Bakeries are open again, but, even people with a serious sweet tooth may be hesitating to pop in as the Covid-19 risks continue. While the initial fervour of everyone in the world trying to bake — mostly banana bread — seems to have passed, our sweet cravings haven’t.
There was a time when I would bake every weekend, but now that time has lost all meaning, I seem to have lost the will to do so. That doesn’t mean I don’t long for my favourite cakes though.
So I asked my colleagues and got a list of their favourite recipes to help encourage myself (and you) to fill up that empty cake tin in the kitchen. These are pretty easy, and will suit both beginners as well as those who have fallen out of the habit:
1. Two-ingredient chocolate cake
All of us who follow Tasty know that they experiment a lot to bring us easy recipes, and it really doesn’t get easier than this. All you need is semisweet chocolate and four large eggs to come up with this yummy cake.
2. Best vanilla cake
I came across this recipe while looking for a vanilla cake, and it turned out nice and soft. This is a perfect recipe for when you want to bake a cake that is not too rich. I made it with the frosting and it was absolutely delicious, but you can totally make it sans frosting as well if you don’t want to bother.
3. Microwave chocolate cake
This is a special one, from a dear friend who would bake birthday cakes for me all through college when we did not have ovens. It requires the same ingredients that you would use for an oven cake. But the quantities are a little different. I used this recipe right when I began baking and it worked wonderfully for me.
4 large eggs
1 cup + 4 tbsp powdered sugar
1 cup maida
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup milk
1 cup butter
2 tsp vanilla essence
4 tbsp cocoa powder
Whisk eggs, and sugar till the mixture begins to rise, then mix in the butter and vanilla essence. In a separate bowl, sieve flour, baking powder and cocoa powder and mix well while dry.
Once you’re done, incorporate the egg mixture into the dry ingredients, folding it in a little at a time.
Add the milk in last. Sometimes you may not need to add all of the milk. Stop adding the milk till the matter begins to form ribbons.
Grease a microwave-safe bowl, preferably flat, with butter and flour and add in the mixture. Pop it in the microwave for 8-10 mins and voila, you have yourself a yummy chocolate cake.
— Rohini Chatterji
4. Flourless chocolate cake
While I love working on an elaborate cake — I mean who doesn’t love to play around with chocolate and vanilla and sugar and everything that smells heavenly — this flourless chocolate has been my go-to recipe for quick house-party desserts, gifts to friends and even just weekend indulgence. Simply because how of little time it takes to make it. If I have kahlua or Bailey’s at home ― I usually splash a bit in the batter and then it’s a rich, dark, boozy chocolate cake which pairs beautifully with a glass of red wine, a scoop of ice-cream, a sour compote if you want to do something fancy.
I don’t do the ganache because I may not always have heavy cream at home, but I’ve had it quite a few times with vanilla ice-cream or made a sour fruit compote to cut the sweetness of the cake.
It’s the kind of easy fancy I crave when it comes to making deserts.
— Piyasree Dasgupta
5. Cinnamon apple cake
This is one of my comfort recipes, and never disappoints. It’s easy to make, and will last a few days in the refrigerator (Ok, who am I kidding? It never lasts that long) Whether you’re just begun baking or are a pro at it, this is a great recipe to bookmark.
— Sharanya Hrishikesh