Saturday, December 31, 2011

Black Forest cake (version 2) for a sweet beginning


Wishing you all a Very Happy New Year. Hope you all had nice holidays.We too had a good one.
This cake recipe is from a cookery show hosted by Lakshmi nair. I have seen the video long time ago and thought of making it and never did,but when I saw the same recipe in kothiyavunu I got real inspiration to try it out and it turned out just great.I watched the video in youtube long time ago but cannot find the link now :(

Ingredients
Flour - 1/2 cup
Cocoa powder- 1/2 cup
Sugar - 1cup
Butter - 3/4 cup
Eggs -6
Vanilla essence - 1 tsp
Salt

for filling
double cream - 2 cups(300-400 ml)
Powdered sugar - 5 tbs or according to your sweetness
glazed cherries - 200 gm
for syrup
sugar- 1/2 cup
Water - 1 cup
Brandy - 2 tbs
for decoration
Chcocolate strands / chocolate shavings/Grated chocolate
Cherries- few

Preparation

  • Sift together flour,cocoa powder and salt.
  • Melt the butter and keep it aside.
  • Break 6 eggs in a bowl and add sugar and vanilla extract and beat it for atleast 10 minutes until the mixture becomes very light in colour and increases the volume upto 4-5 times.
  • Add in the flour mixture and fold in until it is is well incorporated.
  • Add the melted butter butter gradually and gently fold in.
  • Bake it in a preheated oven at 180 degree centigrade for35- 40 minutes.
  • Allow the cake to cool for sometime in cake tin and then in wire rack for 30- 45 minutes.

Preparing the syrup
In a saucepan add sugar and water and stir it until it boils and all the sugar melts.Turn off the flame and 2 tbs of brandy.

Whipping the cream
Whip the cream with powdered sugar until soft peaks are formed.

Assembling the cake
Cut the cake into 2 slices .
Place the first slice on the cake board with cutside up and carefully prick the cake with fork or tooth pick.
Pour the syrup to the cake with a spoon evenly on the cake.
Spread the cream on the cake and spread cherries on top of cream layer.
Place the other slice on top of it and so the pricking again.
Pour the syrup evenly.
Spread the cream on the top and sides of the cake and allow the cake to set in the fridge for sometime.
Decorated the cake with cherries and chocolate strands/shavings or grated chocolate according to your liking.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Fruit cake/ Kerala plum cake

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Hope all my friends had a fabulous Christmas.We had a good one too, the days passed so quickly and I feel a bit bored today after a busy and fun filled week.
We had a great Christmas with friends and lil A was so happy to get a Christmas gift from Santa (which we wrapped and kept for him under the tree ).Boxing day sales were fabulous,this time we too managed to do some shopping amongst the crowd, the bargains were soo hard to resist.
Coming to the topic,plum cake/ fruit cakes which we used to buy from bakery were not my favourite cake ,I always preferred plain cake over it. I had no plans even to bake them until a fortnight ago, but two of our friends had a craving to eat our plum cake , so I got an inspiration to bake it to give them.When I searched for the recipes, it looked bit laborious and intimidating (caramel prapartion) but when I got enough support from hubby I decided to go ahead. All the recipes were asking to soak the dry fruits a bit longer but since I didn't have enough time I could soak them only for 4 days .After baking it I kept it for maturing for 3 days to infuse all the flavours and our much awaited cake was ready for Christmas. Trust me ,the cake was sooo delicious and it was much much better than the bakery ones .This cake was the best fruit cake I had in my life.

This recipe is adapted from here ,here and here.

