Friday, June 7, 2013

Experiments In The Kitchen

or how to bake a cake.

Baking is one of my hobbies, but until now I have always followed the recipes I found in magazines or cookbooks, sometimes with slight changes but nevertheless...And then one day I decided to try and create my own recipe, mainly because I wanted to bake something sweet for the evening tea but didn't have all of the ingredients mentioned in my favourite recipes. So I read a chapter on baking in one of my books and found out that there are some simple principles which if you follow them will allow you to bake any sort of cake you like. It's mostly the question of right proportions.

An "ideal" cake is one where the amount of all the necessary ingredients is the same, like this:

100g flour (+1 1/2g salt)
100g butter, softened
100g sugar
100g eggs (2 medium ones)
100g dry filling

In this case you won't need to use baking powder, soda or self-raising flour.

You can reduce the amount of butter and eggs, substituting them with milk, however, you will have to follow certain rules to achieve a good result. The first rule is that the amount of butter and/or eggs should not be less than 50% of the total amount of flour, otherwise it will change the structure of the dough too much. For every 50g butter and/or egg which you omit, you should add 2 tablespoons milk. In this case, you will also have to use self-raising flour or baking powder (1tsp per 1 c flour).

To achieve a different taste, you can use vanilla, lemon juice, cocoa etc and the ideas for filling include stuff like raisins, nuts, rasped chocolate, apples and the like. You can serve your cake with whipped cream, jam or add a frosting of your choice.

So I played a bit with the ingredients and came up with this:

It probably doesn't look that spectacular to you, but I'm quite proud of it, because it's the first cake the recipe for which I created myself, and it was a success. In fact, it is already eaten (sweet things don't live long in our house).

Here is the recipe:

1.5c flour (150g)
1.5tsp baking powder
15 tbsp powder sugar (I used it because I didn't have enough regular sugar. It gives the cake a rather dry structure, but I liked it).
2 eggs (that would be approximately 100g)
4tbsp milk
50g butter + 6tbsp vegetable oil (I used olive oil, because I didn't have enough butter, either).
1tsp vanilla extract
1c raisins

Mix all the ingredients together and pour into a greased cake pan.  Bake at 160*C for about 50 minutes, or until ready. If you have any original cake recipe of your own, feel free to share it in the comments section!


  1. Thanks for the substitution tips, they are very helpful!
    And congratulations for your own recipe! :-) I would be very proud too, if I had created something all by myself.

    Because of the price and (lack of) availability of kosher meat over here, we rarely eat meat. I like to *save* the eggs to be used in cooking, so the sweet recipes I mostly use are eggless:

    Vegan Chocolate Cake (incredible never-fails recipe!)

    An English Fruit Cake type of recipe

  2. Those recipes are NOT my own, but I felt free to share them, they are keepers! :-)

  3. Actually, if you follow the rules above you can bake any cake you like with your own ingredients. I'm planning to try to create my own bread recipe this week, probably tomorrow and will write about the results! Also, thanks for the recipes, Miriam, I'll check the links!

  4. OK, I checked the recipes! It's interesting how they use the combination of baking soda and vinegar to make the dough rise. The chocolate cake also uses vegetable oil instead of eggs or dairy products. As you noticed, in my recipe I did the same, instead of using 150g butter I used only 50g +2 tbsp of milk and the rest was vegetable oil. It came out fine. I think I have a similar recipe (of the chocolate cake, I mean) and I made it several times in the past, but unfortunately I'm allergic to chocolate so I have to watch my consumption:)