I have wonderful neighbours. They love my cake. This one woman especially, who has a big sweet tooth, always sends me a message telling me how much she likes my cake after every new experiment. And then praises it again when she sees me in the balcony. She's half my inspiration for trying out new cakes, including this. So i 've made friends with this set of women who live in the apartment block next door and they were planning a potluck to celebrate New Year's Eve. I was told about it, invited, then reminded and persuaded to also attend. While i declined giving all sorts of excuses that included the in-laws, the husband and the little one; i still could not throw away an opportunity to share my 'apparently famous' cake baking skills.
Strawberries were in season, going at the cheapest market rates they were going to get, and were purchased in multiple boxes. Cake was promised and cake was delivered. Compliments were eagerly awaited and compliments were graciously received. Sometimes not so graciously, but openly delightedly when a five year old someone shouted out from his balcony to mine, showing me the cake he was eating with one hand and a 'thumbs up' sign with the other. That's the reason i bake, it gives me reasons to smile. And sometimes little kids still make my day because of it.
I made up this recipe based on the first cake i ever baked - this chocolate cake. Just omitted the cocoa powder, reduced the liquid a little so that the strawberries don't all sink to the bottom of a liquid-y batter. I rarely stock butter in my fridge and hence almost never use butter in my cakes. I make it a point to buy some when i intend to make cookies or brownies or cheesecakes where oil just can't be substituted. But here, in this cake, oil makes for a more moist cake. Its up to you of course, whatever floats your boat.
- 3 small eggs or 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 1/2 cup milk (approx 120 ml)
- 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour/ maida
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 cup thinly sliced strawberries
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease and flour a baking tin of 8" diameter.
- Whisk the eggs, oil and sugar together, until eggs are slightly frothy. Add the vanilla essence, if using, and stir.
- In a separate bowl sift together the flour, baking powder and baking soda.
- Now add the flour mixture and milk alternately into the egg mix and combine until it becomes a smooth batter.
- Gently fold in the sliced strawberries.
- Pour the batter into the prepared baking tin and bake in the 350F preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until a wooden skewer (or toothpick) inserted into the cake comes out clean.
- Leave the cake to cool in the pan for 15-20 minutes. Gently un-mould the cake and allow to cool completely before decorating with chocolate fudge frosting.
- I tripled the recipe and made two cakes and 15 small cupcakes. The frosting was store bought and this is my very first attempt at cake decoration.
- Cupcakes will only need about 17-20 minutes in the oven.
- If i make this for my family, i will only use 3/4 cup sugar for a mildly sweet cake. Since it was for a party, i went with one full cup per recipe. Equal quantities for flour and sugar will make a very, very sweet cake; if that's how you like it.