(PS: Lotsa Lavender is the name of my home-based baking venture)
It was a Sunday morning. Surprisingly, I woke up early that day, much before hubby or sonny boy did. I lazed in bed for some time and when I could laze no more, I got up. There was a loaf of bread I’d baked the previous day and some pesto made a couple of days before, so, breakfast was sorted. Lunch was a loooong time away. Hurray!
I had glass of milk and checked on the sleeping boys – all quiet on that front. I could, finally, read the Sunday papers in peace, on a Sunday morning! I’d spent a good 30 minutes reading before I heard hubby get out of bed. He was smiling. I smiled back. Sonny boy wasn’t up yet. After his morning coffee, hubbyand I spent some time chatting about this and that. And every now and then he’d smile a silly smile. Upon asking him the reason, he said, “Nothing!”
After a while, the little fellow woke up. We all had breakfast together. The li’l fellow had lots of funny stories to tell from school. The breakfast table was cleared and we all got on with our lazy Sunday routines – sonny boy went out to his friend’s house to play, hubby got busy loading the washing machine and doing the weekly clean-up of the cupboards and I got into the kitchen prepping for lunch. I could hear hubby laugh and talk to someone on the phone – one of his childhood friends, now settled in Bangalore.
And then the doorbell rang.
Hubby: Can you get the door Nandini?
I open the door and there was this delivery guy standing with a big bouquet of roses. I was stunned. My heart started racing in excitement. “So, this is why hubby was smiling all along! He’s ordered some roses just to brighten up my Sunday. How sweet!” I thought to myself. I thanked the delivery person and ran to the balcony where hubby was. I hugged and smiled my sweetest smile and thanked him.
Hubby looked puzzled.
Me: Thanks for the roses!
Hubby: What roses?
Me: The bouquet that you ordered for me? It just got delivered!
Hubby: I haven’t ordered any roses. But I can guess who it is for and why!
Now, this was getting mysterious! We both walked to the table where I’d placed the bouquet. In my excitement I hadn’t thought to check the card on the bouquet.
“Dear Sivakumar, best wishes to you on your birthday. –Team FSS”, it read.
I had the biggest embarrassment of my life! So, it was hubby’s birthday and I had forgotten totally. And stupidly enough not realised it till he told me himself! I just wished I could disappear from the face of the earth!
I sheepishly apologised for having forgotten and wished him. Dear hubby just couldn’t control his laughter.
I went into the kitchen and quickly whipped up this basic vegan chocolate cake. I also had some super dark chocolate on hand and made a luscious chocolate sauce to top the cake with while it was baking in the oven. It also helped that a few days prior, my sister-in-law had given us a box full of beautiful fresh cherries that they had picked themselves from their trek somewhere in the Himalayas (the name of that place eludes me right now). I poured the dripping chocolate sauce over the cake and topped it with some of those cherries.
The cake turned out so good that it is now my go-to basic chocolate cake. I have made it quite a few times since then, including a couple of times for orders. I normally top it with fruits that are in season, strawberries and orange segments, for example or with chopped nuts and other dried fruit.
Bake this one next time you want to bake a chocolate cake. This recipe is adapted from Allrecipes and I’ve modified it to make it wholesome.
Basic Vegan Chocolate Cake
Whole wheat flour – 1 ½ cups
Coconut sugar/Brown sugar or a mix of the two – 1 cup
Cocoa powder – ¼ cup
Baking soda – 1 tsp
Salt – ½ tsp
Oil – 1/3 cup
Water -1 cup
Lemon juice – 2 tsp (or vinegar -1 tsp)
Vanilla extract – 1 tsp
Preheat oven to 350 deg F
Grease (or line with parchment paper) a 9×5 inch loaf pan or a 6 inch square or round pan. You’ll get a slightly taller cake with the round than the square. In the pics, I’ve doubled the recipe and used a large 9 inch flower shaped pan (no, it isn’t a Bundt)
Mix together the wheat flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt
In another bowl, mix the oil, vanilla, lemon juice (or vinegar) and water
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix gently
Pour into prepared pan and bake at 350 deg F for 35-40 minutes. Check at around 35 minutes – poke a toothpick into the centre of the cake. If it comes out dry, your cake is done. If there is batter sticking to it, bake it for longer
Remove from oven and let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Then invert on to a cooling rack to cool completely
This is part of the Bake-a-thon 2017