Category: Baking


Lemon_Cake_1

I have been guilty of letting my blogs gather dust over months. Someone had rightly said that the longer the gap, the harder it is to get back. Although my experiments with food is still the same, the enthusiasm to click pictures and draft posts died a slow death. When colleagues / friends taste my food and ask for recipes, I still come back to the blog to look for links and feel sad for its dormant state. Recently one of my relatives suddenly pinged me on Facebook and appreciated my blog and asked why I have stopped posting new recipes. I promised her that I would post a recipe soon. It is the love and faith of readers that keeps the bloggers going. And I am so grateful to all you lovely people who frequent my blogs in spite of my erratic posting patterns.

Although I haven’t been active on my blogs, I have been regularly reading fellow bloggers. I recently came across this Lemon Cake recipe at TGND’s space and the picture and the comments tempted me to bake it at the earliest. TGND had in turn tried GB’s recipe. Thank you TGND and GB. The cake turned out amazingly delicious. The proof of the cake was in its disappearing 😀 I had actually prepared the cake to return one of Abbas’s colleague’s dabba. I baked it in the evening and there were only a couple of pieces left by morning. I skipped the lemon glaze this time, but I’m gonna try it the next time.

Ingredients:

For the cake:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup maida or all purpose flour
  • A pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest (Whole lemon can be carefully grated so that only the yellow peel gets grated and not the white portion. Peel of 2 lemons yield approx 1 tbsp of zest)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk (You can add 1/2 a tsp of vinegar in 1/4 cup milk and let it rest for 15 mins instead)

For the glaze:

  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons powdered sugar

Recipe:

1. In a bowl, mix together the lemon juice, egg, oil, buttermilk, lemon zest, and granulated sugar. Beat well, till the sugar melts fully.

2. Add the other ingredients – maida, salt, baking powder, baking soda and wheat flour – to the bowl. Fold into the wet mixture gently. Mix everything thoroughly.

3. Preheat the oven for 10 minutes at 180 degrees. In the meanwhile, grease and flour a cake tin and keep ready. (I used a bundt cake tin)

4. When the oven is hot and ready, pour the batter into the cake tin. Let it bake for about 40 minutes at 180 degrees, or until a knife inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.

5. While the cake is cooking, prepare the lemon glaze. For the glaze, mix together the teaspoonful of lemon juice and powdered sugar well. While the cake is still warm, remove it from the cake pan and spread the glaze evenly all over it.

Lemon_Cake_2 Lemon_Cake_3

Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon Rolls have been doing the rounds in the blogosphere and there was no way I could not get enticed by  its beauty. I checked so many recipes and finally decided to go with Aipi’s. The recipe was short with simple instructions and at first glance, it appeared very much do-able.  It was so easy to make but the proofing time while working with yeast left me impatient as always. I was bubbling with enthusiasm to dig into these sinful rolls. When they were baking, the aroma of cinnamon and bread wafted all around our home and it felt so so heavenly. The rolls were outright delicious and I’m planning to make a savoury version soon…

Here’s the recipe:

For the dough:

  • AP Flour / Maida – 3 1/4 cups
  • Rapid Rise Yeast – 3 tbsp  (I used Glorispan Active Dried Yeast)
  • Butter – 4 tbsp (melted)
  • Sugar – 4 tbsp
  • Salt – 3/4 tsp
  • Milk – 1 1/4 cup (warm)

For the cinnamon layer:

  • Sugar – 6 tbsp  mixed with 1 tbsp ground cinnamon powder (I ground sugar and cinnamon together in the mixie)
  • Butter – 2 tbsp melted

For the glaze:

  • Powdered sugar – 1 cup
  • Vanilla extract – 1 tsp
  • Butter – 1 tsp at room temperature
  • Milk – 3-4 tbsp

Method:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, add milk, sugar and yeast. Let it stand for 2-3 minutes. (I kept it for 10 minutes till the solutions turned frothy)
  2. Add in melted butter and salt. Grease your palm with olive oil.
  3. Add in flour slowly mixing all the while and then knead into a soft dough for about 5 minutes.
  4. Apply oil on top of the dough, cover with a wet kitchen towel. Keep the bowl aside in a warm place for 30-45 minutes or till the dough rises to double up in volume.
  5. Gently deflate and knead for a minute.
  6. Roll the dough into a 10″ X 12″ rectangle using a rolling pin. Brush melted butter all over. Now sprinkle the cinnamon sugar uniformly all over.
  7. Roll it into a log and cut into pieces 1″ apart. Place the slices flat on a greased baking tray atleast 1/2 ” apart.
  8. Cover it and let it rise for another 45 minutes.
  9. Preheat the oven to 350F. Bake for 20-22 minutes until golden brown.
  10. Whisk together milk, sugar, butter and vanilla till it attains think but pouring consistency.
  11. Let the rolls cool for about 10-15 minutes, pour the glaze all over.
  12. This can be served warm or kept in air tight container. Warm before serving.