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Ingredients
Flour - 1 cup
Butter softened - 3/4 cup
Eggs -2 no
Sugar - 1 cup
Baking powder- 1tsp
Cinnamon powder - 1/2 tsp
Nutmeg powder 1/8 tsp
Cloves powder - 1/8 tsp
Salt - pinch
Vanilla extract - 1tsp


For caramel syrup
Sugar - 1/2 cup
water - 1/2 cup +1 tbs

For soaking
Tooti fruity - 1 cup
Chopped dates - 1/4 cup
Raisins - 1/4 cup
Cashew nuts chopped- 1/4 cup
Walnut/ almonds - 1/4 cup
Rum /Brandy - 1 cup or enough to soak fruits and nuts

Preparation

Soak the fruits and nuts in rum/brandy for3- 4 days, if you have time soak for few more days or weeks or months.Longer the better.
Preparing the caramel - In a pan add 1/2 cup sugar and 1 tbs of water and keep it in a medium flame until the sugar starts to melt and change its colour.Swirl it around until all th sugar has completely dissolved and changed into brown colour.Switch off the flame and immediately pour 1/2 cup of water to the caramel(be careful as this might splash ).The caramel syrup is ready.Let it cool down.
In a bowl sift flour,baking powder ,spice powders and salt and keep it aside.
Separate eggs yolks and whites.Beat egg whites until creamy and thick.Check whether its done by inverting the bowl and if its done the cream will stick tightly in the bowl.
Beat egg yolks ,sugar ,butter and vanilla in a bowl. Add the dry ingredients and fold in. Add the caramel syrup and beat until mixed.
Drain the fruits from the rum/brandy and add 1 tbs of flour to it and mix.
Add 3/4 of the soaked fruits to the batter and mix well.Finally add the beaten egg whites and fold in until its mixed properly.
Line the cake tin with a parchment paper or in well greased cake tin.Pour the batter to it and finally add the remaining dry fruits on the top and spread it gently.
Bake it in a preheated oven at 175 degree centigrade for 35- 40 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted comes our clean.
Cool the cake completely.
Its better to wait for 2-3 days before you cut the cake to infuse all the flavours into it.So wrap the cake and keep it aside for 2-3 days.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Moist Sponge Cake

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This season is really inspiring me a lot to bake,whenever I switch on the TV,all the chefs will be cooking their Christmas feasts from starter to maincourse, desserts to cakes and much more. They also say to indulge during this season without keeping an eye on calories or fat ! Thats exactly what I am doing too :) Its hard to resist baking during festive times.

I have been baking this cake for a long time now, I wonder why I never posted this .....I shared this recipe to my few friends who were new in baking and even they could bake perfect cake with this recipe.

Here goes the recipe

Ingredients

Plain flour(maida) - 1 1/2 cup
Unsalted Butter - 1/2 cup(softened)
Eggs -2
Sugar -1 cup
Baking powder - 2tsp
Vanilla extract - 1 tsp
Milk - 1/2 cup
Salt - pinch

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 175 degree centigrade.
In a bowl beat eggs and butter .
Add sugar and beat again.
Add flour,baking powder,baking soda, salt, vanilla extract and fold in.
Add milk little by little and beat .
Pour the batter into to greased pan dusted with some flour.Bake it for 35- 40 minutes or untill tooth pick inserted comes out clean.

Sending this to Christmas Delicacy at Erivum Puliyum

Monday, December 12, 2011

Mango pie for all mango lovers..

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Who doesnt love mangoes right ?? My love for mangoes started years agoo.When I was growing up , I used to wait for our summer holidays to visit our ammamma (grandmother) ,she has a large orchard with mango trees, jackfruit trees , cashew trees and lotts..The kids in the village had lot of fun making her angry by throwing stones for mangoes,she used to look around and watch the trees to save the mangoes for grandkids. Once we reach there, all the cousins get together and my cousin brother S who was tall used to climb the tree and pick mangoes for all of us, he picks both raw and riped ones,we eat raw ones with little salt and riped ones as such or to give a twist we eat it with redchilly powder and salt.We eat as much mangoes as we can during those days and to relish the mangoes later my mom pickles it .My grandma had a bharani (an earthern pot) in which she pickles the whole mango and keep it for later use. she used those pickled mangoes for making some curries which tastes heavenly !!

