One day I was sitting at home, it was a Saturday afternoon when I felt like baking a cake. I have seen a friend of mine baking and learnt some basic tricks from her. But I had not practised those tricks. So it was the right time to experiment and see how much I had learnt. Since it was Saturday, I was expecting some guests around dinner time. I thought for dessert, a cake would be a good choice.
So I took out my notebook and went to the kitchen. I first figured out that if I had the basic ingredients with me. Like butter, eggs, flour, sugar, baking powder and vanilla extract.
Baking is like science, every method or ingredient reacts in a specific way. Even if you do everything properly but bake it at a wrong temperature, your cake won’t come out perfect. So the things you will have to keep in mind are very basic and easy to understand.
Do not use any ingredient if it’s not at the right temperature or if it’s not of the desired quantity. Your ingredients must be weighed on a measuring scale to ensure that you use the correct portion of a particular ingredient.
Keep your dry ingredients like flour, baking powder in a separate bowl. And sieve them before you mix them into other ingredients.
Beat the eggs in a bowl, so that when you mix them with the other ingredients, you reduce the chances of wastage and shells going into your batter.
Generally, different pastries require butter to be at a certain temperature, but for cakes, room temperature is perfect (but it shouldn’t be melted or soft). In a separate bowl, thoroughly mix butter and sugar together until the texture becomes light and fluffy. You would also notice that the colour of the butter would turn lighter.
Then slowly and gradually add egg into the mix. Try to add one egg at a time and club it in the butter and sugar till they are mixed properly. If you will rush and put all the eggs together, your sugar content will break and you can’t use your batter. You will have to start all over again. At this point add your vanilla extract in the mix.
Once your eggs are mixed well with the butter and sugar, add flour and baking powder in the batter. Then use a silicon spatula and with soft hands, fold the flour into the mix. Do not over beat, it can produce gluten in your batter and the cake will turn rubbery.
The reason we use silicon spatula is because we don’t want to waste any batter in the bowl when we are transferring it in the mould. Also it makes your job easier.
Grease the mould properly with oil or butter, you can also use butter paper. Transfer your batter and give it a light jerk to release excess air. Bake it in the preheated oven.
While your cake is in the oven, do not open it often. This will take out the air incorporated in your batter also it will slow down the process as the oven temperature will differ.
When you feel your cake it done, use a tooth pick and check the cake in the middle if its done. If the clear tooth pick comes out, your cake is cooked properly. Take it out and keep it to cool. Do not cut your cake while it’s hot.
I followed these steps, and I was so happy with the results. The cake was delicious and my guests finished it all.
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