22 May 2022

3 Super Easy Weekday Baking Recipes & Pro Tips

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Baking has become quite the fascination since the year 2020 when almost everyone was working from home and we had all the time in the world to surface our hobbies and passion for activities like baking, cooking, painting etc. While its true that baking certain recipes do require alot of preparation and patience, there are a few recipes that are so simple and easy that you could even bake them on a weekday! 

Let’s check out 3 such treats that you can bake in no time and enjoy them with your friends and family over tea or even use them as an excellent gifting idea. 

Baking Essentials

orange table with baking equipment and a glass bowl with flour in it.

Like every other skill, baking requires certain equipment and must-have things that will come in handy while you bake. If you plan to bake often, we recommend you should have the following items:

  1. An Electric Oven Or A Microwave With ‘Convection’ Feature.

Touching the obvious, an electric oven or a microwave with the ‘convection’ feature is necessary for baking. Yes, there are methods to bake on a gas stove as well, but for accurate results, an oven is always the way to go. 

  1. A Digital Kitchen Scale

Baking is all about accurate measurements and for that you will definitely require a decent quality digital kitchen scale. It’s 2022 and these scales have now become inexpensive, compact and very accurate. A good kitchen scale that can weigh upto 5kgs with a deviation of 1 gram is more than sufficient for your baking needs.

  1. A Measuring Jug (Min. 500ml) 

A must have utensil in your baking arsenal is an accurate measuring jug. There are alot of such jugs available in the market but only the branded and good quality ones are accurate in measuring liquids. Read the ‘Pro Tips’ at the end of this blog to know how to measure any liquid using a measuring scale if you do not have a measuring jug.

  1. A Set Of Measuring Cups & Spoons

Ask home bakers and they will definitely have a set of measuring cups and spoons ready to be used everytime they bake. These are your best friends to measure ingredients like salt, yeast, essences etc. and usually all the recipes require you to use these for measuring such ingredients.

3 Easy Recipes To Bake At Home

Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies

Macro shot of two chocolate chip cookies on a wooden table with chocolate pieces.

Chocolate Chip Cookies have always been the favourite cookies for everyone, may it be children or adults. Bake them fresh and you would fall in love with the aroma they release and the taste when those chocolate chips combine with the vanilla cookie dough in your mouth!

Servings: 12 Cookies

Ingredients Needed:

  1. Butter: 225g
  2. Brown Sugar: 200g
  3. Caster Sugar: 150g
  4. Maida/All Purpose Flower: 354g
  5. Salt: 1 Teaspoon
  6. Baking Soda: 1 Teaspoon
  7. Eggs: 2 
  8. Vanilla Essence: 2 Teaspoon
  9. Chocolate Chips: 300g

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C.
  2. In a bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt. (Dry ingredients)
  3. In a larger bowl, melt butter before adding in white and brown sugars and whisking.
  4. Add one egg into the large bowl and whisk. 
  5. Add another egg in and add vanilla essence as well. Scrapes the sides of the bowl.
  6. Add the dry ingredients into the large bowl. Stir with a spatula.
  7. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  8. Chill the dough in the fridge for 1 hour.. (Very Important)
  9. Scoop balls of cookie dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  10. Bake the cookies at 190°C for around 14 minutes until they’re golden brown but still doughy.
  11. Take out of the oven and bang the pan on the counter to loosen the cookies then cool the cookies on a wire rack before serving.

Best Ever Chocolate Brownies 

pieces of brownies on a cutting board with a knife and chocolate chunks

Brownies can no doubt be called as the dessert from Heaven! The burst of chocolate and the richness in every bite is certainly to die for. While brownies are a bit expensive if bought from a shop (as a genuine brownie recipe will call for highest quality ingredients), they are not as difficult to bake as it  seems. Source High quality ingredients and you can make an absolutely delicious batch of brownies at your home in no time!

