In life we are not always fortunate to be surrounded by our loved ones. I’m going to be separated with two people who are closest to me for nearly a year. My sister is on her way to the university of Pennsylvania for a course in non-profit leadership and my brother in law is off to INSEAD in Fontainebleau, near Paris for masters in business management. Although we don’t live in the same city, we would meet up at least 4 to 5 times in a year. And although I’m extremely happy for them (congratulations dearest folks) it is still taking me time to digest that I wont be seeing them for quite some time (I’m not yet brave enough to be traveling between countries with an infant son in tow).
It was quite wonderful when we got together for my son’s naming ceremony at my parent’s place, with my baby boy being the star attraction. When it was time for my sister and brother in law to leave, I wanted to say good bye and wish them luck with a cake. If I were in Mumbai I would have made my sister’s favourite Pineapple cream cake. Since I didn’t have the ingredients on hand I decided to make a vanilla cake with chocolate frosting.
This cake has fascinated me for long. A Chocolate frosting on a Chocolate cake is always great but when a Chocolate frosting is used on a Vanilla cake the flavours simply stand out! The characters of both the vanilla and the chocolate show their individual colours. I’m a great fan of anything “vanilla” and I was elated when this cake came out beautiful, as I had expected.
This Vanilla cake is quite basic and can be served in a myriad ways. It has a perfect crumb, considering its eggless. I discovered that adding yogurt to the batter makes the cake tasty, light and spongy. Other than the cocoa butter frosting given below, it can be topped with Chocolate Ganache, Fresh Cream, various fruits and the like.
Lately, I have been wondering what kind of an eater my little fellow is going to be and about his likes and dislikes. It might sound strange to a few but I have already started planning his birthday party menus. And I eagerly hope that Harivansh is going to enjoy and relish this cake as much as we do at home.
Eggless Vanilla Cake with Cocoa Butter Frosting Recipe
The Vanilla cake can be used as a base recipe and topped with different kinds of frostings like Chocolate Ganache, Butter Cream and Fresh Cream frostings and Fresh fruits like pineapple, peach, strawberry, etc.
For the Vanilla cake:
225 gm (8 oz/ about 1 ½ cup + 2 tbsp) plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda/ sodium bicarbonate
1 tin/400gm sweetened condensed milk
110 gm/1 stick butter
200 ml (7 fl oz/ 3/4 cup) milk
4 tbsp yogurt
2 tsp good quality vanilla extract
For the Chocolate Butter Frosting*:
80 ml (1/3 cup) cocoa
80 ml (1/3 cup) butter, softened
500 ml (2 cups) powdered sugar
1 ½ tsp vanilla
1 to 2 tbsp hot water
white chocolate chips for decoration (optional)
To make the Cake:
Grease and line the bottom of a 9” round cake tin with greaseproof paper/baking parchment/butter paper. Preheat the oven at 150 degrees centigrade.
In a mixing bowl, assemble the flour, baking powder and baking soda, mix with a spoon and sieve once to make the mixture uniform. In a bowl assemble the butter and the condensed milk and beat (with a hand mixer or a wire whisk) until the mixture is combined, about a couple of minutes. Mix in the yogurt and beat again. Pour in the milk and vanilla and beat until the mixture is well mixed.
Stir in the flour mixture and mix with a spoon, whisk or the legs of the hand mixer before starting to beat again. This will prevent the flour from getting dispersed outside the mixing bowl. Beat until the mixture is uniform and smooth and there are no lumps. This shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes with an electric hand mixer/beater. Be careful not to over beat as this tends to make the batter stiff which might result into a harder textured cake. Pour the batter into the cake tin and bake for an hour at 150 degree centigrade.
To make the Cocoa Butter Frosting:
With the help of a hand mixer or a wire whisk, mix the cocoa and butter. Stir in the powdered sugar, vanilla and hot water. Beat until you get a smooth frosting which can be spread easily over the cake.
Place the cake on a cooling rack and spread the icing, smoothening the top and sides with a palette knife. You can run a fork across the cake to make criss cross patterns.
* Cocoa Butter Frosting adapted from Betty Crocker Baking Classics