Monday, September 28, 2009

Eat Cake

Cake can set most things right. At least for Ruth, heroine of "Eat Cake" by Jeanne Ray, the book our club is reading this month. She bakes when she's happy or sad or stressed. Basically, cakes are the ultimate comfort for Ruth. And then she uses these cakes to actually set things right with her life.

You know what I like best about Ruth. Her firm belief that cake eating has to be a happy thing; not the "guilty I am breaking my diet" thing. I am totally with her there; even though I don't always agree with her solution to problems. But no one said this is a serious read. Instead, Eat Cake is one of those feel good books you pick up when you are lost for next reading idea.

Eat Cake also comes up with a series of cake recipes, all of them extremely complicated or elaborate. In fact, every recipe has at least one quirky element. I read this book just before I left for London so I had no time to try one of her elaborate masterpieces. Instead, I picked Pistachio Cake. The quirky element in this one is cardamom.

I decided to make regular cupcakes replacing pistachios with almonds and cardamom with vanilla. But I don't think you can do regular with this book. The moment I opened my new bottle of vanilla essence and dropped 1/4 tsp into the batter, I knew the label was wrong and I have added coconut essence to my cake instead. So here it is, the very tropical almond cake.


Grind 1/4 cup almonds in a food processor taking care they don't become a paste. Add 1/3 cup flour, 1/2 tsp baking powder and a pinch of salt. Combine 3 tbsp milk and 1/4 tsp vanilla essence (or coconut if you are feeling adventurous).

Beat together 50 gms butter with 1/3 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Add one egg and beat well. Alternately add almond flour and milk in batches, starting and ending with flour and mix until combined. Pour into 6 cupcake pans lined with paper and bake at 180C for about 20 minutes.

Ann, our newest member, makes the pistachio cake for real.

Sweatha bakes an easy microwave version of the carrot cake.

Also head over to Jaya's for another review, although she did not have the patience to create one of the complicated cakes.

And to Aqua for her review and a recap of some gorgeous baking experiments

.For October, we are reading the Hindi Bindi Club by Monica Pradhan. If you liked the Joy Luck Club, you will love this. I've read this one before, but can't wait to go back and try one of the recipes. Want to read with us? Just leave a comment here.

10 comments:

Jaya Wagle said...

Lol Simran. Coconut instead of Vanilla essence! Well accidents give rise to great recipes. I am sure yours is one of those.
I agree the book is a feel good one and I like them once in a while. Am looking forward to HB Club. It is in transit at the library still.
Hope you had a good vacation in London.

Prathibha said...

lol..u r back?/
hmm..nice adventures in kitchen with those unexpected incidents right?..That cup cake looks yummy

Kanchan said...

If I get hold of Hindi Bindi Club will surely let u know - as I would be In the club !
Nice Review and cute cake :)

rohit said...

Hi... Read a couple of your blogs...really liked them.... I would hope that you could share a few of your blogs with me at www.mumbaikar.com as well... If interested get in touch with me at rohit.jangra@mumbaikar.com or neha.gandhi@mumbaikar.com

Priya said...

Cupcakes looks gorgeous!

Avisha said...

Hi,
Looks like we all were on vacation. Hope you had a good time.
Cup cakes look yummy.

Curry Leaf said...

Simran.Love the cupcakes,nice that you added coconut essence and gave a twist.I have made and posted( now) carrot cake (http://tastycurryleaf.blogspot.com/2009/09/ruths-carrot-cake-easy-microwave.html)Waiting for the next

Bharti said...

Almond coconut cake smells (yes I can smell it) divine. And yes sometimes, a cake can be the solution. Good to be back Simran. Thanks for stopping by.

Aparna said...

Your cupcakes are definitely inviting one to eat cake, Simran!
I'm sorry again, that I couldn't join in, but you know I'm in this month. :-D

Ann said...

Smart move, lady - almonds and coconut - sounds divine. And so SMART to halve the cake into cupcakes!