It's almost close to 3 years now since the day I borrowed her legacy Racold oven with the baking tin. The old square 9" baking tin that was handed over to me by my mother and that's when I actually began my baking with. And the test baking with pressure cooker was my inspiration to begin with :) I still love this old round aluminium oven that I borrowed. It feels ancient and classy. Back then mom did everything with cooking and baking that I do today. Baking cakes, cookies, puddings, mac and cheese, everything that would make kids feel happy about food.
Soon Indian markets began to flood with baked goodies and most of these products were easily available in big supermarkets. So with time all this took a backseat and she focused on cooking traditional healthy food. Again, she comes from a school of thought which said "Why bake when you can get the same stuff at an affordable price with no efforts in a well presented way?" Also, since it's just a piece or two one would buy, we would not indulge in over eating as against baking at home where surplus quantities tempt you to eat more. She has a point. She was darn sure that at some point in time I would agree with her. But these flops seem to have made me a bold baker. And beyond feeding yummy goods to others, I find it a great stress buster which helps me forget myself.
For the moment I ain't retiring. In fact since my daughter's birth I haven't really cooked much apart from our typical Indian menu. Time has been my real enemy :( Sorry, I am cribbing about it again. Incidentally, I got a good chance at hand this weekend to bake something as dear hubby agreed I needed some time off for myself.
Nita Mehta's recipe for Eggless Sponge seems to be quite popular. Many blogs have appreciated the recipe as a successful attempt at using curd (Indian name for yogurt) as substitute for eggs. Sharmilee, a dear blogger friend from Chennai blogs on Sharmispassions and I have been an ardent follower of her blog for long. We have been good virtual friends and catch up online often. Meeting Indian bloggers has it's perks, since our wavelength with baking and cooking match well and it's easier to connect with them. When I saw this recipe on her blog, I was totally convinced that the resulting cake would be spongy. Her step-by-step recipe motivated me further and I had to give this a try. I went ahead with the basic recipe, used butter instead of oil, added a handful of dried cranberries and the resulting loaf was soft, buttery and excellent.
Cranberry Sponge Loaf
Inspired by Sharmispassions.com
Source: Nita Mehta
1 1/2 cups All purpose flour
1 cup Thick Curd/Yogurt
1 cup Sugar
1/2 tsp Baking soda
1 1/4 tsp Baking powder
1/2 cup Butter
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
A fist full of Fresh/Dried Cranberries
Preheat the oven to 200 deg C for 10 mins. Grease a butter paper and layer it in the loaf pan.
Sieve all purpose flour twice and keep aside. Cream the sugar and curd until sugar completely dissolves. Add baking powder, baking soda to the creamed mixture and mix well. Leave aside for 5 mins and till bubbles appear on the mixture. Now add in vanilla essence and softened butter and beat well. Next slowly add all purpose flour in portions at a time and blend with wet ingredients. Beat well with a till creamy and thick.
Coat the cranberries in all purpose flour. Finally fold in the cranberries gently. Pour the batter to the loaf tin and bake in the pre-heated oven for 10 minutes at 200 degrees. Then reduce the temperature to 180 deg C and bake it further for 30-35 mins. Check using a fork inserted into the center of the cake. It should come out clean. Allow the cake to cool down for 10 mins, then invert and remove the butter paper. Slice them into pieces and enjoy with a cup of milk or coffee.
This recipe is a keeper for sure. I have attempted many variations with this recipe. Tried cupcakes with the same recipe, they were an instant hit. Attempted a small increase in the amount of flour, did not beat the batter much, added a few chocolate chips and made yummy muffins, we were bowled by it's taste and texture. No one can tell they lack eggs in them. It's so simple that it needs no bookmarking and can be easily replicated anytime. The recipe for eggless sponge can be adapted to make different flavored cakes, gateaux, cupcakes, layered treats and much more. Just a few ingredients will result in a cake that is extremely yum, with the perfect sponge and excellent texture.
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