Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Its been a while!

Not that I have anything concrete to say after all these months that I haven't blogged, just that I never seem to have an informed opinion on anything that I'm passionate about.
However, I have realized a few things about myself,
1. I over analyze everything.
2. I like to complicate the simplest of things.
3. I sit on a decision for too long and often regret it later.

I am going to change that now.

Also, this blog needs a focus and since the only things I enjoy doing these days is baking and clicking photos of them. That's what I shall do, (consistently) from now on.

The following is an article I wrote for my college's magazine.

Tell me what you think of it, if you can! Thanks.

Beep. Beep. “Cooking complete.” The automated microwave (in convection mode) reported. Mittened- up and anxious, I opened the door. The wait had been worth it: a well-browned, butter flavoured aroma warmed my senses. A magnetic chocolate walnut brownie was born.

The journey from being a master patisserie explorer to a moderate baker has been a long and arduous one. Ratio, proportions, measurements to a T and an eye for fresh and quality ingredients have had to be developed. On the way I realised that some are born with a baker’s touch, unlike them, I burned a few before these experimental cakes were fit for consumption.

To start off, I decided to put my dedicated television watching into overdrive and concentrated on lifestyle and food channels. Watching Junior Masterchef also helped. If a 12 year old could do it so could I! the only reason I tried these recipes out was because I had spent all my pocket money on desserts already and had to economize. I finally decided to give baking a try after watching Julie and Julia, once more, for good luck.

Marble and sponge cakes would rise beautifully till they’d collapse, some would burn and the rest would turn rock-hard or chewy in the middle. I couldn’t believe the journey from a plate grabbing foodie to a baker was not an easy one.

I read extensively into why things went wrong in the critical 45 minute waiting period and realized that cakes rise evenly when the ingredients are at room temperature (unless specified in the recipe), egg whites must be blended into the sugar first; since it helps in making the cake light and airy, egg yolks must be mixed in later, once the flour is added the batter must be lightly mixed else it turns hard and a pinch of salt enhances the cake’s taste.

It’s been almost a year now and though my initial obsession with baking has waned, I bake once a fortnight and have tried out lemon tarts and cupcakes with icing too. Ideally, the cake should look like the photograph accompanying it. If anything, baking helps me appreciate the time it takes to make something from scratch, something I used to take for granted while eating out. The sugary high of successfully baking your own treats is truly addictive.


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Family Time

My father is in the Navy and he is currently posted in Tuticorin,Tamil Nadu. He came home a week ago and I can't remember the last time I had so much fun being home. We went out to the club, watched movies and even went out together as a family for a walk. Fun times.
Cooking for my father is also fun because he loves eating. I tried thai layered rice and walnut- chocolate gooey fills in the last week. I just made accordion potatoes today and didn't share them with anyone! People noticed. hahaha.


Sunday, November 4, 2012

Stringing along the week-end.
There are many things that I was excited about doing this week end. I decided to  re-style a few of my clothes since a friend kept telling me to get a makeover and here I was, thinking I was always well turned out!
I own a lot of white shirts and decided to metallic rust paint my chinese collar. It looks pretty swanky now :) I got carried away and tried to spruce up my mother's white collars to pink, but it does not look as nice. Oops.

I also watched 3 episodes of masterchef today and was so inspired that I have decided to cook through Tarla Dalal's cookbook. I tried out her Lemon Tart recipe and it was pretty easy to execute! Since I did not have tart tins, I had to set the mixture in a pie tin. It still tastes decent and lemony enough, despite the fact that the recipe requires 2 lemons and 2 eggs. I initially thought Ms. Dalal had not taken into account that Indian lemons are not as big as the foreign ones, but her estimates were quite accurate.

I call my sister Dittu since her real name is too common. We have now prepared a week's menu and stuck it on our kitchen door. Mama and Dittu are out buying ingredients for Urulai Idid Cha Masala, which is essentially a heavily spiced potato dish, from what I could make out.

I shall upload some pictures once I find my camera's USB or buy another card reader, which should be soon.

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Friday, November 2, 2012

A beginning of sorts

A little about myself

I consider myself a private person and have blogged a couple of times before but was too afraid to let my thoughts out for everyone to read. However, I have had too much free time and stumbled upon some great blogs. So, on my way back from my internship, I decided that I would blog too! 
It was quite like the moment when Julie in Julie and Julia comes out of the kitchen and says, "I can write a blog." Just that I was walking on the road and smiling to myself.
I promise to blog at least once a week and be consistent. After reading a few blogging tips I don't expect to have  a great readership any time soon :P
I shall probably blog tomorrow as well. I'm too excited about this! Let's hope it lasts long enough to celebrate an anniversary or two.

The above picture is a recent favourite of mine. I shall try and be the unabashed and brave squirrel, driven by hunger, resilience and will to succeed.