A kid’s first cake

My elder daughter has recently discovered the joy of baking. And so far she is loving the overall experience – and so am I. Nearly everyday she bakes a cake or cup-cakes. After a few initial problems her baking is almost perfected. She had tried many recipes from cookbooks that we had. I also found her several cake recipes online from various cooking sites. None of their products tasted as good as our expectations. Finally we consulted Ai, currently in Singapore. It was her recipe that did the trick and every cake since then has turned out almost perfect. Ai conducts cooking classes while she’s in Delhi so she knows exactly what ingredients are available here in India and how to mix them up for best results.

My daughter is eleven now, which according to Ai is the ideal age to start things up with baking and cooking in general. Of course, an adult is always around when its time for the oven or the gas. It isn’t very wise to let a child handle high risk appliances till she completely understands their convenience as well as unforgiving nature. She is able to handle the mixing and the blending all on her own – and that is the trickiest part of baking a good cake. You have to understand each of the ingredients and their contribution in the finished product. Once that becomes instinctive, the rest is a piece of cake…

For those who want to try it out, I’m paraphrasing Ai’s recipe for baking a cake that someone my daughter’s age or older, can bake under adult supervision. And it’s a good starting recipe.

Here’s what you need to start things:

  • 2 fresh eggs (at room temperature)
  • 100 gm unsalted butter (also at room temperature)
  • 100 gm powdered sugar
  • 100 gm maida (finely ground wheat flour)
  • 1 flat tea-spoon baking powder
  • one and the half table spoon milk
  • a small pinch of salt
  • few drops of vanilla essence

First, prepare the cake baking tray by greasing it properly then sprinkle little mixture of maida and powdered sugar. Then combine maida, baking powder and salt. After combining, finely sieve the mixture three times to get rid of any inconsistencies.

Beat the butter, when turns light in color add powdered sugar spoon by spoon and go on beating. When the mix turns light in color add one spoon of the sieved mixture and add egg one by one beating continuously. When batter turns uniform add the sieved mixture spoon by spoon till all the mixture is added. Stop mixing the batter when peaks are formed as the mixing head is lifted off the batter.

Remove the beater and use a heavy big spoon to toss the batter adding milk and vanilla essence.

Bake it in a pre-heated oven for 12 to 15 minutes (till done) at a temperature of 180° C (325° F). Check it by inserting a tooth-pick into the cake, if batter sticks to tooth-pick bake for a few minutes more. Once the tooth-pick comes out clean, stop baking and take the cake out of the oven.

Cool for a few minutes at room temperature and its ready to eat.

This is a tasty and simple recipe for those starting out with baking cakes. I can say from personal experience that the finished product is really great. After a few successes of this, you can easily advance to other types of cakes by substituting chocolate, nuts or raisins for flavouring instead of vanilla essence.

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