The beauty of a mother-daughter relationship is that, as time progresses, a relationship that begins with the conventionality of a parent-child bond blossoms into a beautiful friendship between two women. Like fine wine, it gets better with age, with the ties of love and blood strengthened each day with mutual admiration, trust, respect, tenderness and camaraderie. In my life, it is the one relationship where I can confide without the fear of judgement, cry without the fear of pity, fight without the fear of recrimination, love without the fear of restraint and of course, gossip without the fear of contempt!!
A few days back, it was my mother's birthday and this cake that I share with you is one of her favourites. Ever since I've discovered it, I make it for her birthday each year and am pretty convinced that once you give it a shot, it will be a regular at your home too!!
For the cake, I turn to this absolutely gorgeous, egg less cake recipe that I discovered on one of my favourite blogs, 'Barbara Bakes'. Not for a minute should you think that the lack of eggs compromises the final product of this cake in any way. If any thing, this recipe produces one of the most moist, chocolaty cakes that I've come across. This recipe dates back to the post-War era of rationed supplies and thus, it is does not use butter but oil.
It is also one of the easiest cakes to make. It follows the 'quick bread' method - where the dry ingredients are simply combined with the wet ingredients, there is no creaming, no beating, no sifting .. all you need is a hand whisk to bring together the two sets of ingredients... that simple!!
While not a big fan of butter cream frosting, I turned to this uber-simple, uber-chocolaty and uber-gorgeous fudge frosting by Nigella - my one-stop destination for easy, fuss-free, no-fail and delicious recipes!!
Once made, there is not a single fault that one can find with this cake. The cake is beautifully moist, chocolaty and light. The frosting just takes it up a notch higher on the scale of 'chocolate love'. This cake holds its own even without the frosting as I usually keep the frosting only for special occasions.
Every time I make this cake, it has always been appreciated and complimented. Considering the ease with which this cake is made, it makes this recipe even more of a winner. And don't just take my word for it....
A while back, I sent this recipe to an old, school friend who was looking for an easy chocolate cake recipe. She mailed back, effusive with gratitude and appreciation and in her words..."this cake has become the biggest hit with all my friends and family.... it has also set a high standard of what people expect from me...!!!". With such high praise, this cake demands that you give it a shot!!
And before I sign off, I share with you three important lessons of life that I've learnt from my mother -- Live your life truthfully with no pretence, face adversity with dignity and no matter how old you are, never stop in your quest to learn new things and expand your horizons!!!
Happy Birthday Mama .. While I might be the single biggest cause of all your white hair, I am simply blessed to have you as my mother!!
Eggless Chocolate Cake with Fudge Frosting
serves 10-12 people
** This recipe can easily be halved and serves 6-8 people.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tsps baking soda**
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 cups hot water
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp white vinegar
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
** If baking soda is not regularly used in your kitchen, it is preferable to buy a fresh packet of it, when you bake. Else there is always the danger of the old soda powder leaving an aftertaste in the cake.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 deg c. Line one large 9-inch spring-form pan or two 9-inch round cake tins. I prefer using 2 separate pans. For half the quantity of this recipe, use smaller tins.
- In one large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients - flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt, with a hand whisk.
- In another bowl, whisk together all the wet ingredients - hot water, vegetable oil, vinegar and vanilla extract.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and with a hand whisk, combine the two set of ingredients. Do not over mix the batter. Do not use a hand-mixer for this, a simple whisk will do the job. A few lumps are OK.
- Carefully pour the batter into the prepared cake tins and bake immediately for 40-50 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and transfer the cake to a wire rack. When it cools a bit, remove the sides of the tin and leave to cool completely and get on with making the frosting.
- 125 ml water
- 30 gms demerara sugar
- 175 gms unsalted butter, cubed
- 300 gms dark chocolate, finely chopped
- Put the demerara sugar, butter and water in a saucepan on low heat until the butter is completely melted.
- Once bubbling, take the saucepan off the heat and add the chopped dark chocolate. The heat from the mixture will be enough to melt the chocolate.
- Do not stir the mixture with a spoon but rather swirl the pan around to help the chocolate melt.
- Once melted, whisk the mixture until smooth and glossy. At this stage, it will be very liquid.
- Leave the mixture for about an hour. It will thicken as it cools down. This suits us just fine as the cakes have to cool completely before we use this frosting.
Assembling the Cake
- If you've baked one layer, then cut the cake into two layers.
- Take a third of the frosting and sandwich it between the two layers.
- Spread the remaining frosting over the top and the sides of the cake in a manner of your choosing.
- Tip : If you've baked your cake in two layers, then let the cake that you put on top be placed upside down, as that gives the top a flat look.