Traveling has always been of the utmost importance to me. I have known I had the bug since I was quite little. It fascinated me to travel to far away places, to see different sorts of people and even to live in all sorts of different houses. I never had much of a problem leaving one city behind for another. Maybe, because I fit in so well in my new surroundings.
This lust for travel is what made me leave India to go and settle elsewhere. Despite anger from family and friends. Despite their warnings of, “you will be all alone”. Despite the fact that at age 28, I had never lived away from my mom and dad. In India it was normal to be with your parents till you settled on your own. But I didn’t want that. I was different.
So away I went. Lived in America for several years and then away I went again. To Holland.
After several years of being here, I feel that itch again.
That’s why 2016 was a brilliant year for me. I got to go to Bombay, to a new city, with a new landscape and the possibility of meeting all sorts of new people. And, I was sad that I was away from my baby girl but I did it for me. In doing so I hope to teach her too to be fearless and to travel the earth.
I expected an adventure, but my trip far exceeded my wildest dreams. I met the most amazing people. Right from the person I stayed with, whom I had never met before to my dearest friend who invited me to be a part of his project, I was welcomed with open arms.
Therefore travel dear people. It will open your mind and heart. It will make you see things differently and make you realise how we all are the same.
This cake is the bomb. It has pumpkin chocolate layers. Brown butter. And a ginger buttercream frosting. It is luscious. And so warming on cold winter days. I need that on these wonderful cold days. A little bit of spice to warm my heart. I doubt if I need to say any more except: Make. Eat. 🙂
- For the Pumpkin Cake
- 1¾ cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ¾ tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ginger powder
- 140 grams butter
- ¾ cups plain sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1¼ tsps vanilla extract
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- ¼ cup buttermilk
- ½ cup caramel sauce
- For the Chocolate Cake
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ cup light brown
- ¾ cup all purpose flour
- 5 tbsps cocoa powder
- ¾ tsp baking powder
- ¾ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ cooking oil
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup buttermilk
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ½ hot water
- For the Swiss Ginger Buttercream
- 1 cup egg whites, room temperature
- 1½ cups sugar
- 2 cups butter, room temperature
- 1 tbsp ginger powder
- To prepare the pumpkin cake, preheat oven to 350°F/175°C.
- Place the butter in a light coloured saucepan over medium heat until melted. Continue cooking, swirling the pan constantly or stirring with a heatproof rubber spatula, until the butter is dark golden brown and has a nutty flavour.
- Transfer to small bowl, cover and place in the freezer for about 30 minutes or until softly solidified. If it gets too solid, zap in microwave for a few seconds.
- Butter and flour your pan and keep aside.
- In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda and powder, salt, cinnamon and ginger powder and set aside.
- In another bowl mix together the pumpkin puree, buttermilk and vanilla. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the brown butter on medium high speed till creamy, about 2-4 minutes.
- Gradually add both sugars and mix till the color is lightened and the texture is creamy. About 5-8 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
- On low speed add one third of the flour mixture, followed by half of the pumpkin mixture. Then add the next one third flour mixture followed by the last half of the pumpkin mixture. Finally ending with the flour mixture.
- Mix until just combined. Do not over mix.
- Bake until the cake's centre springs back when touched lightly and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the centre. About 40-45 minutes.
- Let the cake cool in the pan for 20 minutes and then turn out onto a wire rack. Once completely cooled down, cut in half and put both layers aside.
- For the chocolate cake, preheat oven to 350°F/175°C.
- Butter and flour your pan and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together both sugars, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt, on low speed.
- In another bowl, whisk together the oil, eggs, buttermilk and vanilla.
- Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry and on low speed mix well, scraping down the bowl if needed. Slowly add the hot water to the batter. Blend well on medium speed. Theatre will be thin but don't worry.
- Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for 35-45 minutes of until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan and then out onto a wire rack. Once completely cool, slice into 2 layers and set aside.
- For the buttercream, whip sugar and egg whites together in a double boiler until the temperature reaches 120°F, and the sugar is dissolved. Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer, whip to soft peaks and add butter, a little at a time, until incorporated and fluffy. This can take 6-8 minutes. Add the ginger powder and continue whipping for another minute.
- To put the cake together, place one layer (of either pumpkin or chocolate) and add the buttercream evenly. Add the next layer and repeat. Spread the rest of the buttercream on the cake to cover lightly. We want it to be a naked cake. Lastly drizzle some caramel on top.