Life's batter with cake

Life's batter with cake

Down foodpath

Shelendra Pawar

I grew up in a joint family where I saw my mother, aunt and grandmother spend a lot of time in the kitchen. I guess that’s where I developed my interest in the culinary world. 

My first baking experience was when I was in the ninth standard. I was watching Nigella Lawson’s show on TV and tried to make that cake. I baked it without using any measurement and to everyone’s surprise, it came out really well. It was supposed to be a plum cake but since I didn’t have access to the alcohol, it turned out to be a fruit loaf cake. 

Slowly, I developed an interest in making snack items like dhokla and Maggi noodles. Whenever I came back home for vacations during college, I used to cook. Having hostel food all the other time made me crave for good homecooked meals.  About five years ago, when I started working at a pharmaceutical company, I moved in with my sister in Bengaluru. She doesn’t cook at all. And since I loved being in the kitchen and my work got over by 6.30 pm, I would come home and prepare everything. 

It was my sister who told me to start a food page. I started uploading my cooking journey and the responses I received motivated to try more things. 

Eventually, I went in to make more dishes, baking different things and started trial recipes. 

One day, I met the team of Conosh, a community-dining experience platform, at the supermarket who saw me buy a bunch of groceries. They thought I was cooking for large number of people and we hit it off. So for the past six months, I’ve been hosting community lunches and dinners with the team. It’s been a great experience since I have been receiving positive responses and motivation to try out new dishes. 

I am not a professionally trained cook. Everything I know is through books, YouTube and plenty of trial-and-error. I’ve had my fair share of disasters. I could throw the cake and it would hurt the wall.

But I wouldn’t change any of my experiences. I am happy to cook or bake even in the middle of the night. Call it what you may, but I consider baking as therapy. I love coming home, read some book or listen to music and cook. That’s my me-time.  

It took three trials to perfect today’s recipe. The best part of this sponge cake is that you can change the fruit according to the season. Be it strawberry or mango, all you have to do it include the fruit and the syrup to enjoy. 

Shelendra Pawar


Orange Sponge Cake

Orange Sponge Cake


Eggs - 6

Sugar, 1/2 cup + 1/4 cup sugar for syrup

Vanilla essence - 1 tsp

All-purpose flour - 1 cup

Cornflour - 1/2 cup

A pinch salt

Oranges - 3

Whipped cream



Take 6 eggs and separate the yolk and whites. Using a hand blender beat egg yolk with 1/2 cup sugar and 1 tsp vanilla
essence till it turns light and
pale yellow in colour. This will take approx 4 to 5 minutes.

Take egg white in a separate bowl and beat it till you get stiff peaks. This step will take
another 3 to 4 minutes. Add pinch of salt and another half cup of sugar and beat again for another minute.

Fold egg yolk mixture with
egg whites part by part and add one cup of flour and 1/2 cup
of cornstarch/cornflour. Mix all together.

Divide this into two prepared baking tins and bake it for 170c for 20-25 mins or until a knife comes out clean.


For the orange syrup

Take the juice of 2 oranges, add 1/4 cup of sugar and one tbsp orange zest.

Soak sponges in this syrup for 10 minutes.


To assemble

To assemble the cake, keep one layer and apply a good amount of cream, followed by the second layer of sponge. Top it up with whipped cream and orange pulp to enjoy that extra citrus flavours.