Nightmares and Cakes

21 Jul

So here’s what I learned this weekend – if you watch The Dark Knight and follow it up by gorging on a six ingredient cake of which four ingredients are eggs, cream, sugar and rum, you will then dream of Amisha Patel singing songs from Mamma Mia on a Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham set (complete with diffused lighting) before Batman saves her from the machinations of two random dudes who’re in cahoots with Dr. Evil just as she launches into a Lara Croft impersonation and swings from a chandelier to save the cast of Battlestar Galactica – and then you’ll wake up in a pool of drool with a tummy ache.


My Auntie S’s cake is meant to be eaten with extreme caution. It’s officially called The Burnt Sugar Cake and informally as “Auntie S’s cake” but I prefer what my mother calls it – the cream and sugar cake. Because that’s basically all there is in it, with a little flour to hold it all together. The directions below are written in a language called “Baking for Dummies” because that’s pretty much my level of baking. Believe me, if I could make this thing, so can you! It’s the world’s easiest cake and I’ve never ever come across a single person who didn’t love it (duh! it’s pure fat, of course everybody loves it). In fact, a little less love and I wouldn’t be sitting here right now feeling like crap. Oh well, it’s like drinking – at least I enjoyed it while it lasted.


Eggs – 4

Cream – 2 cups

Sugar – 2 cups (powdered) + 3/4 cup (granulated)

Flour – 2 cups

Baking powder – 1 level tsp

Boiling water – 1/2 cup

Dark Rum – 1/3 cup (optional but I prefer it and it burns off while baking so you don’t have to worry about kids)

Vanilla extract – 1 tsp (optional)

Walnuts / Almonds / Raisins / Cashews – a handful, roughly chopped (optional)


Beat powdered sugar and eggs in a food processor. You can use a Kitchen Aid or electric whisk but you don’t want this to be too aerated so if you have a food processor go for it. When eggs and sugar have combined (about two – three minutes), add cream (thirty seconds). Pour into mixing bowl. Sift flour and baking powder together; add a few spoons at a time to the egg and cream mixture, stirring to combine.

In a separate pan, pour the granulated sugar on high heat and let it melt. When the sugar caramelizes and turns liquid, stir a little until all the sugar is melted and the color turns dark brown. When it starts to bubble and froth, add half a cup of boiling water and turn off the heat once the mixture stops hissing. Stand back and be careful when adding the water.

Cool the caramelized sugar – and no, lukewarm is not fine – and pour into the cake batter. Add vanilla, rum and lastly any nuts or raisins as per your taste. (I like walnuts with this. It’s almost unbearably rich but yummy!) Stir gently.

Pour into buttered, floured pan (if you don’t know what that is – take a little butter in a warm, dry cake pan, swirl it around so every inside surface is coated, drain excess butter if any, and dust it lightly with flour, shaking the pan free of any excess amounts). Bake at 180 C or 350 F for 45 minutes, check every five minutes after half an hour. When top is a rich dark brown and knife inserted in center comes out clean, cake is ready.

This is not a cake that needs or wants icing but if you want to prettify it further, hold a sieve over it and sprinkle powdered sugar. You can eat it warm or do what I do – slice and chill overnight and eat it cold. Bliss.

What I particularly love about this recipe, apart from it’s sheer lack of complications, is that it’s so forgiving. As long as you have an oven, a cake pan and the ingredients at hand, you can eyeball things or use everyday kitchen utensils to measure and mix. In fact, the original recipe says things like “use a katori of sugar” and “four large tablespoons of rum” and “beat it all in a mixi”.

Heh. Mixi. Enjoy but don’t eat it all at once even if you really want to.


Posted by on July 21, 2008 in Life


Tags: , , , , , ,

16 responses to “Nightmares and Cakes

  1. Ramsu

    July 22, 2008 at 1:26 am

    Lady, don’t blame the cake. If you’re gonna get dreams like that, my guess is you’ll get them no matter what you eat.

    Clearly, Ameeeeesha has left a deep imprint on your psyche. She features in your dreams even when the cake recipe doesn’t involve melons 😀


    ps: Is there a Baking for Congenital Morons Who Ought To Stay Out of the Kitchen version?

