Tuesday, September 07, 2010

What's Been Baking?

I have been fascinated by baking but have been really scared. I got myself a basic Oven - an OTG, because I feel grilling and baking is far more healthier than dunking in gravies and curries. Since then, I have sorta lost my fear of baking and have been experimenting.

So, what have I baked so far?

Muffins, Sponge cake, Pistachio Cake, Scones, Coffee Mocha Cake and Pecan Squares. Some of my experiments are successfully, and some aren't, mostly when I tweak a recipe because I doubt the measures. I really need to be more trusting.

And, now some pictorial evidence...
Pecan Squares Pistachio Cake

Coffee Mocha Cake


The most successful of my experiments have been the muffins and the Pistachio cake. I have tweaked the Pistachio cake recipe and am posting it here. As long as you stick to the measurements it is a foolproof one. The cake is dense, but has the loveliest nuttiest crumb. I really cant get enough of it.


· 3/4 cup shelled pistachios
· 1 cup all-purpose flour
· 1 teaspoons baking powder
· 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
· 1/4 teaspoon salt
· 1/2 cup whole milk
· 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
· 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
· 1 cup sugar
· 3 large eggs

Preheat oven to 170° C. Butter a cake pan. Most recipes ask for flouring the cake pan etc., but I find that just greasing cake tins works better for me. If you wish, you may flour it.
Pulse pistachios in a food processor until finely ground (be careful not to grind into a paste). Add 1 cup flour, baking powder, cardamom, and salt and mix well. I normally whisk it very very lightly for 2-3 minutes. Combine milk and vanilla.
Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Alternately add pistachio flour and milk in batches, and mix until just combined.
Spread batter evenly in cake pan and bake in middle of oven until a toothpick comes out clean. It normally takes me 25-20 minutes. Cool and cut into squares and serve warm or later.

I got this recipe from epicurious and have tweaked it. I reduced the amount of baking powder to half because my cakes would rise too much and get too crusty and crack. I have also reduced the amount of cardamom to half of what was mentioned in the recipe, because this way the delicate of the pistachios really comes through.

Anyway, enjoy!

Labels: ,