Thursday, 16 July 2015

Cake and a pink umbrella

Last night I decided to give baking a try. I don't think I've ever baked cakes or cupcakes before  so it was quite exciting. I knew I wanted to make a chocolate cake so I googled some recipes and decided to go for seriously rich chocolate cake on BBC Good Food. 

After work I went to Stop and Shop, a hop and skip from our apartment, to look for the ingredients. I didn't find 70% chocolate nor did I find caster or  Muscovado sugar (is it made from an avocado with a mustache?). I found regular dark chocolate and brown sugar. I had some 70% cocoa chocolate at home which I had bought in Asheville which I was going to use together with the one from Stop and Shop. 

And, on the way back, I met a girl whom I met through Wesley years ago who keeps coming to me to say hello. She was selling umbrellas and, gifted a little pink umbrella to Kavita. Kavita was overjoyed. 

I first prepared all the ingredients and, followed the receipt step by step. I must say I really enjoyed the process. It's fascinating that eggs, flour, sugar and chocolate can work magic. And, there are infinite possibilities and variations on this combination of eggs, flour and sugar. Whoever stumbled on this? 

I think it also helped that after watching so many cooking programmes, I kind of had a sense what the various steps were going to feel like. I have seen so many fluffy egg whites folded into chocolate by TV maestros that I felt confident. 

The most difficult part was scaling those stiff peaks! My right arm was exhausted whipping those egg whites into stiff peaks. You know every industry has its own technical jargon and cooking is also fraught with its own language: sauté, al dente, fry until medium brown, pre heat, poach, blanche, and so on. Stiff peaks is a bit like a metaphor because you are trying to transform a bubbly, airy liquid like egg white into a thick substance, which would have ridges like stiff peaks. Quite clever and imaginative. 

Are animals also right and left handed or equally dexterous with their limbs? 

As I whipped up the double cream or 'creme fraiche' into a light froth, I realised my blender is as old as my life in Liberia. It has served me well but it's started to get cracks and often sprays liquid all over the kitchen counter top. I need to retire it. 

I should get a food processor too. 

The house smelled so good and I am glad to report the cake turned out well. While it baked, I made some murghi for dinner. 

Haresh went to the German Embassy movie night, representing NATC. I knew it was not feasible to take Kavita along so I settled in for a night of baking, cooking and playing with Kavita. I must say it is nice to spend the whole day with Kavita. She had her fill of Max and Ruby, Dora, Ben and Holly's Kingdom, Bubble Guppies and Mister Maker while I was in the kitchen. We enjoyed our dinner and soon Haresh came home. We read some books and after haresh fell asleep we watched half of "Zathura" on TV. I've seen it a few times but it was fascinating to see Kavita's expressions! 

Excuse my photography skills but I couldn't get a great photo of the cake when it was done. I wanted one of those food close ups but alas! This last photo will have to do. 

As I said I went for the seriously rich chocolate cake recipe. And, it was. Always go for recipes that start with seriously. I mean, if you are not going to be serious about it, why bother?

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