A daughter is a bundle of firsts that excite and delight, giggles that come from deep inside and are always contagious, everything wonderful and precious and your love for her knows no bounds.
-- Barbara Cage
I vividly remember the day my little princess was plopped in to my unsure hands. A small bundle of joy reassuring me with twinkling eyes that everything was going to be alright . Her first smile, her first crawl, the first time she slowly gripped on to the kitchen counter and laid her pristine feet on the ground - all these had me spellbound. These and many more such wonderful memories fills me with elation and pride. It's with utter delight I recall how my hubby used to grab a camera first thing in the morning and go click crazy. He would leave with a heavy heart for work but made up for his absence during the day by literally dancing to her tunes in the evening. Yes with a camera to boot ! Surely there is something magical in bringing up a daughter.
My angel completed 9 years a few days back and I baked a cake and
helped watched my hubby do the frosting. It was heart-warming to watch my hubby come home early, rolling his sleeves and setting to work on the frosting. And why not ? She is totally a daddy's girl :)
The cake is nothing fancy but it was truly delightful. Besides, to see a home baked cake instead of a store bought one is a pleasure to behold. The recipe is inspired from 2 different recipes of the book 'Traditional Family Cakes'. I have to thank my sister for gifting me the book as it is a keeper.
The cake is a pineapple essence infused classic sponge cake while the frosting is butter-cream with a splash of whiskey. You can avoid the touch of alcohol if you so desire.
The recipe calls for self-raising flour. Making it is is very easy and I usually follow Nigella's method for the same .
For Self raising flour :-
Plain Flour - 150 grams
Baking powder - 2 tsp
Add 2 tsp of baking powder for each 150 grams of plain flour. Combine and sift them together into a bowl before using to make sure the baking powder is thoroughly distributed. Your self raising flour is ready. Measure the quantity of flour as required for the recipe and store the rest in an airtight container. Do not make a lot of self raising flour in advance as the rasing agent may shed its property over time.
Here's how to make the sponge cake :-
Preheat the oven to 160 C/ 325 F. Grease the cake tin ; sift the self raising flour and plain flour and set aside.
Place the butter and sugar in a large bowl and beat together until pale and fluffy. Beat in the pineapple essence and gradually beat in the eggs.
Gently fold in the sifted flour mixture in to the batter until thoroughly incorporated. Fold in the milk to the mixture.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the preheated oven for 40-50 minutes or until well risen, golden brown and a skewer inserted in to the centre comes clean.
Cool in tin for 15 to 20 minutes and then turn out into a wire rack to cool completely
For the whiskey laced butter-cream frosting :-
- Unsalted Butter - 200 grams
- Fresh Cream - 200 grams
- Icing Sugar - 400 grams
- Vanilla essence- 2 to 3 tbsp
- Whiskey - a liberal splash (optional)
- Green Food Colour/ Red Food Colour - a big pinch or two
For the frosting place the butter in a bowl and beat with an electric hand held whisk for a few minutes till pale and creamy. Beat in the cream and then gradually beat in the icing sugar. Continue beating until the butter-cream is light and fluffy. Stir in the food colour and the touch of alcohol (if so desired).
A simple tip to retaining the moisture of the cake :-
Splash sugar syrup before slathering the cake with the frosting. This syrup ensures the cake does not dry out.
Combine equal quantity of sugar and water in a pan and let it simmer for a few minutes. Add a few drops of vanilla/rose essence .
Now use this to sizzle the cake.
Assembling the cake :-
Slice the cake horizontally in to three equal rounds. Generally splash the sugar syrup on to the rounds before slathering it with the butter cream. Sandwich the rounds together with the butter cream frosting as required .Spread the butter cream liberally over the top and sides of the cake.