We bought an oven around a month back but never baked anything (did not even unpack it properly) until day before yesterday when I finally decided that we should bake once to check whether the oven is running properly. Fortunately,I had bought cake baking ingredients and accessories when I bought the oven and so I did not have to run to the shop to get anything. I downloaded a simple cake recipe from the net,printed it and all of us started the process of baking,much to the delight of our kids. My daughter was more excited than my son because she has done baking in school and so she could relate to it. My son, at two,is maybe too young to understand the fun of baking.
This is the recipe that we followed:
Recipe for Simple White Cake
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9x9 inch pan or line a muffin pan with paper liners.
In a medium bowl, cream together the sugar and butter. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Combine flour and baking powder, add to the creamed mixture and mix well. Finally stir in the milk until batter is smooth. Pour or spoon batter into the prepared pan.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes in the preheated oven. For cupcakes, bake 20 to 25 minutes. Cake is done when it springs back to the touch.
My daughter,with my guidance,measured out the dry ingredients (with measuring cups) and I must say I was quite disorganized about assembling the ingredients on our dinner table which is where we set out to do the preparations. After creaming the butter and sugar and mixing in the eggs I discovered that I hadn't brought the vanilla essence and the baking powder and ran to get them. Faisal was preparing the batter in the mixer (which is also newly bought) and he got quite worked up when our inquisitive toddler kept trying to get very close to the equipment and even tried to put his hands inside the batter while the mixer was on!
We had switched the oven on and finally the batter was ready.I put the batter inside a square mould and put it in the oven for baking hoping that everything will turn out well. However, after fifteen minutes my maid said that she could smell something burning and I rushed inside the kitchen to check what was wrong.I discovered that Faisal has mistakenly chosen the "grill mode" and heat was only coming from the top.So I changed it to "baking mode". After thirty minutes I took the cake out and inserted a knife inside to check whether it was done but though the outside looked brown,inside the cake was still uncooked.And so it went inside again.
After 10 minutes it was done and I took it out.Faisal and the kids came rushing to see the end product and to taste it (even though it was too hot). I quickly poured tha cake on a plate and sliced it. We each took a slice and to our surprise it tasted just fine.It was a bit dry and a bit burnt on the top but it still tasted good!And even though the recipe says that it's a white cake,it was not white at all!
I think baking is a fun activity to do with kids...they can learn about teamwork and also about the "science behind cooking". It also teaches them about mathematics through measurements and additions. Following a recipe is a step-by-step process which gives them a good practice in following instructions.
I think next its going to be a gingerbread man,if the recipe is not too complicated, because my daughter still holds a grudge against me for eating up the gingerbread man that she baked in school last year!