I have been receiving frequent requests from patrons (Ahem!) to share my views and tricks on eggless baking, to which I said, why not! Let’s try eggless baking!
Just to up the amp, I will bake an eggless cake. I am aware that some of your households are eggs free. Which is fine. My father is allergic to eggs, so, in the past I have baked eggless cakes for his birthdays and whenever we have had the vegetarian members of my extended family visiting us.
It’s not an unknown fact that most of the times, eggless cakes do not work. They don’t rise and are really dense which deters you from taking another bite. But as they say, baking is an exact science. If you follow the recipe exactly as it is directed, you will end up with a good result. Most of the recipes that are posted or are shared have been arrived at after a lot many experiments. So if you try to substitute an ingredient or a step, most likely it would result in a failure as most permutations and combinations by this time have already been tried.
Though I am constrained by the nature and number of ingredients, I have tried the best possible combination for this post. We’ll make a basic vanilla sponge cake which will have the texture of a pound cake. The aim is to make the cake moist. The milk powder adds another dimension and I recommend that you use it. But that doesn’t mean you have to run to the store to get some if you’re out of it, because rest assured, the cake can be made without milk powder.
I will not be posting step by step pictures for this post though (I made it in the evening after work and my kitchen was messy and how!). Having said that it is incredibly easy to make this cake, unless of course the reader is as capable as my beloved husband who cannot differentiate between cumin and fennel, or in this case milk powder and flour.
I am going to top my cake with crushed strawberry glaze. Yup, I am suffering from a strawberry fixation and you have no idea how sad I am because the season will soon be over. I have literally been collecting strawberries and freezing them so I can use them the rest of the year. Did you know strawberries freeze very well? You just have to hull them and put in airtight containers and they’ll last you for upto six months. I do it every year so I can vouch for it. I freeze a lot of other fruits as well. You can always use them for making cold fruit smoothies without a need to add ice and thereby risking dilution of smoothie with water.
Anyway, coming back to the subject of this post, the topping can be made with any fruit and if you’re not in the mood for making fresh syrup, you could always use some jam of the flavor of your liking.
Also, if you do not own an oven which a lot of people don’t in this era of microwaves, this can totally be made in the pressure cooker. In fact that’s how I used to bake cakes back in college days. Keep refurbishing your skills of using the pressure cooker for baking.
Let’s get started.
For the cake
1 cup all purpose flour.
½ cup butter (room temperature)
½ cup thick sour curd (left out on the counter overnight)
½ cup castor sugar
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp vanilla extract
4-5 tablespoon milk (if the batter gets very thick)
Optional: 2 tablespoons milk powder (Remove 2 tablespoon flour if adding milk powder)
For the glaze:
½ cup strawberries
½ cup water
2 tablespoon sugar
½ table spoon corn starch.
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
Butter a 7 inch baking pan and dust with flour.
Sift together all the dry ingredients (including the milk powder if adding) two or three times. Don’t skip this as sifting everything together makes a lot of difference and makes a spongier cake.
Beat the butter and sugar with a balloon whisk or wooden spoon until you can’t see the sugar granules and it becomes very creamy and fluffy. Then beat some more. You could use an electric mixer, I do it by hand, accuse burning calories 😛
Add the curd and vanilla extract to the butter and sugar mixture and beat until incorporated.
Then add all the dry ingredients and slowly fold everything together. If it’s very thick loosen it by adding milk, 1 tablespoon at a time. Do remember that this batter is supposed to be quite thick.
Pour the batter in the prepared pan. It will reach halfway but the cake will rise considerably if you have beaten the butter and sugar properly. Shake and tap the pan on the counter for even distribution of the batter. Let it sit on the counter for about ten minutes then put it in the oven. Bake for about 35 minutes until the top turns light brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Take it out and let it cool completely before unmoulding.
While our cake is cooling let’s make the glaze. Crush the strawberries with a fork or puree them in a mixer. Put them in a saucepan with sugar. Mix the corn starch and water and add in the pan. Put the pan on a low heat and keep stirring until the mixture thickens. Let it cool a bit.
Spread the glaze over your cake and enjoy!
1. In this recipe you cannot substitute any other oil with butter unless you want an oily cake that doesn’t tastes, well, oily.
2. You can bake this in the pressure cooker with whistle removed on the smallest burner at the lowest heat setting possible for about 45-50 minutes. Never, and I mean never open the pressure cooker to check. Your cake will sink. It’ll still taste good but will be more like ‘Halwa’. Just turn off the heat and let it cool for about 2-3 hours
3. For the glaze you could use any fruit of your liking or even a fruit jam. Except when using jam skip the sugar. Other direction will be the same.
4. Serve with a quenelle of unsweetened greek yogurt if the cake is too sweet.
Do try and share how this turned out.