Jul 31, 2013

Chocolate Cake Pops and Cake Truffles

Cake Pops or Cake Truffles or Cake balls or Cakesicles  – whatever you call these beauties, I'll tell you they are extremely delicious, totally melts in your mouth and is a super fun way to eat cake! 
Cake pops are nothing but cake balls (made by mixing cake with frosting) and served on lollipop sticks. They can be decorated and made quite as fancy as a regular cake and the ideas are endless.

I have made these before and had shared them with friends and they all loved it and had asked me to share the recipe and technique, but I never got a chance. I made them again for lil'Appu's 2nd Birthday Party, mainly to match with the bubble theme. Everyone, specially the kids loved it and I must say except for a few, all my cake pops got over at the party. I took the remaining ones to my office the next day and all my colleagues raved about it and wanted me to share the recipe.

What you need to get started with making these cake pops/cake truffles are - a good cake recipe and desired frosting of choice.
I decided to go for a Chocolate cake for the cake pops as the birthday cake was a White Cake. I used Ree’s Chocolate Cake recipe and it was fabulous. The cake was moist, flavorful and just perfect!  And I made my favorite eggless Chocolate Buttercream frosting. (Click the links to get the recipes)

With this cake recipe I was able to make around 45-50 cake balls (approx.) I made around 25 cake pops, 15 cake truffles and left the remaining just as plain cake balls coated with a bit of colored sugar on top.  Whichever way it’s made, these things just melt in your mouth and are just heavenly.  (Ahem, pls don't mind the teeth impressions, I just wanted to show how fudgy they look inside :-P )

Here’s a few that I made a while ago using a boxed Chocolate cake mix (my first trial) . I used homemade Chocolate Ganache coating and went quite wild with the toppings :-) I rolled some in crushed roasted hazelnuts, few in dry coconut flakes, some in sprinkles and left few plain. My friends just loved these, me too! :-) Though the cake balls were the same flavor the toppings added a different zing and huge flavor to each cake pop!!

How to make Cake Pops
Cake balls propped on a lollipop stick, can there be a better and fun way to eat cake?

You’ll need

For cake pops
1 Chocolate Cake or Boxed Cake mix (9x13" or 9x2")
2-3 cups of frosting (can use canned frosting of choice too)
Lollipop sticks – as needed
For coating:
Candy melts – 1 or 2 packs (as needed) 
Chocolate Ganache -  2 cups 

1. Once your cake has cooled down to room temp (or refrigerated) , crumble it. Yes, break down your gorgeous cake into itsy bitsy pieces. Some people suggest using a food processor to crumble it, I just used my favorite tools - my hands!!

(You can see my lil’Appu is everywhere, nosing around to see what I’m upto !)

2.  To the crumbled cake bits, add desired frosting a little at a time and mix until it forms a smooth dough. It shouldn't be overly sticky but enough to hold well and not crumble apart when pinched together.

3. Roll them into equal sized balls (using an icecream scoop or spoon) and place them on a large baking tray or plate lined with wax paper.  Refrigerate until really cold covered with plastic wrap. Your cake balls are ready.

4. If using candy melts, melt the candy in a double boiler until its melted and smooth. Take a lollipop stick, dip it a little bit in the melted candy and slowly insert the stick, dipped end first, into the cake ball (this helps the cake ball to stick to the lollipop stick) 
Slowly dip the entire cake pop into the candy coating and tap off the excess coating from the cake pop and let it stand upright by resting it on a Styrofoam block or place it upside down until hardened. Decorate with desired toppings before the coating hardens. 

Note: The candy melts can harden fast , so keep them warm on a double boiler on low heat or microwave every 7-10 mins.

5. Repeat the same step # 4 if using Chocolate Ganache coating as well. Make sure the ganache isn't too thin but smooth and thick and tap off any excess.

What I did:  As I was a bit impatient, instead of dipping the cake pops into the candy melts, I just scooped out the melted candy and rolled it around the cake pops, giving it sort of a swirly pattern. You can do that as well ;-) 


How to Make Cake Truffles
You make melt-in-your-mouth Cake truffles that taste just as great as their Cake Pop counterparts + you can save on the lollipop sticks ;-)

1.  Get the Cake balls ready.
2.  Melt the candy melts or prepare chocolate ganache. Dip and roll the cake balls in it using a slotted spoon or fork, drip off any excess coating and place them on candy wrappers or decorative mini cupcake liners and decorate as desired.