Servings: 9 Large Brownie Cubes

Ingredients Needed:

  1. Butter (melt & cool): 115g
  2. Any Vegetable Oil: 1 Tablespoon
  3. Brown Sugar: 85g
  4. White Granular Sugar: 115g
  5. Eggs (Room temperature) 2
  6. Maida/All Purpose Flower: 75g
  7. Unsweetened Cocoa Powder: 58g
  8. Salt: Half A Teaspoon
  9. Chocolate Chips: 130g
  10. Vanilla Essence: 2 Teaspoons

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 175°C then line a 9×9  inch baking tray with baking paper and set it aside. 
  2. In a large bowl combine melted butter, oil, and both sugars.
  3. Add the eggs, vanilla and salt then whisk for about 2 minutes until evenly combined and light in colour. (Whisk more to get a cakey texture or whisk less to get a softer, fudgier brownie)
  4. Over the same bowl sift in the flour and cocoa powder. Gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until JUST combined (do NOT over mix). Fold in half of the chocolate chunks.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, then smooth the top. Generously top with the remaining chocolate chunks.
  6. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the center of the brownies no longer jiggles and is JUST set to the touch.
  7. Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature before removing from the baking tray. ENJOY!

Quick & Easy Vanilla Tea Cake

slices of baked vanilla cake over a white bone china tray

Vanilla Tea Cake is probably the first cake that everyone bakes when they put their hands to baking. It’s so simple and easy yet so delicious and goes amazingly well with a cup of tea or coffee. It takes minimum ingredients to bake and because it does not have a strong taste of its own, it can be nicely paired with ice creams, chocolate sauce, freshly whipped cream or even fresh exotic fruits to create some mouth watering dishes. Here’s how to make one:

Ingredients Needed:

  1. Butter: 100g
  2. Castor Sugar: 100g (Read  pro tips at the end for alternatives)
  3. Eggs: 2
  4. Vanilla Essence: 1 Teaspoon
  5. Maida/All Purpose Flour: 100g
  6. Baking Powder: ¾ Teaspoon
  7. Milk: ¼ Cup

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  2. Sift Flour and baking powder together and keep aside.
  3. Warm the butter. (10 sec.in the microwave) in a mixing bowl. DO NOT melt the butter, just make it soft to touch.
  4. Break eggs into a small bowl and keep aside.
  5. Grease a cake tin lightly with butter and dust with flour. Remove excess.
  6. Cream butter and sugar with an electric beater till smooth.
  7. Add eggs, one at a time. Beat well.
  8. Add vanilla extract and milk. Blend with the beater.
  9. Add sifted flour and fold in with a spatula.
  10. Pour the batter into a greased and dusted cake tin.
  11. In case the cake batter curdles at this point Add 2tbsp of Flour
  12. Bake at 180°C for 35-40 minutes in the preheated oven, insert a toothpick in the centre and it should come out clean.
  13. Leave it to cool for 10 minutes. Slice and Enjoy!

★ Pro Baking Tips ★

  1. Castor sugar can sometimes be difficult to source. A good and inexpensive alternative is Breakfast Sugar. Its a superfine granulated sugar and works well for cakes, cookies and brownies. However, PLEASE NOTE that castor sugar will be needed for frostings and fillings and CANNOT be substituted with breakfast sugar for the same.
  1. Always remember that 1ml of water is roughly equal to 1g of water. So next time you need to measure say 100ml of Milk, just measure 100g of water using the measuring scale and a glass, mark the level of 100g of water in the glass and you will have a make-shift 100ml measuring glass ready for measuring any liquid in milliliters. 
  1. Never overbeat your batter for cakes, cookies and brownies, once the flour is added to it. Flour contains gluten that develops as you beat the batter more and more, while this is good for baking breads, it makes your cakes and brownies heavy and chewy which isn’t desirable at all.
  1. Two great substitutes for eggs are Flax Seed Gel and Bananas. For cakes, you can substitute one whole egg with ½ Mashed Banana or 1 tablespoon Ground Flaxseed with 3 tablespoons of water for cookies. Soak the ground Flaxseed in water for a few minutes and then use it accordingly. 

Do try these quick and easy baking recipes and pro tips and let us know in the comments about your quick baking experience. Stay tuned to The Milkbasket Blog for more such easy and amazing recipes, tips and tricks, suggestions and more!

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