You were still nestled deep within my womb when I began to nurture, nourish and love you. Rod Stewart singing the song “Forever Young” always brought tears to my eyes then as it does even now. Feelings of love and emotions that were completely alien to me before you came into my existence.
It’s been two years since the 10th of March 2009, the day you were born and time seems to have flown past and I fail to realize when you crept out of my arms, started to sit, crawl, walk, run and talk. You taught me so much about life and I still continue to learn so many new aspects each day as I see the world through your eyes.
Your enthusiasm and zest for life is infectious and god knows from where your boundless energy comes from, since we hear from both our parents that your father and me were much more sedate in comparison to you. We continue to make amazing discoveries about you as you discover new things around. Your mischievous streak, your ability to be constantly on the move coupled with your difficult eating habits tend to tire me at times, but I wouldn’t have had you any other way!
Your voice is music to my ears, your sight a feast to my eyes and your presence a solace to my soul.The way your eyes light up when you discover something new and your continuous interest and quest to explore life around you are a constant source of amusement and entertainment to everyone around and you cheer up the atmosphere with your antics, getting into your father’s shoes and literally trying to walk with them, playing with water, favouring my tripod, cameras and lens caps to your own toys. The way you screwed your nose at your first taste of ice cream and yet relished the taste of arugula lettuce on a sunday brunch with us are going to be permanently etched in my mind. I try to capture these moments, frame by frame, at times lucky to have them sealed for posterity and at times missing the most important ones. The best ones I some how tend to miss only to have them embedded deep within my heart.
Of course there are moments of trepidation and doubt as there is no rulebook for parenting and one has to rely on one’s intuition and sense of judgement in tackling different situation that could have far reaching consequences and I hope that I’m right, at least most of the times. You are the best gift I have received from life and I hope to give you my very best, day after day.
This has to be one of the best cakes to emerge from my kitchen, and I made two of these on his birthday on the 10th of March to be cut in the morning for a quiet family ceremony before the party in the evening. It is something that Harivansh relishes and I wanted to bake something simple this time, knowing that I will move on to more lavish cakes in the future. Although simple, I find this cake exquisite too and couldn’t find a better occasion to present this in front of you than my son’s birthday.
Remember I told you about a cake that I packed for my brother and that I would share the recipe with you soon? I was talking about this cake. This cake happened to me by accident. One afternoon as I was all set to make my favourite eggless pound cake, I realized that some vital ingredients were missing. Then I remembered the custard powder cake. I did not want the custard powder flavour to be prominent so I made some calculations and wrote this recipe in my book. The out come was not only outstanding but my quest for a perfect yellow cake was also over with this experiment. I am always awed by the gorgeous yellow cakes that keep making their appearances on the net but have never been able to try them out because of the eggs. Now, I don’t need eggs to get a good yellow cake.
I have always enjoyed a bowl of custard made with custard powder. Custard powder was invented by Alfred Bird for his wife, who was allergic to eggs. You could substitute it with cornstarch but I suggest getting a pack of custard powder to replicate the colour and taste of this cake.
This is also a fuss free recipe made with few ingredients and equipment. It reminds me in many ways of Dorie’s famous Swedish visiting cake. I have baked this recipe so many times and it has never failed me. It is also ideal when you have to quickly make something as it takes very little time to put together. Whether you eat eggs or not, you will love this cake!
Eggless Golden Yellow Cake Recipe
This is a basic which can be eaten alone or iced with chocolate buttercream or vanilla buttercream
250 ml (1 cup) milk
170 gm (3/4 cup) granulated sugar
210 gm (1 1/2 cups) plain flour
65 gm (1/2 cup) vanilla custard powder (or cornflour/cornstarch)*
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla extract
100 gm (1/2 cup) butter
Prepare a 7” round cake tin by greasing it well with oil or butter and lightly dusting it with plain flour. Tap to remove excess flour from the surface of the pan. Alternatively, grease the pan and line the base with greaseproof paper.
In a saucepan, heat the milk. Stir in the sugar and after it melts completely set it aside to cool to room temperature. After the milk reaches room temperature, add the custard powder and vanilla extract and mix well with a whisk. Put in the butter and mix again.
Heat the oven to 160 degrees centigrade/325 F.
In a large mixing bowl, assemble the flour, baking powder, baking soda and mix with a whisk. Pour in the prepared milk mixture and mix well with a whisk until there are no lumps. Alternatively use an electric hand mixer/beater.
Put the batter into the prepared pan/tin and bake for 55 minutes to 60 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean.
*If using cornstarch instead of custard powder add a pinch of yellow colour and additional vanilla extract.
Makes one 7” round cake.