Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Baker's Cyn

So I have started this baking thing recently.

Is anyone having images of a soccer-mom-suburban-type-apple-and-cinnamon crumble baking Cyn?  

Perish the though.

I had never got into this baking gig. Mostly because the descriptions of the mother/mil baking escapades sounded tedious and intimidating (and one could get the cake so easily in bakeries –why reinvent?) . All that sifting all purpose flour (I didn't know what all purpose flour was till quite recently. It just sounded vaguely magical and omniscient), and beating eggs and what not. 
And historically, my cooking tends to be what I call whimsical and my mother calls “cant-you-follow-one-effing-recipe-properly?”Baking I am led to understand is a bit like science experiments, if recipes are not measured out stuff can explode.

So what changed? 

Well I joined this off-shoot school group of chefs (Yes. Every group needs the backbencher - and I fit that role beautifully). These good folks are bakers with the capital B. Black forest cakes with icing (I don’t think it ever registered that someone actually makes these. I suppose I thought they spontaneously materialize in the bakery or something) . They bake breads like soda bread and herbed garlic bread and foccacia. They make cookies, and granola bars and one of them even makes half a dozen dishes for dinner every day.

After months of this, I was shamed into attempting the first cake.

In other developments, we finally got a working oven. After bidding a fond and tearful adieu to the MILs 56 year old one. She did call her favorite technician for a last ditch resuscitation attempt, but when I saw him cheerfully sticking metal pipes with fevikwik thought that I would much rather not have a gas leak in the house. So hallelujah, I have burners and oven that actually burn and bake.

AND I have a hyperactive four year old boy who needs entertaining on rainy days.

So voila, Cyn the Baker was born.

Had the initial hiccups - of wondering whether baking soda and powder were the same things (they are not – they have “different actions” whatever that may be) and happily using my chai ka cup as a measuring cup for the first few attempts before I realized that you get something called a measuring cup.

 I have still not understood why the batter must be mixed with a wooden spoon and steel or a plastic one won’t do.

It’s been baby steps - carrot cake (which is rocking), the brownie (which is brilliantly easy) and a mango cake where I decided to do some extempore baking. (There is only so much of discipline I can take Gah) in which I managed to make the batter so incredibly dense that the blender had a stroke and died. (Strangely enough the resultant output wasn’t terrible as I expected. Consequently, I have become a fan of baking powder).

Ah well, maybe I WILL turn into a domestic diva after all. 
(God Forbid)