How was your first experience in baking? Was it a perfect cake? Fluffy, perfectly browned on the outside, baked thoroughly inside? Oh! We wish! Let me share my experience baking for the first time. I baked the cake in a borosil container. I had made vanilla cake, following the instructions right from the recipe book which came with the newly bought Oven with convection mode.
The cake was eggy, gooey on the inside and was no pleasure to have like the ones we buy from a bakery. The next time I baked, it was almost a cookie which is hard to break. Most of you might be having similar experiences. Prepping and baking a cake takes less than an hour. But you know what matters to make a perfect cake?
Back to the basics of ingredients
The basic ingredient of any cake is flour. Refined flour is used usually. You can switch it with whole wheat flour for lesser gluten and more fibre alternative. Let’s say that you take one cup of flour. You would end up with a cake which weighs 250 to 300 gms.
For one cup refined flour or all-purpose flour or whole wheat flour, it is ideal to have half a cup of granulated sugar (According to your taste. I am not sweet-toothed). A pinch of salt.
Half a cup of unsalted butter which is at room temperature. It is very important for the butter to be soft.
3 Egg whites and 2 egg yolks. This is an amazing part of baking the cake. It is also fun to beat the egg whites. It is so therapeutic.
Not more than 2 Tablespoons of Milk, just to adjust the consistency. Do not think that adding more milk is going to make the cake softer. No! It is going to leave the insides undercooked. So only drizzles would do.
Baking Soda and Baking Powder
One teaspoon of baking powder and half a teaspoon of baking soda. These are the rising agents of the cake. Do not add too much of this.
Let’s say you are making a Vanilla Flavoured cake. Get a vanilla essence of good quality. Add 1 tsp of flavouring agent. It is always important to choose a good quality flavouring agent to lift the cake to a whole new level.
Now let’s go to the prepping part
Before you begin your mixing process, make sure your ingredients are ready. Start with your baking tray. Either metal or a borosil tray (I prefer metal trays!) of any shape. So keep in mind that the cake would rise. So you cannot pour the batter till the brim. Take the size of the container into consideration.
Measure all your ingredients as given in the recipe. Keep them ready so that you don’t have to keep searching for them.
Grease and dust
Line your baking tray with parchment paper which is cut in the shape of the base. Grease your tray with butter(This is going to help get a beautiful browning on the outside). Dust the tray with all-purpose flour.
Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together and mix them well.
Before you start mixing the wet ingredients and combining the batter together, preheat the oven to 180-degree centigrade for 5 to 10 minutes (Combining time is going to be just 5 to 10 minutes)
Let’s go step by step. This is the most therapeutic part of your baking.
Beat butter and granulated sugar together until it forms soft peaks.
Beat the egg whites until it forms a soft peaks
Combine butter mixture and egg whites in a large mixing bowl. Do not use a mixer hereafter.
Add vanilla extract
Now add the dry ingredients. Do not whisk(You don’t want a flat cake) Fold the dry ingredients softly using gentle motion.
Drizzle some milk to adjust the consistency. The batter should not be too runny. Perfect.
Is your oven preheated? Your baking tray greased and dusted? Is your batter ready?
Great! Pour the batter with love into the baking tray and keep it inside the oven gently. Set the temperature at 180 degrees celsius. Bake it for 30 to 35 minutes. Check whether the cake is cooked thoroughly with a toothpick. If the toothpick comes out clean, then the cake is baked perfectly
Let the cake rest in a cooling rack for at least 20 to 30 minutes. The cake is all yours to enjoy. Yay!