The easiest cake, I have ever made. Whenever I need to bake a cake in a jiffy, this is my option. Its damn good without any fillings or topping.
It was our anniversary and I did not have much time to invest, but wanted a cake made out of my kitchen. That's when I chose the base to be my easiest cake and tried out some fillings with some chocolate on the sides for my choco-holic hubby :)
Ingredients for the cake:
Seedless Dates -- 18 nos
Milk -- ¾ cup
Oil -- ½ cup, I ve tried with both olive oil and canola oil
Egg -- 1, optional
All purpose flour -- 1 cup
Sugar -- ¾ cup
Baking soda -- 1 tsp
Cashews / Sliced Almonds or any nuts -- a handful
Heavy cream -- 1 cup
Powdered Sugar -- ¼ cup
Sliced almonds -- ¼ cup
Vanilla Essence -- 1 tsp
Heavy cream -- 1 cup / 8 oz
Semi sweet chocolate -- 12 oz
Preparation of the cake:
Soak the dates in milk overnight. Or you can soak the dates in boiling milk for half an hour or until the milk is cool enough.
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Butter and flour a 8 inch square pan. I have tried it in my round and heart pans as well.
In a mixer, grind the dates in milk, adding egg and sugar until you get a smooth mixture.
Sieve the flour and baking soda and keep aside.
In a mixing bowl, mix the ground ingredients and oil until oil blends well into the mixture. I used a whisk and it was an easy job.
Mix in the flour in multiple batches until they are well combined with no lumps.
Add in the chopped nuts and mix it.
Pour it into the prepared pan and bake for 40 - 45 min, depending upon your oven, until a skewer comes out clean when pricked into the cake.
Let it cool to room temperature, before you assemble or freeze.
Chill the mixing bowl and the whisk in the freezer for about 20 - 25 min. Add the cream and sugar and beat until soft peaks using your mixer. Add in the vanilla essence and mix it in using the whisk with you hand. 2 - 3 rounds should be enough for stiff peaks. Make sure you do not over beat your cream, it turns into butter.
Pour the cream and chopped chocolate into a heat proof bowl. Boil water in a wide pan. Simmer it and place the bowl over the water, until the cream just starts to boil. Take care that water does not come into your bowl.
Easy method is to microwave the cream and chocolate for few seconds (I do it for 40 seconds), until the cream just starts to boil.
Remove from heat and using a thick spoon, mix it well until well combined. Leave it at room temperature and it should harden to a required consistency for piping. If at all, it doesn't, leave it in the refrigerator and take care that you mix it every 10 mins until you get the required consistency.
Even during piping, if your hands are hot, the chocolate melts and it might distract your designs. Leave it in the refrigerator for few mins and continue.
Cut the cake horizontally into two (or more according to your wish). Lightly brush the inner section of both the halves with sugar syrup ( 2 -3 tbsp of sugar mixed in 1/4 cup of warm water).
Prepare you cake board and keep the first half on it. Spread 1/3 rd. of the whipped cream. Sprinkle some sliced almonds if you would like to. Sandwich it with the other half.
Spread the remaining cream on the top and also do a crumb coat on the sides.
Pipe your designs on the sides or decorate as per your ideas. I did a basket weave with the ganache.
I like to serve it a day later so that the cream gets into the cake and makes it more soft and moist.
Base cake recipe courtesy: Aayi’s Recipes