Need another idea? 
Save all the extra work of propping up a lollipop stick or candy coating by just serving these Cake Balls just as it is with some simple decoration options!

1.  Sprinkle the top with colored sugar for a festive look...or roll them whole in the sugar.
2.  Roll them into dry coconut flakes or crushed nuts or colorful sprinkles - like how I've done above (sans the ganache coating and lollipop sticks ofcourse)
3.  Ummm.... and my last option - Serve them plain, dusted with powdered sugar on top :-) 

If you have any more ideas do share, would love to hear.

You can also do Fondant decorations for cake pops, but that's upto you!

 Try it out sometime and let me know. It may sound time consuming but its really easy and just takes almost the same time you would need to decorate a whole cake. Again, if you feel you have questions feel free to Contact Me or reach me on my Facebook page where I'm pretty active. See you all soon...


Jul 25, 2013

Blue ombre White Cake, Gelatin bubbles and Buttercream Shells...

A birthday to me is never complete without a Cake. Maybe because that’s how I grew up celebrating my birthdays and there was always cake.  Last year for my lil’Appu’s b’day I made my first two tier cake with Fondant decorations. As the party was a Rainbow theme I wanted to make the popular seven colored rainbow Cake. But I refused to bake a cake filled with so much artificial color for a baby’s birthday! So finally baked up my most  favorite Chocolate Banana cake with Chocolate buttercream and it was a huge hit!!

But I have always wanted to try a colorful layer cake…so this time with the help and tips from few blogger friends, I decided to go for an Ombre cake – shades from dark tone to lighter tone of the same color. And I convinced myself that it was only a little bit of artificial color in each layer :-) 
Also I decided against doing a Tiered/ Fondant cake this time…Single tier cakes can look just as pretty and elegant and did you know, Buttercream is the new Fondant! :-P

Appu’s Second birthday was a Bubble theme, so I went  for a Blue-White Ombre effect. For the cake flavor I decided to try a White Cake recipe I found at Epicurious. I had initially planned to make Three 10” layers. But I felt for a 10” inch cake, the batter was less to be divided into three, so I double the cake batter recipe and divided them equally into four cake pans - to obtain three shades of blue and one white layer .

The blue colors were obtained by using Wilton’s Royal Blue icing gel mixed with the cake batter in different quantities. The White layer is the actual White cake itself and trust me it definitely does look White…

Now coming to the decoration, this is where I get all excited and a zillion ideas float through my head. A bubble themed party needed a bubble effect on the cake, right!! I had anyway decided to go for buttercream decoration and was still making up my mind on the pattern when I thought it would be nice to make Gelatin bubbles as toppers.

My initial plan was to make few Blue, White and Golden shaded balls in different sizes and keep them all around and on top of the cake (like floating bubbles) , but did I tell you I had cooked the entire dinner for the party myself (with parents to help ofcourse). So after a whole day of cooking, I was terribly exhausted and had almost dropped my plans of making these. But not willing to quit, after everyone went to bed (almost midnight), I decided to try to make a few gelatin balls atleast in one color and made these Blue ones in different sizes - I added a tiny bit of ‘Blue Luster Dust’ to the gelatin-water mix to get the blue balls.

The technique calls for blowing up small balloons (water balloons are best) in different sizes. The balloons are greased and then dipped in slightly bloomed, melted and colored gelatin until it coats the balloon nicely and left overnight to dry. Once hardened, just burst the balloon slowly from the end and you get nice colored gelatin bubbles. Sounds easy? But it was a hell of a task (mayb coz my brain was so dead tired) and I would say I somehow managed to hold my patience together :-)
The original technique called for propping up the gelatin coated balloons on lollipop sticks to dry, but I had cake pops planned for my lollipop sticks ;-), so I just waited for the gelatin to dry up a bit and tied up the balloon end on a string loop and hung them down my kitchen cupboard knobs overnight to harden ;-) !

Here’s a link to theoriginal technique if you ever wanna try. (These almost feel like plastic once hardened and it’s not edible, just so you know)

Next came the buttercream decoration.  I wasn’t sure what to do for a bubble effect and also to impart the ombre effect. I have loved the petal or fish scale like design that you’ll find all over the internet on many cakes. But I wanted it be different. So instead of buying a round tip, I bought a start tip (Wilton Tip# 199) to make the pattern around the cake, and it almost resembled Shells, so I’m calling it Shell pattern!

