I have been craving a cake for a long time.
Technically it should be a simple enough craving to satisfy, walk into any Kosta or Barista, sit down with a hot chocolate cup and get the gooey cake or the chocolate muffin placed on the table, piping warm from the microwave, get the fork, stab the delightful sinful artefact, watch with satisfaction the ooooooozzzzzzeeee of the chocolate and slurp it all down in one go... only to drop your mouth open as the heat burns ur tounge..
But that is not the ISSUE.
For starters, more than the cake i am missing the surreal smell that fills the entire house as a cake is simmering and cooking in the oven. The whole process of baking a cake for me is filled with magic. As a child "cake day" was an occasion. the Egg beater would be unpacked from the highest cupboard, eggs be got into a Jain (technically forbidden act) household, the shells be packed in foil and newspaper and craftily disposed off in a manner that would not arose suspicion.
Pink measuring cups, butter melted in boiling water, stirred ever so lightly in the clockwise direction, tiny measuring spoons, proportions and recipe books, the entire act was NOVEL.. so far removed from the unromantic whistle of the pressure cooker, the yellow dal and the unceremonious dumping of the masalas into a stirring kadai of BRINJAL.. with a casual flick of the hand
A cake gave rise to tension and anxiety. Once the batter was made, licking rights were given to me and my brother to spoon out the choco residue from the mixing bowl.. the cake would be placed in the hot heat emitting oven and the longest 45 minutes of our lives would start.
Mommy mommy, come quick the cake is blowing up
Oh no! Mom!!! Disaster the top crust has cracked.. and the cake shall be not nice ;-(
or the worst of the lot..nothing is happening only! the cake is not moving...
suspense filled our lungs as the hot baking dish was removed, tilted over a plate and whacked with the heaviest object in the kitchen to release it from the pan. The urgent first cut of the knife and the first bite.. to ensure that all was well.
The entire baking experience to me..... meant that for a few moments I could transform myself into the land of Enid Blyton and make believe that I too understood the joy of a "bright sunny afternoon, where the kids took a picnic basket of watercress sandwiches and treacle pudding, as they bit into the ham that mother had so thoughtfully packed"
So sure, I can walk into Kosta, and get that bloomey cake.. but secretly want to giggle, mix, sieve and break, the eggs and flour and anxiously wait ... for the oven to decide the cakes fate. Doing it alone is not fun at all, so i wait to get a baking pal!