Tea Time Munchies – Simple Cake Rusk

Cake rusk or biscoti

Elaichi or  Cardamom  Rusks  are  favorite of  my dad’s.  These are  hugely popular as a tea time snack all over.   It  so happenes  that  spending  time  with  grandpa  meant  picking  up some  of  his  habits.  Rusk  dipped  in  chai  was  one  of the  delights  that  my  kids  enjoyed  with him :-).   When  grandpa is  not   around  they go for the sweeter  version – cake  rusks.

Cake Rusk or biscoti

For  those  who are  not  familiar  with rusks , these  are   twice  baked  bread or  cake , just  like  biscoti .   These are   crunchy,  dry and  could  be  flavored  or  plain.  Unlike  cakes  or  breads  these  have a  longer  shelf  life   and  travels  well too.   The  down side  is  that  these  can’t  be  enjoyed on their own (except  for  some  cake  rusks), but   it is  just 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 –   nothing  goes  stale  or  moldy , and   if  stored  under  dry conditions  could  stay fresh  for  moths !  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.   There is no need  to  refrigerate  or  freeze leftovers ,  just  store in an  airtight   container  and  these   will 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.

Cake  rusk  starts  its  journey as  a   tweaked   version of   pound  cake.   Usually these are  mad e in  rectangular  pans. Once the  cake  is  cooled  to  warm  it  is  sliced   to  desired  thickness. These  pieces  are laid  out  n a  cookie  sheet  and  baked  again  until   it becomes  crisp.

Making Cake rusk

In other  words, make a   cake that is  not  too soft  like a  pound  cake.   Slic e it  into  rectangular  pieces  about  1/2  inch  thick and  toast on  both  sides!

So here is  the  recipe  for  simple  cake  rusk.  The  quantity of  the  batter here  is  perfect  for a  9X9   square pan   and  makes  about  1 inch  wide rusks.

Simple Cake Rusk
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 30 mins
 

Rusks are popular  in many parts of  Asia .  These are  made  for  dunking.   Usually these are not very sweet   with a  dry  crunchy  texture  that  softens at  the  touch of  moisture.   Cakes  rusks are more  tender and  enriched  version and  extremely popular  with  kids. 

Course: Snack
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 36
Author: Syama
Ingredients
  • 1 1/4 C Flour (150g)
  • 10 Tbsp Butter (130g)
  • 1/2 C Fine Sugar (110 g)
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/4 Tsp Salt
  • 1/2 Tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
Instructions
  1. Make sure that all the ingredients are at room temperature .
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  3. 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.
  4. Sift flour, baking powder and the salt together .
  5. Add the dry ingredients in batches and mix slowly using circular scoops till a silky smooth batter is formed. Do not over mix .
  6. 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.
  7. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes.
  8. Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C).
  9. Invert into the a clean cutting board . Cut in half into 2 rectangles .
  10. Cut each rectangle width wise about 1/2" thick slices.
  11. 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.
Recipe 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.
  • When  measuring  gently stir  to loosen the  flour int he  container  and  scoop it  on to the  measuring  cup using a  spoon. Use a knife  to level.  
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Simple Cake rusk or biscoti

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4 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.

  2. I loved the description from starting to the end….My mom and dad could not do without their morning rusks and we used to get them from Delhi. Thank u for bringing back all those memories Syama.

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