This is the time of the year when flowers bloom spreading dazzling hues all over — flame of the forest, laburnum, bougainvillea and many more. In our native hills of Uttarakhand, nothing matches the scarlet bursts of rhododendron. There are colourful blossoms to announce that soon luscious fruits will flood the market — cherry, apricots, plums and pears. And how can one forget the festival of Holi that drenches us in colour washing away the winter blues! Our gluttonous thoughts turn to colourful foods.
Since childhood, one of our favourites has been the fruit gateau that combines the joys of a fresh fruit salad with the pleasures of a cake. And it feels light and almost effortlessly displays all the colours of a rainbow — a refreshing relish at the onset of summer.
The fruits at hand are sweet kinnow and oranges, grapes of different hues, kiwi and even some early varieties of mango. Add a few pineapple tidbits to the mix, even strawberries, if these are in season. What more do you need to conjure bliss!
For the base, you could either bake a simple sponge cake with or without eggs or buy one from a nearby tried-and-tested bakery.
Grapes green, black and red 10-15 each (halved)
Orange segments 12-18 (deseeded)
Kiwi 1 (peeled and sliced)
Mango 1 (peeled and sliced)
Chocolate 20g (scraped into curls)
Almond slivers 1 tbsp
Cream ¾ cup to 1 cup
Orange juice 1/2 cup
Sugar (granulated) 1/4 cup
Castor/powdered sugar 2 tsp
- Boil sugar in 1/2 cup water. Keep syrup to cool. Whip cream with castor/powdered sugar till soft peaks are formed.
- Slice the cake horizontally in halves. Place one half of the cake as base; soak it with half of orange juice and half of sugar syrup. Layer it generously with whipped cream. Place half of sliced mixed fruit on it, distributing evenly all over. Cover with a little cream.
- Place the other half of the cake on top; pour rest of the juice and syrup on it. Press gently with palms. Line it with whipped cream. Layer with sliced fruit. Cover with some more cream. Sprinkle almond slivers and chocolate curls on top. Cover the gateau sides with cream using a spatula. Chill it in fridge for a few hours.