Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Strawberry Sponge Cake

Steven Spielberg is one of my most favored directors of Hollywood. Among all his movies, Schindler's List is a chef-d'oeuvre, one of his prized creations still evoking the same kind of amazement and anguish even 20 years after its release. During my first time watching the movie, I was not old enough to appreciate the directorial brilliance but still the scene of a small girl in red coat roaming around, indifferent to her surrounding, in the midst of chaos unfolding on the streets and later in a scene her dead body being piled on to a mass grave chalked an impression on my mind. Years later while watching the movie for the second time I was able to put together the fragments of what I understood from last time watching it to how brilliantly Spielberg had crafted the scene to pull the two worlds into one single shot; one caught in a web of mass destruction and another completely apathetic to the horror unfolding around. That during the shooting of the film, Spielberg was emotionally affected betrays in his statement: “America and Russia and England all knew about the Holocaust when it was happening, and yet we did nothing about it."

I have read and seen a lot a movies and novels based on holocaust and each one of them left me gasping in horror at the revelation of the macabre side of human character. Perhaps no other animal except the homosapiens unleashes such unimagined barbarity on its own kind. The last of Schindler's list survivors Leon Leyson died last week aged 83. It's strange of Leon to hardly have ever spoken about his experience of surviving the holocaust until this movie got released. Strange that he thought people would not be interested in his story. 

Over to the recipe, Strawberry Sponge Cake is a two tier cake sandwiched or stuck together with a layer of strawberry jam or any favourite jam or jelly of yours spread in between. Each bite of this cake is pure pleasure, taking you to seventh heaven.

Ingredients:                                                         Cooking time: 50 minutes
ü  2 cups self-rising flour
ü  1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
ü  1/2 cup strawberry jam
ü  4 eggs
ü  1 cup milk
ü  175 gm unsalted butter, melted
ü  A pinch of salt
ü  1 tsp strawberry extract
ü  2 tbsp confectioners' sugar
1) Grease two 9 inches round layer cake pan with butter and flour. Preheat oven to 350 F/180 C.
2) Now in a mixing bowl, beat together butter, sugar and eggs till the mixture is light and fluffy. Add milk and strawberry extract, beating well after each addition.
3) Add a pinch of salt into the flour and gently pour the above egg mixture into the flour, carefully mixing in with the help of a spatula.
4) Divide the mixture into the pans and place them on the same shelf in the center of preheated oven. Bake for 30-35 minutes till the tops are browned evenly and toothpick inserted at the center comes out clean.
5) Remove from the oven and let stand for 1 minute. Loosen the cakes from around the edges using a plastic knife and turn onto a working surface. Sandwich the cakes together with strawberry jam.
6) Spread a bit of jam on top of the cake dredged with confectioners' sugar.

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