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Baking my first cake from scratch and a shoutout to a wonderful blogger and photographer

February 8, 2011

Happy Birthday spelt the way a real citizen of Mumbai would pronounce Birthday ๐Ÿ˜‰

Did I ever tell you that my last name is Photographer? Yes. It really is. I get asked questions about how I got the last name pretty much all the time I’m interacting with anyone outside my house. And by rote, I say, “It’s my Husband’s family name and I took it on when we got married”. And then, inevitably, they go on to ask me – “So you must be great at photography, no?”. After several instances of feeling a lot of irritation when I get asked this second question, I’ve learned to forgive a little and politely answer back and say that I’m not that great a photographer after all ๐Ÿ™‚

Honestly, I don’t think I have that big a passion for photography. I’ve taken it on a little bit more seriously the past year all thanks to this blog, but I’ve realized that doing what amazing food photographers out there do is something that honestly, does not interest me as much as making yummy food and simplifying Indian recipes for my readers does. All I really want is to take a simple picture of the food I make to show a visual representation of the dish and the recipe.

Now that I have that difficult confession out of the way, I want to give a shout-out to Prerna – one very talented food photographer whose blog I’ve been following for a while and who never ever fails to inspire and amaze me, post after post after post. Please do check out her blog. You’ll love browsing through it for hours at end ๐Ÿ™‚

It is Indiansimmer’s first anniversary this month and I wanted to show my appreciation for Prerna’s work by choosing a recipe from her blog and making it myself. It was my husband’s birthday on Sunday and while researching cake recipes, I came across this recipe on her blog for Chocolate cake. 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!

As this was my first time baking a cake from scratch, to minimize damage, I stuck to a single-layer cake, and so I simply used half the proportions in the recipe. I somehow managed to produce a fairly delicious cake that was soft and fairly gooey, with some very very good icing to go with it. The coffee in the cake batter and the icing adds a layer of deliciousness that I’ve experienced only in cakes from gourmet patisseries. A friend suggested that the trick to getting a light and fluffy cake is to beat the eggs with the sugar very vigorously till the whole mixture is a pale yellow. She also suggested I let the cake batter sit for about 30 minutes before putting it in the oven. A final variation I made was to use PAM cooking spray to grease the baking pan, instead of the butter + flour coating. The cake slid off the pan like jello when it was done.

But of all the ‘firsts’ this cake baking attempt made me undertake, the one I was most proud of was being able to separate the egg yolk from the albumin the way chefs do it – plopping the yolk from one shell half to the other ๐Ÿ˜‰

I took the cake with me to a Superbowl party we had with our friends, where we also cut the cake. The hubby, my friends and the children enjoyed it thoroughly. What more could I ask for!

What are some cooking firsts that you’ve been not so great at? Better yet, what are some cooking firsts you realized you were brilliant at?

4 Comments leave one →
  1. February 8, 2011 2:18 am

    Such an honest and cute post! I love the cake by the way – I love LOVE baking but I don’t really prefer baking a whole huge cake because its too much work and not many of us to eat it. And its difficult to control the portion. But whenever I do, I really prefer homely looking cakes. That could be just an excuse for my total lack of piping skills but no seriously a home made cake should look like that! Me on the other hand have started loving food photography, I spend hours gawking at people’s profile and SO wish to learn. But I get what you said.

    P.S. – I hate my own surname. I almost never use it.

    • February 8, 2011 1:54 pm

      Hehehe… why do Indian women have to take on their husband’s last names again?! ๐Ÿ™‚ I warmed up some leftover cake in the microwave and OMG it was sinful! Yes the baking experience was certainly adventurous but I’m not so sure I’ll do it again.

  2. February 9, 2011 12:06 pm

    I feel you on the whole name thing. Aboobaker. I mean really, not Abubakr, not Abubaqr but Aboobaker. People are always like, “Like Baker?” And I’m like “Yup, just like Baker.” *Groan* Most of my cooking disasters are yeast related. I’ve tried no knead bread twice, it’s been a disaster both times. My rolls look like chappatis. But your cake looks lovely! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Jordan P permalink
    February 16, 2011 12:27 pm

    Looks delicious!

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