Category: A Sweet Punch

Orange Yoghurt Cake

Can’t believe that a month passed by since last month’s Sweet Punch. I woke up only when fellow bloggers began posting their recipes. I didn’t want to miss this month’s challenge and hence, a late entry yet again.

This recipe is a breeze to make. Just dump all the ingredients into a mixing bowl. Mix well and pour into the prepared baking tin and pop into the oven. It’s as easy as that. Only addition I made is the addition of chocolate chips. The resulting cake is ‘oh so delicious’ just like Suma says in her post about it. The cake was moist and absolutely melting in the mouth. I guess this is the first time I am baking with a fruit. Lemme straight away go to the recipe.

Recipe Source: Cakes and More

AP Flour – 1 cup
Sugar – 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp (I used only 1/2 cup and found the sweetness apt)
Baking powder – 1/2 tsp
Baking soda – 1/8 tsp
Pinch of salt
Plain whole-milk yogurt – 1/2 cup
Vegetable oil – 1/4 cup
Orange zest – 1 tsp
Orange juice – 1 tbsp (I added juice of one small orange)
Egg – 1 large
Pure vanilla extract – 1/2 tsp
Chocolate Chips – 1 tbsp (Optional)

Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius(350 F).
2. Butter an 8-inch round cake pan.
3. Sift flour, sugar, the baking powder, baking soda, salt.
4. Whisk together yogurt, oil, orange zest and juice, egg, and vanilla in a bowl.
5. Fold in the wet mixture into the flour mixture. Pour into pan. Sprinkle choco chips on top evenly. Bake until a cake tester comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack. Dust one table spoon sugar on top of the cake(optional).

This blog of mine was absolutely neglected last week. I generally have a set of dishes cooked during weekends which I click and save in my drafts. Whenever I find some time during the week, I publish the drafted dishes. I am not able to locate where I have kept the pics of the recently cooked dishes. I was absolutely busy during the last week due to which I simply cooked the routine dishes without having the energy to experiment or cook something elegant.
Blogosphere was flooding with this Chocolate Pudding that all my fellow sweet punch mates were posting. I missed participating in the last two months and I did not want to miss out this time. I finally made this today and guess what – My daughters asked for the recipe!!! *rolls eyes*
Also, I got to apologize for not commenting on anyone’s blogs for sometime now. I hope to catch up soon. Thanks to all those who have been dropping by coz I see my blog’s statistics have been consistent although posting had immensely dropped.
This recipe was chosen by Divya. She is a wonderful blogger and an inspiration to me especially in baking. Divya has recently been a victim of plagiarism. I was shocked to see the site which shamelessly copied recipes from her blog verbatim. They did not spare her ‘About Me’ page as well. Divya has raised a complaint and I really wish the copy-cat blog gets shut down. 

Heading to the recipe now:

Flour – 1 cup
Baking powder – 2 tsp
Cocoa – 2 tsp
Pinch salt (Skip if using salted butter)
Sugar – 1/2 cup
Butter – 2 tbsp, melted
Milk – 1/2 tsp
Egg – 1, beaten
Almonds – 50 gms, chopped

For the topping:
Sugar – 1/2 cup
Cocoa – 3 tbsp
Water – 1cup
Instant Coffee Powder – 1 tsp

1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
2. Sift together flour, baking powder, cocoa powder, salt, and sugar.
3. Stir through butter, milk, egg and almonds until well combined.
4 Spoon batter into 4 ramekins. (I used 5 teacups)
5 Mix together sugar, cocoa powder, coffee powder and sugar. Pour over the tea cups. Do not stir.
6 Bake for 20 minutes.

