Tuesday, September 27, 2011


It's my little brother's birthday and he turned 18 today. He's grown up so much from the last time I saw him. He is 6'3" now but is still the same soft hearted little boy we know. He still irritates me the same way every time I bake a cake or every time he wants me to bake a pizza for him. I was doing the swirls on his birthday cake very calmly and there he comes asking for a big piece of the cake. I told him 'NO!, you can't today!' and he goes,'I want that cake today and not tomorrow, so give it to me!'. Argh! That irritating little brother! ;) He even warned me that he will be attacking the cake while I am fast asleep dreaming of all things possible. That ended my hope of sleeping peacefully last night :-D
Oh yes, in our house we all know what cake we are getting for our birthdays because we cannot hide it from each other as we have just one fridge which is raided by all of us for some goodies or the other every now and then!
This is a technique I've been waiting to try from atleast 13-14 years now and today was that day! It's a very very simple technique and I'm up for these things anytime! You would have seen that in my Checkerboard Cake  & Honeycomb Cake . Call me crazy but I love standing near the cake analyzing how to slice it so that I can get the design I have in mind. You will find me walking around the cake, bending down to get it to eye level, standing up scratching my head...as if it's an experiment. Oh yes! all these are my little experiments :)

Ritchie b'day1
I saw this cake many many moons ago for the first time in my favourite little town called Panjim, Goa. It was in my dream store called 'Pastry Cottage'. Me and my cousin,Tia, the newly-wed now, went there together and I was in a complete paradise. I must have stood there and gazed at all the different varieties it had to offer and the one thing which caught my complete attention was the 'Chocolate Pyramid' cake. I stood there and wondered how on earth did the baker manage to get those vertical stripes when Amma make horizontal ones.

I got out of the store with a vision in my mind...If I ever open up a Cake shop, this is how it would be. Really, it was my wonderland. I wanted to go there this time when we went to Goa but we were so hard pressed for time with all the wedding preparations, rehearsals and above all, meeting all my family on Amma's side. We all stayed at the Panjim Inn and had a gala time. We are quite large with 75 members and still counting so you can imagine what fun it would have been to get together and stay under the same roof. I pity the neighbours! ;-)
Ritchie b'day

The beautiful crockery you see in the photographs are my Grandmother's .Appan came up with this brilliant idea of searching through her crockery collection to match the cake for today :-) She has this amazing collection of the best crockery possible and this is just 1/5th of it. I inherited her craze for crockery and cooking :-) The one you see above is handpainted and Made in England and they were bought by her in late 60's early 70's.There are plenty more in her collection and some of them are so exquisite that we can never find such pieces now.I'm sure she would have been gleaming if she was alive to see this here. I bet she is the one who is pushing me into all these things that lead me to winning the title,'Pachakarani '. Even Amma believes the same :)
This cake was made in a jiffy with a sponge cake & a ganache recipe which is engraved on my brain. Wake me up at whatever time of the night  you want and ask me to bake a cake for you, I'll bake you this one :-) I must have baked this sponge some 100 times and it's worked for me always! Just make sure you beat the batter on high continuously for 12 mins...no breaks for phone calls please ;-)Let me not try and explain and then confuse you with the how-to for the 'triangular' part of the cake. I learnt this by reading a lot of material from the library all this while and finally found a link online which will make things a LOT easier for you :) I should have checked for it online instead of all the work I made my brain do :-)

Ritchie's b'day cake
You will need:
1 large Coffee sponge cake (Recipe source  -Amma)
1 large portion of Chocolate Ganache

For the Coffee sponge cake:
6 large eggs
1 cup granulated white sugar
3/4 cup all purpose flour/maida
2 tbsp cornstarch/cornflour
1 tsp instant coffee powder

Pre-heat the oven to 180C .
In a large mixing bowl, beat together the eggs and sugar on high for 12 minutes resulting in a very thick mousse like batter. Sift the dry ingredients over it and fold it in.
Pour the batter into a prepared rectangular cake tin and bake for 30-35 mins or till the skewer inserted comes out clean. Let it cool in the tin for 10 minutes and then flip it over onto a cooling rack and cool completely.