Getting the Shell Pattern is really so easy. I have explained it here in the easiest way that I can think of. ( I took random pics while frosting late at night, so the pics may not be the best but understandable nevertheless )

How to obtain Shell Pattern with Buttercream using Wilton Tip # 199

The first and foremost step is to make a good pipeable consistency Buttercream Frosting (neither too thick nor too thin)
I've used my Vanilla Buttercream recipe and made 3 batches of it  (1 batch for filling and crumb coating the cake, next 2 batches for final shell decoration)

Next important step after filling the layers with frosting and crumb coating the cake is to Refrigerate for 30mins

Then decorate as follows -

Step 1 : Add Frosting/Icing of desired color to piping bag(s) and attach the star tip securely. 
Step 2 : Take the piping bag with Icing of desired color and apply gentle pressure to release a drop (of required size) of the icing on the side of the cake.

Step 3 : Using a thin metal spatula or butter knife, gently wipe the frosting horizontally creating a depression in the centre and a tail of buttercream to the right. Clean the butterknife on a papertowel after each shell is made.

Step 4 : Again add a drop of the icing on the tail portion but close to the center depression(as shown in pic at Step 2)  and continue by wiping it horizontally until you finish the entire cake.
(Remember to Clean the butterknife/spatula on a papertowel after each shell is made)

 If using different shades of icing, change the Icing colors as desired for your decoration.

If you feel the buttercream frosting is getting thinner due to heat from our hands, refrigerate for 10 mins and continue.

Yes, it’s a bit time taking, but the end result is fabulous and I guess this cake almost has more than a 100 shells around it, don’t you think? ;-)

Here’s me doing the shell pattern :-) Pic taken by daddy and no matter how tired I am, I always have the patience and presence of mind to decorate a cake…It’s my absolute favorite part of any cake making!!

Before I stop rambling let me tell you, this White Cake recipe is a stunner. The flavor is huge and the texture is just perfect and color is very much WHITE. And I’m glad I decided to give it a try. 
The only things that bothered me was it uses only egg whites, 6 of them (what am I supposed to do with the leftover 6 egg yolks? ) and as I had doubled the cake recipe, I was left with 12 egg yolks *SIGH* !! We finally made scrambled egg yolks the next day to finish them off…Lol!

I was very adamant that everyone should get all the four ombre layers, so instead of cutting into wedges I cut the cake into thin slices so that it wasn’t too big to fill one’s tummy, but enough to enjoy a full slice with all 4 layers ;-)

‘White Cake’ 

Recipe source: Epicurious (taken from Cook’s Illutsrated)

You’ll need
Cake Flour- 2 ¼ cups
Milk (at room temperature) - 1 cup
Egg whites (at room temperature) - 6
Almond extract - 2 tsp  
Vanilla extract - 1 tsp
Granulated Sugar - 1 ¾  cups
Baking powder -  4 tsp
Unsalted Butter (softened but still cool) - 1½  sticks
Salt - 1 tsp  

1.  Pre-heat oven to 350F. Grease with butter and dust with flour two 9-inch cake pans.
2.  Make sure milk and eggs are room temperature.
3.  Pour milk, egg whites, and extracts into medium bowl and mix with fork until blended.
4.  Mix cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in bowl of electric mixer at slow speed.
5.  Cut butter into small cubes and add. Continue beating on low for about 1-2 minutes.
6.  Add all but 1/2 cup of milk mixture to flour mixture and beat at medium speed for 1 1/2 minutes. Add remaining 1/2 cup of milk mixture and beat for another 1 minute.
7.  Pour batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans.
8.  Bake until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 23 to 25 minutes.
9.  Allow cake to cool to room temperature and invert to a cooling rack until it reaches room tempertaure.
10.  Frost and decorate as desired

Modifications I made:
1. I used 10-inch cakes pans. I had doubled the cake recipe, and distributed the batter evenly into 4 cake pans.
2. My baking time for each cake layer was reduced to 21-23 minutes.
3. I used 2 tsp vanilla extract + 1 tsp milk (to replace the 2tsp almond extract + 1tsp vanilla extract) - too much vanilla extract will reduce the White color for the cake, so use less or use colorless Vanilla extract.
4. I always add only a pinch of salt in all my cakes – I hate salty cakes, even the slightest hint!

