Mine started on Friday itself with a Mother's Day Tea at Little Sis's school. I am very excited about these pre-school activities as I get to see the child in a different scenario than I am used to and this time I was going back to the same school where I had attended many such teas for Big Sis.
I took along Big Sis and we had a nice half hour in the school. The teacher had helped make the kids pretty flower cards with their picture and then she took our hand prints to make a laminated card later. It is a relief to see Li'l Sis finally settled in her school and besotted with her teachers. The little mite even has the gals to tell me "Today I don't love you. I love Miss K and Miss L.Tomorrow I will love you." Never knew such a statement could make me so happy.
Speaking of happy, Mothers and Mother's Day have any of you watched this new TV show called Satyamev Jayate ? I do not get the channel but discussions about the first episode regarding female foeticide made me go to their website and watch a part of the episode in which Aamir Khan talks to two mothers. As much as we know that such things happen, since I have personally not known anyone pressured to abort a girl child, it was a thing which I complacently believed happened only in few remote corners of India. As a result it was very hard to watch these women speak and I was amazed at their courage and spunk as much as I was disgusted by the act of the Fathers. The show claimed that according to 2011 Census, the rate at which the unborn female child is killed amounts to killing off 10,00,000 girls a year. In a modern India shining with multiplexes, snazzy malls and booming economy it is a shame to know that there are multitude of families both educated and not who think killing of a girl is road to good karma.
After watching that episode any Mother's Day celebration seemed kind of frivolous and shallow but then again I decided it is an occasion to celebrate Motherhood and life and applaud Mothers, more those who have fought an adverse society to raise and protect daughters.
Yesterday after the usual morning routine of breakfast which I made sure the Dad made and loads of hand made cards gifted by the girls, Big Sis wanted to make cup cakes for Mother's Day. They also wanted to decorate it courtesy a "Cookbook", R Mashi had given to Big Sis. After having promised them frosting and sprinkles and having watched videos of "how to frost a cup cake" for the whole of last week I had no energy to get into such hard task. Big Sis wanted to make pretty cup cakes like Sunita's. "Tough luck kiddo", I said.
After much negotiations we zeroed in on orange flavored cup cakes with chocolate chips, colored with food colors and then slathered with Nutella. What is not to love here, tell me.
Now to the cake recipe which some months back Shreya's Mom, Piya, had sent me. In her exact own words.
"All purpose flour – 2 CupsIt is a simple recipe, no frills, no stand mixer and not even butter. That suits me. The whole "beating the butter" thing bothers me terribly.
Baking Powder – 2 ½ Tsp(Tea spoon)
Eggs – 4
Sugar – 2 Cups
Vanilla Essence – Few Drops
Vegetable Oil – 2 Cups
1/2 Tsp salt.
In a mixing bowl, mix the sugar and the vegetable oil. I use a spatula first to get it all together and then I use the hand beater. It will not rise as much as it does with butter.
When mixed well, add the egg one at a time. Add Vanilla drops.Beat this mix for long to get a nice consistency.
In a separate bowl, mix the all purpose flour, a pinch of salt and the baking powder together. Mix it well.
Now add the flour slowly into the egg-sugar-oil mixture. I alternate between my spatula and hand beater. You can do it all in the food processor if you are using one. You will know when the batter is all ready and done. If it is too thick, I sometimes add a splash of milk(sorry this is the "aandaj" part)
Bake it at 350F for 35 mins or so, varies by oven. Bake it till the knife comes out clean from the center of the cake.
I usually like to add on flavors to the cake – Like a layer of chocolate for the marble cake, orange rind and cinnamon gives a nice flavor too or simple add whatever nuts/raisins the kids are fond of.
Try it and let me know if it comes out well for you. I do not use Baking soda, some folks do. I personally think it makes the cake a bit crumbly. Also, you can do half butter and half oil if you do not want to do it with just oil. Half butter and half oil makes the cake more moist. "
In the course of the last few months her cake recipe has become my "go-to-cake-recipe". We add something or the other to her base recipe and always make cup cakes. They turn out to be soft, fluffy, moist and everything a cup cake should.
This time it was fresh orange juice, orange zest and chocolate chips.
Then the kids went wild and there was color.
After which there was gooey Nutella. Those cake could not help but be good. could they ?
Orange Chocolate Cup Cakes
I reduced the recipe to make only 6 cup cakes.
All purpose flour – 1/2 Cups
Baking Powder – 1/2 + 1/8Tsp(Tea spoon)
Eggs – 1
Sugar – 1/2 Cups
Vanilla Essence – Few Drops
Vegetable Oil – 1/2 Cups
1/8 Tsp salt
Orange Juice -- Juice of half an orange
Orange Zest -- 1/2 tbsp
Whole Milk -- 2 tbsp (if needed)
How I Did It
In a bowl mix the dry ingredients -- flour, baking powder and salt.
Blend the sugar + oil. You can use the hand mixer. I simply use my blender.
In a mixing bowl put the wet ingredients -- oil + sugar, egg, orange juice. Beat the eggs into the mix and with a whisk beat for about 3 minutes. Add the vanilla essence and orange zest. Mix.
Next add the dry ingredients to the wet. Do it in steps mixing with a spatula. After you have mixed all the dry into the wet, add milk if you think the batter is too thick. I added about 2 tbsp
Mix in the chocolate chips. Pour in greased cup cake liners. Bake for 30-35 mins at 350F.
Cool and then decorate.