Before I start this post, I'd like to thank all of you who wished me today, on the phone, on Facebook, on email, and in person...Made my day perfect!
Here's a birthday cake you can dig into to your heart's content without feeling guilty about the calories! Birthdays have always been special occasions in our family, with a cake and the usual candle blowing retinue being the norm, no matter how old you are. Of course, now I put just one candle on the cake :-)...
It's been my deeply held belief and practice for many years now that I don't do any cooking or baking myself on this day! After all today's the day I have to be pampered :-) When I was a child, my mom always baked my birthday cake herself-a double layered chocolate cake with chocolate ganache as a topping and filling in between the two layers (still my all-time favorite)...Calling it super-yummy would be an understatement! Over the past few years, my mom isn't able to bake as frequently as she used to, so my dad would go out and get the cake, usually a day before and keep it as a surprise for me (which wouldn't be a surprise for me, of course!). Post marriage, this ritual continues :-)...
This year is the first time I've baked my birthday cake myself. I wanted it to be a treat for my family and my friends in my Montessori class. My first thought was to re-create my favorite chocolate cake, but then I changed my mind at the last minute when I noticed another recipe in my book that mom used to bake often for us as kids-a cake that packs in the goodness of carrots and dates with wheat flour (not refined flour). You can't get healthier than that! This was the first time I baked this particular cake and it turned out really delicious, perfectly moist and soft. It was big hit with not only my family but also my new friends in my Montessori teacher training class (all 20 of them and our instructor-guide too!)...Don't take my word for it though...try it for yourself and see!
Makes a 1 to 1.5-kilo cake that gives about 20 medium-size slices
- 2 cups wheat flour
- 2 cups grated carrots
- 1 cup grated seedless dates
- 1 cup vegetable oil (I used sunflower oil)
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 3 eggs
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon soda bicarbonate powder (cooking soda)
- 2 tablespoon vanilla essence
- Half a cup of chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 150 C.
- Sieve the flour with the baking powder and soda bicarbonate and keep aside.
- Into a mixing bowl, break the 3 eggs and beat till frothy (use an electric beater itself for optimal results).
- Then add the sugar and beat for 1 minute.
- Now add the oil and vanilla essence and beat for 2 more minutes.
- Into this, add the flour and mix well with a wooden spoon.
- Add the grated carrots and dates to this mixture and make sure everything is well combined, but do not stir too much.
- Transfer to a greased cake tin (or nonstick or silicon-then you don't have to grease!).
- Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour in a 120 C oven.
- When cool, remove from tin and serve as you please-either as it is or with a dollop of cream or icecream on top!
- To test if the cake is done, insert a toothpick/clean butter knife/cake tester into the cake. If it comes out clean, its done. However, if there are crumbs or gooey batter attached to it, bake some more!
- You could substitute the vanilla essence with cinnamon powder or nutmeg powder or both!
- For the grated dates-I first tried grating it by hand but by the time I'd done one date, I'd lost patience. That's when my mom walked in and said she used to do this in the food processor. You can also do this in the spice jar of your mixie. Just chop the dates coarsely and sprinkle some flour on top before grinding so it doesn't get pasty.
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