Lil’Appu now thinks any cake in front of him is meant to be cut by singing ‘Happy U uuuuu’ and as you see here, he again cuts his cake slice the next day and ate the whole thing too ;-)

I try to keep my posts short but I have so much to share…Lol!  And I don't know if I've missed out on anything, so if you have any questions feel free to Contact Me or come over to my Facebook page.

Up next on MED will be the gorgeous Cake Pops I made. So come back soon…


Jul 21, 2013

A Bubble themed Birthday Party - Manav turns 2 !!


Our little guy just turned 2 years old. Time literally flew by and before I could get enough of his soft baby cheeks, baby smells and baby giggles, he’s grown up into a naughty yet cheerful and loving toddler who’s smile can melt anyone’s heart, who is ready to give you a high five anytime,  who is willing to atleast give a ‘lick’ to everything mommy cooks, who loves to jump into his dadda’s caring arms when dadda comes home from work and has recently learnt that if he falls flat on the ground and makes crying sounds his grandparents will do anything for him…yes he’s grown up a lot in these 2 years and has a lot of tricks up his sleeve.  

Manav celebrated his 2nd birthday on July 11th We just had a simple cake cutting at a friend’s house. Their son Avyay and my lil’Appu has been friends from almost 6 months of age and they love each other’s company. As it was a working day we kept it simple and ordered a simple chocolate cake from a local bakery and Appu and Avyay had super fun blowing the candle over and over again and eating the cream right off of the cake.  

Avyay’s mom got all creative and made a beautiful sandwich in the shape of a fish with Strawberries for the fish scales (as Appu loves Strawberries) and Cheerios for bubbles, isn’t it terribly cute!!! She also prepared awesome Pav Bajji , and we had a simple yet scrumptious dinner party and the kids played their hearts out.

We  decided to have a small party with very close friends and our new neighbors the coming weekend (July 13th) at our home and having pondered over a lot of fun toddler birthday party ideas I was confused between organizing a Farm themed party or a Bubble part. The bubble theme sounded much more fun and do-able (b’coz I dint want farm animals in my backyard ;-) though Appu absolutely enjoyed being with them at our Farmvisit) and even my friends were all thrilled with the idea as their kids loved blowing and popping bubbles as well. 

A Bubble party is a very easy, simple and totally enjoyable b'day party theme. There are so many ideas available online to make this theme a success, but I just decided to keep things simple and both kids and adults enjoyed a lot!

Obviously I was making the cake, but this time I took it a step further and decided to cook the food also myself, along with a lot of help from my parents, Manish and my dear friends. My mom was completely assigned the task of keeping lil’Appu away from the kitchen and Manish was in-charge of putting up the decorations and all bubble play stuff up and ready and me and my dad and few of my friends were the cooks :-)

For the decoration, ofcourse I wanted lots of balloons everywhere (balloons look like bubbles right?) but I also wanted a certain "bubbles-floating-in-the-air" kinda look and bought water balloons just for the small round bubble like shape. 
We used the same Happy Birthday banner which I made for his b’day last year (made using colored card-stock and alphabet stencils) and decorated below it with blue and yellow water balloons for a floating bubbles effect…we kinda nailed it…what do u think? Manish did this whole stuff, so full credit goes to dadda! :-)

For the Cake table I wanted to go for a Blue-White theme. I made the Birthday Cake with a Blue Ombre effect topped with blue Gelatin balls and also made Cake Pops and Cake Balls in blue and white shades respectively (again a nice idea for a bubble theme). 
I immersed the cake pop sticks into mason jars and glass containers filled with sugar.  Manish got helium filled blue, white and blue-white polka dot balloons to border the table. In all we loved the way the cake table was arranged…what about you? (I’ll be sharing in detail about the cake and cake pops in subsequent posts)

The Cake cutting went really well…Appu was the perfect B’day boy, ever willing to cut the cake , while singing ‘Happy U uuuu’ to himself  (that’s his way of singing the happy birthday song) and graciously opened his mouth to take big bites of the b’day cake when his dadda, grandparents and myself offered it to him! If you notice even our dress colors are shades of blue n white (except for my moms :-) )

A bubble themed party is incomplete without the bubble makers right? – so we bought lots of different shaped wands and bubble solution and a bunch of bubble maker guns (specially good for smaller kids incase they put the soapy wands in their mouths). We did not plan for any bubble themed games, but this was good enough to keep the kids engaged and they loved every bit of it.