I am ultra late in posting for this month’s Sweet Punch. The recipe chosen for this month was Strawberry Banana Muffins and I was clueless as to what could be used as a substitute to strawberry. Finally I decided to use mangoes as the king of fruits is about to disappear soon only to come back next year… I made these muffins eggless because I made them early morning when I was rustling and hustling in the kitchen to leave for office and I did not have the time to bring eggs to room temperature and luckily I had forgotten butter on the kitchen deck the previous night. What a co-incidence!!! My kitchen was filled with a beautiful aroma when these were getting baked. My kids did not like the muffins much but I loved them not only for the taste but also for the fact that they got done super quick.
Recipe source: Sweet Punch via Joy of Baking
Unsalted butter – 1/4 cup, melted
Eggs – 1 large, lightly beaten (I did not add this)
Vanilla extract – 1 tsp
Ripe bananas – 2 large (I used 4 Yelakki variety as they are small) – approx 1 cup
Mango pieces – 1 cup
Maida / AP Flour – 1 1/8 cup
Demerara sugar – 1/3 cup + 1 tbsp
Baking powder – ¾  tsp
Baking soda – ½ tsp
Ground cinnamon – ½ tsp (I used a pinch of nutmeg powder)
Salt – ¼ tsp (Omit if using salted butter)
  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Grease and line muffin tray with liners.
  2. Melt butter and bring to room temperature.
  3. In a medium sized bowl whisk together the egg (if using), vanilla extract and mashed banana. Add the melted butter and stir to combine. 
  4. In another large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
  5. Gently fold in the mangoes, making sure they are coated with flour.
  6. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir only until the ingredients are just combined. Do not over mix the batter.
  7. Pour the batter into lined muffin molds. Bake until a tester inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Perfect Pound Cake

Sweet Punch successfully completed one year since inception. We are now setting off with the beginning of a brand new year and this was the challenge for the month of July. Pound cakes are generally the one amateur bakers can begin their baking journey with as the recipe called for a pound (equal quantity) of basic ingredients. For me it translates to humungous amount of butter!! Well, since it was for Sweet Punch, I had to make this and the crumb was absolutely perfect. However, the pics have come out somewhat unclear… As I made it late night and clicked in hurry 😦
I have made two other versions of pound cakes earlier both inspired by Divya – Condensed Milk Pound Cake and Paneer Pound Cake. Each time I felt both on the sweeter side. So I reduced sugar quantity this time and this time sweetness level was just perfect for me!!!
Perfect Pound Cake
Ingredients3 tablespoons Milk
3 large Eggs
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla (I used rose essence)
1 ½ cups sifted cake flour
¾ cup sugar (I reduced tp 1/2 cup)
¾ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
13 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened [184 gms]
1. Preheat your oven to 350 F. Butter an 8 inch by 4 by 2.5 inch loaf pan, or any six cup loaf or fluted tube pan.
2. Lightly whisk together milk, eggs and vanilla in a medium bowl.
3. Place dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix on low speed for 30 seconds, until blended. Add the butter and half the egg mixture, and mix until dry ingredients are moistened. On medium speed, beat for one minute. This will aerate and develop the cake’s structure. Scrape down sides.
4. Add the remaining egg mixture in two batches, beating for 20 seconds between each addition. Scrape down sides.
5. Pour batter into prepared pan. Smooth surface with a spatula. Bake for 55-65 minutes (35-45 minutes if baking in a fluted tube pan), until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cake cool on a rack in the pan for 10 minuets before inverting onto a greased wire rack. If using a loaf pan, flip the cake over so the top is up.

For making Cake flour at home – Take one cup of all purpose flour and remove 2 tbsp from it.Replace the 2 tbsp flour with cornflour and sift together 2-3 times.Cake flour is ready to use.