Home Made Pizza – from scratch

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I have been making pizzas at home by buying the pizza bases off the shelf from stores. Although they turn out yum, the base always feels somewhat rubbery and thick. I have been looking around for simple recipes for home-made pizza dough. After searching through the internet, I finally made  my own thin crust pizza from scratch. It did turn out eons better than my pizzas so far. Ma even said that they taste better than the ones we get in pizza joints. Am I on Cloud 9 or what?

Recipe Source: Veg Bowl

Ingredients:
Dry yeast – 1 tsp
Water – 1/4 cup
Sugar – 1 tsp
Salt to taste
AP Flour / Maida – 1 cup

Water, if required

Olive oil – 1 tsp

Sauce/Toppings:

Tomato puree – 1 cup
Garlic – 4-5 cloves, finely chopped
Herbs of your choice – 1 tbsp + 1 tbsp
Tomatoes, onions, capsicum – chopped in rings
Mozzarella cheese – 1/4 cup, grated
Salt and Pepper or chilli flakes to taste

Method:

1. Mix yeast with a tsp of sugar and lukewarm water and keep aside for 1o mins. If it becomes frothy at the end of 10 mins, proceed. Else, it’s better to use good quality yeast.

2. Take flour in a large mixing bowl, make a well in the center. Pour the yeast mixture along with olive oil and salt. Knead the mixture into a soft pilable dough. If the dough is sticking to your hand, smear your palm with a few drops of olive oil and continue to knead. Once you get a smooth dough, cover with a kitchen towel and keep aside in a warm place for about an hour.

3. To make the Pizza sauce, heat olive oil in  a pan, saute garlic and spices. Add tomato puree and saute till thick and adjust salt.

4. Punch the risen dough ball and knead for a couple of minutes. Divide the dough into two ball and roll into thin pizza crust. You can roll the whole dough into a single crust but I made two to suit my oven size.

5. Preheat the oven to 220C.

6. Spread the pizza sauce evenly on the pizza crusts. Arrange tomato / onion / capsicum rings. Sprinkle evenly grated mozzarella cheese on top of it and a dash of olive oil. Finally sprinkle little salt and pepper powder or chilli flakes.

6. Bake for 20 mins. Keep checking as every oven might be different.

Keeping up with the self imposed tradition, celebrated Sunny’s birthday yet again this year. Ma made Nolen Gurer Payesh and I made a few mini cakes and cupcakes.

Recipe source: Ruchik Randhap

Ingredients:r
AP flour / maida – 1 cup
Unsweetened cocoa powder – 6 tbsp
Powdered Sugar – 1/2 cup + 3 tbsp
Baking soda – 1 tsp
Instant coffee powder – 1 tsp
Salt -1/8th tsp
Odourless oil – 1/4 cup [I used sunflower oil]
White vinegar – 1 tsp, diluted
Vanilla extract/essence – 1 tsp
Water – 3/4 cup
Bottle gourd – 1 cup grated
Method:
1. Preheat oven at 180 degrees C for 10-15mins.
2. Grease a 7″ round cake tin with oil and line it with parchment paper – or just grease it well & dust it with flour. Keep aside.
3. Sift all the dry ingredients – flour, cocoa, sugar, salt, baking soda & coffee powder together in a large bowl
4. Make a small well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients – oil, vinegar, vanilla & water. Mix well.
5. Squeeze out excess water from the bottle gourd and add to the mixture and combine. Pour the contents into the prepared cake tin and bake for 30-35mins or till the skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
6. Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool in the tin for 10-15 after which you can gently invert it onto a wire rack and leave it uncovered to cool completely.

PS: I made 2 small cakes and 6 cupcakes with this batter and baked for around 20 mins.

X’mas Fruit Cake


I had decided to make a fruit cake this year long back and got home most of the raw materials required. I was looking for a tried and tested recipe coz it was my first time and I needed a morale booster so that I can continue the tradition year after year. Ria’s recipe of Betty Mammas fuit cake seemed like worth trying. Coz so far her recipes have always won me accolades. I also saw many readers commenting on this post saying how this recipe was a great hit at their household. This recipe yielded me 2 square cakes. One was divided among Abbas’s and my office colleagues and they were liked by all. The other cake got neatly packed in a layer of aluminium foil and then in a cling film and got carried all the way to Gurgaon by train. It was yet again liked by all. So folks, this recipe is a keeper, specially because of the fruit soaking duration which could be as less as overnight.

