September 29, 2006


I have a small group of friends here in London,and we regularly have potlucks.It is a nice time for us as well as the kids.They get to see other people too(only Mummy is tooo boring,right kids?).So anyway,who can forget 15th of August?That is the day we gained independance from British rule.We decided to celebrate our independance day in our own way.We all prepared foods and decorated it as close as possible to our flag.We also sang the National Anthem.

I baked a chocolate cake, and an eggless one at that.So here is the recipe:



1 ½ cups all purpose flour

1 cup sugar(powdered)

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

3 tbsp cocoa powder

1/3 cup oil

1 tbsp vinegar(substitute with equal quantity of lemon juice if vinegar is not available)

1 cup cold water


Preheat oven to 350F/175C

Mix all the dry ingredients together.

Mix liquid ingredients separately and mix into the dry.

Mix just to combine and pour immediately into a 8 by 5 inch pan.bake immediately for 30 mins.

Donot delay as soda starts to react as soon as the liquid ings come in contact with the solid.

I made this in a rectangular non-stick dark finish pan.But in light coloured aluminium pans,it may cook a little longer.Check after 25 mins.

100 ml heavy cream
3 tbsp icing sugar
A few drops each of red,green and blue food colours.

Chill the cream overnight.Also chill the whisk with which you are going to whip the cream.This makes the job easier and faster too.
Divide the cream into 3 portions,add red food colour to one portion,green food colour to another portion, and let the third portion remain white.

Now whip each portion until firm peaks form.You should do this in a cool place(Not near the stove )or else,the cream will not whip well.

Put the cream into the icing gun/bag(I find it easier to work with an icing gun) and pipe small whirls over the cake.Repeat with the three colours.For the Chakra,reserve a small portion of the white icing,add a few drops of blue food colour into it and gently fold it.Be careful not to deflate the cream.Pipe on the white potion in the shape of a chakra.

If your cream does deflate,put in back in the refrigerator and let it get cooler.Whip lightly again.

I chose to serve this cake directly from the pan.You can take it out,cool it completely, and then frost even the sides.In that case,you will need double the amount of heavy cream/double cream.


Well,as a beginning,I thought I should tell you all about how this passion for baking stirred in me.

I was about 8 yrs old then.There was a fair in our school and in one of the games,the prize was an exquisitely baked and decorated cake.

Now,this cake was made my Mrs.Prasanna Chandran,my biology teacher in class Tenth.She was known for her cakes in our school as well as the local community.

I was really impressed by that cake.It was decorated with white icing,with ribbons, sugar flowrers and small silver balls.How unfortunate that I donot have a picture of the cake that inspired me!But that day,my mother won the game and the prize cake came home with us.

Since then,I have always wanted to bake.I remember we used to have a round glass top oven sold by Paramount.It was electric,but in those days,with the frequent power cuts and low voltage problems,our cakes were not really perfect,but we liked them anyway!

When I was studying in secondary school,I started helping my sister make birthday cakes for us.We were three girls,so three cakes a year were a must.

In class 9th,I graduated to making the whole cake myself.It was a thrilling experience to see the cake rise and brown to a perfect golden colour.I baked biscuits too later on as the years passed by.

I would collect recipes wherever I could find them.Most were from the newspaper The Telegraph which would publish simple recipes in their sunday edtions.I wonder if they still do that,these days.

After I got married,I went to the US to join my husband.There I got a good opprtunity to try out new recipes.My husband was, (and still is)very forgiving,and never uttered a rude comment even if the recipes did not turn out perfect.I did have my share of failures and frustrations,but there you go,unless you experiment,how can you learn?

And as they say,experience is the best teacher.So,here I am today, having mastered a few recipes,still trying out new ones, and looking for more information on baking.

I do hope I have not saddled you down with my childhood memories.

I will be posting recipes soon,so don't forget to come back.