Cardamom, ginger, caraway seeds, cinnamon… if one was ever asked to capture the essence of ‘mithai’ in a cake, this would be it!
And let’s take a moment here for the cream cheese frosting… ethereal. It’s just the stuff Diwali indulgence is made of.
I must also brag to you about my newly tested level of self-control that kept me from devouring this cake while it was cooling. The mixture of spices, melted butter, honey and soft brown sugar reach a crescendo when the cake is baked and pulled out of the oven. You see, it has that quintessential aroma of ‘something good being made at home’… aah it’s easy to look away, but how do you not smell? It’s a psychological battle, this one, and is won only when you think of the soft layer of vanilla tinged cream cheese that waits to be slathered!
Putting the cake together is well, a cakewalk! It’s almost as though the recipe is made keeping the sweltering heat in mind when the last thing you want to do is spend a copious amount of time in the kitchen. To add to the convenience, I’ve measured the recipe out in grams, so there’s no clutter of measuring cups and you just keep dumping the ingredients together. Case in point… honey, sugar, water and butter get tossed into a saucepan and are gently heated together until the butter melts and sugar dissolves.
While you’re waiting for that to cool, you beat together 2 eggs and get the flour and spice mix whisked together in a large bowl. When the honey-butter mixture has cooled, roughly 10 minutes should do, make a well in the flour and pour in the beaten eggs and cooled honey-butter mixture. Just beat it together thoroughly and you’re ready to pour it into the cake tin, and that’s the cake for you.
I did, however, spend the 40 minutes this cake took to bake, to settle the icing v/s frosting debate in my head. The original recipe called for a smooth flowing icing sugar and water to top off the cake, but having tasted this cake in my earlier attempt without the icing, pushed me to try something more decadent keeping the Diwali festivities in mind. So I came up with this cream cheese frosting with the slightest hint of vanilla and adjusted the sweetness as I was making the frosting. Well, any excuse for me to taste something, right? About 12 to 15 tablespoons of icing sugar should cut it, though I should warn you that the closer you get to 15, the more you will find the cake being hijacked by sugar rather than the delicate balance of spices. Me? I stopped at 13, and found a perfect camaraderie between the flavours of the cake and frosting.
Recipe adapted from ‘Simple Delicious Baking’