Hard to believe it has been a year since I hopped on to this baking adventure called ‘A Sweet Punch’. I was a newbee in this blogging world then. I accidentally fumbled upon Divya’s blog while looking for Konkani recipes. When I saw the galore of baked goodies she had in her kitty, I was taken aback. That was a time when I did not possess a single baking tin. I was trying my hand at baking in my Microwave cum Convenction oven, by following the recipe book and using a bake and grill proof pan that had come complimentary with it. One of those days when I baked a cake and was disappointed at the disaster that came out of the oven, Divya announced ‘A Sweet Punch’ and it sounded as though it was meant for me. Without further ado I shot a mail to the group conveying that I wanted to participate. I wondered if I could sustain in this event! A Sweet Punch completed a year and I’m glad to say that I did not miss a single challenge so far. I have grown as a baker and I see myself pursuing baking as a passion, it relieves of my stress. There are times I set out to bake at midnight when the baking bug in me wakes up!!! Yeah, my family thinks I’ve gone nuts at times like this but those of you who bake would identify with such craziness. I now possess a bunch of bakewares which I treasure more than my jewelleries. Well this, I believe, is just a beginning. There’s a long long way for me to go and I’m loving it.
I had so many plans for this month’ Punch as the choice was left to us to choose anything to bake.Several things kept me from baking till yesterday. Finally I came up with this cake. It’s one of the best chocolate cakes evah! Yes I do mean it. I baked it in my Bundt pan. and soaked with some aerated Cola. Dusted with some icing sugar and decorated with a few cherries.
Cake recipe source:
It’s the ‘Perfectly Chocolate’ Chocolate Cake by Hershey’s (I halved this recipe for an 8″ bundt pan”)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa (I used weikfield)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water
For assembling:
Pepsi / Coke – 1/2 cup
Icing sugar – 1 tbsp
Cherries – for decorating
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.
  2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. 
  3.  Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.
  4. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.
For assembling:
  1. Once the cake is  cool, cut  horizontally into 2 layers .
  2. Place the first layer on the serving plate. Drizzle pepsi / coke all over it. Place the top layer and repeat.
  3. Dust the top with icing sugar and decorate with a few cherries.

Calzone means stocking in Italian. It is a pizza folded over and shaped like a crescent. Baking pizza from scratch was this month’s challenge from the Sweet Punch team. I like to have my pizza loaded with Mushroom and Capsicum on top. I have already posted a Musroom Capsicum Pizza in this blog. So I wanted this to be different in some way. That’s one of the reasons I chose to go with calzone. Another reason is because, my little one cleanly sweeps off the pizza topping along with mozzarella and gives me her plate back with the pizza base in tact. Since I was making the dough myself, I had the option of shaping and sizing it as per my will.
The pizza dough did not turn brown but it was well cooked. I baked for about 18-20 mins. And I was unsure whether baking for more time would turn the dough hard. We enjoyed the calzones very much. They were quite filling and a welcome change from Pizza. Thanks Divya for choosing this, this was the first time my dough raised well and I’m slowly overcoming my yeast inhibitions.

Recipe source – Pioneer Woman
For the Crust (Makes 2 crusts):
 1 teaspoon Active Dry Or Instant Yeast
4 cups All-purpose Flour
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt (or ordinary salt)
⅓ cups Extra Virgin Olive Oil

To make the Crust:
1. Sprinkle yeast over 1 1/2 cups warm (not lukewarm) water.
2. In a mixer, combine flour and salt. With the mixer running on low speed (with paddle attachment), drizzle in olive oil until combined with flour. Next, pour in yeast/water mixture and mix until just combined.

3. Coat a separate mixing bowl with a light drizzle of olive oil, and form the dough into a ball. 
4. Toss to coat dough in olive oil, then cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and store in the fridge until you need it. 
***It’s best to make the dough at least 24 hours in advance, and 3 or 4 days is even better.

For the filling:


Capsicum – 1, diced
Onion – 1 medium, diced
Mushrooms – 8-10, washed and sliced or diced
Onions – 2 medium, finely chopped
Tomatoes – 2 medium, pureed or finely chopped
Tomato sauce – 1 tbsp
Ginger garlic paste – 1 tbsp
Salt to taste
Oil – 1 tbsp
Mozzarella Cheese – grated, to garnish the pizza with
Heat oil in a pan and saute onions till they turn transparent. Add ginger-garlic paste and saute till the raw smell goes off. Add tomatoes and saute till oil oozes out. Add tomato sauce and salt. Add mushrooms and capsicums. Once mushrooms are cooked well, saute till extra water content is evaporated and you get a spreadable consistency.
To assemble:
Sprinkle your pizza stone or baking sheet with cornmeal/semolina. Roll out the dough into small thin discs. Place the filling in the centre, top it with grated mozzrella cheeze. 
Fold the discs in crescent shape.
With the help of a fork, join the edges as shown in the pic. Also pierce the calzone in a couple of places using a fork. (Egg wash could be applied if desired)

Bake for 15-20 mins at 200C in oven. (Adjust time according to tempertaure)

Eggless Wheat Cookies

Ria had chosen this simple cookie for the March Sweet Punch. Since all the ingredients were readily available in my kitchen, I took it easy and thought this can be prepared any time I want. It was just yesterday that I realized it was 6th of the month and I had to prepare it. After having recently tried my hand at making Checkboard Gateau, I am flying too high. I wanted to add some complexity to these simple cookies. I had planned something else when I made two different doughs. But as I was unable to roll these doughs due to their softness, I ended up making them this way. Best cookie recipe for beginners and also for anyone who gets a sudden cookie craving as these can be made in a jiffy.

