“Do come home. I’ve just got a new oven and have baked a cake for tea”, I invite my friend over with her little daughter – my daughter’s bestie – Vinaya. Had just gotten an extra-large oven – reasoning that if I was going to bake birthday cakes too, I might as well fit them in there – and that oven, over the next dozen or so years, churned out an enormous number of cakes and muffins, breads and burger buns, cookies and crumbles, potatoes and pies and in short, everything that could be baked!
I’m runnning ahead of the story, however…having just become the proud possessor of THE OVEN and a few cake pans along with it, i chose the cutest – a heart-shaped pan which gave promise of baking with love! The flour and sugar and eggs and butter were measured out under the eagerly watching eyes of two small (one very small) children. The butter and sugar were creamed to the right fluffiness, everything else folded in, vanilla added with due reverence and then the oven doors closed as the doorbell rang to let in my friend and her daughter. Thirty minutes later, as per the book, the perfect, golden brown cake was reverentially taken out, cooled in defiance of the eager faces (three of them now) waiting and ta-da- cut with ceremony to…..eyes popping out like saucers as a lava of uncooked batter oozed out!
Vinaya actually thought that it was what was supposed to happen and was suitably impressed! Arch looked very proud – after all, it’s not everyone’s mom who can make a flow-y cake, right?!
My husband says that it was my MBA degree which helped sell the idea of molten lava cake before it was invented and that if he had had anything like a raw cake disaster, he’d never have heard the end of it!!! Hmmm…i can’t help it if engineers can’t sell stuff, can I??
Many “correct” cakes came out of it after I’d learnt to figure out the oven but that first “flow-er” cake will never be forgotten!
Here’s one of my favourite cakes- chocolate and orange – a match truly made in heaven!
CHOCOLATE ORANGE CAKE
50 gm plain chocolate
170 gm butter
110 gm demerara sugar
200 gm flour sifted with 1.5 tsp baking powder
30 gm almond meal
100 ml cream
50 ml yogurt
Finely grated rind and juice of one orange
50 gm sugar
100 gm chocolate melted with 30 ml cream and poured over the top
Candied orange peel or segments
Melt the chocolate in a bowl over hot water and allow it to cool. Cream butter and sugar together till light and fluffy. Add egg yolks one at a time, beating in well. Sift in flour. Add the almond meal. Mix in the cream and whipped egg whites. . Fold in the melted chocolate. Add the yogurt and mix gently. Add the grated zest of orange and mix. Immediately pour into a tin and bake in a preheated oven at 180 C for about an hour till a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Mix the sugar with the orange juice and spoon over the cake. Leave in the oven to cool.
Pour the icing over the top and decorate with candied orange peel or orange segments.