  2. jonathan

    July 22, 2008 at 1:36 am

    i haven’t tasted it.. 😉 maybe it’s a good one.. actually, i eat food a lot.. even though they say that it would be unhealthy if you eat too much but if we will mix this with exercise it will just be ok..

  3. harini calamur

    July 22, 2008 at 6:29 am

    the cake sounds truly yummy…
    but i got nightmares without it.. i\
    while it wasn’t as bad as seeing amisha dance … it definitely featured the JOker…

  4. OrangeJammies

    July 22, 2008 at 7:28 am

    The secret to pain alleviation is called SHARING. :p
    Not the recipe, the output.

  5. Amey

    July 22, 2008 at 8:49 am

    Hey, if Amisha Patel starts singing Mamma Mia on Sets of K3G, it is the audience who needs saving. Or is this how Joker got his scars? “Why so serious? Don’t you like my singing?” 😀

  6. rads

    July 22, 2008 at 9:16 am

    Yeah! I am with OJ. Share girl. Share!

  7. M

    July 22, 2008 at 11:07 am

    Thank you for the recipe – am a sucker for cakes involving rum and even more thanks for the original instrucions…being of mami age, I own a “mixie” (not a food processor, thank you!) and was wondering if my poor Sumeet could substitute…


  8. Amrita

    July 22, 2008 at 1:50 pm

    Ramsu – I sear, I never get dreams at all. But this cake and TPTM have scarred me for life!!!
    I promise you if you follow the directions of this cake, no matter how challenged you are in the kitchen, this will come out perfectly. All you need to do is to lay out the ingredients in front of you before you start so you don’t go running for them, and turn the oven on to preheat when you start mixing the ingredients. However, i do have a recipe for the world’s easiest chocolate cake that involves you putting 4 or 5 ingredients into a big bowl and mixing it up before you bake it. i’ll send it to you if you want 🙂

    Jonathan – i too eat food a lot

    Harini – from Batman or from reading my post? 😀 coz yes, the movie was tres violent and scary (but oh so good)

    OJ and Rads – come on over anytime! 😀

    Amey – don’t forget the swinging from chandeliers with a whip 😀 where do i get these ideas?

    M – hey, i made this for the first time in a mixie! mixies are all good by me. do tell me how it turned out for you!

  9. desigirl

    July 23, 2008 at 4:16 am

    What’ll make it even better for me is have someone else make it! 😉

  10. harini calamur

    July 23, 2008 at 6:04 am

    so good is an understatement.
    have seen it twice – the first to see the film, the second to drool 🙂

  11. Amey

    July 23, 2008 at 8:49 am

    Just when I was trying to forget it… While we are on Lara Croft, I remember seeing a photoshoot of Amrita Arora dressed like her. She looks good.

  12. Amrita

    July 23, 2008 at 1:32 pm

    Dg – awww, make hubby do it. This is the time to milk it baby!

    Harini – hahaha, I plan to go a second time too. You review was fab btw

    Amey – what lies! 😀 You must be talking below the head a la Ranbir.

  13. Amey

    July 24, 2008 at 12:09 pm

    Lying and me? Never… And what is this “talking below the head?” Why does Ranbir does that? (I refuse to watch his movie, so you will have to elaborate)

  14. terri

    July 24, 2008 at 12:31 pm

    This would make a perfect hosewarming/hostess gift (hint, hint).
    I would’ve made it if I had an oven or knew someone with an oven here.

  15. M

    May 2, 2009 at 9:58 am

    Just wanted to let you know, I made this last night, finding myself in a baking mood, and having most of the ingredients on hand, and THANK you! It is every bit as good as you said it is, and very forgiving….I had only bread flour (unbleached, whole wheat), and no powdered sugar, so used normal table sugar, and it came out fine! yes, very rich, and flavorful! I added raisins (rum requires raisins, no?) and had a thick slice for breakfast….I shall dedicate my heart attack (am sure it is imminent) to you 🙂


    • Amrita

      May 4, 2009 at 2:04 pm

      YAHOO!! finally somebody tried one of my recipes! Re: raisins, you and my mother! I’ll never understand! I hope you had it cold because that’s when it tastes absolutely fab. And I’ll send you a card when you land in the hospital 😀

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