The Joy of Baking

Talking about her book How to be a Domestic Goddess: Baking and the Art of Comfort Cooking (2000), Nigella Lawson had once remarked that ‘Baking is the less applauded of the cooking arts’. Traditionally, baking has been seen as a housewifely activity, and in the male-dominated industry of professional cooking, it has often been relegated to the back-burner. However, I have always felt that baking gives the most sense of satisfaction. There’s something about the feeling when you see your cake rising in the oven, or when it turns out perfectly, without sticking to the cake tin... Try it and tell me if you disagree!
There is a certain amount of science behind baking, so stick to the recipe you are following. Any sort of baking requires ingredients taken in exact measurements. Some recipes ask you to blend an egg at a time in the cake mixture; while others may ask that you whisk the eggs first and then add to the batter. This affects the way the cake turns out, so go as per the recipe on hand. Remember that baking powder starts acting as soon as it comes in contact with the wet mixture. So the time between mixing the cake batter and putting it into the oven should be minimal, else the cake won’t rise as much.  

And finally, sometimes despite your best efforts your cake may not turn out perfectly. But let that not put you off baking forever! Honestly, there is no greater joy... Having said all that, here’s a recipe for a basic Vanilla Cake.

This recipe serves 12 people (depending on portion sizes)!

You’ll need:
How to: 

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