What a month July has been. I had all these recipes planned to make and then July arrived with all its drama and hectic scheduling and well everything went in every direction other than what I had planned for it to go.
July is when we do our annual Porridge prayers, so that means, the days leading up to the prayers is for practicing and practicing and more practicing of the sweetmeats we are going to make to pray with. When you make prayer food, there is zero taste testing. Apparently you aren’t even allowed to smell, but I sneak a sniff, to make sure the vaddee smells like it should.
My mother says that if we are going to pray the correct way, then we shouldn’t even be speaking over the pots so that the food is absolutely clean before offering it to God. Unfortunately my dad can’t keep quiet even if his life depended on it.
Every year the tasks get divided, I am in charge of sweetmeats and my dad the cooking, we tried doing the food together one year and he landed up complaining I am too bossy, so now I get up just after midnight to make sure that I am out of the kitchen when he gets up at 3am to start cooking. Every year he asks me should he add more salt and add more this and more that and then when I mention yes or no he brings up my need to use a recipe book, so this year, I went to bed at 02:59 and woke up again when he was finished the cooking, of course he did forget to add the tomatoes and butterbeans to the puli curry, oh well, what can I say, I wasn’t around.
If you think we only did one prayer in the past month, then you are mistaken.
We did two.
The week before we did our Porridge prayers, we did my Uncle’s year service, another all nighter. Two weekends of all nighters. I am getting too old man. I used to take off from work to relax, now I take time off to do more work at home. Eish.
Minimum food was actually cooked in July, thanks to all the prayers, there was ample left overs to last for weeks. However my parents still wanted a Sunday tea time treat, even though my heels felt like they were on fire, my back was killing me, my fingers smelt like onions and ginger and my tshirt was splattered with every possible curry stain on the planet oh and did I mention that I was sleep deprived.
With all the prayer groceries taking up all my pantry space, I had to dig deep in the recipe books to see what recipe could be made, using the ingredients that I had on hand and seeing as there was a lot of fruit left over and a nearly expired tin of caramel in the fridge and a tub of cream cheese that my mother found in the freezer and kept complaining that this small tub was making her freezer look untidy.
I finally settled on a recipe that used up every single one of those ingredients.
The original recipe contained eggs, but I substituted it with my vegan eggs.
This cake was delicious, not to sweet and perfect with a cup of coffee. There is just so many gulab jambos one can eat before you get tired of looking and syrup drenched sweetmeats.
The verdict, my parents loved it, smoothing that hit the sweet spot without being too sweet and it contained crunchy nuts so at least my mother was happy, she always wants nuts to be added to any and every cake that we make.
Ingredients for the batter:
- 4 x vegan eggs
- 300g x brown sugar.
- 1 x cup x sunflower oil.
- 280g x cake flour.
- 1 x tsp salt.
- 2 x tsp baking powder.
- 1 x tsp bicarbonate of soda.
- 1 x tsp cinnamon powder.
- 1 x cup grated apple, juiced squeezed out.
- 1 ½ x cups mashed bananas.
- 40g x walnuts, roughly chopped.
Ingredients for the topping:
- 100g x icing sugar.
- 100g x butter, room temperature.
- 80g x nestle caramel treat.
- 230g x cream cheese, room temperature.
- Chopped walnuts to garnish.
- In a bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy.
- And the oil and whisk till well combined.
- Sift the cake flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon into the bowl.
- Whisk to incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet.
- Fold in the fruit and nuts.
- Pour into a greased cake tin.
- Pop into a preheated oven and bake at 180 degrees for 45 – 60 minutes or until the cake tester comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes in the tin, before turning out onto a cooling rack and cool completely before icing.
To make the icing:
- Beat the butter and cream cheese, till nice and smooth and lump free.
- Add the icing sugar and beat till well combined.
- Whisk in the caramel.
- Dollop generously onto the cake and finally garnish with the chopped nuts before serving.