Sunday, July 18, 2010

A Man Of Few Words

Pineapple Sponge Cake

My late father in law Ernest Martin Isaac would have been 100 years last week and so we had an impromptu party for him at Bangalore. By the time I came into the family he was past his prime but I do know that he was a multi talented individual, something I have seen reflected in all his children. He taught them to excel in everything and I have experienced this in the way Nehru made school projects for Serita & Ranita,in his work and in the maintainence of my household gadgets. The amount of thought and precision and care that went into everthing can only be traced to the genius of his father. Uncle as I called him loved his pipe and loved his food, so every weekend I would cook something special for him. He celebrated his 75th birthday, soon after we were married and so I baked a luscious cake for him which he thoroughly enjoyed. What began as a hobby, is now a passion and I have baked many a cake over the years, but none appreciated as much as that pineapple sponge. It is 17 years since he passed on and the last picture we have of him is gazing fondly at Ranita as a two day old in hospital. Uncle, your family is one to be proud of!
The Recipe
175 gms butter; 175 gms caster sugar; 3 eggs, beaten; 175 gms flour; 1 tsp baking powder; 1 tsp. vanilla essence;
Grease and base-line two 9 inch sandwich tins. Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Cream butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time. If the mixture begins to curdle add 1 tbsp of flour with the second egg. Using a metal spoon, fold in the flour gently. Divide the mixture between the the two tins and bake for 25 to 30 minutes in centre of oven till the cakes spring back when lightly pressed. Turn onto a wire rack to cool, removing the lining paper.

For The Filling & Topping
½ litre whipping cream; caster sugar to taste; 1 tin of pineapple cubes, drain and chop fruit, reserve syrup.

Assembling the cake:
20 cm decorative round cake board;

Beat the cream and sugar until stiff. Place the first cake on the board and drizzle 2 tbsp pineapple syrup over it. Spread 1/3 of the whipped cream evenly over the cake. Arrange half the chopped pineapple over the whipped cream. Place second cake over the first and repeat process. Use the remaining 1/3 whipped cream to cover the sides. Refrigerate overnight and cut into wedges before serving.

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