Ingredients
Digestive biscuits - 10-12
Unsalted butter - 25 gm
Mango pulp - 1 cup (200 ml)
Milk - 1 cup(200 ml)
Gelatin - 1 packet
Sugar - 1/2 cup (according to your sweetness)
Double cream -150 ml

Preparation
In a bag crush the digective biscuits with rolling pin.
Melt the butter.
Mix the crushed biscuits with melted butter.Spread the biscuit layer into a pudding bowl.Set in the fridge for 2 hours.
Soak gelatin in little water.
In a saucepan mix mango pulp, milk and sugar. When it is about to boil add the soaked gelatin and stir it until gelatin is completely dissolved. Allow it cool to room temparature.
Pour the cooled mango pulp into biscuit layer and chill it in the refrigerator again for 3-4 hours or until completely set.
Beat double cream with little sugar until soft peaks are formed.
Spread the cream to the top of mango layer.


Sending this to Christmas delicacy at Erivum Puliyum


Friday, December 9, 2011

French Yogurt Cupcakes

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When I went for my younger sister's wedding in April, one of my friend from Poland who was soo keen to see pictures of Indian wedding asked me to bring the wedding pictures,but since it was a quick trip the photographers pictures were not ready by the time I returned and later on my sister send the pictures my email. Few months passed by and I didnt see her till then, next time when we met, she asked me for the pictures again. I was quite surprised,I didnt expect that she was this keen to see the pictures, so I had to tell her that I dont have the soft copies,but then she was even ready to come home to see the pictures in laptop. About a month ago she visited us and I prepared lunch for her ,without knowing that she was an Indian food lover too ! she surprised me by saying that she has attended Indian cookery class and she knows how to prepare Madras chicken curry and few other curries too. She was totally thrilled to see the wedding pictures and our culture.What surprised me a lot was she is so keen to learn Kathakali ,kerala's own special art, and has even plans to go to kerala for that.One of her friend went to kerala and learned kathakali for 1 1/2 years and is performing a little bit of what she learned here !! Isnt it amazing ?? I couldnt even tell her I have never seen a Kathakali performance in real ,other than on TV.
Coming to the topic ,when she visted us she bought some home baked cookies for us, so yesterday she invited us to her place for lunch and I prepared this french yogurt cupcakes for her.I saw this recipe in Yummy o yummy first which she adapted from Look who is cooking too. Normally I dont like to experiment when I am giving it to others but the clicks in both the blogs attracted me a lot and gave me confidence to try it out.I baked the first batch 2 days ago which yielded 6 cupcakes.I thought of tasting one and giving other 5 for her,but we couldnt stop with just one,so I had to bake again yesterday morning .The second batch was even better,after her amazing Polish soup and bread she took out this cupcakes as dessert.
This cupcakes are so light and soft and even my hubby who isn't cake fan loved it.

Ingredients

All purpose flour - 1/2 cup
Yogurt - 1/4 cup
Sugar - 1/2 cup
Oil - 1/4 cup
Baking powder -1 tsp
Vanilla extract - 1/4 tsp
Eggs -2
salt - a pinch

Preparation
In a bowl beat sugar,eggs,vanilla extract and yogurt. Add flour , baking powder and mix well . Finally add oil and fold in .Line a cupcake tray and pour the batter . Bake it in a preheated oven at 175 degree centigrade for 20 -22 mins.
Sending this to Julies Christmas Delicacy at Erivum Puliyum



also sending this to Bake fest Co hosted by Sangee of Spicy Treat and Vardini of Zesty Palate

Monday, December 5, 2011

Mixed Vegetable Masala

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Our christmas tree is out again ,I know its a bit early ,but lil A was asking for tree for sometime now,even I was also keen to dp some decoration. Now the tree is out, I can feel the real spirits of christmas !! I am excited about indulging in some good food,cakes, sweets and much more during holidays.
Did I tell u that my lil one will be stating school after this holidays,we are very much looking forward to that, and tomorrow is the beginning of the excitement,we are invited to his School to make him familarise with staffs and surroundings . He is going to have some nursery activities too . Also before he start School ,his teachers will come home to see his surroundings too !! How cool is that :) I really liked the whole idea, I m sure the this will make his first day at school much easier.

