‘Yay! I am going to bake today!’
*updates FB/twitter/BB status to ‘I <3 baking’; enters kitchen only to get intimidated by tins, whisks, spatulas, weighing scales ; walks out with a sad face*
‘Okay, maybe not today. But I promise I’ll bake soon.’
Has this happened to you too? That precise moment when you are all excited and ready to bake but then when you enter the kitchen you lose confidence and your nerves get the better of you?! Ah, what an embarrassing moment that is.
To ensure that these moments don’t become a recurring feature in your baking endeavours, I am about to list the absolute baking essentials. These are the things and items that you need to keep in mind (and at hand) to ensure that you never walk out of the kitchen frightened ever again.
1. Some Courage & A Recipe
Baking is an exact science; not the Sheldon Cooper kind of tongue-twisting-I-feel-I-am-dumb science, so relax!
The word that you must focus on here is ‘exact’. An honest baking effort requires your full concentration, 100% dedication and a reliable recipe at hand. Your job is to enter the kitchen with only one mindset: to follow the recipe to the T. No ingredient shall be used ‘andaaze se’; all will be weighed and measured as required. Hold the recipe tight, take a deep breath and awaken your inner lioness! *roar*
2. A younger sister/brother
See, baking requires a lot of manual hard work. You will have to whisk some cream, beat some eggs, line the cake tin and so on. While it is good to do it all by yourself, there is immense pleasure to be discovered in bullying your younger sibling to do your bidding. Order her (or him) to be by your side and set them the task of beating that cream till it softens. Why risk a stiff shoulder with all that continuous whisking (15-20 minutes minimum) when you can have someone to do it for you. ;)
If you’re tensed and need to calm down, then music is your best bet. Set your music player to your favourite playlist and dance and sing while you measure, combine, mix and whisk. The joy of listening to Adam Levine while you blend the flour and eggs with passionate fervour is something you’ll have to experience to know.
4. Befriending the Oven
Remember, it is just an oven, not your worst enemy. It may have a dozen billion settings and it will trouble you by heating up to a higher temperature than you actually desire, but you can befriend it. Yes, we are not fooling you here. Keep the User Guide handy and set the temperature to what you need it to be. Be nice to the oven, smile at it if you have to (even if that makes you look like a lunatic) and you will be gifted in return with the right heat levels which result in a perfectly soft, well-risen cake.
There you go! Add some chutzpah and your personal awesomeness to the above essentials and no one can stop you from being a Baking Queen (of your kitchen). Now off you go to bake one helluva cake!
Hilonee Furia is a compulsive thinker, an American TV addict and a fiction fanatic. She believes travel helps widen perspectives and cupcakes help solve problems. She also happens to be a freelance writer and you can connect with her here.