Baking and eating cake could not get any simpler. In Rose Levy Beranbaum's new book - Rose's Heavenly Cakes, she shares a recipe for Whipped Cream Cake, that takes you to heaven without much effort. Rather, with absolutely no effort. This is easy cooking and heavenly living at its best. Buy the book, bake the cakes and share magic with all your loved ones.
The most important tool for baking with Rose is the weighing scale. How sad that I have spent many a years forgetting about it and bringing it out mostly when cooking recipes from my mother. My mother baked a lot. My mother could have easily been the Rose of India. The Rose of heavenly baking with very little fuss or drama. With even fewer ingredients. My mother baked in India in the 70s and 80s, when people hardly knew how to bake. Few had ovens and fewer still had imagination or desire. She baked for an army of young hungry boys and girls (my schoolmates and those of my siblings). Most parents would buy cakes and pastries, my mother would bake them herself. We hardly knew how blessed and lucky we were. Often thinking that store-bought cakes were better and chicer. Living seas and oceans away from India, it is her baking and her magical deftness that I miss most. Never one to waste time, never one to obsess on failures, she baked away and entertained the masses as if it was all dreamy and easy. Now with Rose's Heavenly Cakes at my side, I feel like I have mom at my side too. Weighing scale and all. Only, her weighing scale was very old fashioned. Made with brass. She used weights and had to hold the scale in one had and measure and fill using the other. I was at her side as often as possible wanting to lick clean her bowls and molds. I did that with Rose's cake when she baked it at the farm last week. The sticky crumbs from the pan reminded me of Mom and brought tears of joy to my eyes. Thanks Rose!
Rose prefers Bakery Joy to any other spray. It did perform bettern than the Pam we used last week. Of course she also is a fan of Nordicware bakeware. Charlie bought the Bundt Pan in question from Williams Sonoma in Albany. Rose had sent us another from Nordicware directly and it was the same without the gold wash.
Charlie and I have many sets of measuring cups and spoons. But not what Rose would prefer. She likes the spoon sets that come with spoons for measurng pinches and even smaller quantities. We shall be buying those soon.
To bake like Rose and my mother it is essential to have a weighing scale. I love my old Cuisinart. It has been a wonderful friend for years. I have weighed all sorts of savory and sweet ingredients on it. I also have a Rosle weighing scale in stainless. Rose, is there one you prefer? Would you tell us? Please.
I had sifted, weighed and sifted the flour again. My mother would sift the flour several times. She felt that sifting a few times made the cake lighter and dreamier. Rose agrees I believe. Rose has the flour sitting on a sheet of parchment. My mother would use brown paper that we also used to cover our school books.
Nielsen-Massey Tahitian Vanilla is what I used for the cake. My mother never had access to such great Vanilla essence. She used what was available in India and she made us very happy. I am a BIG fan of Nielsen Massey and swear by the Vanilla products. They are amazing!
Of course you need to have Rose's Heavenly Cakes to get the recipe. It is worth just this recipe alone. But luckily for all of us, there are several other winning cakes shared here.
I let the cake rest for 10 minutes and then I upturned it onto a platter. You can see the steam escaping the cake. The entire kitchen was smelling sweet and wonderful. I smelled the same magical smells I always associated with my mothers baking. Something about this cake - everything about it really - transports me back to India, to my grandmothers home where my mom baked us the best cakes ever.
This cake is made with cake flour, superfine sugar, baking powder, salt, vanilla essence, heavy cream and eggs. No Butter or Oil. Can you believe it? I used Battenkill Valley Creamery heavy cream. I am sure the cake is richer for it and tastier too. Will have to give Rose that feedback.
As I celebrate Rose and her wonderful cake baking and her fool-proof recipes, I also salute my own mother who baked amazingly and in surroundings much more humble and modest. If she could bake such magical cakes, there is no excuse for any of us to be using cake mixes and boxes. Following Rose's simple recipes, we can each become gifted bakers sharing heavenly magic with each bite.