It's my Amma's Birthday today. Happy Birthday,Amma! This one is special as she is turning 50 today,oh yes! I have a very young mother :-) Anyway, if she is celebrating her birthday today that means there's someone else born from the same womb,celebrating her birthday 400 kms away from my Amma!
Happy Birthday Twins!
Are you wondering how Ian Vaava is in her hands now while I am back home in the United States? Well,well,well...I planned a few things quite early this time,yes,for a change!I wanted to be with her to celebrate her 50th and since we knew we wouldn't be together, I thought I'd surprise her with a cake almost a month before her real birthday,which is today.
The so - not organised daughter of hers couldn't plan a thing ahead of time other than the idea of 'surprising Amma'. Hmmm, I used to be organised before because I did surprise her once long back,by baking a cake at midnight when everyone else was fast asleep. So I pulled out my cookbooks and scanned through each one of them, just the way I did a few years ago and found the perfect recipe in the cookbook Jobin sent me 4 years ago for my birthday,Nigella Lawson's FEAST. It's a very good book, especially if you love entertaining. But this time, there was no midnight baking. Rather, I couldn't bake at midnight. No,it was not the baby.
It's that thing you make out of water...Electricity! Did you know that they have started charging the users depending on the time of the day(only in India)? Well, they have. So any usage of electricty from 10 pm - 6 am was the most highly charged...1.20% more than the regular. So I thought of not doing any midnight baking this time. Luckily, for me, Appan and Amma had to go out for a day to attend a family function so I thought of using that day to bake and decorate the cake. But again, things didn't work out the way I thought it would!
So.I thought I'd go tell Amma about my surprise rather than Amma getting a shock seeing the mess I've created in the name of a surprise! Phew! Life was so much easier after that...I took my own sweet time to do what I wanted to but by then it was late in the night. So we cut the cake the next day! It was a very soft and delicious cake with no fancy schmancy ingredients. It is one of those cake which you will eat thinking 'homemade butter cakes are the best'! Really, for certain occassions, you really need those old fashioned butter cakes. Period.
For the cake:
200 gram(s) all purpose flour
3 tablespoon(s) custard powder
2 teaspoon(s) baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
225 gram(s) soft butter
200 gram(s) sugar
2.5 tablespoon (s) milk
Method:Preheat oven to 180C and line 2x8 inch cake tins.
Put all the ingredients,except the milk into a food processor and process to a smooth batter. Add the milk one tablespoon at a time to get the batter to a soft dripping consistency. Divide the batter equally among the tins and bake for 20 mins or till done. Let the cake cool in the tin for 5 mins then turn it out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.
For the buttercream filling:
125 gram(s) icing sugar
4 teaspoon(s) custard powder
75 gram(s) soft butter
1.5 teaspoon(s) hot water
Method:Sieve icing sugar and custard powder to get rid lumps,if any. Add the butter and beat together. Add the hot water and beat well to get the filling easier to spread.Sandwich the cake with this filling.
For the chocolate icing:
60 ml water
2 tablespoon(s) golden syrup
125 gram(s) caster sugar
175 gram(s) dark chocolate
Method: Combine water, syrup and sugar in a pan stirring to dissolve over low heat.Bring it to a boil and switch off heat. Add the chopped chocolate and swirl the pan around to get the chocolate melted. Let it sit at room temperature for 10 mins. Stir the icing well and pour over the sandwiched cake.It will drip down quite a bit down the sides, so use a platter which can accommodate it.
Appan's 50th was a different story all together!He doesn't like any celebrations and cake cutting etc when it comes to his birthdays. So we knew he was not going to do it but we still wanted to have a party for him because I was getting married in a matter of less than 2 months and that would be the last one I would be celebrating with him for a long time,or so I thought. So we called our family and friends over and had a nice get together. I baked a Viennese Chocolate Genoise Sponge with Strawberry Mascarpone cake for him and that was the first time I ever made the chocolate lace! And now, many of you have been trying it out and some even call it their signature style! Very well, thank you ! So,I thought of doing the same for Amma,which I did and you guys saw it too. I must admit, I've done it better...this was not my best chocolate lace :-)
Anyway, all thanks to the Apple God's we were able to get Jobin,who was not with us then to join us for the cake cutting! And of course, Vaava also got his little share of his 'Ammu's' birthday cake, which I know he thoroughly enjoyed! :-)