Monty Chefs During Quarantine

by Madhumita Kannan ’22

Pictures (left to right, top to bottom): Sahana Murthy ’22, Michelle Ji ’22, Neeharika Beru ’22

In unfortunate times like these, it is important to do what makes us happy. Baking special foods is one great way to both pass the time and eat some tasty treats.

I’m sure many of you have seen the whipped coffee Tik Tok trend that’s been going around online. Sophomore Michelle Ji decided to try it out with an addition of banana bread! Making whipped coffee is as easy as whipping 1 tablespoon of instant coffee, 1 tablespoon of sugar, and 1 tablespoon of water until stiff peaks form. With the addition of milk, you can enjoy some whipped coffee and share the experience with others online!

In honor of social distancing, Sahana Murthy (‘22) baked an eggless chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting and caramel filling! She mixed 1 ½ cups of flour, ¼ cup of cocoa powder, 1 tablespoon of baking soda, ½ tablespoon of salt, 1 cup of sugar, 1 cup of water, ⅓ cup of oil, 1 tablespoon of vinegar, and 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract, then baked it for 25 minutes at 340 degrees Fahrenheit in a greased cake pan. After cooling the cake for about 10 minutes, she added cream cheese frosting to the cake, which she made by whipping 8 ounces of cream cheese with ½ cup of unsalted butter, then adding 3 cups of sugar, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, and ⅛ teaspoon of salt. For her caramel filling, she added 1 cup of sugar and ¼ teaspoon salt to a medium saucepan over medium heat, covered them with ¼ cup of water, and stirred until the sugar dissolved. After increasing the heat to medium-high and letting the caramel cook to an amber color without stirring, she turned off the heat and immediately added ⅓ cup heavy cream and 4 tablespoons of cubed butter. This is definitely a great dessert to enjoy on a relaxing May evening.

Baking is also a great way to bond with family, and that is precisely what Neeharika Beru (‘22) did when she baked bread with her dad. Baking bread is as easy as mixing 3 cups of flour, 1½ teaspoons of sea salt, and 2 teaspoons of active dry yeast, then adding 1½ cups of warm water until a ball forms. Let it sit overnight, then preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and place your baking dish in the oven. Add a few more tablespoons of flour to the dough if needed. The dough should be loose. Cover it with a floured towel as the oven preheats, then bake it for 30 minutes covered and 15 minutes uncovered. Let it cool, and you have yourself some fresh, homemade bread!

Quarantine is a perfect opportunity to pick up some new skills in the kitchen. Baking and cooking are great ways to de-stress and enjoy some good food with family!

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