Like food, baking is a personal experience. My house wafting with the lemon-y fragrance of a freshly baked pie, my baking tools gleefully hogging a special place in my kitchen cupboard and a warm cake bubbling away in the oven is what baking means to me. I cherish every bit of the baking process until India's infamous “eggless” phenomenon strikes with subtle dissuasion. In India, before eating any Western dessert, most people will ask "Is this eggless?" and follow it up with a double check, "Pakka na?"
When I finally got my hands on Pooja Dhingra's cookbook of eggless recipes, I couldn't decide which recipe to begin with. Since I was in a tropical mood, thanks to summer, I picked the super-tempting Pineapple Upside Down Cake recipe. For the next recipe, I wanted to go seasonal and what better way to do that than with mangoes? So, I picked the Mango Mousse recipe. I also wanted to stock up on some sweet snack bites for office so I experimented with the Almond Rocks recipe.
The best part about Dhingra's cookbooks are that the recipes always call for easily available ingredients, which makes the process so much more hassle-free.
Before I share my experience I want to address one thing: first-time bakers, be easy on yourself. It takes a dozen (sometimes more) attempts to master a recipe. The first step of the Upside Down Pineapple Cake itself didn’t go as anticipated. I had to melt butter and sugar together to make a mixture. However, the sugar kept separating from the butter and crystallising into a hard sugar rock instead. I was determined not to give up so I repeated the same step thrice. Yet, the ingredients refused to behave. Finally, I tweaked the recipe step a bit to suit me. I first melted the butter in a separate pan, then poured it in a tin and sprinkled castor sugar on it. This did impact the end result as the caramelisation effect that the recipe intended did not show in all its glory. Another tweak I had to make to the recipe was to do with the milk, in Dhingra's cookbook the recipe calls for 20 ml of milk but I had to use more to achieve the desired consistency for the batter.
But for the few glitches, the Upside Down Pineapple Cake turned out absolutely divine. My family and friends, including me, hardly missed the eggs. I'm certainly turning to this again.
Finding an Eggless Mousse recipe can be difficult especially one that doesn't require gelatin. But, Dhingra's recipe actually works! Who knew a simple three-ingredient recipe could be this great.
Almond rocks are very close to my heart. I followed Dhingra's recipe to the T and voila! I had the yummiest stock of almond rocks or clusters ready to be stored in air-tight jars and enjoyed for weeks. The only addition I made to this two-ingredient recipe was a sprinkle of sea-salt, which helped add balance to the recipe.
After the success of these three baking experiments, I'm excited to try more. If you're like me, pick and choose from Start2Bake's wide range of 100% eggless classes to learn and bake all those dishes that you thought could not have an alternate recipe for so far. Click here to learn more.
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