Wheat flour – 1 cup
Sugar – 1/3 cup
Salt – 1/4 tsp
Unsalted Butter – 4 ounces or 1/2 cup (at room temperature)
Almond flakes – 1/2 cup
Milk – 2 tbsp or as needed
Cardamom powder – 1/2 tsp
Cocoa powder – 1 tbsp (optional)

1. Mix together wheat flour, sugar, salt, almond flakes, cardamom powder and butter. At this stage I divided this mixture into two and added cocoa powder to one mixture to get the chocolate dough.
2. Add milk and knead to get a soft dough.
3. Make balls, flatten them (I made a big ball of wheat dough flattened it, pressed the centre a bit and placed a small flattened chocolate ball. I garnished with choco chip and almond flake) and place on baking tray with atleast an inch of space between them.
4. Bake in a preheated oven at 360F for about 15-18 mins (Depends on the thickness of your cookies and temperature of the oven) or until the cookies are golden brown.
5. Let then stand for 3-5 minutes.

Before baking:
After Baking:


It’s 7th of the month and Sweet Punch time again. This time the hosts chose a challenge sans Chocolate (and honestly I missed Chocolate) as requested by a fellow participant. I’m not a huge fan of fruits in baking. Prepared this at the last moment as usual. Each time I bake something, I like taking my experiments to my office, or pack some and send through Abbas to his colleagues, or take some for my kids’ caretakers at the Creche. Abbas doesn’t like this habit of mine coz several times he is not left with any when he craves for baked goodies. He never eats anything unless and until he gets stuff plated in front of him. Co-incidentally he always asks for stuff only when they are over and never when they would be lying around waiting to be eaten. I don’t like my food lying around for days together with no takers. So I love distributing them and enjoying accolades!!! Who doesn’t?
This time, these slices vanished and I’m happy Abbas consumed several of them. I didn’t have to serve it with apple syrup. They were good on their own. I am chalking out ways to use up the Apple Syrup.

Black Currants – 175 gms / 6 oz (I used raisins)
Cinnamon stick – 1′ piece
Apple juice – 300 ml / 10 fl oz
Plain white flour – 175 gms / 6 oz
Baking powder – 2 tsp
Unsalted butter,softened – 175 gms / 6 oz
Caster sugar – 175 gms / 6 oz
Eggs – 3,beaten
Vanilla extract – 1 tsp
Oil or butter for greasing


1. Place the currants, cinnamon stick and apple juice in a saucepan and bring to the boil.Remove from heat and leave to stand for several hours or overnight.Drain the currants thoroughly,pressing the juices through a sieve,reserving the juices and cinnamon stick.Set both the sieved currants and juice aside.
2. Preheat oven to 180C/350F or gas mark 4.
3. Grease and line a 12/9′ rectangular tray bake tin [you could use a 9′ square tin as well if you don’t have a tray , I used a loaf pan]
4. Sift together flour and baking powder,reserve.
5. In a large bowl,cream together the butter and sugar till fluffy.
6. Mix in beaten eggs and vanilla extract and beat well.
7. Add the flour mix little at a time and beat well till you get a smooth batter.
8. Stir half of the reserved currants into the mixture and spoon into the prepared tin.Spread the remaining currants over the top.
9. Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until risen,firm and golden brown.
10. Meanwhile,boil the reserved juice and cinnamon stick rapidly to reduce by about half, until slightly syrupy. Discard the cinnamon stick.
11. Cut the cake into slices and serve warm with the hot syrup spooned over.

