Thursday, December 22, 2011

Tough Cookie

Lately I've discovered the joy of baking.

I started out with a disastrous attempt at chocolate chip cake, which tasted more like burnt chocolate pieces in baked floury brown coloured something a few months back, and have now turned into a more confident baker, having successfully made choco lava cake with awesome molten chocolate oozing out and cookies.

There are thousands of recipes available online for the eggless cookies and cakes, and it would not make much sense if i were to write one more recipe. But one annoying thing i found in such recipe was no one told me where i could go wrong. or what do i do if the dough is not firm enough? and if they said, they've tweaked the recipe a bit, they never mentioned how they tweaked it? or if they're giving tweaked recipe, which was the original? what nonsense, i say. not everyone here knows how to bake. if we knew, we wouldn't be looking at your damned recipe, no?

So i'll talk about my three attempts at cookies, and how differently they turned up. First the ingredients. This was mostly passed on to me by DesiKhichdi

1 measure butter (i used regular amul butter, you could use white butter)
2 measure all purpose flour (today i substituted this with whole wheat flour)
1/2 measure cocoa powder (add more if you like more chocolatey)
1 measure sugar (i used brown sugar for chocolate ones and regular white granulated for other cookies)
1/2 spoon baking powder

now, what i did was, i reduced butter quantity. i used about 70 percent of required quantity. instead of 2 measure flour, i used little over 1.5 measure. and sugar too, i used about 70 percent of said quantity.


Mix butter and sugar together. Sift the flour and baking powder 2-3 times and cocoa powder (if you are making chocolate cookies) Mix all ingredients to make a firm dough. if you are making plain cookies, don't add cocoa powder, and add 2-3 drops of vanilla essence instead) If you have used less butter like me, you may need to use some 3-4 spoon of milk to make the dough firm.

Now put the dough in cling wrap or ziplock bag and refrigerate it for 30 mins. Roll the dough.. about 1/2 cm thick. cut with cookie cutter and bake them. Now since i used microwave with convection option, i'll tell you the temperature there - 200 degrees for 15 mins.

The first time i made, the dough was too soft, and the cookies spread :| and i kept it for 40 minutes because, i read everywhere 40 minutes. Well, the OTG takes 40 minutes, but microwave takes lesser time. The cookies were charred and there was no way to eat them. I was disheartened. Also, since the dough was so soft, i could not even cut it properly. But then i looked up some youtube videos, and i realised, if you couldn't roll the cookies, you could just make small rolls of the dough and put it at some distance in the tray and eventually, it will spread itself because of the heat and well, it will take a proper round shape of a cookie. this happens when the butter is more in the dough.

in my second attempt, i used less butter, and some 3-4 spoon milk to knead the dough. Hence, the dough was firmer, and i was able to roll it properly. and was also able to cut the cookie properly. Yeah, my Dabangg cookies :-) I kept them in for 10 mins, but later realised they could do with 3-4 mins more, and about 15 minutes was the time required in my oven. You may want to have a trial and error with this.

In my third attempt, my mom said she wanted to taste plain cookies, without any chocolate flavour (i know, how can anyone choose anything else over chocolate) so this time, i used whole wheat flour, white granulated sugar and vanilla essence (i may have put in more than 2-3 drops because i almost dropped the bottle, so they smell very vanilla-ey, but 2-3 drops should be good) 15 minutes of baking later, i felt the cookies didn't look as brown as i'd like them to be. so i put them in for 5 more minutes, and came out just perfect :)

I'm not a cooking expert, and so I am not very sure of substitutes of ingredients, and i do look up the internet quite often for all my queries. You may want to look up other places before you try them out!

At the end of it, I was very happy with the outcome. My mother was never into baking and is a bit possessive about anyone cooking in her kitchen. But over past few months, she has come to let go of her inhibitions and is being supportive in my cooking adventures. The plain cookies were her 'farmaish' :-) I was really happy when she asked me to bake them, almost served as a seal that she not only trusts me with cooking, but likes it also. When your mother appreciates food cooked by you, it gives you a tremendous high. :-)

Oh, and next on her wishlist is an apple pie. :-)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Wrong Number

It is kind of sad when the only calls you receive are wrong numbers. I mean, as if I didn't know I have few friends, this is kind of rubbing it in.

Over the years, I have been receiving calls for a Bharat. It's been over five years now that I've been telling people that My Name is Not Bharat and I am not a Man. Well, not really, but you get it, right? This Bharat's number is very similar to mine, apparently, the only difference being my number starts with 982xx and his number is 992xx (rest all numbers are same, from what I've gathered over my research with wrong number for Bharat). What is annoying about this wrong number for Bharat is an uncle who calls invariably at 11 pm, and keeps asking, who am I. "Pan tame kaun bolo?" (but who are you?) he'd ask. And later on, when I would pick up the call (I had stored the uncle's number as "wrong number uncle") and say, "na, Bharat nathi" (no, this is not Bharat), he would go, abbe yaar, fari thi wrong number, sorry. We kind of developed mutual respect for one another, and I stopped yelling at him. And he is now being very careful with dialling Bharat's number.

Coincidentally, the CA firm where I interned, my boss's name was also Bharat. Such is life.

And then there were calls for a Ritu. Ritu is an aspiring air hostess, who had registered her name at the air hostess training institute. Unfortunately, she gave my phone number instead of her own. Ah, well, to cut the long story short, because, really, I'd rather be a space shuttle than an airhostess, I politely refused. I don't get calls for Ritu anymore.

And then, the other day, there was Setia ki aurat who had called to talk to Setia. She sounded drunk and angry, and I was afraid she might come out of the phone and beat me up. "Main Setia ki aurat bolti hai". Now all I am hoping is Setia has returned home, because the wife sounded really angry. Or maybe staying away from house was a good choice. That day, Setia ki aurat was the only one to call me.

But then, sometimes, when they call asking me for my dead grandfather, and selling life insurance to him, I feel like punching them. I mean, the man has been dead since 40 years. How can your records be sooo outdated? All the records are also in my dad's name! I mean, c'mon, 40 years! So I lose my mind and I yell at them sometimes. Sometimes, I evade their questions and I even threaten that I'll go to the consumer forum and also sue them for mental harassment. Ah, well. Next time, I'll just say, no, this is the Satellite Police Station. (stop laughing, Satellite is the name of an area in Ahmedabad, like Juhu, Andheri, Koramangala)

But then, do you know what is worse than screaming to the person who called you? Well, being yelled at by the wrong number aunty.

So today my phone battery was at it's lowest, and I just felt like we both needed our space. So I left it charging in the bedroom while I went down for lunch and all other jazz. I came back to my room an hour back, and I saw 7 missed calls from the same number. It was an unknown number, and unless the call is from a known number, I don't usually call back. (abbeyaar, they keep trying to sell me some correspondence course) 15 minutes later, the phone rings again and I pick it up. The conversation was in Hindi and if I am not mistaken, it was Setia ki aurat only.

me: hello?

male voice: kisi ladies ki awaaz hai


me: kiska kaam hai?


me: (raised voice, still not yelling) kiska kaam hai?

female voice: SADIA KA


Now, I'm not sure if she said Sadia or Setia or if she was really Setia ki aurat again, and she was Setia ki aurat and she was scolding me mistaking me for Setia, dude, does she think i'm a dude? Does my voice sound like a dude's voice?


#ThatAwkwardMoment when you get more wrong numbers on your phone than the right numbers. #ForeverAlone