On a roll!

That’s what I’ve been. On a roll of baking disasters, that is! See, this is the problem, when I start, I can’t stop, even if I mess it all up.

After the chocolate-orange marble cake that did not quite turn out the way it was supposed to, yesterday I went and messed up some pull apart mushroom rolls.

This time the ingredients were all fine, everything seemed perfect. It rose beautifully in the oven, and smelt just gorgeous! Daughter and I couldn’t wait to get our hands on them.

Until the time came to get them off the baking tray. I had evidently forgotten to grease it. The rolls stuck on, refusing to let go of that darn tray!

Not being one to give up, I managed to prise them out, one by one. Some lost their shape, some gave up and broke in half, and some clung on for dear life. Some looked like this, just before daughter popped them into her mouth.

The only saving grace was that they were delicious! So what if they were broken or had the stuffing pouring out of them 🙂

Content scraping, Tests posts and Random Nothings

Yesterday, Shail alerted us to this site which seems to be pulling content from a lot of our blogs. Off the top of my head, Deeps‘, Obssessive Mom, Ani’s Nest, Adventures in Mommyland, Smita’s Books Life N More are listed out there. Please do go check to see if your blogs have turned up there! I think as we post, they pull it out and post it there. And from what I can see, older posts are not listed, so it’s worth it to try posting to check if your blog turns up there. My older post is no longer available there.

Initially when I checked mine, I could see my whole post there. Towards the end of the day, it was only the link to my post. So this is a test post to check what happens. And anybody who reads all this text on any site other than – https://wordsndreamz.wordpress.com, should know that the site has scraped my content.

If any of you know what can be done to counter content scraping of this level, please do let me know! Requests to the site admins seem to come to nothing.

In the random nothings part of the post, I ended up baking yesterday, finally 🙂 A chocolate-orange marble cake, but it is another story that nothing, in the cake baking process went as per schedule. My electronic scales stopped working – maybe the battery needs changing(I haven’t gotten down to doing that yet), I missed out some parts of the recipe, which saw me substituting cocoa for melted chocolate, forgot to add yogurt and added it in the end. And finally instead of grated orange rind, I popped in two tablespoons of marmalade. I was running out of time, so desperate measures had to be resorted to. To add to it all, it was slightly burnt, as I had to leave it in the oven and run to pick up daughter. Daughter loved it despite all that went wrong 🙂 So I take solace in the fact that she loved it – that’s all that matters 🙂 And maybe give it another try – properly 🙂

Again, please do go and check to see if you can find your post on Haaram.com. And if any of you know what can be done to stop them from picking up our posts and reposting them on their site, do let us know.

Edited to add : I just checked Haaram.com. My post is out there, but with no description. I have no idea how that changed, but I am really glad that the whole post is not visible there.

Deeps, Your reblog is visible too, but again with no description, unlike how it was yesterday.

Uma -I can see your post there as well! With no description. I can’t help wonder if they have finally changed settings?

Baking disasters of all sorts..

I’ve been having a bad baking week.

One Monday, I was in the full mood to bake. But I did not want to bake a cake, so settled on an easy focaccia instead. It was easy – and everything went as per plan except that I think the temperature was a little too high – for my oven, and the top browned while the bottom was not completely cooked, so I had to turn it over, in an effort to get it sorted. It did turn out fine in the end, but it is a little annoying things don’t turn out as perfectly as you expect. Especially when the aroma filled the house, and it made me totally drool! Only to realize that it is not perfectly cooked! Next time I have to try this with a lower temperature setting. It was tasty, esp with olive oil and a little salt. But it was not perfect, so I was  disappointed.

Edited to add: The recipe is from here. It is very easy and simple -just that I will bake it at a lower temperature, and maybe add the cheese on the top midway. I might even skip the cheese the next time..

And then we had a baking session with friends lined up – which I had to cancel when Poohi fell ill. So so so disappointing!

