Thursday, June 3, 2010

Baker's delight

Plum cake, one of my much prized initial successes as a baker

I came across this little piece of truth in one of the cooking websites - "Nothing is more attractive around the home than the smell of fresh baking". It has been a month and a little more since the baker in me has been on a full-throated song. I must have baked more than five cakes, completely mindless of the bursting calories, and thus jeopardizing our fitness routine and dietary resolutions. I have always enjoyed cooking but had never given much thought to the age-old, classic art of baking. The only baking that I had ever dabbled in before was the traditional American fudge brownie from the oh-so-convenient brownie mix. And that ain't much of a talent. So after reveling in the pride of a frequently complimented cook, the time had come to don the mantle of a real baker. I wonder why it took me so long to think about baking from scratch. May be because I am a little idiosyncratic, therefore the 'new' or the 'different' does not strike me immediately. Somehow I am always stuck with the old, repetitive pattern. There are many 'lates' in my life, including Harry Potter and Friends, both of which have become so crucial to my existence that without them my world would seem rather drab. Before I stray any further, let us get back to baking. So there I was, scouring through for a simple cake, something that ran the least chance of being a disaster. I went for the orange cake for I wanted something exotic as well, and there I was beating eggs and grating orange zest. I had planned it as a surprise for Sam but the heady aroma of orange and baking gave it away. However the cake had turned out really well, the way cakes should be - moist and soft. Hurrah! With such a triumphant debut, there was no stopping me. I searched for variety and more flavours and ended up making them all - orange cake, chocolate cake, banana muffins, fudge brownies and even a plum cake. The trouble is, if I am good at something, I become obsessed with it till I have had enough of it and this is exactly the situation with my current baking spree. It just feels the most perfect thing to do.

What I love the most about baking, other than the hypnotism of the senses, is that it keeps my mind off from wandering away. I feel a soothing calm while baking, as if it was a healing process. The little swirls of aroma crawling out from the oven purge my mind of the buzzing monotone of life. At the end of a messy day, you know when you add eggs and butter to flour, it turns out perfect. And nobody can take this comfort away from you. Absolutely nobody.


  1. I am glad you didn't post pictures, the description itself is mouth watering. Here I am lusting for a soft orange cake right after a full meal!

  2. Hehehe! And here I am longing for authentic dhaba style Punjabi food! :)


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