“Happiness is knowing there is cake in the oven.”
A cake baked at home makes any occasion feel more joyful and more special. According to Martha Stewart- using the freshest and best quality butter, eggs, chocolate, vanilla and spices makes all the difference to a cake. Somehow when it comes to baking a cake, whether you like it or not, certain basics to be followed just pop up and cannot be ignored. Very often I’ve felt it’s the first step of creaming the butter and sugar that determines how your cake is going to turn out. Well, definitely it goes without saying that all the ingredients have to be weighed accurately and should be at room temperature. After creaming the butter and sugar till light and fluffy, it’s the eggs that have to be beaten well after each addition. Cakes often get spoilt because this rule is not followed. Once the cake batter is ready, it should fall freely when a spoonful of cake batter is dropped and small air pockets should be quite visible to the eye when you mix the batter with a spoon just before baking.
When it comes to baking, the heat in the oven should be moderate and regular throughout. Cakes should be baked in the center of a preheated oven. The oven door should not be opened till 3/4 of the baking time is completed.
All of us at home love cake, just plain simple homemade cake with no frosting or icing- any flavour will do! There’s always time for tea and always room for cake. I’m reminded when I hear my son shout across the room – Any cake, mom? it’s time to bake!!!! (and that’s quite often!) Could be just a tea cake or if there are fresh carrots or bananas? Whatever ingredients are at hand; you could whip up a cake in an hour or so. I always see that that there is cake during the week end. The flavour of coffee and cinnamon together in a cake is just so awesome and putting it together- effortless! It’s my daughter- Rhea’s favourite cake!
I’m happy to be sharing this special cake recipe with you …
- Butter- 1/2 cup (100gms)
- Sugar-1/2 cup (powdered) 100 gms
- Eggs- 2
- Flour -1 cup (125gms)
- Baking powder- 3/4 tsp
- Baking soda- 1/4. Tsp
- Vinegar -1 tbsp
- Milk- 1/2 cup
- Instant coffee granules – 3 tsp
- Cinnamon powder- 1 tsp
- Vanilla essence- 1 tsp
- Cashewnuts – 1/2 cup coarsely chopped
- Cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy.
- Add eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition.
- Add vanilla essence.
- Sift flour with baking powder and baking soda. Add cinnamon powder.
- Dissolve coffee in milk.
- To the butter cream mixture add flour mix and coffee mix alternately.
- Add vinegar. Mix well with a spoon and pour into a greased and dusted cake tin.
- Bake in a preheated oven 180deg. C for 40-45 minutes, a toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean.
- Cool for 10 minutes, slice and serve.
- You can fold in the chopped cashewnuts or press the nuts lightly down on the cake batter before baking.
- For more tips on baking you could go through my previous posts on The Classic Tea Cake.
- Another combination you could try out is orange juice and fresh coconut – for the above recipe you could substitute 1/2 cup of milk for orange juice and 1/2 cup of chopped nuts for grated fresh coconut.
- Cakes will not stick to the baking tin if you wrap a towel dipped in hot water around them while taking out from the oven.
- Fruits and nuts will not sink to the bottom of the batter if they are heated in a warm oven (160 deg.c) for a few minutes. Roll them in 2 tbsp of flour before adding to the cake batter.
- A cake that boils out through cracks on the top, was put into too hot – an oven.
- If a cake is dry, it is probably because it has been left too long in the oven.
- If the cake sinks in the middle, it could be because of a sudden drop in temperature during the first 30 minutes of baking or opening the oven door too often or even changing the position of the cake tin during the first 30 minutes.
- The weight of a cake is around a kilogram and serves 8-10.
A great many things can be resolved with kindness, even more with laughter – but there are some things that just require cake!
Till my next post,