The month of October dawns with loads of anticipation, excitement and lots of parties lined up. Yup, for me this is one of the favorite months of the year. This unique individual was born in this month, happens to be the birthday month of my dad as well as sisters. In fact, their is a long list of family members celebrating birthdays in October. Thus this is a a month of celebration, and calls for a recipe to post as the cake -of-the-month!
For this mother, baking cakes and organizing birthday parties comes in stride as annual events that are looked upon with great eagerness. This birthday I took special efforts to bake a cake for myself, something that I am very much fond of eating. Since my trip to my motherland India, I had not baked cakes as frequently and hence was eager to taste my handmade cakes, and what better day to make than for one’s own birthday! I have taken the recipe from a cookbook and adapted it a little with regards to the taste. I believe each person is different and tastes differ and there is always room for little changes in any recipe. It is a rich, dense, buttery-tasting cake to which I have added the juice of one orange, that gives it an orang-y flavor that I liked. The top of the cake is layered with my choicest dried fruits instead of the fruit peels as per recipe. The whole process from assembly of the ingredients to the actual steps of baking the cake, fond memories of my late Dad, the self love and feelings of happiness, all resulted in quite an enjoyable process of baking, and not to forget the divine buttery aroma that engulfed my senses and made the wait for tasting it an exceptionally long one.
This birthday was special, the people connected to me, those who are far yet near, who love me made it special in their own unique ways. I feel blessed to have my wishes fulfilled and to be surrounded with people who make it special. My Jr. gave me some precious moments of the day that brought happy tears to the eyes. His effort in shopping gifts for his mamma brought to notice once again his excellent taste. My week long celebrations saw me enjoy different food preparations, something that is of interest to me. Arabic cuisine dinner, homemade South Indian snacks Brunch, Barbecue dinner and finally my wish of eating at my favorite chef Vikas Khanna’s restaurant Junoon at Shangri La Hotel, Dubai. It was a notable eating experience at Junoon. Chef Vikas Khanna with his humble and down to earth quality has won over many hearts, and to experience the most friendliest and excellent service at his hotel be it the dish presentations, the taste, the different flavors creating a riot, the food cooked to perfection, the ambiance all that made the eating experience worth the money spent. Thanks to dear hubby who made this birthday dinner my most special and memorable evening. I loved the open kitchen concept of this restaurant and the friendly staff was well aware of the numerous ingredients that went on to make those special dishes on the menu.
Let us get ready to bake this Madeira cake. It is a simple, tasty and a good choice of cake for serving with tea, dense, and quite similar to a pound cake. The ingredients used are as per my taste with modifications from the original recipe.
Butter: 180 gm (Unsalted, softened)
Grated Orange Rind- 1 Tsp
Orange: 1 (Juice)
Sugar: 150 gm (little less if you prefer less sugar)
Refined Flour: 225 gm
Baking Powder: 1 1/2 Tsp
Mixed dried fruits of choice: 50 gm (Finely chopped)
Sliced Almonds: 25 gm or (as per own wish)
(I used a mix of dried apricots, cranberries, figs, raisins, and a red cherry)
Preheat the oven to 160 deg C (Fan assisted). Grease a square tin and keep ready for use. (Line with parchment paper, as it is easier to remove the cake.)
Sift the refined flour and baking powder together.
Beat the softened butter and sugar together using a hand mixer. Then add the orange rind and juice of the orange. I used orange rind instead of the lemon as per the recipe. Mix until the mixture is light and fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time and continue beating batter for sometime.
Fold in the flour with the batter mixture. Pour into the greased and lined baking tin. Bake for 10 min and remove tin from oven and sprinkle with the dried fruits mix and again return the tin to the oven. Bake for 35-40 min or until done, a needle inserted into the batter should come out clean.
Cool the cake in the tin for sometime then remove and let it cool on a cake stand or wire rack.
Enjoy this delicious buttery delight with hot cups of tea or coffee, or as a dessert after meal.
NOTE: As I baked it the previous night of my birthday, the picture quality is not very great, do bear with me.
I hope you would like baking this sweet delight and enjoy it as much as I did. It was nice to share with you all a few memories of the extended birthday celebrations. I chose this day to post in remembrance of my late dad who was fond of the cakes that I baked for him. All feel the loss of the dear departed ones, but moments like these make us relive the old memories that one shares with them. While baking the cake I had thoughts of my dad with me and was recollecting our old October celebrations, and made a small heart-shaped cake too along with the square one, one mine and one dads. I cut this one when my friends visited for the birthday brunch.
Have a wonderful day dear readers.
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