It’s been a quite a remarkable parcours, a long one with lotsa ups and downs, twists and turns. While the whole of it may not be termed as having been totally enjoyable, I must say that my time as a pre registration house officer [PRHO] at J.Nehru Hospital has been an exciting one. During my pre-reg days, I got to interact with lots of people – made loads of friends, fell in love with some of them, engaged into crazy adventures with a few, got into tiffs with the not-so-compatible ones and finally learnt how to work together as a great team.
It took me a while to get used to the daily routine of doing ward rounds, assessing patients, filling request forms, tracing results, writing prescriptions, preparing OT lists, running to OT to scrub & assist, evaluating patients post op, dealing with relatives, attending CMEs and being on call as per a scheduled roster. To be on call was initially hard to adapt to but later became more of a regular camping session with friends where we got to share food, bedding and jokes overnight.
The past 24 months seem to have gone by in a blur now that I pause to look back at each and every step of my evolution from the inexperienced fresh university graduate to who I am today. Strangely, the change in me did not occur until I was almost reaching the end of my pre reg period; my high school years had no such pronounced effect on me nor did the long time spent in medical school. My professional life, though all-consuming, has brought me satisfaction like no other and despite my recurrent complaints about the difficult conditions, I really love my job.
And to celebrate my registration as a Medical Health Officer [MHO], I baked this fantasy cake from Culinary Concoctions by Peabody. Somewhat fancy, this marble two-layered sponge cake is draped with a silky peppermint flavoured marshmallow creme. An overall fabulous celebration cake to share with everyone who has stood by me during my internship. Thanks a million!
MARSHMALLOW FANTASY CAKE
For the Classic White Cake Batter
12 tbs (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup or 6 large egg whites
3/4 cup milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup white chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup crushed peppermint
pink food coloring
- Set rack at the middle level in the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.
- Butter the bottom of two 9-inch round. Line bottom with parchment or waxed paper.
- In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar for about 5 minutes, until light and fluffy.
- Stir together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. Combine egg whites, milk and vanilla extract.
- Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the butter mixture then add half the milk mixture.
- Continue to alternate beginning and ending with flour mixture. Scape the bowl and beater often.
- Fold in white chocolate and peppermint. Take 2/3 of the batter out and place into a separate bowl.
- Add 3 drops of pink food coloring to the remaining 1/3. Blend until the batter is pink in color.
For the Chocolate Batter
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup boiling water
- In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
- Mix together with a wooden spoon then set aside. In small bowl combine eggs, milk, oil and vanilla.
- Beat well with hand mixer(or place in a stand mixer). Slowly add boiling water and mix.
- Add wet ingredients to flour mixture and fold and stir until smooth.
To Make the Cake
- Set out both prepared cake pans. In the first pan scoop 2 cups of chocolate batter into the pan, spread out with spatula.
- Next scoop 1 ½ cups white batter with peppermint chips into the center of the chocolate batter.
- Spread out to form a circle. Lastly scoop 1 cup of the remaining pink into the center of the pink batter.
- For the second pan. Scoop 2 cups white batter with peppermint chips into pan, spread out with a spatula.
- Scoop 1 ½ cups of the chocolate batter into the center of the white batter, spread out with spatula to form a circle.
- Scoop 1 cup of the remaining pink batter into the center of the chocolate batter. Bake for 30-35 minutes.
- The center should come out clean. Remove from oven and let cool in pan for 15 minutes.
- Flip cake over onto a rack and remove parchment or waxed paper. Let cake cool completely before frosting.
For the Marshmallow Frosting
4 egg whites
1 ½ cups sugar
½ cup light corn syrup
pinch of salt
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp peppermint extract
6 drops pink food coloring
- Using a large bowl, preferably the top of a double boiler, mix eggs, sugar, corn syrup ans salt until combined.
- Place the bowl over simmering water and whisk until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is hot, about 3 minutes.
- Remove from heat. Beat for 5-7 minutes until frosting is cool and stiff peaks form.
- Beat in vanilla and peppermint extract. Add food coloring and beat until all the color is incorporated.
To Assemble the Cake
- Place one cake layer on cake plate. Take one cup of frosting and spread it out evenly onto the layer.
- Place the second layer on top of the frosted layer. Use remainder of frosting to frost top and sides of cake.
MHO at last!