Ingredients:

To soak the fruits:
Dry fruits – 650g (I used raisins, tart cherries,candied ginger, orange peel & tutti-frutti)
Jam – 2 tsbp(I used Kissan Mango Jam)
Orange juice – ½ cup
Granulated /powdered sugar – 6 tbsp
Rum/brandy – 5 tsp
Lime/lemon juice – 1 tbsp
Vanilla extract – 1 tbsp
Cloves – 12 nos, powdered
Cinnamon – 1″stick, powdered
Nutmeg – 1, powdered

Mix everything together to soak and leave aside, covered atleast for a day/overnight. If you are soaking it for more than 3 days, leave it covered in the fridge.

For the cake:
Unsalted butter – 250g
Sugar – 300g, powdered (I used Demerara sugar)*
Eggs – 5 nos, separated
Granulated sugar – 5 tbsp
Aall purpose flour – 200g
Baking powder – 1 ½ tsp
Cashewnuts – 100 g
Milk – 3/4 c
Semolina/Rava – 50g

Granulated sugar to caramelize – 1 1/2 c
Hot water – 3/4 c

Method:
To caramelise sugar*: Take a heavy bottomed sauce pan & add the sugar. Keep it over medium to high heat and let it caramelise to almost black in colour.As soon as it reaches that colour, switch off the stove ,step back and pour the hot water little by little stirring all the way. This is caramel syrup and this is what that decides the colour of the cake.

Preparing the cake tin: Line the bottom and sides of 2 8″ round cake tins with parchment/butter paper. Please don’t skip this step or else the sides of the cake will turn hard after the long baking time.

For the cake batter:
1. Beat together the egg whites & 6 tbsp granulated sugar till glossy and stiff.
2. Cream butter and sugar together till pale and fluffy. 

3. Add in the egg yolks one at a time and beat well after each addition.
4. Add in the soaked dry fruits and beat it just to mix it well. Add in the flour, baking powder and rava/semolina. Beat well to mix everything together. 
5. Add milk and caramel syrup.Beat it just so that everything is mixed in well. Fold in the beaten egg whites.
6. Pour the cake batter into prepared tins.

To bake:
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C/350F for 10 mins and position the rack in the centre of the oven.
2. Bake the cake for 1 hour 45 minutes. If you see that the top is browning faster, place a loose sheet of aluminium foil over the cake tins.
3. Make sure you start checking the doneness after 1 hour, because each oven is different.

* Note:
The changes that I made to the recipe:
1. I used Demerara sugar instead of powdered sugar.
2. I caramelized sugar till almost black in colour but when I tasted it, I thought it was bitter and was scared to add it to the batter. So I made caramelized sugar all over again and this time only till it attained a pale brown colour. That’s why my cake’s colour is not that dark but the taste was awesome.
3. I skipped adding rum on top of the cake but it is still so moist even after it got packed and travelled long distance.

 

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

Ingredients:
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)

Method:
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:

Ingredients:
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

Method:
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.



Eggless Chocolate Cake

I have not been baking as rigorously as before. My oven is playing spoiled sport as in there were intermittent sparks seen from its rear end. But the baking itch is hard to let go. My kids too had not been taking baked goodies in their snack box to school for the past couple of weeks. I baked this Eggless version of Chocolate Cake which uses oil instead of butter. So, the cake was quite moist like Zebra Cake. Also, I did not have to wait for Eggs or Butter to come down to room temperature. Different toppings can be used but I stuck to the recipe which I adapated from coz I like the combo of walnut and chocolate.

Source: Easycooking

Ingredients:
Flour – 1 cup
Cocoa powder – 1/2 cup
Instant coffee powder – 1 tsp
Thick curd(homemade) – 1 cup
Sugar – 3/4 cup
Baking powder – 1 1/4 tsp
Baking soda – 1/2 tsp
Oil – 1/2 cup
Vanilla bean – 1/2 of 1 bean,scraped(or else use a tsp of Vanilla extract)
Chopped Walnuts – 1/2 cup
Vanilla bean sugar(or regular sugar) – 1 tbsp
Chocolate chips – 2 tbsp

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 200C. Grease an 8″ round cake tin.
2. Sift together All Purpose Flour, cocoa powder and instant coffee powder.
3. In a separate bowl, beat sugar and curd till creamy. Mix in baking soda, baking powder and vanilla extract. Keep aside till bubbles form.
4. Pour oil and beat well. Add sifted flour mixture and combine till well incorporated.
5. Pour the batter into a prepared tin. Sprinkle walnuts, chochips and vanilla sugar on top uniformly.
6. Bake at 200C for 10 minutes and 170C for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
7. Cool the cake in the tin for 5 minutes and then turn onto a wire rack for further cooling.

