Virtual world & Wholewheat Cake with strawberry compote and orange peel powder

I did my second Instagram Live, last Thursday , the first one alone. Of course it was slightly unsettling to speak to a phone camera rather than people sitting in front of us. Also a bit unnerving since unlike a video call you can’t see your audience, only the comments that some of them share. But then – that is where we are likely to be heading in the next few years too. As virtual as possible in our knowledge sharing. The big balance is to see how we manage to emanate or pass on our humaneness across the digital ocean that lies between us and those who are seeing us during such sessions. I have no exact answers to this and what might work. But I realize what works for me – I constantly remind myself that the number you see on your screen of how many are Live with you – is not a statistic. It is people. Who have names, faces, questions. And because our world is hurtling towards online classes or sessions or interactions, we need to work that much harder to form connections and allow our natural personalities to reflect, as they would in a physical interaction.

The questions I received and answered were around –

What are the different gluten free flours and natural sweeteners and their availability

How to determine which flour can be substituted & in what quantity? Also, baking soda might not be a healthy addition to any recipe. How can one substitute it?

What should one substitute first – sweetener or flour?

Is ghee a bad option to use in baking?

What attracted me to baking and then healthy baking?

Instagram handle: @sim_ovenderful

As with my Lives, I am spontaneous with my baking too.

So while I measure out a lot of the ingredients even so a lot of my baking is instinctive. I start with an idea but often times it evolves as I bake. So while I started off with the idea of baking a simple wholewheat cake flavoured with the homemade orange peel powder, when I opened the fridge to get the powder out I saw the bottle of homemade strawberry compote staring at me.

Of course I have been planning to bake with it again but I had other recipes that I wanted to try that out in. I wondered if I should leave it for future use since I don’t see myself finding fresh strawberries anytime soon to make this again.

But the children made the decision as they saw me standing absent-mindedly with the fridge door open!
They picked up the jar and kept it out and asked me if I could use them in the jam cookies I make.

Well, I didn’t plan for cookies! So we reached the consensus that a cake using that would do just fine 🙂

And so here it is – Wholewheat Cake with strawberry compote and orange peel powder. Not as fancy as it sounds – just optimal usage of the things I made to preserve flavours of these fruits for using in bakes. It contains raw unrefined sugar.

Recipe –

1 1/2 cups Wholewheat Flour

3/4 cup of raw unrefined sugar

2 free range eggs ( use applesauce / curd – 1/2 cup if you want to make it eggless)

1/4 cup cold-pressed sunflower oil

1/2 cup milk

1 tbsp strawberry compote ( and a few spoons to put on top)

1 tsp orange peel powder

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

Method –

  1. Preheat the oven at 165 degrees C for 10 minutes
  2. Sift the flour and baking powder 3-4 times.
  3. Whisk the wet ingredients – oil, eggs and milk with sugar.
  4. Add the orange peel powder to the sugar-wet ingredients mix.
  5. Add the sifted flour slowly in 2-3 batches.
  6. Fold it slowly, do not overbeat or over-mix.
  7. Add the 1 tbsp of strawberry compote in the batter and whisk lightly.
  8. Transfer to a baking pan.
  9. Add small spoonfuls of the compote over the top.
  10. Bake at same temperature for 30-35 minutes or until done.
  11. Cool off and then slice.

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