Have you ever read my About page? I encourage you to swing by there if you haven’t simply because:
A) It is a work of sheer genius that needs to have the spotlight shone on it every now and again.
B) It is a pretty accurate snapshot of who I am – a brilliantly witty, talented and not to mention modest individual.
c) Neither A nor B is true but I still want you to read it so go take a look by clicking here.
One of the things I mention on that page is that I am a baker. I should probably update that page to read I WAS a baker. I hung up my chef’s hat when I realized that all my baking was causing hubby dearest to grow horizontally rather than vertically.
A while ago, however, we had some family over for lunch. Since there were quite a few people, the chances of any leftover baked goods being inhaled by the Hubster were pretty slim. And so I started poring through my recipe collection to find something that would fit the occasion. I eventually settled on a spiced cake recipe by Smriti of Smriti’s Special on Facebook. Go on and pay her a visit. She has positive wizardry when it comes to creating winning flavor profiles and this cake is proof of her abilities.
Taking a bite out of these is a treat for the senses. What hits you first is the scent. Think cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves in a riotous dance that tantalizes your nostrils. Next you notice the pillowy soft crumb that virtually dissolves the moment it hits your tongue. The seductive draw of those spices is cut through with the slightest tang of lemon. Bliss!
I’ll be honest and admit that I found the procedure a bit tedious. There are a lot of steps I generally tend to avoid like the plague while baking – separating the eggs (Oh bother!), whipping the whites (say what?), crisping the fruit for the topping (which in all honesty the cake really doesn’t need) and baking at two different temperatures (why God, WHY?!). But somehow it was all worth it in the end. If it works, why mess with it right?
The cake itself is not too sweet. The star here is definitely those exotic spices. I served these warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
It may not be much to look at but let’s just say that there were people asking for seconds long after the last crumb had been polished off. I even had one comment that it was reminiscent of Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte! You can bet this one is going into my Keepers file.
GUAVA SPICED CAKE
INGREDIENTS FOR CAKE
Plain flour (maida)- 125g
Baking Soda- ¼ tsp
Baking Powder- ¼ tsp
Cocoa Powder- 1 tsp (optional)
Cinnamon (dalcheeni)- 1 tsp (powder)
Clove- ¼ tsp (powder)
Nutmeg- ½ tsp (powder)
Salt- 1/8 tsp
Powdered Sugar (or caster sugar)- 150g
Unsalted Butter (or ghee)- 135 g
Lemon Zest- 1 lemon
Lemon Juice- 1 tbsp
Eggs- 2 (separated)
Whole Milk- 1 tbsp
Vanilla extract- ½ tsp
INGREDIENTS FOR GUAVA TOPPING
Guava slices- 10- 12
Brown Sugar- 2 tbsp
Balsamic Vinegar- 1 tsp
Procedure for guava topping:
1. On a large baking sheet, arrange the guava pieces in a single layer
2. Sprinkle the brown sugar on top.
3. Drizzle the balsamic vinegar.
4. Bake in a pre heated oven at 160 degree C for 30 mins.
Procedure for cake:
1. In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites (with a hand whisk or blender) until stiff peaks and keep separate.
2. In a separate bowl cream together the butter and sugar until smooth.
3. Add the egg yolks and whisk again until light and pale.
4. Add lemon juice, zest and vanilla to the egg-butter mixture and beat lightly to mix everything.
5. In a separate bowl, sieve together- plain flour (maida), baking powder, baking soda, cocoa, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg and salt. Mix these dry ingredients together.
6. Gently fold in the dry ingredients into the egg-butter batter little at a time until everything is combined.
7. Add in the milk to loosen the batter.
8. Fold in the beaten egg whites into the cake mixture gently to incorporate air.
9. Divide into cupcake/ square shortcake molds equally .
10. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180 degree C for 10 mins then quickly take it out and arrange the baked guava slices on top and bake again at 170 degree C for 30 mins or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
NOTE : Do keep an eye on the baking time. Although the original recipe calls for a total of 40 minutes baking time, mine were done closer to 30 minutes. It all depends on individual ovens, altitudes and a multitude of other factors. The second time I made these they were just the slightest bit overdone. While they didn’t dry out, they did form a delightful crust on top. I suggest baking a test cupcake to get the timing just right.
Do let me know if you try this out. I may, just may, turn up at your front door!
Until next time…