Eggless Carrot Cake

There is no doubt among my existing friends that I loooovve baking with eggs. There was no doubt in my mind that eggs lent a certain flavour and taste to the cake which other substitutes couldn’t. So I have resisted trying eggless recipes for almost all of my life…until now.

When you have a child many rational choices go down the drain, I know. But what I was not prepared is how like pets, they too change our lives to suit and revolve around them. Sucrose has a lot of friends who are vegetarians. She probably was one of the only two non-vegetarian girls in the school she had studied earlier. Since I liked to not just bake, but to also share, I had to take a call. Learn to bake a few good eggless cakes or hold my ‘piece’ for ever. (well okay, that’s an exaggeration).

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I am completely prejudiced here, but except for a few good Indian bakers whose recipes I follow, I am mostly comfortable using a Western baker’s recipe. And cakes without eggs were not usually the norm abroad…until the ‘vegan’ movement came to be. So now we have a lot of vegan cakes and recipes made by good bakers.

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I had shared a very nice recipe from divascancook website here, and now I am sharing this beautiful and amazingly tasty carrot cake that doesn’t have any egg. It uses only buttermilk and oil for texture (I think) but the proportions are perfect.

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The recipe is available here: I have not changed a single element in the recipe, including the cream cheese glaze on the top. Except for the shape – I didn’t have a bundt cake tin, so

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I poured the batter into two 6″ cake tins and cut them up separately. I couldn’t stack them as the two cakes were slightly thick. I should have probably poured the batter into 7 or 8 inch cake tins. Or else pouring the whole mix in a single 6″ or 7″ cake tin would have worked out well too.

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I had prepared the glaze for the cake like Oriana had mentioned in the recipe but had added an overzealous pinch of salt. Combined with the cream cheese, this addition gave a slightly salty taste to the icing. But no one was complaining. :). For children, I think a regular chocolate or butter cream icing could work.

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I am surprised by how much I loved the cake. My earlier outings with eggless recipes have not been the very best; I have had misgivings about the taste mostly. Although Sucrose’s birthday cake which I had baked and decorated was eggless, and though I received a lot of compliments for its taste and texture, I was somehow a bit skeptical about it.

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But not with this one. This one right here is a must try recipe for people trying out eggless cakes. It is moist, tasty, soft and crumbly). It’s a perfect accompaniment to your tea or even to indulge in some guilt free pleasure. Thanks to Oriana of mummyshomecooking. 🙂

This yummy gyan comes to you with an extra dose of egg-free indulgence.

 

 

 

 

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Yeasty Business

I made my very first bread yesterday. And though I do sound a bit nonchalant, not the least because it was dense and blah to taste, I still do have a ‘mann mein laddoo phoot rahein hain’ (golden yummy sweet exploding in me) moment. I think I felt the same when I had made my first cinnamon rolls. I love working with yeast, love the springy, stickiness of the flour and how they come about to become tender, beautiful rolls/ soft buns. Bread making is so organic. The smell of yeast baking in the oven when mixed with flour and sugar is so primal.

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I had been meaning to try Shano Biju’s recipe which people on a FB group that I am part of have raved and raved about. But the recipe had egg and fresh cream; both of those were not in my fridge and since I have been meaning to make bread for ages, I just went with the second best recipe I had filed – one from Cookingfromheart. The recipe sounded pretty do-able and I had already bought 24 Mantra’s organic wheat flour as suggested in the recipe. The wheat flour had been languishing in my pantry for months now and I didn’t want it to get too stale/ old. (But yeah, look at my conceit…trying to act so pro instead of starting from a more basic white bread recipe). Without much preamble and proper planning I just upped and started to make the bread.

The one thing you never do when you are trying a new recipe especially one that involves yeast and proper time lines is to be impulsive. Never. I should have known the recipe was doomed when I started with Shano Biju’s Tangzong method, discarded the attempt mid-way as I didn’t have fresh cream and eggs (how can I not have had eggs!!!) and then I moved to the other recipe. I had just made the yeast concoction (taken from Cookingfromheart) for the bread which had to rise for about 90 minutes, when I realized suddenly that I had to go for my yoga class. Aw the timing of it! Yes, this is about the time you can call me ‘a stuffed pot’. Duh!

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So I came back from yoga a good one hour after and attended to the bread making. Just before dashing out for the class, I kept the slurry in the fridge to prevent over rising by the yeast.  When I got back, with my brains still settled at the base of my foot, I worked at incorporating the cool slurry into the dough (every decent baker I know suggest waiting for ingredients to reach room temperature before incorporating them. I had to go and do just the opposite.) I kneaded and kneaded and could see not much give in the dough perhaps the yeast was still sleeping from its stint in the fridge. I carried on, intending to see this to its errrmm rightful end. 🙂 The wheat dough lacked that bounciness that I generally get when I do my cinnamon roll dough. But I worked at it very lovingly in fact, coaxing it this way and that.

The folding of the dough was problematic again. After giving it a good roll with the rolling pin and folding the dough as per instructions I felt like I was cramping a dead body into my bread tin. A fold appeared in the middle which never got resolved later as the bread simply did not rise!

While the baking was underway I started to feel responsible, sad that it had not hit me earlier. I actually salivated over the rich, yeasty smell that wafted out of my rickety oven. Against all odds I was curious to see how the bread would turn out. I peered in through the glass and could make out no visible top/dome and whatever was in there was languishing at the bottom of the pan as if it was in love with the base of it. I reluctantly opened the oven in between to put some butter on it for colour (as if! after the treatment I had given the dough, this was just being pitiful and childish.

Finally the bread was made in time for tea – one of my favourite times of the day to finish baking. Though it cut well, it was dense and quite bland. I definitely had to up the salt and of course, rework my whole attitude towards baking bread.

The best thing that happened yesterday however, was of feeling more confident. Earlier it was a untrodded zone, but now I had blundered in blindly and still had a dense bread as proof of my efforts. I had identified most of my mistakes. I think I would have felt particularly dejected if I had followed the recipe to the ‘T’ and had not got desired results. At least this time, I can look forward to a second better chance. The day shouldn’t be too far when I could enjoy a slice of artisan bread with its strong yeast smell and delightful flavours.

The only gyan that would be served up today here is to not follow any of the above :-D, except of course the two recipe links.