My love for cooking started with baking a cake. I baked my first cake at a very young age, in my early teens. I didn’t consume any information from the internet or any cookbooks. Those days there was no internet except for cable television when I used to watch ‘Jacques Pepin’ and ‘Yan can cook’ shows on Star TV which was purely English. I also used to cut out and write down recipes that was published in Newspapers and Magazines. I just got fascinated by reading these recipes and decided to jot it down in notebooks, making my own recipe collection. That was the game changer in my life and I started off trying some recipes one by one. Some were utter failures but baking cakes was always a success.
Initially Cakes at home was made with ghee (clarified butter) and milk. It was a standard recipe and baked in a round aluminum electric oven. Those days’ even OTG (oven toaster griller) was not so popular. It was customary to collect and remove the top of milk or cream (malai) in a container to make ghee. I read a recipe from my personal collection, of a cake with butter but we only used butter as a spread for sandwiches. All I can remember that butter had very limited use in those days at home. It was a day that I decided to bake a cake and there was no butter at home and I badly wanted to try that recipe. Our neighbor had once shared the idea of using malai instead of butter that was stuck in the corner of my mind. I tried mixing the thawed malai, or the cream or the top of milk with the other cake ingredients and the cake came out beautifully. Since then this cake was frequently made and the making of ghee was stopped. As soon as the container was filled with cream I would head out to bake a cake, which helped me realize my passion for baking, making me a hobby baker, using up all the cream kept away to make ghee.
I still practice making ghee at home. I buy the Nandini Milk packets, boil the pasteurized milk and allow it to cool. Once cooled I remove the thick layer of cream and collect it in a container and keep it in the freezer till use. If you follow my Facebook page, you will definitely get to see more updates on what happens in my kitchen. Making all fancy cakes at home I realized it has been a long time I made this home style cream cake. I had a load of containers filled with the collected cream in the freezer and that didn’t stop me from baking this cake again. Somedays we just love to have cakes and coffee for breakfast and this cake is just our family favorite. This tried and true cake recipe has been followed for years, is such a fantastic cake that is slightly dense and moist, beautifully crusty outside and velvety smooth inside. The crusty top of the cake cracks a little, that simply makes it more appealing making it a smiling cake.
Like the title I gave to this post, “Home style” as it is my ‘go to’ recipe of cake that I carry in my head and the Travel cake I refer to, is that this cake will stay moist without drying out over a few days, perfect for travelers. I usually bake these cakes for my husband, as he loves only tea cakes and pound cakes, so he can carry it with him and enjoy while travelling during his official trips. I can confidently say this cake can withstand many days without refrigeration or even by the jolts of travelling. If you are a person who collects cream or make ghee at home, do try this recipe and it will soon turn out to be your family favorite too. You can add in any flavors or just keep it plain vanilla or bake by topping it with some nuts making it more versatile.
- Fresh Cream, malai – 1 cup
- All purpose flour- 1 cup (heaped)
- Sugar- three fourth cup. (3/4)
- Eggs – 3 nos.
- Vanilla powder- 1 teaspoon(optional).
- Baking powder – half teaspoon
- Baking soda- half teaspoon.
- Pistachios – one fourth cup
- Pista essence- half teaspoon
- Green food colour- half teaspoon. (optional)
- Grease and prepare your cake pan and preheat your oven to 160°C for 10 minutes.
- Sieve the flour with baking powder and baking soda. Keep aside.
- Take the blender jar of your mixer or use an emulsion blender to blend sugar and eggs together till creamy and frothy. Add in the essence, food colour and vanilla powder.
- Blend in further and keep aside.
- Take a large mixing bowl and add the thawed fresh cream. Soften the cream by stirring using a spatula or wooden spoon.
- Add the blended egg and sugar mix to the cream mixing well.
- Sieve in the prepared flour to this liquid mix and fold in gently. Add the chopped pistachios and lightly fold the batter.
- Quickly transfer in the baking moulds and bake for 30 minutes or till done.
Refer before you start baking
- You can bake this cake in a 7-inch round pan or a loaf pan. I have used 6 colossal muffin moulds to conveniently pack for travel.
- The 7-inch cake or loaf will take 35-40 minutes approximately to bake whereas the small moulds will not take more than 30 minutes for baking.
- The collected cream is kept in the freezer so use only thawed fresh top of the milk cream or malai. Do not substitute store bought fresh cream to make this cake. It will not result in the same taste or texture.
- If you think the cream has less fat content, you can add in a tablespoon of sunflower oil or any neutral oil to the cream before mixing in the egg mixture.
- Do not use an electric whisk or a hand beater, use only a silicon or a wooden spatula to combine the cream with the egg mix.
- Vanilla powder is totally optional. You can skip it and simply add vanilla essence. Adding Vanilla powder helps in cutting down the eggy taste of the cake.
- The cake keeps well for 5 days at room temperature in an air tight container wrapped in a parchment paper.
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