Baking cakes and cookies can be the easiest for some and for others....a very harrowing experience. When you can sense instinctively whether a recipe will turn out well by simply looking at the list of ingredients......its ok to take your chances with weights and measures..........otherwise the first and last rule of baking is measure your ingredients and follow the instructions to the letter. That alone will give you success everytime. A perfectly baked cake or cookie is a piece of art. But it is also true that if you cut out some quantity of fat and sugar and use healthy substitutes...... that too can give you very good results and just may improve its flavour. I'll give below some of the regular cakes and cookie recipes.
Those that I have personally baked over the years for my family and which are our favourites. Hope they become yours too. But be prepared for the fact that I may have added my own or changed an ingredient or two.
The simplest and most basic cake has one cup butter, one cup sugar, 4 eggs , 1 1/2 tsp baking powder, some vanilla essence and about half a cup of milk.
I generally grind about 2 kgs of sugar to a caster form and store the same with vanilla beans so that my sugar is naturally flavoured. You would be horrified to know what synthetic vanilla essence is made of.
BUTTER SPONGE CAKE
Take one cup butter and one cup sugar and cream the two together with an electric beater, Add the four eggs one at a time beating all the time. Take the flour (about 1 1/2 cups) and baking powder and seive the two together. IT IS VERY IMP TO SIFT THE FLOUR AS THIS INCORPORATES AIR WHICH IS WHAT MAKES YOUR CAKE LIGHT AS AIR. IF YOU WISH TO MAKE A PLAIN CHOCOLATE CAKE SUBSTITUTE PART OF THE FLOUR WITH COCOA . The flour must be incorporated into the cake batter in a figure of eight motion and must be done very lightly so that the air remains in the cake helping it to rise while baking. At intervals add the milk .
THIS TYPE IS CALLED A CREAMED CAKE.
For a more flavourful chocolate cake or plain sponge cake substitute the milk with freshly squeezed orange juice.
Sometimes I substitute the sugar of the cake with some of my homemade orange marmalade,
This is an absolute basic sponge cake and if you can master making this well you are ready to move onto the next step which is a marble cake.
ANOTHER TYPE OF CAKE IS CALLED A WHISKED CAKE AND THIS IS A TRULY AMAZING WAY TO MAKE A BASIC SPONGE WITHOUT USING ANY FAT.
It is also a very difficult sponge as any small mistake in measurement would end in either making the sponge very dry and crisp or uncooked and soggy. But.....if well made.....truly a remarkable sponge for either using in layer cakes or rolling up.