The Betty Crocker Cake mix still brings back old memories. That, was when I started my journey, 8 years ago. It started off as a simple hobby, but over time, morphed into a passion. It was my mode of expression, a rather unconventional one, if I may say so.
My dream was to go to the Culinary Institute of America and one day, be the head chef at a Michelin Star restaurant. Renowned chefs like Sanjana Patel, Gaggan, Dominique Crenn, Will Goldfarb and Christina Tossi were my source of inspiration. They’d all bring to life a multitude of cuisines and yet, stay true to their very own roots.
By all means, the journey wasn’t easy, but it was worth it. Just like Rome wasn’t built in a day, I knew I couldn’t possibly master everything at once, but over time, I could do my best to give wings to my dream. Regularly attending weekend workshops and watching YouTube videos shaped my culinary techniques. Cooking taught me that there’s just no end to how much I could possibly learn!
Very soon, charity bake sales and parents began asking me to cater for their events! This motivated me to start my own business called ‘Baker Girl’. A friend of mine and I won a prominent cooking competition too! All of this feels so surreal, but it gives me a stronger incentive to work harder to make my dream come true.
Here are 2 easy-to-bake dessert recipes you can make at home !
I] CLASSIC CHOCOLATE CAKE :
For the sponge-
160g castor sugar
140g dark chocolate
30g cocoa powder
For the chocolate ganache -
250g dark chocolate (cut into small pieces)
180ml fresh cream
Sprinkles or chocolate shavings for the toppings!
Preheat the oven to 180C
Melt the dark chocolate in a microwave and set it aside to cool.
Whisk the eggs till they become light and fluffy.
Add the castor sugar and keep whisking till the sugar dissolves.
Add the cooler dark melted chocolate to the mixture and fold it in lightly.
Don’t over-mix it.
Sift together the flour and cocoa powder and add it to the mixture.
Pour the mixture into a lined 8 inch baking tin and bake it for twenty minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Let the sponge cool.
Now make the ganache.
Place the chopped chocolate in a bowl.
Heat the cream and butter in a saucepan over medium heat and bring it to a boil.
Pour the boiling cream over the chocolate immediately and allow it to stand for five minutes.
Stir it with a whisk until it’s smooth and creamy.
You can either sandwich the cake into two and spread the frosting evenly on both layers,or, if your cake’s on the thinner side, just frost the top layer.
Cover the cake and let it set in the fridge for a few hours.
II] OAT CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES :
½ cup softened butter
½ cup light brown sugar
½ cup castor sugar
1 egg / 1 flax egg (1 tablespoon of flax seeds with two tbsp of water)
½ cup whole wheat flour ( atta )
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ cup choco chips (you can also substitute with dry fruits or small pieces of dairy milk / leave it out completely)
Mix the wheat flour, oats, and baking soda in a glass bowl with a whisk.
In another bowl, take the softened butter and add brown sugar followed by white sugar. Mix it well until it comes together as a uniform mixture.
Add one egg to the butter mixture and incorporate well.
Add the vanilla and just mix until incorporated.
Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until thoroughly incorporated.
Allow the cookie dough to rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
After resting, pre-heat the oven to 180C
On a tray lined with a silicone mat or parchment paper, scoop out the cookie dough into small balls.
Bake it for 8-10 minutes or until the edges turn golden-brown.
Take the cookies out of the oven and allow them to cool for 3-4 minutes before serving.
It’s best served with a glass of cold milk!
- Ishita Ramanujam.