Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Cinnamon-Almond Chocolate Cake

This cake is a wonder of midnight-bakery. If you'll recall, this cold, wet, unseasonably stormy weather had put the damper on my newly-minted baking skills, and pushed me firmly back into hearty soups and chilli-noodles territory. However, a tray of desert ingredients can only twinkle at you temptingly for so long before you think, "To hell with the winter rains!", and bake yourself a climate-inappropriate cake.

One of perils of keeping ingredients waiting, however, is that some of them tend to disappear. Especially when one lives with one's parents. And since I have not learned the value of ingred. reconn. even after multiple minor kitchen disasters, I had to resort, once again, to immediate improvisations. In this case, replace the lovely dark chocolate quietly nicked by my mother with garden variety milk-choc.

It's not bad. I'm not saying it's bad. In fact, it's very good. But it's not seventy per cent dark. And you feel the difference.

That's 80gms of sugar, three sticks of cinnamon/daarchini, one 25gm bar of milk chocolate (all I had in the fridge), and three eggs. Plus, there is a little butter, the leftover dark chocolate (about 50gms), and approx. 30gms of sunflower oil in the sidelines.

That's the tiny pat of butter.

Which we melt in a saucepan of bubbling water. In my mephistophelian kitchen.

On top of it, goes the chocolate.

And obligingly melts.

Powdered sugar to beaten eggs. The old drill. 

That's the oil. 

Add it to the sugary eggs.
That sounds positively revolting, 'sugary eggs'.

In the meanwhile, the chocolate has melted. Yay. Have you ever noticed shop-bought chocolate bars take far longer than cooking chocolate to melt? I wonder why that is.

Scoop and scrape all the scrumptious chocolate into the egg-sugar-oil. Beat, beat!

And then, the best idea I've had all night: roughly-diced almonds. Mmm!

Then, just for fun, add a quarter teaspoon of cayenne/shukno lonkar guro. Because all the cool people eat their chocolate with red chilli powder.

And then, because it's 3AM and you're light-headed with chocolate and the lack of sleep, add a quarter teaspoon of home-ground garam masala (cinnamon, cardamom, cloves). Top with half a teaspoon of baking powder.

And then whisk it all together a few more times, and pour it into a greased and floured baking tin. And notice, too late, the air bubbles.

Not that it harmed the cake any. And the entire place smelt a warm, summery, cinnamony divine right till daybreak.

And we were done with the bowls and forks for the night. Yawn!

And Then, Disgustingly Early The Following Morning...

Surprise, Mamma! There's a cake in the oven! Now hooo could have baked it?

Well, never mind that. Let's have ourselves the first big slice, crunchy with cinnamon-roasted almonds. It smells like a slice of hearty, warm paradise.

That only improves on eating. Especially with a steaming cup of coffee. 

Sigh. Winter morning contentment. What is happiness, after all, but the perfect forkful?


Anonymous said...

No flour?
And can this be made into a pressure steamed cake, you think? (My baking oven has gone for repairs :( )

Rimi said...

I have never baked a cake in a pressure cooker, so I can't be sure. But would you try and let me know? I'll cheer you from the sidelines :-)

Rimi said...

And no, the cocoa powder stands in for the flour. But if the lack makes you uncomfortable, feel free to add a small fistful. And definitely get back to me once you're done.

Anonymous said...

Rimi, you mean the cocoa powder as in the chocolate? Or separately? (I don't see any mention of cocoa powder in your post, tai.)
Forgive me my stupidities, but I am just trying to get better at baking. Hence the questions.
And yes, I've 'baked' cakes in pressure cookers before - the eggless ones have turned out quite well, I have to immodestly confess :)

Dea-chan said...

Oooooooooh that looks so tasty. And your home made garam masala is exactly why I had that horrible baking accident involving apples and store-bought super-spicy garam masala!

And almonds are delicious. If they weren't so darn expensive, I'd eat them all the time.

Rimi said...

Dea -- yeah, our current stack of almonds are a gift from someone, who is convinced almonds soaked in whole milk with honey is the cure to everything. I haven't tried it yet, but who knows? :P

Sumana, you're right! Damn, I can't believe I missed it. The flour/cocoa powder goes in either after the oil, or after the melted chocolate. I add it after the oil to make sure it doesn't form lumps (whisking with a fork is hard), but in this case I think I added it after the chocolate.

Tell me how you pressure-cook a cake, pretty please? And we're waiting for the aloor achaar :P

eve's lungs said...

Powdered almonds and cocoa . Who cares what goes in after what if its so downright delish , but yes , first the butter and sugar creamed , then the eggs - though I beat mine separately , then fold in the eggs , and THEN the flour - not to be beaten in but FOLDED in a figur of eight movement .add cocoa , melted chocolate whatever and bake .Looks so amazing - I can smell it

Rimi said...

I think what you should do, RM, is to bake the above delight and feed us all :P

buy rift account said...

OH my! that looks absolutely delicious.

Dea-chan said...

OH MY GODS. Rimi, I've found the craziest food blogger on youtube. You NEED to watch her vids. Titli's Busy Kitchen is her channel, and I honestly can't tell you which is the craziest, as she's insane in all of them. Between shooting herself in the head during the Shortbread, gobbling at the camera for turkish delight, or have a single frame of her holding a knife with a huge grin cut in between shots of the ingredients during the crispy aromatic duck... lady's crazy! I can't stop watching her vids.

Magically Bored said...

Garam masala in cake? Hmm. I must try this.
Also, I almost always use butter and not oil. Gives a better smell, somehow - or maybe it's just me.