she told me that she wants to be a raindrop

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Rewind a few days back. I woke up to a scene of perfect serenity, something I would perhaps have take forgranted should I be living in the tropics of Singapore. What greeted my eyes was a patchwork of damp darkened areas spotting the otherwise depressing grey tarred roads, a mystifying weight hanging in the airs surrounding. A quick sniff, rain, yes. I drew in a deep breath, a reflection baring an uncanny smile looks back.

There's just something about the smell of rain that puts this inexplicable swell of joy in my heart. I guess this could be best explained by the thousands of memories evoked with this familiar smile. Should it have been linked to dread or even overwhelming peace at that point of time, it all boiled down to one thing, memories. The thing that drives me.

One quick drawl of the humid air and my mind drifted; the strenuous circuit trainings around macritchie reservoir; doing the Indian dribble during hockey practise whilst the sprinklers cast a spray of odd smelling water in the wake of its rainbow path; my walk with God in the rain; feeling all fidgety and restless in the afternoons as the humidity evolves into a suppressive blanket that proceeds to suffocate its victims; navigating the streets of Ho Chi Minh, soaked to the bone from the torrential rains; playing make-believe heroes and villains while endearing thru a 3hr trek to a obscure waterfall in Tasmania. I closed my eyes, and allow the kaleidoscope of memories to envelop me in its blissful resonance.

My dear readers, what are your memories of the rain?

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And if there's anything more perfect in accompaniment to the memory frolicking time, it would have to be a slice of fig cake and a cup of hot milk tea. Join me would you?

Fig cake for a rainy day
adapted from Jill O'Conner's 'Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey'

makes a 8 inch cake

For the dried fig jam:
5 ounces dried figs
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups water

For the Cake:
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup boiling water
3/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

Make the Jam:
Coarsely chop the figs and combine with the sugar and water in a large, heavy bottomed saucepan. Bring to boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to achieve a gentle simmer and cook the figs, covered until tender, about 1 hr. Let cool slightly, then puree the mixture in a food processor until smooth.

Position the rack in the middle and preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Lightly grease an 8 inch baking tin, line the pan.

Make the cake:
Sift the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt into a small bowl. Set aside. In a large bowl, using a electric mixer set at medium speed beat together the oil, butter and sugar until creamy and combined. Beat in the egg. Beat in the vanilla. Using a spatula, fold in the flour mixture just until combined. Stir in the boiling water, 1 cup of fig jam and walnuts. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan and bake until wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, around 30-35 mins.

Transfer to a wire rack and let cool. Sprinkle with confectioners sugar. Cut into slices and enjoy it whilst watching the raindrops.


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2 comments:

The Purple Foodie said...

I have the book but I have somehow overlooked the recipe! Need to pull it out and make this gorgeous cake.

SiHaN said...

purple foodie: Yes, this recipe was not under my radar as well until I dug out a stash of dried figs that my aunts had left behind after their visit. Hence the wonderful reward of a cake arose. You should try it!