“Travel changes you. As you move through this life and this world you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life—and travel—leaves marks on you.”
― Anthony Bourdain
From the time I remember, my mother always baked a cake for me for my birthday. It was a no fuss cake with a hole in the middle (not the fancy bundt cake of today), no frosting; just a cake. Those days she had a round oven and a round cake pan. You had to place a glass in the middle (which came with the pan) and hold it while the batter is poured in. The glass was placed as the oven would not heat properly and the center would be undercooked. Gradually, I started helping my mother and we would bake a plum cake for Christmas. After my 10th grade, I attended a baking class where I learned a few more.
When I moved to Sweden I was fascinated by the pastries there. We used to frequent Ofvandahls Hovkonditori and enjoy the princess cake, fruktkaka, kanelbullar and semlor during Easter. I bought a Swedish recipe book – Sju Sorters Kakor (7 types of cookies/cakes) where I learned to make a lot of pastries. My kid’s birthday cakes for the first few years were from this book. Almost 20 years later, a friend gifted me the English version of the book and I now own both. I still read the Swedish version, maybe nostalgia. One of the first cakes I baked was the Tigerkaka or Tiger Cake also called the Marble Cake. This is a perfect coffee cake, lightly sweet and buttery. This recipe is adapted from Sju Sorters Kaka. This is where my baking repertoire started.
200 g butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour (maida)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup coconut milk or milk (I used coconut milk)
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
a pinch of salt
Heat oven to 175º C (350º F). Grease a loaf pan (9X5 inch)
Beat sugar and eggs until light and fluffy. Add eggs and beat.
Sift flour, salt, and baking powder. Combine the flour mixture with the egg- butter mixture. Add milk and mix well.
Set aside 1/3rd of the batter and add cocoa powder and mix. To the rest add vanilla.
(Since I like chocolate, I added cocoa to the 2/3rd mixture)
Pour half the vanilla mixture into the pan. Add the chocolate mixture on top and then top with the vanilla mixture. Using a fork swirl around the mixture for a marbled effect.
Bake for around an hour or a skewer comes clean.
Cool and the slice.