Tea Time Munchies – Simple Cake Rusk

 

Elaichi or  Cardamom  Rusks  are  favorite of  my dad’s.  These are  hugely popular as a tea time snack all over  India. Rusks dipped in hot tea is part of  spending  time  with  grandpa  for my kids.   When  grandpa is  not   around  they prefer the  sweeter  version – cake  rusks.  For  those  who are  not  familiar  with rusks , these  are   twice  baked  bread or  cake , just  like  biscoti .   Perfect  or   dipping  in a  hot   cup of  milk , coffee , or  tea.   

In  all probability  it  all started   with an  ingenious baker   who  found  himself  with way too much  unsold bread one  day.  While preheating  the  oven  he  would  have  thought “Hey why don’t  I  slice  the   bread  and  dehydrate it  as  well  ?”. Dehydrating  meant  less  worries  on  storage  . The sweet  crunchiness   would   have been a  happy by product  that  made  these  so popular.

While  rusks  made  from  bread  are   crunchy  and  light,  cake  rusks are  a  bit  more  soft  and   sweet.    No need  to  refrigerate  or  freeze leftovers ,  just  store in an  airtight   container  and  these  stay  fresh for  a  week  or  so.    The simple  pound  cake  recipe   works  great  for  cake  rusks , but  I  find  it  to be  a  bit  on on the sweet  side.  After  some  tweaks  we  have a  recipe that   we love .  Here it is .

As this  recipe  starts  out  as a  standard  cake  recipe , make  sure  that all the  ingredients are  at  room  temperature . Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).  Butter and   flour  a  9″X9″ square pan or  line  it   with  parchment paper.  You could use  any other  rectangular pan ,  adjust the  baking  times  accordingly.   The quantity  made  in  this  recipe  makes about 1″   wide   rusks  .

Beat  the  room  temperature  well  till it  becomes  a  little  fluffy .  Add the   sugar   to  it  and  mix  till it becomes  creamy and  pale . If the sugar grains are large pulse it in a blender to make fine , but  do not  use powdered  or  icing  sugar. Beat in the eggs one by one until thoroughly mixed in . Scrape the sides to prevent the butter from sticking to the sides . Add the vanilla essence and mix .

Sift flour , baking powder and the salt together.  Mix  well .  Add the dry ingredients in batches  to the  butter   and  sugar mix .  Stir  in  slowly using circular scoops till a smooth batter is formed. Stop  stirring  as  soon as  all the  flour  is  incorporated . Do not over mix .

As  you scoop  the  batter  it   should  feel silky smooth . Transfer the batter into the prepared cake pan . Use the back of the spatula to spread it evenly . Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes until the top begins to brown .

Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes .  Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C). Invert into the a clean cutting board . Cut in half into 2 rectangles . Cut each rectangle width wise about 1/2″ thick slices .  Arrange the cut pieces on a cookie sheet with the cut sides down  as  shown.  There is  no need  to  grease  or  line  the   cookie  sheet . Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes . Flip the   slices   and bake for another 5 to 10 minutes till the desired brownness  is  achieved.

Cake rusk - light brown
Cake rusk – light brown
Cake Rusk - brown
Cake Rusk – brown
Cake Rusk - Golden Brown
Cake Rusk – Golden Brown . The way we like it .

Simple Cake Rusk

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: 3 dozen rusk

Simple Cake Rusk

Ingredients

Flour - 150 gm (1 C + 2 Tbsp)
Butter - 130 gm (10 Tbsp)
Fine Sugar - 100 gm (2/3 C)
Eggs - 3
Baking Powder - 1 Tsp
Salt - 1/4 Tsp
Vanilla - 1/2 Tsp

Instructions

Make sure that all the ingredients are at room temperature .

Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).

Cream butter and sugar together. If the sugar grains are large pulse it in a blender to make into fine powder. Beat in the eggs one by one until thoroughly mixed in. Scrape the sides to prevent the butter from sticking to the sides. Add the vanilla essence and mix.

Sift flour, baking powder and the salt together .

Add the dry ingredients in batches and mix slowly using circular scoops till a silky smooth batter is formed. Do not over mix .

Grease and flour a 9X9 square cake pan. Transfer the batter into the prepared cake pan. Use the back of the spatula to spread it evenly. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes until the top begins to brown.

Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C).

Invert into the a clean cutting board . Cut in half into 2 rectangles .

Cut each rectangle width wise about 1/2" thick slices.

Arrange the cut pieces on a cookie sheet with the cut sides down . Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes . Turn and bake for another 5 to 10 minutes till the desired brownness.

Notes

This rusk is sweet. You can reduce the sugar to 75 gms , but any less will change the texture drastically. Preferably weigh the ingredients , especially flour and sugar . The volume measurements are approximate and change with brands and how tightly one pack the measuring cups .

https://oventales.com/simple-cake-rusk/

2 thoughts on “Tea Time Munchies – Simple Cake Rusk

  1. Hello, I would like to know what can be best substitute for eggs as I am vegetarian and would like to make this one.

    1. Hi Maitri,
      I would not recommend trying to adapt this recipe into an eggless one simply because it uses 3 eggs for per cup of flour. Why not try the same process with your favorite eggless pound/sponge cake recipe ? Reduce the sugar by about 1/3 if you think the rusks will be too sweet .
      Hope it helps ,
      Syama.

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