My family always makes me feel special on my birthdays. Last week was another reminder of another year gone by! The day began with phone calls from family and friends. Fresh flowers lovingly decorated by my mother and aunt and bouquets in my living room greeted me when I walked out of my room in the morning. Ro has started a tradition of giving me 2 bouquets, one from him and one from baby Harivansh until the time he is old enough to start doing so himself. What was unusual about this birthday was the presence of my precious one year old and the realisation that I have been inducted to the motherhood club. Perhaps I was too dazed to realize this last year with a 6 week old new born around.
My knight in shining armour and my santa claus who also happens to be my husband (;-) ) fulfilled each and every wish of mine by carrying all the items that I wanted right from fleur de sel to an ice cream maker, a pizza stone et al from the States. The piece de resistance was however something that I had been craving for a while. A Canon 5D Mark2. Yes folks! I now have it with me! With an L lens to boot! With one stroke on a single day, this man managed to give me everything that I have wanted in the recent past. My mother, aunt and cousin were visiting us and the two women took charge of my kitchen and prepared a lavish lunch that included all my favourites. My mother knows exactly how to please me with food!
I made this cake for my cousin Vedika who is extremely fond of cakes. It is a slight variation of my eggless vanilla cake as I have used the vanilla bean instead of vanilla extract. I love the magic of vanilla and how it tranforms, transcends and flavours a dessert. It has the wonderful ability to complement, yet hold its own.
And the butterscotch frosting is delicious and a splendid, though unusual way of icing a cake. Try this cake for a wonderful burst of taste and flavour at every bite!
Eggless Vanilla Bean Cake with Butterscotch frosting recipe
You can use light brown sugar in the cake batter or regular white sugar for a whiter looking cake with a pronounced vanilla flavour.
For the Eggless Vanilla bean cake:
- 225 gm (8 oz/about 1 1/2 cups + 2 tbsp) plain flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda/sodium bicarbonate
- 1 tin/400gm sweetened condensed milk
- 100 gm/about 1 stick butter
- 200 ml (7 fl oz/ ¾ cup) milk
- 30 gm (2 tbsp) granulated light brown sugar or regular sugar
- 1/2 vanilla bean or 2 tsp vanilla extract
For the Butterscotch Frosting*
- 75 gm (6 tbsp) butter, softened
- 75 ml (5 tbsp) milk (add more or less milk depending on the consistency of the desired frosting)
- 40 gm (3 tbsp) soft light brown sugar
- 350 gm (2 1/2 cups) icing or confectioners sugar, sifted
- Flaked almonds and cashews, toasted or plain (optional)
To make the Cake:
- In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade or an electric coffee mill, put the sugar and the chopped vanilla bean, if using and pulse until the vanilla bean is finely ground. I like to see the specks of the vanilla bean as it adds flavour and visual appeal to the cake. You could sieve the vanilla sugar using a fine mesh, if you dont want to see the vanilla specks. If not using the vanilla bean, just put the sugar in the processor.
- Grease and line the bottom of a 9” round cake tin with greaseproof paper/baking parchment/butter paper. If using a ring cake pan (like how I have) or a bundt pan, there is no need to line the pan but its necessary to grease the pan with butter or oil and dust it with plain flour. Preheat the oven at 150 C/300 F.
- 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 sugar and beat (with a hand mixer or a wire whisk or in a stand mixer) until smooth and creamy.
- Put in the condensed milk and beat until the mixture is combined, about a couple of minutes. Pour in the milk and vanilla extract if not using the vanilla bean 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. Dont over beat the batter as this might interfere with the softness of the cake.
- Pour the batter into the cake tin and bake for an hour at 150 C/300F.
To make the Butterscotch Frosting:
- In a saucepan, melt the butter over a medium flame. Stir in the soft brown sugar and the milk and remove from the heat source. Mix well until the sugar melts and you have a smooth sauce.
- Stir in the icing sugar and beat until smooth and glossy.
- Place the cake on a cooling rack and spread the icing, smoothening the top and sides with a palette knife.
- Pour immediately over the cake for a smooth finish or allow to cool for a thicker spreading consistency.
- Sprinkle the flaked almonds and cashews over the top of the cake.
Butterscotch frosting recipe adapted from here.