This cake has a story. Well, every cake has a story. Or for that matter everything in life has a story. So my first sentence is probably redundant. Anyway, moving on to the point. A friend of mine (a friend’s cousin to be precise) was visiting Calcutta from the US last month. I have known her for quite some time — through mails, Facebook, Whatsapp and the works — but had never met her in person. So we fixed up a breakfast date. Yes, you read right, breakfast. I decided I’d wake up at 8 am and meet her at a nearby cafe at 9.
Inkeeping with what I generally try to do when I’m meeting anyone for the first time, I decided to bake for her a cake. From a previous conversation I vaguely remembered that she wasn’t too fond of the chocolate variant and loved her nut butters. I had the last few Reese’s peanut butter cups left in a packet and a jar full of chocolate chips. So yes, a Vanilla Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cup Loaf Cake it would be. Okay, now that you’ve read the name of the cake you can sit back and take a deep breath. I’ll resume in the next paragraph!
So this is what happened. At midnight after coming back home from work I decided to get started with the cake. Amassed all my ingredients, did the basic batter mixing and then realised that my baking parchments were nowhere to be found! Baking a cake in a round/square springform pan without a parchment is still conceivable but I was planning a loaf cake, and it had all the possibilities of getting stuck at the bottom without a shield. However, I decided to be brave and go ahead nevertheless. My cake was baking beautifully and it did come out of the oven looking perfect. But lo! Just when I tried to unmould it after letting it cool a reasonable bit I found chunks of chocolate chips and peanut butter cups stuck at the bottom. I tasted a few crumbs from the wall of the pan and it still boasted of impeccable texture and flavour. But I was not happy with the way it looked — uneven base and all. Very few of my cakes turn out visually unappealing, and this was one of them. There was no way by which I could gift it to somebody I was meeting for the first time. So I decided to bake another one. But by this time I looked at the clock and realised it was already 3. I had to get some sleep if I planned to get up at 8. So I set an alarm for 7 am and decided to crash for the night.
I woke up the next morning only to realise that I have run out of peanut buttercups and since my baking parchment was still nowhere in sight I chose to eliminate the idea of the loaf cake and go the spring form route. I ended up making this Coffee Cinnamon Cake because those were the only ingredients I could find readily at hand. My family and relatives wolved down the loaf cake later on and despite its rugged shape, loved it to the core. My Mum said this was one of the best cakes I’ve ever made. So of course I had to make it again to take photographs and document it.
Flour: 1.5 cups
Caster Sugar: 1.25 cups
Eggs, at room temperature: 3
Olive oil/Vegetable oil: 1/2 cup
Baking powder: 1.5 tsp
Baking soda: 1/2 tsp
Salt: 1/4th tsp
Vanilla bean paste/Vanilla essence: 2 tsp
Milk: 1/2 cup
Dark Chocolate chips: 3/4th cup
White Chocolate Chips: 1/2 cup
1. Preheat oven to 180 degree Celsius. Line the base of a rectangular loaf pan with baking parchment and grease the walls. Set aside.
2. In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and soda and salt. Set aside.
3. In a blender or by a hand mixer cream the oil and sugar until light and fluffy and pale in colour. Add the eggs, one at a time, and blend after each addition.
4. Add the vanilla bean paste blend again.
5. Now pour this mixture in a big bowl (if you had been using the blender all this while). Add the flour mixture in 3 batches alternating with milk so that you begin and end with flour.
6. Now add the two kinds of chocolate chips reserving a handful of each to be sprinkled on the top. Mix well.
7. Now pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips on top.
8. Bake for 50-55 minutes, or until a tester inserted at the centre of the cake comes out clean.
9. Let the cake to cool in the pan on the wire rack for 20-30 minutes. Unmould gently.
10. Cut into slices and enjoy with your cup of favourite tea/coffee. To upgrade it and make it fancier you can smother it with some whipped cream and top it with seasonal fruits. But I like the unadulterated pristine-ness of this incredibly soft and moist cake.
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