Have you seen that WatsApp forward where this totally stressed out mom is sitting locked up in the loo staring at her phone while her kids are hard at work demolishing the house? I’m sure many of you are smiling away nodding their heads thinking “Hell yeah! That’s so me!”
Well, I’m guilty of having done that one too many times myself. But, what’s worse is that I forget the phone on the soap stand on the way out and spend the rest of the day shuttling between getting chores done and preventing kids no. 1 & 2 from demolishing the house AND looking for my godforsaken phone in every possible nook and cranny of the house – including the refrigerator (and the freezer), the bin that holds my little one’s soiled diapers, the oven (yes!), the kiddos’ almost-empty toy basket (’coz all the others are scattered on the floor), in between the stack of newspapers that I just stacked up properly, inside the elder one’s black school shoes and in the drawer that holds all the keys in the house(but in which the key that you are looking for is forever missing!
Well, at such times, we need something to get us back to sanity. Digging into that box full of hidden foreign chocolates when the kids are busy fighting in another room is an option. Sneaking into the kitchen after you’ve tucked the kids into bed and stuffing a piece of this oh-so-spongy cake into your mouth and rushing back into the bedroom before either kiddo wakes up is another.
Flavoured with cardamom and strong coffee, this unlikely pairing works quite well and works better with adults than kids. If cardamom and coffee doesn’t work that well with you, skip the cardamm and try any other spice you like – vanilla, for example – and up the amount of walnuts you add. For a cake that’s made with whole wheat flour (I use the humble chakki ka atta) it is wonderfully soft and spongy. Do give this a shot next time you want to quickly whip something up.
Oh, and a word about the caramel syrup drizzled on top – it is not your usual butter-sugar caramel in taste, but is still wonderfully smooth and has pronounced caramel notes that take the cake up another notch. You could also use it to drizzle over other desserts, like ice-cream, puddings, custard or even a bowl of chopped fruit!
Coffee cardamom cake
Wheat flour – 1.5 cups
Baking powder – 1 tsp
Baking soda – ¼ tsp
Oil – ½ cup
Cold water – ½ cup
Coffee decoction – ½ cup (you could take 2 tbsp instant coffee powder in a ½ cup measure and top it up with water)
Vinegar – 2 tsp (I use lemon juice)
Brown sugar – 1 cup
Cardamom powder – 2 tsp
Chopped walnuts – a handful
Preheat oven to 180 deg C
Sieve together flour, baking powder, baking soda
Combine oil, water, coffee decoction, vinegar and sugar and beat till sugar dissolves
Add the dry mix into the wet mix
Fold the batter gently
Pour the batter into a greased 8”x4” loaf pan and bake for 30-40 minutes
If baking as muffins or mini bundts, pour batter into greased/lined moulds and bake for 20-25 minutes
If baking as mini loaves, bake for 25-30 minutes
(I could bake one 5”x3” mini loaf and 6 mini bundt cakes with this recipe)
Date caramel topping:
Soak a handful of deseeded dates and a handful of cashew nuts in a ¼ cup of water for about 2 hours
Grind to a smooth paste along with a tbsp. of coconut sugar (optional, but it adds a wonderfully caramel flavour)
Add more water as reqd to get the desired consistency
Pour it into a piping bag and decorate loaf/ muffins with zigzag lines
Almost every other day throughout December I’m going to blog about my baking experiments as part of the Bake-a-thon, an event that is run each year by Valli.
There are many wonderful bloggers who participate in this event and you can see all the lovely baked dishes they are preparing here