I simply cannot stress enough on the integral part to any outcome of any culinary experimental equation:
Good, fresh ingredients in = great food out from the hearth of the house.. aka the kitchen.
In this case though a bare bones pantry and an impending trip to the west coast actually brought about this culinary experiment. My darling MIL, a frail looking but with nerves of steel lady is a precious gem. She would be this burst of sunshine in an otherwise humdrum day. I am constantly amazed at this septuagenarian’s endless energy and unflailing enthusiasm about things.. everyday things, cooking cleaning, you- name -it- anything.
My otherwise tempestuous affair with cooking is completely complemented by her abounding stable, and infectious enthusiasm . I would seriously marvel at how she could be really ebullient about the cooking process …everyday. And she is one awesome cook!!! Seriously folks, it is lip smacking good food… every time. Traditional Indian food, vegetarian and no frills but prepared with abundant love would be her signature style. And everyone is welcomed with a smile. No one leaves hungry at her door 🙂
Cut to this day, since eggs are not a part of her repertoire, a bit of organic chemistry came to my rescue to yield this birthday cake for her . So dear MIL aka MOM, this one is for you 🙂
Eggless Sponge cake studded with walnuts and almonds- Seriously simple, seriously good!
- Preheat the oven / 350 deg F
- Grease and flour the pans of your choice. . I used one 10 inch round and one bread loaf pan.
- Chop 1/2 cup of walnuts roughly along with 1/4 cup of slivered almonds.
The Ingredients : Dry
- Self rising flour : 4 cups
- Baking soda : 1.25 tsp
- Baking powder : 1 tsp ( I approximated this as the flour I used already has some baking powder in it )
- Salt a pinch
- A generous tsp of ground cardamom powder
Dry whisk all these ingredients together and keep aside to be used later.
The Ingredients: Wet
- Fat Free condensed milk : 14 oz cans, 2 tins . Use any brand. I used the Eagle one.
- 1/2 cup of butter melted ( told you – fat come in here !)
- 1/2 cup of olive oil ( sort of balancing the guilt here by not adding in more butter )
- 1 cup of milk – I used the fat free evaporated kind. Why? The evaporated kind will still provide the density in the medium anyway.
- 1/2cup of water. ( OK folks, this was seriously some rough calculation. I wanted to add in 1.5 cups of liquid based on my previous banana nut cake recipe and decided to split it amongst water and milk.
- 1 tsp of vanilla extract – optional. I just had it so added it in !
Mix all the wet ingredients along with a generous pinch of saffron.( Ahem ! Notice my mild obsession with saffron:-) )
- Gently add in the flour mixture to the wet ingredients. I just added it in slowly with gentle mixing of the batter with my trusted electric whisk at low speed.
- The gooey mass emanating the mild and wonderful flavor is going to turn even more better. How?
- Add in the1/2 the chopped pieces of walnuts and almonds and fold in gently.
- Distribute the gooey mass of goodness in the prepared baking pans of your choice.
- Add in the remaining nuts ( walnuts and almonds) as a garnish.
Baking : 350 deg F for 45- 52 min or until done. Mine took approximately 47 min to be done.
Ok the exam results are out! It smelled heavenly …the aroma of the toasted nuts mixed with saffron and cardamom to emit an – oh – you-so – cannot – resist- me – siren’s call.
Verdict. Slight more dense than the eggs added version, but still very light on the palate. One huge bonus was that it was very mild on the sweet scale. It would make a wonderful custard cake served with fruits and whipped cream or vanilla custard. Or a wonderful tea cake..
Serves : Well it could well serve an army but was polished off by a dozed people in under a day – flat!
Possible variations? orange cake? banana orange cake? spiced cake? chai cake? Well, my chemistry instinct is going on an overdrive 🙂 But you get the idea!
Versatile, simple and so divine. Go on try it out, you will not be disappointed !