I love winters. My most favorite season. I love December. My most favorite month.
And a wintery december brings with it a host of festivities. Tis the season of weddings(in India). Tis the time to shop till you drop. Tis the month of Christmas. Tis the month of Santa!
From the time I have been told about good old Santa Claus, I have believed in him. I still do. I believe in this incredible concept of hope and joy.
Children hope that Santa would true their innermost desires. We also do something similar, albeit a tad differently. We hope for some surreal magic in our daily lives that would elevate and give wings to our wants.
It is this exact faith that makes a child dream and aspire. He dreams, hence he achieves. So in effect am I saying Santa has a huge role in shaping your child’s future? Er… Not exactly..but what I am trying to say is – Santa is important. It is more important to believe in him than discuss the validity of his existence.
So go ahead tell your child about good old Santa Claus. Tell them about his gift decisive lists, the elves, the North Pole, his sleigh, about Rudolph.. let those little eyes fill with wonder, those spirits soar, let those hearts fill with hope and everlasting joy. Let.
This post is dedicated to Santa Claus.
The quintessential red and white needs to be emulated. So what better than strawberries and cream. Oh! such a classic combination. And its Christmas! So cake has to be there too. So what do you get when you throw in cake, strawberries and cream – ah, no rocket science this. Strawberry Cake you fellas! 🙂
As I sieved, added and mixed, the incessant chatter of my 6 year old was on. Her innumerable queries on anything remotely to Santa, Christmas, trees and gifts was already putting me in a tizzy. So, to rest the chatterbox a while, I invented a story. This spur-of-the-moment-thought-of story which had Santa as a super hero had my little girl transfixed, her imagination on fire and the tongue firmly in place. 🙂
- 1 cup all purpose flour/maida
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 cup butter or oil
- 1/2 cup sugar (use a little bit less than 1/2 a cup)
- 1/2 cup curds
- 1/4 tsp strawberry essence
- 2 drops vanilla essence
- milk, as required
For the icing:
- 2 cups of sliced strawberries
- 1/2 cup of sugar water – mix 1 tablespoon of sugar in 1/2 cup water
- 1 cup of whipping or any heavy cream – sweetened.
Preheat the oven at 200C for 8-10 minutes. Till then, sieve the flour, baking powder and soda. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar till smooth. I usually add little by little to ensure a smooth uniform paste. Then using a tablespoon, alternate between curds and flour, that is, pour curds, mix. Then flour. Mix. Do till you finish the given quantities of curds and flour. If the batter is too thick, then add a few tablespoons of milk and mix to make a smooth batter. Add both the essences. Give it a final whirl. Pour the batter in a greased tin. Bake at 170C for at least 25 minutes. Check by inserting a toothpick at the center of the cake, if it comes out clean, then the cake is done. If not, then bake for a couple of more minutes till the cake is uniformly baked.
Remove the tin, cool.
Whip the cream till you get soft peaks. Slice the cake horizontally using a sharp long blade knife. On the bottom portion, sprinkle some sugar water. Place a semi thick layer of cream on the base. Top with sliced strawberries. Now keep the sliced portion on the creamed strawberry topped base. Repeat the process. If desired you could apply cream on the sides too. Chill for atleast 30 minutes before serving it.
Serving Suggestion: Serve every slice with more cream and strawberries!
Note: The intermittent additions of the ingredients combined with the mixing of the batter, ensures it a smooth, knot free batter. I have found this to be a never-fail technique when baking eggless. It makes the cake lighter and airier.
Note: If you do not have heavy cream or whipped cream, use a toned lighter cream(like Amul in India), whip the lighter cream in a bowl placed on a bed of ice of another bowl. This helps the light cream to gain some volume and body.
Note: Top with as much strawberries as you can. It is never too much. The sweet and the tart and the cream … ooh! so delicious!
That night she wanted to leave a slice by the tree. I let her.
But then, when she was fast asleep, dreaming and living her fancies, is when I tiptoed to the little tree, relished half the slice, refrigerated the rest. There! done. I just had to be up before her and place the half eaten slice back near the tree. 🙂
Everyone needs a Santa in their life. I’m hers.
Merry Christmas my lovely readers! Merry Christmas.