Cake it to the top

Cake it to the top

I have had an intense fascination for baking for a while now. My mother used to bake and I was fascinated by the detailing and the nuances of the baking world.

Though I did BCom, I soon realised my calling for homebaking and pursued it.

At a college fest, my team and I dished out some red velvet, strawberry vanilla and chocolate cupcakes along with homemade chocolates at a stall. That is when it struck me that baking is what I wanted to do. I started taking  baking orders while I was studying.

Soon people started approaching me with orders and before I knew it, I was a baker. I am a self-taught baker though I picked up different tips and the knack of baking from my mother.

At the same time, I was also doing courses on cake designing. Once I realised that I could explore myself through baking, I founded ‘The Big O’Bakes’. With this venture, I have been creating cupcakes, cakes, quiches and anything that would excite a baker. It takes a lot of practice to try interesting things in baking.

I am a big lover of traditional sweets and giving them a twist. Be it the ‘Kaju katli’ or the ‘Gajar ka halwa’, I mix and match flavours to create new items. My inspiration comes from a new dish that I have tasted or looking at some ingredients in the house.

I like doing ‘fusion bake’ because I can experiment a lot with it. It also helps one showcase their creative streak even if  the process is very challenging. I have made interesting contemporary desserts like ‘Masala chai mousse’ and ‘Katcha mango macarons’.

Baking is a versatile activity  where things can be twisted according to one’s fancy. This is how the ‘Spiced banana mawa cake’ happened. It was the festive season and there was some ‘mawa’ (khoya) in the house.

My mother told me to create something new out of it. I noticed that there were a lot of overripe bananas in the house too and I mixed these two and threw in some Indian spices and nuts, like walnuts, which gave it a zing.

I was lucky to have come out with a nice cake in the first try itself. Since then, I have baked it for many people. The ingredients in it always tak people by surprise. They are fascinated how an Indian twist can be given to a banana bread.
Lakhan Bhounsle

(As told to Tini Sara Anien)

Spiced banana mawa cake
 
Ingredients
Overly ripe bananas, 2 large ones
Eggs, 2
Melted butter, 1/4 cup
Buttermilk, 2 tbsp
Sugar, 1/4 cup
Vanilla, 1 tsp
Crumbled mawa/milk solids, 3/4 cup
Flour, 1 1/2 cups
Salt, 1/4 tsp
Baking soda, 1 tsp
Cinnamon powder, 1/4 tsp
Nutmeg, 1/4 tsp
Clove, 1/4 tsp
Cardamom, 1/2 tsp

Optional
Chopped walnuts, 1/4 cup
Chocolate chips, 1/4 cup
Almond flakes, 1/4 cup
Pistachios, 1/4 cup

Method
1. Mix all the dry and wet ingredients separately.
2. Cream the ‘mawa’ and mashed bananas in a bowl and add in all the remaining wet ingredients.
3. In a separate bowl, sift the dry ingredients once.
4. Mix in the optional nuts and chocolate chips to the flour mixture so that it is evenly coated in flour which will result in even distribution of the same in the bread once baked.
5. Fold in the dry and wet ingredients slowly using a spatula, until everything is mixed well and no lumps of flour are seen.
6. Pour the mixture in a loaf pan lined with parchment paper and bake it in a pre-heated oven at 160 degrees for about 30 to 40 minutes or until done. You can do the toothpick test to check the same.

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