Non-stop bubble fun, Bubbles bubbles everywhere...Little kids should be supervised ofcourse, but its double fun for both the kids and adults :-)

Even the adults had lots of bubbly fun :-)

I also wanted to do something really fun which included making a huge bubble the size of the child with the kid standing within the soap solution :-) Got the idea from internet. We made a homemade soap solution, bought the splash pool and hoopla hoop to get it done but in all the excitement and running around at the party we couldn't get it done,  so the next day Appu got to stand inside a bubble his size, all by himself.

He had super fun with the bubble forming around him and he kept popping it out when it came to the level of his head, so photographing this was quite a difficult task….It’s a super fun idea for a bubble party and I bet it would be much easier with older children, as lil’Appu just wouldn't stand still *sigh* :-)

Now coming to the food – no party is complete without yummy food is it?
I wanted to incorporate some bubble theme into atleast the Appetizers, so  we had Pani puri (perfect for a bubble theme) , then there was Bhel puri made of puffed rice, round mini pizza’s and round veg cutlets.  Well atleast something round , something puffy, something that pops in your mouth – all has something bubbly about it right :-)

The main course really had nothing ‘bubble’ about it, but it was all yummy stuff and we made everything from scratch… Yes!! (except the icecream and naan…lol)
Veg dishes : Mushroom Manchurian, Vegetable Biriyani, Mattar-Paneer masala, Veg Hakka noodles, Raita and Naan
Non-Veg dishes :  Chicken satay kebabs with roasted veggies, Chicken hara bhara kebabs with roasted veggies, Chicken Tikka masala.

Dessert: Scoops of  Neapolitan  Icecream and Boondi Laddoo 
I also placed a tray of watermelon and honey dew melon balls – scooped out using a melon baller – This was again a stunner and my friends loved the idea and went very well with the bubble theme! ( I did these in a hurry, so some were perfect balls n some shapeless ones ;-) )

Finally the goodie bags. We found these cute bubble themed goodie bags for the little guests to take home and filled them up with bubble party favors and chocolates and some fun stickers.

And not to forget the gifts…Oh! The gifts….Appu was literally buried between his gifts the next morning and he loved them all :-)

I must mention my heartfelt thanks to my friends and family who helped a lot with the dishes, this party wouldn’t have been a success without your food:
Rupali - for the lovely chaat (pani puri and bhel puri) and mini pizza,
Kalpana - for the veg Biriyani masala and ofcourse of Appu’s favorite Boondi Ladoos,
Nandini - for the awesome Veg cutlets,
Swathi - for her superb Hakka noodles,
Daddy and Mummy for helping me with the rest of the food :-)
Special thanks to hubby dear Manish for bearing with me and helping me make this party a success! Muah! 

Neha, our photographer also gets a special thanks for capturing some lovely pics of Appu (second pic and above pic) and of the cake cutting. All other photographs were taken by me.

We had super fun for this bubble party and I hope you enjoyed it too just as much as we did :-)

If you want to see Manav's First B'day party : A Rainbow theme - click here !


Jul 1, 2013

Vanilla Rhubarb Cake

So it’s the 1st of July. Nothing special about today but 10 days from today my little guy is gonna turn 2 years old…Whaat!!! Really?? :-) Yes, really. And I’m not gonna go blah blah on “Oh my goodness, how did that happen” and “where did the time fly” and all. I know very well how the time went by and I and my family and my lil’Appu has enjoyed every bit of it. Unless you count those sleepless nights and days of sickness and unnecessary fussiness and tantrums…but that’s how it is right ? :-)

I’m still thinking of what to do for his birthday and though I do manage to end things well, I suck at party planning. I’ll be brimming with ideas but can’t put things together until the last moment. So well, lets wait n watch what his birthday will shape out to be!

For today let’s just enjoy something sweet , a cake made with a very seasonal produce called Rhubarb. 
Have I told you yet that I love our Downtown Farmers Market. I know there are are bigger and better Farmer’s Markets out here in Minneapolis, but since I work downtown, that’s my favorite spot as I get to shop-at-work :-P

I had been eyeing Rhubarbs since last year as I’ve seen a hell lot of recipes with the same but never thought of trying it until a friend on facebook shared a recipe she made and asked me to try it out. And I was like…OKAY!! Always ready to try something new and if its Cake…yes please!! So the next farmer's market I trotted off only with Rhubarbs on my mind and I'm glad I found some really fresh, red and long ones.

