Baking a whole load of memories

Happy birthday!

There’s just about a month left to pack up and move to a new city, a new life and everything new. It is exciting but at the same time, I find myself pushing out thoughts about having to actually pack-up and go. My friends tell me we should have this one blast of a sleepover just cracking jokes and eating good food all night long, the colleagues were talking about planning a farewell. The good times are guaranteed with all this but there is a little part of me that doesn’t want to go. I know this is the last time I’ll ‘enjoy’ a blistering hot summer in Chennai, I won’t be able to drive down to the beach and eat molaga bajji with my friends (heck, I’ll be in a landlocked city for three months!), no more fighting with the auto guys, no more getting into the car and driving off without asking for directions. Sigh! Every time I’m doing something, there’s a little voice in my head that goes. “Enjoy it, this is going to be the last time you’re doing this here.” I’ve got a diary-full of ‘one last times’ do tick off before I go…
Okay, I promised myself that I wouldn’t get sentimental so I’m going to stop right now.
Last month when the aunt said she was organizing a dinner for her mom-in-law’s birthday, I was asked to bring dessert. No surprises there. When we did a rough count of the number of guests it was at a dozen. Two days later it was 15. On the morning of the D-day it was 18 and when I was assembling the cake, I did a rough head-count and realized there were 211/2 of us (the ½ is for a three-year-old)!
Now it was a birthday and there were so many of us, the rest of the food was all continental and I’d to make something that fit in with the theme, didn’t make everyone feel bloated but at the same time it should be something that people looked forward to despite having yummy things like lasagna and oh, it also had to be eggless. Tall order? Not quite. At the risk of sounding like I’m boasting, I’m actually quite used to this. My first thought was that I should do a trifle – it is summer and a light, refreshing dessert will do us good I thought. But my sister had a point when she said; even if the birthday girl is 75 she still needs to cut a cake! So a cake it was.
I know you can never go wrong with chocolate cake. Never ever. But I didn’t want to bake just another chocolate cake (that’s the stubborn Capricorn in me), so after some amount of pondering I settled on a chocolate and banana marble cake with some lovely Lindt frosting. And I wanted to add that special touch but I wasn’t confident about piping designs with royal icing or even working with fondant, I’d seen this cake and that gave me the idea to use shortbread cookies to do up the cake.
This is one cake that took time, which is also why this post is so long, but it’s so totally worth the effort. Oh! And… Banana and chocolate is a combination made in heaven. I can vouch for that!
Chocolate and banana marble (eggless) cake with Lindt chocolate frosting and decorated with shortbread cookies
For the cake
The chocolate batter
1 ½ cups of all-purpose flour
1 tsp of baking soda
½ tsp of baking powder
¾ cup of vegetable oil
1 cup of demerara sugar
¼ cup of curd
1 tsp of golden syrup
1 tsp of vanilla essence
50 gms of dark cooking chocolate, melted
Proceed like it is done with this cake.
The banana batter
1 ½ cups of all-purpose flour
1 tsp of baking soda
1 tsp of baking powder
½ cup of vegetable oil
¾ cup of demerara sugar
¼ cup of milk
1 tsp of golden syrup
1 tsp of vanilla essence
2 overripe bananas, peeled and mashed
Proceed like it is done with this cake
Black or white?
When you have both the batters ready, pour half of each into a greased and lined cake mould. 
Then use a fork to ‘draw’ a figure of 8 in the batter. This will cause the batters to mix and form the marbled pattern.
Bake the cake in a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees Celsius for about 30-35 minutes until done.
Lookie here!: Check out that pattern
Remove both the cakes from the oven and allow them to completely cool down before proceeding. 
It is best to let the cakes cool overnight.
Have you lost your marbles?
For the recipe of the Lindt chocolate frosting, you can look here.
For the cookies
I’ve used the same recipe as I did when I made these cookies. But this time around instead of using a cookie cutter, I put the batter into an icing syringe and used that to pipe designs on to a greased baking sheet. 
What a ‘shot’!
The cookies were baked and done in less than 15 minutes at 160 degrees Celsius.
Fancy cookies, anyone?
To proceed with the cake
Apply the Lindt frosting on the bigger of the two cakes and place the smaller one on top. Coat this one also with the frosting and use a palette knife to smoothen the frosting.
Place the cake in the fridge for about 30 minutes to allow the frosting to set.
Decorate with the cookies just before serving. 
Chocolate and banana, a combo you can’t get enough of!
  • *I’ve reduced the amount of sugar and oil in the banana batter, this is a conscious move because: one, banana is sweet and if you overdo the sugar it will kill the banana taste and two, the fruit has a slightly high fat content and is also known to replace oil or butter in several low fat recipes, hence the lesser oil. You can also use butter instead of the oil but make sure it is softened and at room temperature.
  • Don’t place the cake in the fridge after you’ve decorated it with cookies. This will cause the cookies to turn soggy.
  • While mixing the cake batters to form the marble effect, don’t overdo the mixing it will cause the batters to merge and you won’t get the desired effect. 

I’m sending this off to I Love Baking #4 at Tickling Palates by Radhika, Guest Quest at Amina’s Creations, Cooking with only chocolate at Foodelicious and also to the two dessert events – Lets Party Desserts at Rasoi in the Kitchen an event started by Surabhi and Show case Desserts at Divya’s Culinary Journey. Since it’s also got fruits, I’m sending this to Bon Vivant #4 at Sumee’s Culinary Bites. Phew! That’s a whole load of events!


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