I am heading to Goa with colleagues tonight and everyone will bring something for dinner. I asked what I should bring and all of them started laughing. All my colleagues are male. Because I am good at my job it is inconceivable for them that I can also cook… and cook well. For a second I thought I should prove them wrong but then decided against it. Whose got the time? And why should anyone else’s perception affect me? Its not like I will be appraised on my cooking skills at the end of the year.
Even in engineering college when someone got to know I could cook they would look surprised. Cooking is still considered a domestic women’s domain. I started cooking ‘coz my mom was behind our (me and sis) lives for the same. She is ok with the job and career part but believes every “woman” should be able to cook. I took an interest in it to win her approval (which ultimately never came but thats another story). As an independent woman I believe cooking is an important skill. The least I should be able to do is feed myself.
Unfortunately, most men don’t think that way. They never have to enter the kitchen in the parents house… the mother or sister cater to the gastronomic needs. Times are changing. More and more men are turning to cooking… I know very few of them. But the change is still slow.
Currently, most of my colleagues are male… only 1 or 2 of them have working wives and so do not understand the pressures of home and work balance. They can reach home at any time of night and hot homemade food is guaranteed.
Coming back to the cake, one of my colleagues suggested last night I also bring something. Finally, I decided on a cake. I had been meaning to try black forest cake on Sunday for KC but there was not enough time.
Here is the recipe:
- Pilsbury chocolate cake mix (Sorry Anita… I will bake a cake from scratch one of these days). Add mix, 2 eggs, 3/4 th cup water and some oil. Mix well. Pre-heat oven at 180 C, grease baking pan, sprinkle some of the cake mix at the bottom. Beat the mixture for 2-3 mins. I use a hand mixer. Pour in baking pan. Bake for 25 mins at 180 C. Stick a knife. If it comes out clean cake is done. Let it cool.
- Take 200-300 gm of Fresh cream (I used Amul) in a vessel. Place ice cubes in a bowl and place the cream wala vessel on this. Beat with a mixer for 5-10 mins. Add 3/4th cup icing sugar and 5-6 drops of vanilla essence. When baking a cake the proportion of all ingredients have to be exact but with icing there is a flexibility. I checked if the sugar was enough and added more if required. Beat for 15 mins more. It is a tedious process. Beat till icing becomes thick.
- Remove cake on a wire rack or something flat… but not on a plate or thali. The bottom part should be facing on top. Use a knife to cut into 2 parts horizontally. There are special knifes for this but I use a regular knife. Apply a solution of sugar and water on the both cake parts where icing will be applied. Leave it for 5 mins. Orange juice, cherry juice (if using canned cherries) can also be used
- Apply icing on the cake parts. Place one part over another. Apply sugar solution on top and apply icing on top. Again, there are special knives for smoothing the icing. I used a butter knife.
- Take cooking chocolate (I used Dairy Milk) from fridge. Let it come to room temperature. Use a grater to grate on the cake. Decorate with cherries. Keep in the fridge to cool.
All said and done there is nothing sexier than a man who can cook and clean.