When it comes to baking, experimenting with ingredients can yield fabulous results. Every time I prepare chocolate cake I make sure to add some instant coffee powder as well as freshly brewed coffee to the batter. Today I went a step ahead and added some buttermilk to it. And the result was a super moist batch of chocolatey goodness.
What added to the fun was these funky baking pans. Garnishing with shaved chocolate curls and raspberries added a special touch.
And talking about presentation, individual dessert servings always look overtly tempting.
It was a week before Christmas when a friend of mine told me that she couldn’t wait for Christmas.
“Me too, I love the plum cakes,” I said.
I was only ten.
“Cakes?! No you fool, I am excited about the gifts that I would get from Santa this year,” she said.
“Santa brings you gifts! What are you talking about?” I asked her.
She explained how each year Santa Claus brought her gifts. I was bewildered and hurried home to tell my parents about it.
What dad said bewildered me further. But I wasn’t ready to accept the truth.
I hung a small plastic bag from the almirah knob the night before Christmas.
I woke up the next morning and looked inside the packet to find a math book staring back at me!
Dad was right…
But I didn’t want my sister to miss out on the fun and anticipation. So I started playing Santa to my little sister from the year after.
From the beginning of November I used to start telling her about how careful she should be while preparing her wish list, for Santa had a budget of no more than Rs. 20.
Fancy erasers, stone stickers, glitter pencils, gel pens, candies and a Christmas card – were the things that Santa would bring for her.
I still remember her saying, “Look didi Santa’s handwriting is the same as yours,” after reading the card, signed: To Bony, from Santa Claus.
Today it’s just another Christmas day. A flood of memories, some snow flurries and a chocolate cake with chocolate raspberry frosting made it brighter.
But I still miss plum cakes…
The first day of May this year was a milestone for us. Five years ago on this day we had vowed to stand by each other until death or divorce (whichever comes knocking first) do us part.
The dormant baker within me rises on each anniversary. This time I wanted to tread the path of change and celebrate with a store bought cake instead. But God had other plans!
As we were vacationing on Cape Cod for the weekend, I had plans to pick up the anniversary cake from a quaint family-run Portuguese bakery shop in Provincetown. As I hurried down Main Street in the evening, braving the chilly winds, I could picture myself mesmerized by the warmth of the store, inhaling the sweet smell of freshly baked cakes and croissants. This would be my fifth visit to the store in the last three years. I also harbored a latent desire to take-out some of their other specialities–the cream filled cannoli, fruit tarts, the sweet malasadas, the donuts filled with custard and blueberry scones–for savoring later.
I walked down the street reminiscing about the baked treasures and relishing the thought that they would soon be pleasuring my palate. Yes, I could see the store from a distance. But to my dismay the ‘OPEN’ sign wasn’t aglow. I increased my pace only to find myself staring at the store plunged in darkness. Reality struck me like lightning—the store was closed! We were a month too early; the tourist season begins here only from June.
I returned to our hotel room with a fake smile on my face. A little self-consoling helped. It was our anniversary eve and I still could bake one after I returned home the next day, our big day. On our way back home I stopped at the local grocery store to pick up some ready-made frosting to spur on the cake-making session.
The baking countdown began as soon as I entered the kitchen. The mixing bowl was brought out. So was the flour, sugar and baking chocolate, all in required quantities. All I needed were eggs. I opened the refrigerator door and stooped to get the egg carton from the lowest rack. My heart skipped a beat as I lifted the carton. It felt too light to be nestling the six eggs I needed. I begged for a miracle and opened the carton to find two eggs staring mockingly at me.
Our fifth anniversary was doomed to be cakeless!
As I lay awake in my bed that night the realization dawned upon me that we didn’t need once a year anniversaries and cakes to celebrate or reassure us of our love for each other. Together we have traversed a long way, and each day spent together is a celebration in itself.
So I baked a cake the day after!!