Yesterday, to make up for it, I decided to bake a whole wheat chocolate banana bread. It felt like a great recipe, with only 1 tbsp of oil! What brilliance. But then when I am in the mood to spoil a recipe – I can do it – very well. I replaced buttermilk with yogurt and then realized as I was spooning the mixture into the pan, that the batter felt too thick. Too lazy to do anything about it, I let it bake as is. Thankfully, it was not too bad. It is quite delicious, and we have already polished off a few slices- guilt-free. Low fat, you see 🙂 I even had a slice for breakfast.

It would have looked prettier if I were able to smooth the batter better 😦 But it wasn’t too bad – infact it was great to eat!

Next time I might bake them as muffins. With some nuts thrown in.. I should stop talking now, before I end up baking some more and eating it all up (:

Edited to add: Recipe from here

This is the way we bake a cake, bake a cake, bake a cake …

..on a cold and frosty Tuesday afternoon…

The best part of blogging is blog-hopping and coming across some wonderful blogs. Yesterday, reading R’s Mom’s post mentioning cakes, had me drooling, and longing to bake.

I haven’t been baking as much as I used to, so just needed a push. R’s Mom mentioned Seema, and I hopped over to hers, only to end up spending half a day drooling over her delicious recipes. Some of her Bengali recipes reminded me of my childhood spent in the houses of my Bengali friends.

After a lot of drooling, and sighing, I came across this zebra cake. I have always loved marble and zebra cakes. I remember eating marble cakes a long, long time ago, and wondering how they manage to assemble the cake with the two colours! One of the first cakes I tried out successfully was a marble cake. Since then I have tried a variety of recipes for marble/zebra cakes. One of my personal favourites was one made with oil instead of butter, but I managed to misplace the recipe. Rather, I don’t remember which website I had consulted to make the cake. So when I came across Seema’s zebra cake with oil, I just had to try it.

Given that I had spent the best part of the day, drooling at recipes, so I had just about enough time to whip up the batter, and get it to the oven, assuming everything went as per schedule. Just as I was measuring out the oil, it dawned on me that I was out of sunflower oil. Oil is one of the sparingly used commodities at my place, so I had forgotten to buy a new bottle. Thankfully I had some olive oil, and added that along with the sunflower oil, sending up a prayer that it would turn out fine, despite my experimentation. Finally the cake batter was in the oven, I had more than an hour on my hands before I had to pick up daughter from school. So I got busy sorting out the rest of the house – which, as usual was a complete mess. At the end of the 40 mins in the oven, as per the recipe, my cake was still wobbly and certainly not cooked. I kept checking every 10 minutes, until the time that I absolutely had to leave to pick up daughter. One part of the cake was done, the other one was not! My oven had really let me down. There was nothing I could possibly do apart from switching off the oven, and leaving the cake in there – and hope, against hope.

It was an hour and a half by the time we got back(daughter had an after-school activity). I opened the oven, full of trepidation. The house was smelling wonderful, but that is hardly any indication of the state of the cake! The cake was cooked! Now I just had to wait until the cake cooled completely to cut it and check it properly.

See how the cake looks all lopsided 😦 All thanks to the uneven heating of the oven. 

Much to my surprise, it tasted and looked quite good inside! Certainly not the prettiest cake or anything, but the stripes were not too bad. Every zebra has unique stripes, they say, mine certainly were unique:) Check these out! Not too bad, don’t you think, after everything that went wrong?

Baking Disaster :(

I am more or less used to kitchen disasters. My cooking does not always give me the perfect result. Who am I kidding, I am happy if what ever I make turns out palatable.

But when it comes to baking, I do get better results. Today, I turned murder 😦 I killed the yeast, apparently. You see, I had this ambitious plan of making cinnamon rolls. It all started when I saw this huge box of cinnamon rolls in Costco. I had to try it out. After hours spent on researching the simplest, difficult-to-mess-up recipe, I zeroed in one. Everything seemed to look fine, until I left the dough to rise. 20 mins and no sign of it rising – at all.

Research tells me that I might have ‘killed’ the yeast with the warm water. I had planned on checking the temp before I poured it in, but, I was in to much of a hurry 😦

It is now one hour, and the dough seems very happy to sit where I left it 😦 No rising, or shining or anything. Do any of you know how to salvage cinnamon rolls which did not rise?