Today I will start by posting one of the basic baking recipe which one must know.. that is, plain vanilla cake. Once you know this, you can always add your favourite juice or add a splash of icing or simply spread your favourite jam over it...
Well first of all there is a world of difference between a plump cake and a cream cake, and second, there is even bigger difference between a home made cake and a cake from market...hmmm... how is that!! u wont knw unless u bake one for urself! cos once u do that, I bet you will never ever find the need to order cakes from outside.
Is it time taking? not really.. the first few attempts might phsyche u out! and if ur first attempt turns out to be as bad as mine(aah dont worry, it was 6 yrs back.. u r in safe hands) , u might even decide nt to bake again! but hey.. patience is key.. try till u succeed :)
Now the recipe..
2 cups plain flour(maida)
1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup milkmaid
3/4th cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda(mitha soda)
Vanilla essence or vanilla extract
pinch of salt
Take a clean dry bowl and add the flour, baking powder and baking soda along with just a pinch of salt to it. Use a wooden spatula to mix all the ingredients well.
[About the bowl and spatula.. I have a separate bowl and spatula that I use for baking and nothing else, it keeps them free from any form of smell and always ready to use when you think of baking. Its very important that your baking utensils are absolutely smell free (of other foods) and dry. No matter how much Indian dish washer detergents claim to remove food smell, I somehow never feel 100% sure of it...]
Powder the sugar. In a separate bowl mix oil, sugar and milkmaid and whisk well. Do whisk until the mixture looks well blended and shiny.
[Some people whisk manually by using a spatula, but I prefer using an egg beater as it whisks to perfection. ]
Add the liquid mixture to the bowl with flour, add 4 drops of vanilla essence and gently mix with spatula. Now, whisk the whole mixture again.
[Vanilla extract - Made out of vanilla fruit.Pure form of vanilla. Vanilla essence - Chemical equivalent of extract.. Its hard to find extract even in cities like Mumbai. You can find it in Godrej Nature's Basket outlets. Essence is easy to find and pretty good replacement for extract. If you are lucky to get extract, add 1 tbsp extract instead of essence in this recipe ]
Do not whisk it for more than 5 mins as it will produce heat and your baking agents will become active even before you microwave your mixture. This will lead to half baked or lump cake.
Ok, now you are ready to microwave it. Take your baking tin and greese it just enough, not pouring. Now take a spoon full of maida and sprinkle it on the greased tin and shake your tin in all directions to spread maida evenly. Pour the mixture into the tin. While you start preparing your baking tin, start preheating microwave for 3-4 mins. Once it is done, put the baking tin in microwave and bake at 180 degrees for 20 mins.
After 20 mins, poke the cake in the center with a knife till the bottom. If the knife comes out clean when you pull it out, your cake is done, otherwise reset at 180 degrees for another 5 mins. Leave it to cool in the microwave itself before you cut it.
[Do NOT keep the cake directly under the fan for cooling, it will make the cake moist. Transfer the cake on to a wire rack and let it cool on its own. By cool, I mean bringing it to room temparature.]
Happy baking! Try and let me know how it came :)
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