Yesterday was MIL’s (mother-in-law’s) birthday and as I have said again and again, I belong to a Marwari family. So let alone anything remotely related to non-veg, even eggs don’t go. I tried to explain to her that today the eggs are made artificially and no matter whether you put them under the bulb or hold them close under your jacket for warmth, a chick is not going to hatch out of it in a million years. No matter what I said, it is hard to break a life long habit so I had to let it go. But a birthday is a birthday and what is a birthday if there is no cake to cut? HD (hubby dear) searched for an eggless cake but could get his hands on tiny brownies only at such a short notice. So I scoured the web for an eggless cake recipe, modified it to suit my needs and prepared a surprise yesterday for her.
First modification I did was to add a little bit of milk along with water (the recipe mentioned only water to bring the batter to a pouring consistency). Second, I added sugar soaked cherries, chopped finely, to substitute for tutt – frutti. Third and the most dramatic one, I added a swirl of colors to the cake. See, I do not have any icing experience and I was a little bit scared to experiment too much with the cake, it being my first eggless version and to be presented before my MIL on her birthday. In short, to avoid spoiling the cake, I simply added three colors (red, yellow, green) to the batter and gave it one single swirl with the spoon before pouring the batter into the baking dish. And prayed.
The cake turned out to be a motley of colors. Everyone at dinner kept asking how did I make it look like that and when I brought out my phone camera (not a very good version being a VGA) to take a pic for my blog, there were immediately two others madly clicking away for a best shot. Needless to say, it was immensely flattering and gratifying. Tarla Dalal has said that a cake’s presentation is as important as its texture. Thankfully, the cake turned out soft and spongy and sweet as well as attractive and made my evening as much as my MIL’s.
Preparation Time – 45 mins
Servings – 12
1 cup maida (all-purpose flour)
½ can condensed milk (I used Nestle Milkmaid)
¼ cup ghee (unsalted butter)
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 tblsp baking powder
½ cup milk
Edible food colors (red, green, yellow)
Candied cherries (Tutti-frutti optional)
Sieve flour with baking powder. Mix condensed milk and butter with it and roll it. Add milk to make the batter thin. Slowly add water spoonful by spoonful to achieve pouring consistency. Mix the cherries and vanilla essence. Put three teaspoonfuls of the coloring on the batter and give it one single swirl with the rolling pin. Heat the pressure cooker for 5 mins. Grease and dust the baking dish. Pour the batter in it and place the baking dish in the cooker. Keep the cooker on low flame (sim).
Insert a toothpick in the cake after half an hour to check if it is done. If the toothpick comes out clean, take out the cake. Cool on a wire rack before serving. The cake should be spongy and spring back on pressing.