Dubai: You’re halfway through the week’s rut. Exhaustion increases, boredom sets in. Try baking. Not only will the smell of your baked treat fill your home, it will also leave you feeling relaxed with every bite – just like walking past a bakery on a cool morning.
Baking is therapeutic in many ways. It’s a creative process that involves all of your senses and can be very rewarding if done right. A magazine – Baking Therapy by Katherine Sponaugle, a US-based criminal justice reform and human rights lawyer and full-time baker, published in April 2017, lists the mental health benefits of baking. Sponaugle wrote, “Any baking ingredient doesn’t taste very good. Flour is dry, baking soda is bitter, buttermilk is sour, and salty is…well, you get the idea. If you look at the ingredients one by one, there are many more bitter than saccharin ( artificial sweetener with no food energy). But the end product is somehow beautiful, sweet and satisfying. Such is life.”
Legendary American cooking teacher, author, and television personality Julia Child’s carefully time-tested recipes made baking enjoyable and satisfying for home bakers. From three-tier wedding cakes, Italian cookies to perfect feather-light meringues, Child’s baking techniques made many fall in love with her style.
If you’re wondering how to start baking, follow Julia Child’s advice as she explains in her Queen of Sheba cake (chocolate and almond cake) recipe video – start at the beginning, by gathering all the ingredients. It’s that simple.
Here are five recipes to try:
1. Kerala Spiced Caramel Plum Cake: Gulf News Food Founding Editor shares this step-by-step guide to making a spiced caramel plum cake. This recipe takes advantage of the goodness of Indian spices – nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon and ginger powder, and sweet and spicy flavors of blackcurrant, golden raisins and sultanas. In Kerala, this cake is traditionally baked around Christmas, but you can bake it all year round recipe:
2. Banana Bread: This banana bread recipe was shared by a 4th grade student in Dubai who enjoys helping his mother with simple recipes and watching baking videos on YouTube. An easy recipe to put all ripe bananas to good use. This cake takes about 55 minutes to bake and is best paired with a cup of coffee and even tea or chai. You don’t have to be a professional baker to try this recipe.
3. Baked Raspberry Cheesecake: This popular Greek dessert recipe from Bulgarian celebrity chef Silvena Rowe was shared with us on World Cheesecake Day. The recipe has three layers – the base, the filling and the topping which are prepared separately. There is a hack in this recipe to prevent the bottom of the cheesecake from cracking. Here’s a detailed baked raspberry cheesecake recipe to try.
4. Iced Lemon Drizzle Bundt Cake: This lemon flavored chocolate cake recipe (pronounced bunt) is perfect for baking when you have guests at home. A tried and true recipe works for all types of pies, from fairies to bundt pies. All you need is a bundt pan for this one. A fluted-sided pan with a central tube or ‘chimney’ in the center that leaves a cylindrical hole through the cake. Note: A bundt pan should be well greased so that every crevice is moist. This is one of the reasons why bundt cake recipes tend to be moist; much of the surface of the cake is exposed to baking, and greasing well prevents them from becoming crumbly.
5. Butterscotch Raisin Cake: Add some butterscotch bliss to your desserts with this recipe and bake this delicious cake in less than 50 minutes. Bookmark this recipe, order the ingredients with a delivery application at work, go home, follow Julia Child’s baking advice, and try the recipe.
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