During my school days, many people around me used to bake. One of my aunts was learning baking. She used to bake delicious cakes, cookies, and puff pastries. I used to assist her while baking. She gave me simple tasks such as sieving the dry ingredients, greasing the tray, etc. In my mind, I had the notion that the cake batter requires a lot of whisking. I did not notice that it was only at the creaming stage when mixing the butter and sugar; it was whisked vigorously. Later, the dry and wet ingredients had to be just folded together lightly. I missed this point entirely during my assisting days.
When I grew up and started baking myself, my cakes always became a chewy mass and never that golden sponge my aunt used to make. I always blamed it on the ingredients used, the oven temperature, or the fact that I was making an eggless version.
During my college days, I decided to make a chocolate cake at home for all my classmates on one of my birthdays. But, the biggest hurdle was that I did not know how to make a good cake. So I coaxed my best friend to help me with it. Since it was my birthday, she agreed to help me and laboured for four hours in the kitchen to make some delicious chocolate sponges. That day again, I helped her with the small tasks and never paid attention to the finer details.
After I got married, once, my sister and I were baking a cake. We downloaded a popular eggless recipe and started the process. This time, my sister played the assistant’s tasks, I being older and presuming to be ore knowledgeable. Again, I followed the recipe to the T. But when it came to whisking, I whisked the batter vigorously. This time again, my cake turned out to be a chewy mass. After this failure, I almost stopped baking until I bought a new oven a few years ago.
When I started baking again, I decided to learn the science behind the baking processes. So, I not only followed the recipes and proportions but even the various steps to the T. Voila; I finally got success. Now I can make cakes with different flavours and can experiment with various ingredients.