Home Baked Pav Buns

Having bitten by the baking bug big time, I have been successfully making cakes, muffins, cookies and brownies at home. I tried my hand at baking bread too and each time only my hope and expectation doubled up, but the yeast decided to bring them down twofolds. I tried each brand of yeast I could lay hands on in the supermarkets around, but it was as though each of the yeasts were competing with each other in attempts to disappoint me. That’s when I saw Suma posting different varieties of bread at her space. When I personally asked her which brand of yeast she uses, she told me its Gloripan and also told me the source to procure it from.  
Now this shop called ‘General Additivies’ is a small space and you wouldn’t know from its external appearance that it is a treasury any baker would love to loot! I had been there before but I was then a newbee in baking. This shop is located in Sheshadripuram which is more than an hour’s drive from my place. I kept mum as I did not want to face ridicule from hubby at the proposal of driving all the way there just to get a packet of yeast… As the thought occupied my mind, I even dreamt of having been there and asking for Gloripan yeast! They were unable to find it in the shop much to my distress. I then told them that it is the brand of yeast that Suma Rowjee buys from here. They immediatelylocated the packet and handed over to me… I was a happy girl (in my dream).
After a couple of months we visited GA as we had been to a place nearby and first thing I bought was this! First thing I wanted to try was from Suma’s blog, I picked the masala buns which came out well and I came out victorious finally!!! Phew. I have misplaced the pics of those buns somewhere and hence unable to post them first. I chose to bake Pav Buns as my second stint with yeast from Suman’s space. I had my first home baked Pav, straight out of the oven with a blob of butter and it tasted heavenly.

Ingredients:

AP flour / Maida – 3 cups

Dry yeast – 2 ¼ tsp

Sugar – 2 tbsp
Warm milk – 1 cup + ¼ tsp
Butter – 2 tbsp
Salt – ¾ tsp
Warm water – ¼ cup

Method:

1. Mix sugar and yeast in luke warm water and let it sit for 5-7 minutes, until it begins to bubble.
2. In another bowl, mix together the salt and all-purpose flour.
3. In a small pan, combine milk and butter, and microwave the same for 45 seconds or until milk is lukewarm.
4. Remove 2 tablespoon of milk mixture and keep it aside.
5. Add the yeast mixture to milk and mix everything together.
6. Pour into bowl of dry ingredients, using a mixer with dough hook, or by hand, knead dough until smooth but not sticky..
7. Coat a big bowl with the tablespoon of oil, drop in the dough, and coat with oil all over. Seal the bowl with plastic wrap, and let it rise in a warm place until doubled, about an hour.
8. Punch air out of dough. Divide the dough into 10-11 equal sized round balls.
9. Place on baking sheet almost touching, about 1/4 inch apart.
10. Cover with a kitchen towel, and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour.
11. Meanwhile, heat oven to 425 degrees. When rolls have risen, brush them with reserved butter and milk liquid.
12. Bake rolls until golden brown, about 15 minutes.

13. Transfer to a cooling rack and cool to serve.

Vanilla Cupcakes

I was looking for cupcake recipes as I wanted to do away with the pack of muffin liners that I got bored of. I’m gonna a buy a new set of them soon! While hunting for recipes, I landed in Divya’s space. Made  2 batches of Molten Center Chocolate Cupcakes and 2 batches of Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocochips. It’s a very easy peasy recipe that yields addictive vanilla cupcakes. I added a handful of chocolate chips to the batter. 
Recipe Source: Easy Cooking – Divya Kudua

Ingredients

Flour – 2cups
Baking powder – 2 tsp
Salt – ½ tsp
Butter – ½ cup
Sugar – 1 ¼ cup
Milk – 1 cup
Vanilla Essence / extract – 1 tsp
Eggs – 2


Method

1. Preheat the oven to 190C. Line muffin tin with liners.
2. Sift flour, baking powder & salt 3 times.
3. Cream butter and sugar well.
4. Add vanilla and eggs and beat well.
5. On low speed, beat in flour mix & milk alternatively in 3 lots.
6. Fill each muffin pan to ¾ th depth, and bake for 20-25 minutes till done.
7. Remove from muffin pan immediately & cool on racks.