Thursday, April 12, 2007

A good basic eggless cake

One of the concerns I faced when I started this blog was what to do about recipes that I tried from other blogs. Just writing about recipes from some other blog seemed lame. Besides, not all recipes I try are superhits, so why write about something that did not turn out quite well. However, there are those things that I like a lot and sometimes make repeatedly, making them nearly my own. They surely deserve a mention, if only to spread the good word around. One of them is this simple cake from Shyamala's blog.

The first time I made it, it was perfect just the way it is in her recipe. The second time around, I did not have any lemon or lime around, so I used a tablespoon of yogurt instead, which is also acidic, and it was also lovely. Another time, I doubled the recipe, and used a 9-inch round pan, and used half candied cherries and half nuts. It was just as forgiving, and seen in the picture on the right. My most recent version had no nuts, but just some tutti fruiti that I had bought in India. In India, 'tutti fruiti' is synonymous with brilliantly multi-colored candied fruit pieces, of questionable ingredients but delightful taste. I wonder if it even has any fruit in it. It is also the name of an icecream that was very popular when I was growing up, but haven't heard much about recently. I sprinked these on top of the batter after it was poured into the pan. When it baked, the batter rose up around the chunks, which got embedded into it. I think this one has to be my most favorite version.

Since I know lots of people who do not eat eggs, this is a very good recipe to have on hand. And because it lends itself to such versatility, I am thinking of other variations too. Like orange zest and orange juice instead of lime, or cinnamon and raisins instead of vanilla and nuts, or tutti fruiti again, with rose instead of vanilla. Don't they sound good? I think honey could also be a subsitute for the maple syrup. I am also going to try to reduce the amount of leavening agents, and will update the blog with how that goes.

The best part about this cake is that it is really easy to make, and does not need any special equipment, other than a baking pan, and a whisk, which makes it great for novice bakers. It takes less than an hour from start to finish, but it is the time spent after that, waiting for it to cool that is the most difficult. So plan to go for a walk at that time, to avoid the temptation to dig in.

tutti fruiti cake

Here it is, for reference, with a few changes and notes.

Basic Eggless Cake

Ingredients

1-1/2 cups of cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Juice of 1/2 lemon or lime, about 1-1/2 tablespoons
1/2 cup milk
Confectioners sugar for dusting (optional)

Method

Grease an 8" square baking pan. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.

Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pecans thoroughly.

Mix all the remaining wet ingredients together with a whisk or hand held mixer, and stir it into the dry mixture until there are no lumps.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 35 minutes. Check by inserting a toothpick in the centre to see if it comes out clean. Loosen the edges slightly by moving a knife between the cake and pan.

Let it cool in the pan for about 15-20 minutes, and only then turn it out onto a wire rack.

Dust it with confectioners sugar if you wish.

Some notes:

It is slighter dry and not very sweet, unlike the sweet, moist cakes that are more common in America. It is however relatively low in fat content, considering that there is no frosting, and that the above cake easily makes about 16 medium servings. Cake flour is not always available easily, but look for it just before a major holiday. I suppose one could use all purpose flour too.

Finally, Shyamala, you don't know me, but thanks a lot!

19 comments:

Maddy said...

Hi
a nice site, well organized.... , incidentally Tutti fruiti does have a fruit in it, if u may call so. It is made out of raw papaya (is it a vegetable ;-)) ) and flavored and colored etc. a very unhealthy concoction but naturally tastes good.

bee said...

great blog. glad to have found you.

evolvingtastes said...

maddy, thank you. Tell me more about the papaya and how it is processed! Is it used dried or cooked? Other than the aritificial color and sugar, why is it unhealthy?

evolvingtastes said...

Thanks for the compliments, bee. You have some absolutely gorgeous photos on your blog. Wish I could take pictures like those.

Richa said...

the eggless cake looks yummy, would love to try this.
BTW I've a pack of K-pra kanda lasun masala with me, will make usal one of these days.
thanks

evolvingtastes said...

richa, I hope you like it. Now onto those "double beans" from your blog - I have never cooked those even though I have seen them in the grocery store. Looks like something I will be trying out soon.

HAREKRISHNAJI said...

yes good blog, good posts

evolvingtastes said...

Thanks, harekrishnaji. Coming from you it is quite a compliment. It will take me a long time to go through and catch up with all your amazing blogs. faarach chhaan! I am going to visit often.

Sreelu said...

Hey,

Nice blog going here. I am fairly new to blogging but must admit having fun every minute of it, its turned from a hobby to addiction.
anyays great going and added you to my blog roll
check mine out when u get a chance

http://sreelus.blogspot.com

evolvingtastes said...

Sreelu, thanks. I did check out your blog and it looks fabulous. You have been quite prolific in a short amount of time. Lovely photos. Will visit it again.

Shyam said...

Hi, I dont know you either, and thank YOU very much too! :)

I saw the link to your blog by chance (I'd had a query on the eggless maple-pecan cake post) so I followed it up - and what a nice surprise to see your variations to the basic recipe! :) I love the idea of tutti-frutti cake! By the way, tutti-frutti in India was most likely sweetened coloured pumpkin :)

PS. I'm glad to have come by your blog.

evolvingtastes said...

Thanks Shyamala, for stopping by and for your kind words.

Haripriya said...

Hi, tried just now with honey in place of maple syrup, came out swell. Thanks a lot.

haripriya said...

sorry forgot to add also used all purpose flour
thks

evolvingtastes said...

Thanks for the feedback, haripriya. It is also good to know honey and all purpose flour can be substituted with good results.

rohinizmail said...

Hi,
Found your recipe when looking for a simple one to bake my first cake.....It was lovely. I am very happy to have entered the world of baking.

evolvingtastes said...

rohinizmail (rohini? my friend Rohini? probably not!), it is always so good to hear from someone who tries out a recipe and likes it. So thanks a lot for your response. I hope you feel confident about baking other things now.

Manisha said...

ET, did you know about this?

evolvingtastes said...

Gosh, no, Manisha. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. Oh the perils of blogging!

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