Monday, September 29, 2008
I have for a long time now been on the lookout for a good recipe for eggless cake and there are a quite a few on the net. Some advise the use of extra baking soda and some instruct you to use sparkling soda water. I even went looking for those egg replacement substitutes in my food store but could not get my hands on any. So I tried my hand at one recipe which had a substantial amount of soda-bi-carb in it. What happened was initially the cake rose beautifully but a few minutes after I had removed iy from the oven it fell flat. So flat that it got a stodgy texture and was simply impossible to eat. Even my 6 year old son who normally eats anything sweet quite happily refused to accept this one. So I gave up on it for some time.
Some days back though when I was planning the menu for a tea time get together for my friends I recollected this awesome eggless semolina cake that my aaji (granny) used to make in a non-stick pan when I was a child. At that time the concept that my aaji could make any kind of cake was itself very amusing to me . I mean I come from a middle class marathi family where cake baking was done only by a few moms in those days so something like that done being done by a grand mom was simply unheard of.
Now to come back to the cake , I remember I loved it and always ended up eating quite a lot of it. So I called my mom in Pune and asked her about it. She said that the recipe was in some old marathi cookbook and she would look it up for me. And so she did .
It's my habit now to try out a certain dish in a small quantity first before cooking it in a larger quantity for entertaining. That's what I did with this one as well and the end result was so good that this recipe has gone into my lists of personal favourites forever. Thanks to you Aaji!!
The only hitch here is that the cake is made with semolina and not flour so it has a grainier texture than an ordinary cake. But believe me it tastes awesome. So do try it out.
1.5 cups semolina,
1 cup milk,
1 cup plain natural yogurt,
1/2 cup butter,
1.5 cups sugar,
1 tspn baking soda,
1 tspn vanilla essence or almond essence (almond essence is lovely),
3 to 4 tblspns of sliced almonds for sprinkling on top (optional),
a pinch of salt
1. Mix the sugar and yogurt thoroughly so that the sugar completely dissolves,
2. Then add all the other ingredients to the yogurt. Now let this batter stand for an hour. Keep it covered . This enables the semolina to soften completely before baking.
3. Meanwhile pre-heat the oven to 200deg C and grease and line a baking tray with baking paper.
4. After one hour pour the batter into the prepared tray and sprinkle the sliced almonds all over the top. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until it is golden in colour and a cocktail stick inserted comes out clean . Wait for it to cool before slicing it. If it does not easily come off the tray do not force it out but slice it in the tray itself and remove the slices carefully with a broad knife or a fish slice.
It's a great after school snack or even a lunch box treat for kids. Store it in the fridge after a day and warm it in the microwave for a few seconds every time you serve it. Tastes even better after a day or two.
By the way I did not make this for my last tea party as I was not feeling too well ,but it's a must make next time I have my friends over.