Spring on your table

Spring on your table

A cake which serves as a centre piece for your buffet table is a stunning addition and draws all attention to itself. Baking is a bit intimidating to...

A cake which serves as a centre piece for your buffet table is a stunning addition and draws all attention to itself. Baking is a bit intimidating to most people, especially in Indian kitchens where the crux of cooking uses no measures! A few do-ahead steps will ensure that you have a stunning cake that looks as good as it tastes for your spring fling.

Spring Celebration Cake

For the Sponge:
(Makes 2 cakes of 8 inches each)
Maida: 2 cups
Baking powder: 2 tsp
Salt: ¼ tsp
Oil such as sunflower: ½ cup
White sugar: 1 ¼ cups
Eggs, at room temperature 2
Vanilla or almond essence: 1 tsp
Milk (at room temperature):1 cup
Vinegar: 1 tsp

Preheat oven to 175 C or 350 F

  • Grease the bottom of two 8 inch cake pans, line with paper and set aside.
  • In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
  • Add the vinegar to the milk and set aside
  • With a whisk beat the eggs, vanilla / almond essence and and the sugar till frothy and pale, about 3 minutes with a hand whisk, 2 minutes with an electric beater. Add the oil and whisk again for 30 seconds.
  • Gradually add the flour mixture (in three additions) and milk (in two additions), beginning and ending with the flour. Whisk gently and ensure there are no lumps in the mixture.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared tin and smoothen the top. Bake for 23-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean and the cake springs back when pressed lightly in center.
  • Place the cakes on a wire rack to cool, in their pans, for about 10 minutes. Then invert the cakes onto a greased rack. Remove the parchment or wax paper and re-invert cakes so that tops are right side up. Cool completely before frosting. Clingwrap the cakes and refrigerate before frosting.

Whipped Cream Topping (Makes 4-5 cups of whipped cream)
Whipping cream 2.5 cups
Vanilla or almond essence 3 tsp
Salt 2/3 tsp
Icing Sugar 8-10 tbsp
(adjust as required)
Chill the beater, blades and have a spotlessly clean bowl.
With a hand mixer, beat the cream till it starts to thicken. Add the sugar and vanilla and beat until soft peaks are formed. Reduce the speed of the beaters and beat till stiff peaks are formed. Use as required.

Assemble the cake

Assorted fresh fruit sliced - use bright coloured fruit such as kiwi, strawberry, orange etc. Avoid fruit that turn brown on exposure such as apples etc.

  • Using a sharp serrated knife, slice each of the cakes horizontally into two slices and keep aside.
  • The cakes can be sprinkled with a simple sugar syrup or fruit juice if desired.
  • Place one slice of cake, flat side up on a serving plate or a cake board.
  • Spread a small amount of any fruit juice or sugar syrup (optional) on the top of the cake with a spoon. Place about ⅓ cup of the whipped cream on the cake and spread with a flat knife or spatula.
  • Add tiny pieces of fruit on top of the whipped cream if desired.
  • Top with the other layer of cake and continue till all the layers are used up. Cover the outer layer of the cake with some more whipped cream. The layer should be thin and the cake still visible. This is a crumb coat to ensure the crumbs from the cake do not stick to the final layer.
  • Refrigerate the cake for at least 30 minutes.
  • Now for the final layer. Top the cake with a 1 cm layer of whipped cream, Smoothen using a spatula or a knife.
  • Decorate with the fresh fruit to create layers of colour. Chill for at least 2 hours for the frosting to set. Keep the cake at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.
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