Once cooled, cut the cake into half horizontally and then into 3 which will give you 6 small rectangular pieces of cake.

For the Chocolate Ganache:
250 ml fresh cream/heavy whipping cream
250 g dark chocolate

Chop the chocolate into equal sized pieces and reserve them in a heatproof bowl.
Bring the cream to a boil and then pour it over the chocolate pieces. Let stand for 3-4 mins.
Stir till you get a nice chocolate-y cream. You can chill it for 15-20 mins to get a thicker consistency which is what I prefer.

Verdict: This cake was superb! I know it's just a plain coffee sponge and a good ganache, but it was really really good. That's because the cake layers were super thin and every layer was sandwiched with a thick layer of ganache which resulted in the melt-in-your-mouth texture. I will not recommend soaking the layers for this kind of a cake because it will be super messy to cut to form a triangle. Therefore use a cake which is not dry.

We loved it! Appan said,'This cake is awesome!How did you make it so good?'. Amma asked for a second piece and knowing the cake-hater that she is, it sure must have been good. Ritchie, the birthday boy, a man of very few words stood there and gobbled up 2 pieces in a row. I had my share of this cake after the photo session was over and Ritchie found me smiling and he asked me why :-) The entire cake was cut and devoured in less than 20 mins!

I'm pleased with the photographs here because none of them were edited! :-)


Saee Koranne-Khandekar said...

I am staring jaw-dropped at the cake AND the crockery! Superb! Hats off to your patience!

Ramya said...

The crockery is adorable!! Ur grandmom have a lovely taste ..:-)
The cake looks awesome..:-)Hope u managed to save it from ur brother till the D -day:-)

Archana said...

Hi Ria,
I am glad you like pastry cottage. Its so beautiful and I want to try every item there. (Very bad for waistline)!
Love the crockery you said it its exquisite! Love them all.
Now lastly the cake boy you certainly know how to drive me crazy. Its amazing. Thanks for the link.
I am hosting Fast Food not Fat Foot event. Do check out my event and send me your entries.

Anonymous said...

Wow! what a beautiful combination of simple geometry and good talent. Being from Goa, I just loved this write-up, particularly about Pastry Cottage, it used to be my favorite pastry shop, when we were in school/college and used to skip tuition classes, and for almost all birthday treats. Love your pictures as well!...Shinta

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

A great birthday cake! Really tempting. I love your cakestand.



Neetz said...

awesome cake!!! give me the whole cake :)

Ruchik Randhap said...

Your cakes always make me jump & start baking Ria! Tried two of them & they were flawless & amazingly good. I'm bookmarking this as well. Loved ur post :)

Divya Kudua said...

Hi pachakarani,what a wonderful post you have put up!The cake,the crockery and the scenery behind,all giving the post extra visual points!!Triangle cake?now that's something I haven't seen before.I've tried the sponge recipe too,from Deeba's blog-love the simplicity of the recipe.Btw,did you get that pretty cake stand from US?I've been eyeing a similar one for some time now:)

divya said...

A great birthday cake! Really tempting.... ...

amna said...

that's a gorgeous cake!

btw, your template looks a bit off. are you in the process of working on it?

Finla said...

Love your granmother's crockery. They are beautiful. Here hans grnadmother have some crockery andthey are so beautiful too.
Beautiful cake and Happy birthday to your lil brother.

Priya Suresh said...

Omg,wat a elegant and super delicious cake, fabulous birthday cake.

Ruchik Randhap said...

Thanks Ria for the comment, yes, even I can't wait for Christmas so that I can try that cake again - a fruit cake is extra special when made during Christmas :) And your recipe is by far the most accurate one and the outcome was simply fabulous, thanks so much!.By the way Giggi was Rinku Naveen's earlier blogger profile..and she did try the honeycomb cake from your blog and inspired me to try it, http://kitchentreats.blogspot.com/2011/03/honey-comb-cake.html

Aarthi said...

wow.. what a cake...this looks really good....Thanks for showing us Ria...


