It was Dinesh’s birthday yesterday. The kids have been so excited about it since the last few days. and they were busy too, making plans, cards and wrapping gifts. It being a Tuesday, meant that it was school day, and they were a bit disappointed that they would not be able to spend the day at home with ”daddy”. Luckily. for them, just after they had gone to bed on Monday, there was a message on my cellphone from the school- the heating was down and the school would not reopen until after lunchtime. Imagine the cheer with which the news was greeted the next morning. Dinesh was working from home that day, so we decided to prepone the celebrations to the morning. Dinesh does not like making a big deal out of it, but the three of us like birthdays and do make a fuss.
So, ”daddy” was not allowed to come downstairs while the kids got busy decorating the room and laying out presents. I felt a little emotional seeing them do all that; wasn’t it just yesterday that I had to hold their hand while they wrote birthday wishes on his card? Wasn’t it just yesterday that they were my little helpers while I put up decorations? And now they do all that by themselves. After he came down, ”Daddy” was greeted with an all too loud ‘’surprise” which managed to make ”daddy” a bit emotional too.
So the cards were read, the gifts were unwrapped and the cake was cut. Daddy declared the cake to be his ”best ever” birthday cake, so ”mummy ” was pleased too. And the kids? Cake early in the morning; what can be better that that? Of course, ”mummy” made sure that they had a proper breakfast first, which went down their throats at lightening speed. After all that early morning rush, ”daddy” was back to his meetings; a friend, who had called earlier was invited to join us for a simple lunch. Finally, the day was over ”a bit too quickly” as the daughter declared when she went to bed.
Thanks to all those who left their wishes in my last post. And as promised, I am going to share the recipe in this post. I am a completely self taught baker/cake decorator. I treat the cake like a blank canvas and follow my instincts. So, it gives me extra pleasure and encouragement if the efforts are appreciated. The cake is a very simple and easy to make vanilla sponge. I made two 8inch square cakes which were sandwiched with whipped cream. The top and sides were then covered with some more whipped cream. For the rest of the decoration, I used a combination of whipped cream and lime coloured buttercream. I usually make a bigger batches of buttercream when I make a cake for an order, so it came handy for this cake; buttercream can be frozen for a couple of weeks for further use. To defrost it, I leave it on the counter for a couple of hours, and if it is still very hard, I microwave the buttercream for a few seconds until soft ( be careful not to melt, so microwave in short bursts till the required consistency is achieved.)I have given measurements for the buttercream, but if you do not like it, just leave out the buttercream and decorate with just the whipped cream.
2C of icing sugar
1 and a 1/2 C of whole wheat flour (atta)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1tblsp of sugar dissolved in 1C of water
For the whipped cream-
500 mls of double cream+3 tblsps of icing sugar+a few drops of vanilla extract, beaten together till thick ( be careful not to over beat or it will turn to butter)
For the buttercream (optional)-
1/2 C (125 gms) very soft butter
1C icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2-3 tblsp of milk
paste colour of choice(I used lime)
(Beat the butter for 2 minutes, add the sugar in three batches, beat well till fluffy and beat in the vanilla and milk;colour with a little paste colour)
- Line two 8inch square baking pans with foil and pre heat the oven at 180deg C.
- Beat the eggs and icing sugar till pale and fluffy ( when the beaters are lifted, the mixture should fall back in ribbons and should leave a trail on the top for at least 10 seconds)
- Beat in the vanilla and fold in the flour in three batches. As this cake has no other raising agent, be very gentle so that you do not knock off much of the air in the mixture.
- Divide the mixture between the two pans. Tap the pans against the counter to smooth the top and release any trapped air bubbles.
- Place the pans in the centre of the pre heated oven and bake for about 18-20 minutes or till the top is springy to the touch and a toothpick inserted through the centre comes out clean.
- ***If you do not have two pans and will be baking in one pan after another, make the mixtures separately for each cake instead of making it all together and saving half for the second cake.
- Cool the cakes in the pans for a couple of minutes and then transfer to a rack to cool completely.
- Once the cakes have cooled completely, place one of the cakes on a plate/cake stand/ cake board . With a pastry brush, brush the top and sides of the cake with the soaking syrup. Place a little whipped cream in the centre and spread out to cover the top. Place the other cake on top and brush the sides and top of this cake with soaking syrup too. Cover the top and sides of the whole cake with whipped cream. Use the remaining whipped cream to pipe out designs of your choice ( I follow my heart and instincts). I also used some lime coloured buttercream for piping. You can leave out the buttercream if you want to.
- Finally, plant the candles on the cake (if it is for someone’s birthday), and wait for the smile that lights up their faces- priceless!
**Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge; bring back to room temperature before serving.
And here’s a huge piece for you to enjoy!