This year it was dad's 60th birthday and what could be better than a quick vacation to Shimla. His favourite hills and mine too.
Shimla the Queen of Hills, located in Himachal Pradesh was also the Summer Capital of the British Raj in 1864. A big small town located in the North-West Himalayas, the city is named after the goddess Shyamala Devi, an incarnation of the Hindu Goddess Kali.
The beauty of Shimla is it's overbearing Colonial Flavour. The British have left a deep impact on these lovely hills covered with Pines and Oaks. Inspite of it being so densely populated, Shimla has not lost its old world charm, even today. The long walks.......the Colonial Architecture like the Viceregal Lodge, Auckland House, Gorton Castle, the Grills on the walkways and Mall....and the Gaiety Theatre......one of the five 'Gothic Architecture' Theatres in the world and the only one in South Asia!
And of course the World Heritage Rail Track. The oldest train track in the scenic hills in India with 105 tunnels.
I never have enough of these hills and my vacation calendar is never complete without a trip to Shimla each year. Though, to make the most of these beautiful hills, avoid going in peak seasons like the Summer time between May-July.
The things I love doing the most and do year after year are the long walks on the mall and beyond..... the sweet corn soup from Krishna Bakers.........gazing at the valley at night from a particular point outside Hotel Clarkes. This hotel is the first Oberoi property and till date maintains its old world charm.
Himachal is also home to the Apple Crop of the country besides Kashmir. The apples from Himachal come from Kotgarh, It is at a distance of 82 kilometers from Shimla on the old Hindustan-Tibet road and 6,500 feet above the sea level. The most of the various varieties are Royal, Golden and Richard Red.
On our way back from Shimla around Solan we saw these apple wholesale shops and the foodie in me obviously couldn't resist it.......I could already see the Apple Pies and Apple Cakes in my Oven !!
So here it is the recipe for the Danish Apple Cinnamon Cake....with love from Shimla:
Danish Apple Cinnamon Cake
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
A pinch of Soda-bi-carb
1/2 tsp Cinnamon Powder
75g Powdered Sugar
75 ml Oil
1 tsp Vanilla Essence
1 Apple - cored and chopped (1 1/2 cup)
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
For the topping mix together:
1 tbsp Brown Sugar
1 tbsp Oats
1/2 tsp Cinnamon Powder
1 tbsp Chopped Walnuts
Grease and dust an 8" diameter cake mould
Sift flour with baking powder, soda-bi-carb and 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
Separate eggs. Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt, till stiff. Add sugar in batches and beat well after each addition.
Add vanilla essence to the yolks and add one yolk at a time in the white egg & sugar mixture.
Add oil and beat for 1/2 a minute.
Add flour gradually and fold gently. (DO NOT USE A BEATER).
Fold 1 cup apples and chopped & dusted walnuts into the batter.
Pour the batter into the greased mould.
Evenly spread the remaining 1/2 cup apples on the batter and sprinkle the topping mixture on the apples.
Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180 degree C. for 45 minutes
Serve hot with butterscotch or vanilla ice cream.
Happy Baking !!