Vidhya Viju Govind said...

Lovely.....lovely....lovely.....cake,crockery n the post :))

Reshmi Mahesh said...

Awesome cake and settings....loved it...

Seema said...

Hey Ria,

After trying your HoneyComb and Checkboard techniques, I cannot afford to miss this one! The layers have come out so delicately well. Loved the presentation! Belated birthday wishes to your Bro!


Sarah said...

lovely cake, Ria! u r tempting me to try it out :)

Nitha said...

Amazing crockery and lovely cake... I was planning for a simple chocolate cake for AJ's Bday and now I am confused :)

MyKitchen Flavors-BonAppetit!. said...

Hi Ria,U hav a lovly Blog and my belated B Day wishes to ur brother.Ur clicks r appetizingly delicious.Supergood recipe indeed.Following U.

Tina said...

simply superb dear...Njan angotuu thamasam matiyalonnu alochikuva...allenkil riamma kanjirappallykku varanam..

Rinku Naveen said...

Pachakarani are you home today?

Rinku Naveen said...

Super! Fantastic! Lovely! Amazing cake and crockery Ria.. As always a different cake. Loved it totally..

Rinku Naveen said...

My birthday wishes to Richie!!

mitha said...

No wonder U won pachakarani title!!
Bitrday wishes to richie too.
Am floored after seeing the recipe and pictures are fantabulous and I could really feel its taste in my mouth
chocolate pyramid is something which I always crave for ..
i can eat any number of choco pyramids at a go..
am sure gonna try this.
but I loose confidence once i do the icing part.
would love to know a step by step frosting recipe from ur side !!!

Swapna said...

Lovely post Ria!!! Love everything thing in this post... the cake, recipe, crockery, table cloth all looks fantastic!!! One of the best posts in RC!!!!
Birthday wishes to your little brother:)

Naseela said...

Gosh! thats one of the best cakes ive ever seen....hats off to ur creativity and patience

Priya Chilamkurthi said...

New here, The cake looks yummy. Would love to try this.
Happy birthday to your little brother!

Shabnam said...

Wow! Brilliant piece of work! looks yummy.
happy b'day to ur bro.

Preethi Pinto said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sumee said...

Hi Ria, First time here on your space.. i love coffee cake, you make it sound so easy.. Have to try this one out. Happy to follow you. :o)

Anna said...

Wow...what a set of crockery...and the cake looks amazing...honestly the crockery took my breathe away, the cake the next...well done Pachakarani!!!

gigi said...


With every new post, u outsmart yourself..the cake is so "good looking" and the crockery settings!!!..just awesome...i was mesmerised as i opened the post...Good work, ria!! loved the cake dimension and cake decoration too...really pretty!!!

Vineetha Sush said...

Beautiful cake :)

Nitha said...

Ufff.. finally I made this to my blog too :) Thanks a lot for giving the idea dear..

Salini said...

that ake gave me a real head ache and still working on this to get a triangle shape. hats off to u ria for ur effort i making this wonderful cake .
I am keeping my fingers crossed till the cake is done.
Hope i will be able to finish my cake properly before my hubi comes to cut his bday cake..... help me.....!!!@@###$$%%^^&&**

Chella KS Nathan said...

thank u so much for this wonderful recipe, i baked it for my b day and it was too good and made the day more special.

Unknown said...

I made this for my Best Friends Bridal Shower and it was a grand hit...thank you so much for sharing. this cake was the highlight of the day...please inspire and teach us more :-D..
Keep up the awesome work.

Unknown said...

I made this for my Best Friends Bridal Shower and it was a grand hit...thank you so much for sharing. this cake was the highlight of the day...please inspire and teach us more :-D..
Keep up the awesome work.

Unknown said...

hi ria...i didn't understand the part about how to make the cake triangle...can u pls explain it...will be very grateful...thank u... :-)

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