Friday, October 19, 2012

Baking - My Intangible Sanctuary

“A bad review is like baking a cake with all the best ingredients and having someone sit on it.” – Danielle Steel

Baking for me is an expression of love. People find many ways to express themselves for instance some write, some paint, some debate and some act. But how do I express myself?
Anger, confusion and weariness totally evaporates when I enter the realm of baking. Baking is like a heaven for me. It completely relaxes my mind and takes me to another world which is full of food fantasy. The whiff of tempting, caramelized strawberries shining on the uneven surface of the freshly baked strawberry tart.
I started baking during my summer vacations few years back. Beat butter and sugar, stir in the flour and eggs pour it into a mould, pop it in the oven and Ta-Da!
The smell of freshly baked golden brown cake wafting over me domed and cracked on top mouth watering. The moment I open that oven door is a moment of complete bliss for a baker.

Baking is my intangible sanctuary, kitchen a place where I pour out my feelings that even one of my closest friends won’t understand because no one’s crazy about baking as much as I am.
My confusion and fear ends up with as a chocolate marble cake come out of the oven, the swirly patterns inside when you actually cut the cake describes how much effort I’ve put in.
The circular cake iced with vanilla buttercream, chocolate ganache dripping slowly down the sides decorated with such intricate design it just reflects your creativity.
Some of you must be thinking that I am exaggerating but trust me this is how it is and what baking means to me.
The final product reflects the efforts that you’ve actually put into it. The aftertaste is what lingers, contentment and happiness replacing all your stress, fear and anxiety.
For me baking takes care of everything.

“No one is born a great cook, one learns by doing.” – Julia Child

Monday, October 15, 2012

Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Hey Everyone,
Chocolate Chip Cookies are everyone's favourite. No one can say no to thick and chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies  :)
But lets face it all the cookies are thick and chewy when hot out from the oven but when it cools its becomes crisp. The question arises that how do we maintain that thick and chewy texture?
After trying a couple of recipes I discovered the secret for delicious, thick and chewy cookies.

Use melted butter not just softened butter.

Extra fat, which we get from an extra yolk.
Cooking time, which is less than you’d think. 
Butter  melted (170 g)
Dark Brown Sugar  1 cup
Castor Sugar  1/2 cup
Egg  1
Egg Yolk  1
Vanilla Extract  2 tsp
Chocolate Chunks  1 cup
Flour  2 cups+2 tbsp   
Baking Soda  1/2 tsp 

Preheat the oven to 165 degrees.
Line two cookie trays with parchment paper. 
Whisk the flour,baking soda and salt together in a medium bowl, set aside.
Melt the butter either on a stove-top or microwave it.
Transfer the melted butter in the mixing bowl and mix the butter and sugars either by hand or with an electric beater until thoroughly blended.
Beat in the egg, yolk and vanilla essence until combined.
Add the dry ingredients while beating a low speed keeps it from flying out of the bowl.
Stir in the chocolate chunks.
Cover the bowl with a cling film and chill the dough in the refrigerator for atleast an hour before continuing.
Scoop the dough onto the lined cookie tray, leaving plenty of room for spreading.
Bake for 15 to 17 minutes or until the edges are lightly golden brown.
Pull the cookies from the oven while they are still slightly underbaked and let them set for 10 minutes on the hot baking sheet. The cookies will finish baking as they sit. Doing this ensures moist, chewy cookies.
After the cookies are cooled you can store it in an air-tight container. 

Enjoy :)