Meringue Cake


Recipe source:

Cake Batter:

4 largeeggyolks
1 cup (100 grams) sifted cakeflour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) (114 grams)  unsaltedbutter
1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated whitesugar
1 teaspoon purevanillaextract
1/4 cup (60 ml) milk
Meringue Layer:
4 largeeggwhites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/3 cup (65 grams) granulated whitesugar
1/2 teaspoon purevanillaextract
1 cup (240 ml) heavy whippingcream
1- 2 tablespoons (14 – 28 grams) granulated whitesugar
1 pound (454 grams) fresh strawberries, cut into bite sized pieces
Confectioners Sugar (powdered or icing) fordustingtop of cake

Cake:Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Grease and flour two – 8 x 1 1/2  inches (20 x 3.75 cm) round cake pans. Set aside.
Separate the eggs while they are still cold, placing the yolks in one bowl and the whites in another bowl. Cover the two bowls with plastic wrap and allow the eggs to come to room temperature before using (about 30 minutes).
In a mixing bowlsiftor whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter until soft (about 2 minutes). Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes). Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and then beat in the vanilla extract.
With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and milk, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour. Divide the batter evenly between the two cake pans, smoothing the tops with an offset spatula. Set aside while you make the meringue layer. 
Meringue:In a clean bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the egg whites until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and continue beating until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in the sugar and continue to whip until stiff peaks form. Beat in the vanilla extract. 
Divide the meringue between the two cake pans, gently smoothing the tops with an offset spatula.Bake for approximately 25 – 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. The meringue layers will have turned a light brown and will be crisp to the touch but soft inside.Place the pans on a wire rack to cool. When completely cooled, remove from pans. 
Shortly before serving whip the cream with the sugar until soft peaks form. Cut the strawberries into bite sized pieces and, if necessary, add a little sugar to sweeten them. Place one of the cake layers, meringue side up, on a serving platter. Spread the whipping cream onto the cake and top with the strawberries. Gently place the second cake layer, cake side down so the meringue layer is facing up, onto the first layer. Dust with confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar. If not eating immediately, cover and place in the refrigerator until serving time. The assembled cake will hold in the refrigerator for a few hours. 

Apple Crumble

Joining Sweet Punch was one of the best decisions of my life! Coz I have been on a baking spree ever since. I feel ecstatic realizing the fact that I have been baking goodies whose names I hadn’t remotely heard of in my life. We IT employees are always at the edge of a sword to fulfil work within deadlines. I have deadlines in Sweet Punch too. I need to post the recipes on 7th of each month… Well, these deadlines are much sweeter and dearer with a worthy end product we could relish. (At work, our customers relish our end product, nevertheless that too gives a different kind of satisfaction)
This time Divya placed a challenge of making Pear crumble. Since I couldn’t manage to find pears I substituted with apples. I didnt know crumble would turn out. I blindly followed the recipe. I didnt know when to stop baking coz the recipe instructed to bake till ‘golden and bubbling’. And my crumble was not bubbling uniformly. The adhoc bubbles left me puzzled whether I was to stop there or continue. I baked for 10 extra minutes than what the recipe called for and then stopped at the fear of a burnt crumble. The pics are not up to the mark. Like the saying goes ‘Appearances are deceptive’, the crisp crust and a ‘oh-so’ soft base of apples was a combo to die for. The presence of chocolates, almonds and lemon made it even more special. We all loved it even without vanilla ice-cream.
1kg (4-5) ripe apples, peeled, cored and chopped into 1cm pieces
50g light brown soft sugar [ Can substitute with regular sugar]
Grated zest and juice of 1 unwaxed lemon
100g Swiss milk chocolate, roughly chopped
For the crumble:
100g plain flour [ You could substitute this with Whole wheat flour too]
50g butter, chilled and diced
50g light brown soft sugar
50g blanched almonds, lightly toasted in a dry pan and roughly chopped
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4. Grease 6 ovenproof teacups or ramekins or a pie-dish.
2. In a medium bowl, mix together the pears, brown sugar, lemon zest and juice, and half the chocolate.
3. Divide the mixture between the teacups or ramekins, spooning over any juice. 
4. To make the crumble, place the flour and butter in a medium bowl and, with your fingertips, rub together until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar, almonds and remaining chocolate. 
5. Spoon the crumble over the pears and press down lightly. Place the crumbles on a baking tray and bake for 30-40 minutes until golden and bubbling.
6. Serve with a scoop of good vanilla ice-cream.