The current Covid-19 pandemic is an unprecedented circumstance for the living generations. Life of quarantine and social distancing was never known before. Shutting of offices, schools, malls, and theatres has altered our usual routine completely. People have been seeking various activities to cope up with this situation.
I took to baking.
I love cooking and have been experimenting in my kitchen during this lockdown. I like to try simple yet flavorsome recipes.
Until last month I used to presume baking to be intricate. I had seen beautiful stuff baked by my brother and other friends (who are now professional bakers). And it somewhat intimidated me.
But not anymore! I can make easy and simple cakes now that too without an oven! Read on to know how.
One of the positive effects of quarantine besides controlling the coronavirus spread is the hidden talents it has brought out in us. It is because of this lockdown that I can also bake now and pretty well.
So, how did I finally venture into baking?
Well, Cake Cravings in lockdown!
I have a weakness for cakes and everything bakery. That’s my other reason for getting intimidated with baking – the fear of all of it ending up in my belly and with it the umpteen calories! You know 😛
However, once I made my first cake (a basic chocolate cake) and got appreciated by my foodie husband, there was no looking back.
Next, I tried a healthier one with whole wheat flour instead of maida (refined flour), bananas and walnuts. I shared it with my neighbors. And the response I got motivated me for more.
I have shared an easy recipe of this cake towards the end. Do give it a try, especially the beginners. Trust me, it’s worth it!
Now let me reveal the most fascinating thing about my baking.
I do not have an oven. I do not have an electric beater or hand blender. I do not have fancy cake tins/moulds.
I have been making all my cakes in a regular gas stove pressure cooker!
Yes, you heard it right! I made my first cake with whatever ingredients available in my kitchen. If it hasn’t still clicked with you, here are some more reasons to start baking.
Benefits of Baking in lockdown
- Satiates your cake craving
With the bakeries and home deliveries closed you have no other option.
Also, there are many healthy cake recipes online that you don’t need to worry about putting on weight. I have made cakes with whole wheat flour, oats, jaggery, honey, dry fruits, olive oil.
So, stay home, stay healthy and indulge in these sweet pleasures.
Have you noticed everybody around seems to be turning into a home baker?
It’s because there is a psychological connection linked with baking. Easy recipes have strong mental benefits. It encourages focus and creativity. And there are researches to prove that creativity helps happiness.
Baking requires patience, skill and conscious effort. You spend time religiously waiting for the outcome. It is a great way to relieve stress and anxiety in the present stressful days.
- Brings people together
You can share recipes and photos on social media and get encouraged for more. Another thing is, when you bake for your husband, children, family members or share it with your neighbors and see them relishing your efforts, it will give you immense pleasure and contentment. This is the one reason I love cooking and now baking too 🙂
- Keeps kids busy
I found it a very good way to keep my preschooler occupied. My daughter loves stirring the cake batter. So, I give her some of it in a separate bowl while I’m doing the rest of the preparation.
Moreover, whose child doesn’t like cakes? You see it’s a win-win situation! 😀
- Learn a new skill
I would say this is the best time for the newbies to explore this therapeutic art, be creative and add a new skill to your life.
Here’s my Banana Walnut Atta (whole wheat flour) cake recipe. It’s a simple one. I’m sure your family members will love it and you’ll enjoy making it.
Banana Walnut Atta cake (in pressure cooker)
Dry ingredients – 2 cups whole wheat flour (atta), 1.5 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 2 tsp cinnamon powder (freshly ground will give better aroma), 1/4 tsp salt, 1 cup chopped walnuts.
Wet ingredients – 3 ripe Banana, 1/2 cup Curd, 2 eggs, 1 tsp Vanilla essence, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup milk, 3 table spoon oil.
Take a pressure cooker, spread 1 cup salt at the base and keep a stand over it. Put on the lid of the pressure cooker and remove its whistle. Preheat the cooker for 15 minutes – first 5 minutes on medium flame thereafter low flame.
In a bowl sieve all the dry ingredients except the walnuts and combine them. In a separate bowl mash the bananas, add all the wet ingredients and whisk them all well. You can do this in a blender also. Pour this wet ingredients mixture into the dry ingredients and fold them all until properly combined. Now add half of the walnuts and mix once.
Take a cake tin or any thick metal dish and layer its base and sides with some oil (this step is important otherwise your cake will get stuck on the dish). Pour the batter into the tin and tap it once. Garnish it with the rest of the chopped walnuts on top. Put the dish in the pressure cooker and bake for 35-40 minutes. Use a tooth pick to check if it’s baked completely. The toothpick should come out clean when put into the centre of the cake. Sit and enjoy it.
So, what are you baking next? Do share your experience below in the comments if you tried this recipe or any other.
Happy baking! 🙂