I bought the Rhubarb home, chopped it and tasted a piece and I was like ‘Yuck’! What the heck is this? Even my dad tasted it and was sure this would turn out to be nothing but horrible. Only my Lil’Appu seemed to not mind its heavily tart almost nauseating raw flavor, when I gave him a tiny piece…kids have weird tastebuds!! But I still went ahead with the recipe. I chopped up the Rhubarb and macerated it in some sugar for sometime (hoping that will draw out the tartness) while I made the batter.

Now let me also share a foolishness I did while making the batter for this cake. Apparently in my friend’s recipe it stated to add all the ingredients (wet and dry) into a blender and blend well. And in my mind a blender meant my mixer grinder (or mixie), which is also called blender here. So though a bit doubtful I went ahead and did that. Initially the batter got stuck but then I added some extra milk to combine it together the batter came along just fine. So this turned out to be my first ever MIXER-GRINDER Cake....phew! :-P 

Later my friend said she had typed it wrong and it should have been to mix with an electric hand mixer, but as we both live in two different time zones she din’t get to read my queries and doubts until next day(for her) and I dint get time to see her reply until after I made the cake :-)

While the cake baked I made a quick Vanilla custard using store bought Custard powder+Milk+Sugar as I din’t have any icecream or whipped cream to serve with the cake. But inspite of my mixer-grinder batter, the cake turned out great. The custard also complemented the cake very well.

The cake was the perfect texture and sweetness and the Rhubarb was completely transformed into a sweety-tart raspberry like flavor. I mean, it was not the same rhubarb that I tasted before baking. It was delicious! My mom and dad went for second helpings of the cake with some custard (which is very rare) And to jazz up the cake a bit I had added sweetened coconut flakes on top which got beautifully toasted and added a whole lot of flavor.

Vanilla Rhubarb Cake

You’ll need
Rhubarb stalks, chopped - 250g (I used 2 cups)
Sugar – 2 tblsp
All-purpose flour - 1½ cups  (175 g)
Butter, at room temp - 1 ¼ cup (150g)
Sugar - ¾ cup (175 g)
Baking powder - 1½ tsp
Dessicated coconut - 3-4 tblsp (50g)  (I used sweetened coconut flakes)
Eggs - 2
Milk – ¼ cup + 3 tbsp
Vanilla sugar - 1 tsp ( I used 1 tsp Vanilla Extract)
Salt – a pinch

1. Preheat oven to 350F and grease a 9” cake pan and set aside.
2. Cut the Rhubarb stalks into small pieces and drizzle it with 2tblsp sugar and let it macerate for about 10-15mins.
2. Using an electric hand blender or kitchen aid mixer- beat the eggs, 4tblsp milk, Vanilla extract and 2 tblsp dessicated coconut (or coconut flakes) until just combined.
3. Add in the flour, sugar, baking powder, a pinch of salt and slowly add in the ¼ cup of milk and mix well until a smooth and semi thick batter is obtained.
4. Remove the juices from the macerated rhubarb. Sprinkle 1-2 tblsp flour over the rhubarb and coat it on all sides and add it to the batter and slowly fold it in making sure its evenly distributed and pour batter into cake pan. Sprinkle remaining 2 tblsp coconut flakes on top.
5. Bake for 35-40 mins until done or a toothpick inserted in the middle come out clean. 
Serve with Crème Fraiche or Ice-cream or Whipped cream or Vanilla Custard on the side.

Few changes I made:
1.The recipe only called for 3-4 tblsp milk, I added an extra ¼ cup milk to help my mixer grinder to rotate without getting stuck, but it made a really good batter and I’m sticking to this.
2. I replaced the vanilla sugar with vanilla extract.
3. I used sweetened coconut flakes instead of desiccated coconut and I added some in the cake batter and also on the top which resulted in a toasted crunchy coconutty topping, but this is optional.

So for those of you who’ve never tried Rhubarb but have always wondered what to do with these pretty red stalks Wow your friends and guests by trying out this cake.  Its foolproof and so damn simple and a perfect tea cake and a crowd pleaser and I've made this cake two times already....... OK, I should stop now! :-) 

Thank you Riya Raju for such a fabulous recipe! :-)