because you did the work and made it so

Mrsupole said...

I am glad to hear the cake baking was successful. I think we all remember our first time. When I was young we had to take a Home Economics class at school. Our teacher showed us how to measure wet and dry ingredients and which measuring cups to use for each one. It is strange in that to this day I have never forgotten those lessons. She also taught us that when baking, we should always follow the directions and measurements because baking follows certain rules that regular cooking does not.

As I have gotten older I do know that she was pretty much correct but that one can adjust a few different things when baking, or one has to adjust many things when changing a recipe.

I guess that one could say that with experience one learns many great things about baking. Mostly that anything baking in the oven smells so wonderful, and can surely make one feel hungry even if one is not.

I do hope that since you have had your first success that you will try to bake a variety of foods. I have a few links on my sidebar to websites that some cooks write about their baking experiences and one can learn a lot from these cooks who kindly share their stories. Although I must say that it can also make one very hungry when looking at the pictures.

I wish you lots of joy in your baking experiments, and lots of fun in eating them.

God bless.

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