Home was comfortable, no studies to worry about, no cleaning to do, no hostel food to crib about. Instead there was mom fixing one great meal after another, dad there to take care of every small work of yours, no money problem- perfect time and place to rejuvenate yourself before getting back to the usual grind.
Since hostel food was a regular rant during my conversations with mommy dearest, when it was time for me to come home during college breaks, my mom would religiously ask me, ‘what do you want to eat on your first day back?’
I had a peculiar request besides the rajma chawal and butter chicken on the menu.
I would request my mom to bake a vanilla cake, and here is where the peculiarity and specifity of the request shone- the cake had to be baked the day I come. The reason- that ways the whole house smells of freshly baked goodness when I enter the house.
So, when it was known that my mom is visiting me, I thought I would make up for all the weird requests and whims and fancies my mom had to put up with over the years.
My plan was to have a cake baked the day she would arrive, so that the whole house would smell like how I always wanted it to when I would go to my parents’ house.
I soon realized that plan would not work out, since its a four hour drive from our place to the nearest airport and to civilization. Since my parents wanted to do take shopping-in-big-stores out of their system before they reach our small town, we had to spend a night in a hotel in the city. Thus, any chance of the scent of a freshly baked cake lingering in the house was next to none.
But when my mom decided to stay a few days with her friends in Phoenix, after seeing my dad off, I thought it would be the perfect time to have a look at my plan again. We picked her up from Phoenix and even though she did not come to a vanilla scented house, she did wake up to the vanilla-ey goodness of a freshly baked cake the next day.
Even though I had a good majority of it, this one’s for you, mama.
For putting up with the trouble called yours truly all these years.
The recipe is adapted from the guest post that Steph from raspberri cupcakes did for Emma of Poires au Chocolat. Both Emma and Steph are extremely talented people and their blogs are absolutely beautiful- a true delight to the eyes.
Steph uses a combination of berries in the cake, but I had only blueberries on hand, so that’s what I used. This was the first time I was working with a vanilla bean and I am now a spoilt person. The flavor of vanilla truly shines throughout the cake with little speckles of the vanilla seed visible throughout the cake. The original recipe calls for a cream cheese frosting on top, but I think the cake does very well without it. Of course, if its for a special occasion you can add it on top and I am sure it would not disappoint, but if you want a plain cake sans the icing this cake will meet every gastronomical demand of yours.
I had a slight problem with the pan sizes and filled my mini-bundt pans way too much, using only 4 of the cavities of the pan rather than all 6 of them. As a result the mini cakes overflowed while baking. Next time I will use all 6 cavities. And yes, there will definitely be a next time.
(makes 6 medium cakes or 12 mini cakes, adapted from this recipe from raspberri cupcakes)
- 85g (6 tbsp) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups (about 230g) plain flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup (about 220g) plus 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup (125ml) milk
- 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste + 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract (if one of these is unavailable you can just use a full tsp of either- I used the seeds from half a vanilla pod and 1/2 tsp extract)
- 450g (1 pound) mixed berries, (I used all blueberries)
- Grease and line with baking paper a 24x32cm rectangular cake tin, or two 20cm square cake tins and preheat oven to 180C (350F). Or use your mini bundt cake pan, like I did.
- Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together into a medium bowl.
- Put butter and 1 cup sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (regular beaters will also do). Mix on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium-low; mix in egg, milk, and vanilla.
- Reduce speed to low; gradually mix in flour mixture.
- Pour mixture into prepared tin and smooth top with a spatula.
- Arrange berries on top of batter, and as close together as possible.
- Sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons sugar over berries.
- Bake until cakes are golden brown and firm to the touch, about 45-50 mins.
- Let cool in tin on a wire rack, then carefully turn out.
- Sprinkle some icing sugar on top and serve. (You can use a cream cheese frosting, if you like, but the cake is great as it is.)
I am linking this to Fusion Fridays