I have been making this mixed vegetable masala for a long time now, but most of the time for dinner,so this time I made it for lunch escpecially for clicking it during day light !

Ingredients
Onion - 2
Tomato -1
Mushroom - 250 gm
Potato - 1-2
Carrot-2
Green peas - 1/4 cup
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds -1 tsp
Redchilly powder - 1 tbs
Turmeric- 1/4 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tbs
Garam masala - 1 1/2 tsp
Coriander leaves

Preparation
In a saucepan add some oil and sputter cumin seeds. Add chopped onions ,when it is soft add ginger garlic paste and saute for 1 minute. Add tomoto and all the spice powders and saute for 1-2 minutes until tomatoes is slightly mashed. Now add all the vegetables except the green peas .Donot add any water as the mushroom will leave enough water to cook the other vegetables.When the vegetbales are almost done add green peas and cook for 2-3 minues or until green peas are cooked.Finally garnish with coriander leaves.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Sweet Corn and Chicken Soup

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Looks like soup weather has started now .Today when we woke up the sun was shining soo brightly, so we decided to have a picnic in the park with a friend.I wasnt even sure whether to put on my thick coat ,but to be safer I wore the thick one and put a thick one for lil A too.My gloves was lying in bag and I trusted the sun so badly that I even took the gloves off from my bag ,only when we stepped out I could feel the chill . When we reached the playground it was so quiet,normally when the sun is out the park will be busy with kids ,anyway we somehow finished the picnic and rushed back home.Luckily I had this soup which I prepared yesterday , warmed it again and had a steaming hot bowl of soup !!


This recipe is adapted from Poornimas Tasty treats,u can find the original recipe here.

Ingredients
Sweet corn - 1/2 cup
Carrot -1
Beans - 1/4 cup
Chicken stock cube - 2
Chicken breast -1
Water - 5 cup
Corn flour - 3-4 tbs
Salt
Pepper
Spring onion

Preparation
Cook the chicken breast with little salt and water.Shred the cooked chicken and keep it aside.
Cook the vegetbales in the same water adding chicken stock cubes.When the vegetables are almost done add the shredded chicken and white portion of spring onions.Boil for 1-2 minutes.Season it with salt and pepper. Finally add cornflour dissolved in little water and turn off the flame when the soup thickens. Garnish with spring onion greens .


Note - Original recipe calls for egg too,but I didnt use it.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Potato masala

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This week S came with a news that he might get a 2 weeks off for Christmas !! Flying to India was the first thing that came to us ,but gosh the last minute tickets at this time of the year is ridiculously expensive, so we had to give up that idea.This would been the best time to go home to escape from 2 weeks of winter:(
Still need to finalise what to do if he gets days off ,if he stay home for 2 weeks we both will be bored.I still remember last year during christmas holidays when he was home for 4 days, on the last day my lil one ( he was only 2 1/4 yrs old then ) asked him to go to work.LOL !

Since last couple of weeks ,daily cooking is something that I dread, I have been soo lazy even to think what to cook , so I found a way to overcome my laziness by trying out new things and it worked !! Now I am getting all the enthu to cook everyday, but it came with a price too, I have already put on atleast a kilo :(
Potato masala is something that I usually dont prepare,but the potatoes I got this time was a bit small and few of them were too small like baby potatoes so I didnt feel like chopping them and the this was the best way to cook them !

Ingredients
Baby potatoes - 8
Onion - 2
Tomato - 1
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tbs
Garam masala - 1 tsp
Red chilly powder - 1tsp
Turmeric - 1/4 tsp
Coriander leaves

Preparation

Boil the poatoes and peel the skin.
In a sucepan add some oil,sputter cumin seeds and saute onions till soft. Add ginger garlic paste saute for 1 minute and then add all the masala powders and tomotoes.Cook till it becomes mushy.Now add the cooked poatoes and cook it covered for 2-3 minutes.Garnish with coriander leaves.

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