Category: Cakes


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

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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.

 

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.

Many many years ago at my parent’s place in Kundapur…
Over-ripe bananas lying uneaten – Amma would make Mangalore Buns out of them. It’s a sweet deep fried bread.
Over-ripe mushy mangoes lying untouched – Amma would smash them using her hands and extract all the pulp, make rasayana out of it and serve with puris.
My reaction to her antics – “You are being so stingy. You are sneaking in rotten fruits in food just so that they are consumed. Why don’t you throw them away?”
…..
…..
…..
…..
Many years later, now at my household,
Over-ripe bananas lying uneaten – I make banana bread out them
Over-ripe mushy mangoes lying untouched – I make Mango cake out of them
My children are still small to call me stingy but hey, when they do step in my shoes, they will realize one day, just the way I did!!!
Here goes the recipe:
Ingredients:
All-purpose flour/maida – 1 1/4 cups
Baking soda – 1/4 tsp
Baking powder – 1 1/4 tsp
Pinch of salt
Sugar – 2/3 cup ((I used powdered sugar)
Cardamom powder – 1/2 tsp
Mango puree – 3/4 cup
Refined oil – 1/2 cup
Buttermilk – 1/2 cup (or ½ cup milk + ½ tbsp lemon juice kept aside for 10 mins)
Method:
1.      Pre-heat the oven at 180C.
2.      Grease and flour an 8″-9″ round baking tin.
3.      Sieve flour, baking pwd, baking soda and salt. Add sugar and cardamom powder to the flour mixture and mix.
4.      In a bowl, add vegetable oil, buttermilk and mango puree and mix well. Now, add the flour mixture and mix with the wet ingredients. Do not over mix. Gently tap the pan on the kitchen counter once to release any air bubbles.
5.      Pour into the prepared aluminum tin.
6.      Bake for 30-35 minutes. Let it cool on wire rack.

Sending this to Bookmarked Recipes Every Tuesday hosted by Aipi and Priya

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]
Directions
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.

My kids’ 3rd birthday was round the corner. We had huge plans for their birthday. Last two years’ celebration was restricted to just family, prepared some good food and 2 cakes! Ever since they joined the crèche, they had been part of their peers’ birthday celebration and would come home with return gifts. They would ask me when they would be celebrating their birthdays. This year, June 8th was going to be a Wednesday. They joined school starting June 6th. Their birthday was celebrated in advance at their crèche where they had lots of friends. It was on 3rd which was their last day at the crèche before hopping on to school. After a lot of brainstorming and surfing around the blogosphere, I finally went with my very trusted Zebra cake. I topped it with some Chocolate frosting and concluded with a note ‘Happy birthday Mantam’ using whipped cream.
Second celebration was on 8th where we had them distribute toffees at school. Sticking to traditional values, I made a Payasam / Payesh on that very day.
Final celebration was at home where we had a small get-together with friends, colleagues and relatives. Unfortunately there were no kids in the guest list. So we had organized a few games for adults. We did all the decorations and preparation ourselves. Abbas suggested that food and cake will be brought from outside. I somehow couldn’t give in to the idea of people coming home for lunch and not eating my cooked food. We ended up in a win-win negotiation. I could cook a few dishes which would be easy for me to rustle up and not dedicate huge time in the kitchen. Rest would be outsourced. Finally we had Naan, Matar Paneer, Dal Makhani and Kheer ordered. I prepared Mint Coriander Ghee Rice, Methi Murg, Tomato Chutney, Boondi Raita, Salad, Papad at home. Last but not the least was the birthday cake which I was adamant on baking on my own. I intended to stick to the protocol of baking 2 cakes but on second thought stuck to just one. I’m glad I chose the ‘Celebration Chocolate Cake’ by Hershey’s. It truly was decadent and won me accolades. I must say it was one of my best after Chocolate Honeycomb Cake.
Ingredients
Hershey’s Cocoa – ¾ cup
Boiling water – 1 cup
Butter or margarine – ½ cup+ 2 tbsp
Sugar – 2 cups
Eggs – 3
Vanilla extract – 1 tsp
All-purpose flour – 1 ¾ cups
Baking soda – 1 ½ tsp
Salt – ¼ tsp
Milk – ¾ cup
Dairy sour cream – ¼ cup (Can be substituted by yoghurt)

Method

1. Heat oven to 350°F.
2. Grease three 9-inch round baking pans. (I used rectangular pan and halved the batter and baked twice in it. I ended up with a 4 layer cake)
3. Line bottoms with wax paper-grease and flour paper.
4. Mix cocoa with boiling water in small bowl-stir until smooth. Set aside to cool.

5. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
6. Stir in vanilla. Gradually add cocoa mixture, beating well.
7. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt- add alternately with milk and sour cream to butter mixture, beating until blended.
8. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
9. Cool 10 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks; carefully peel off wax paper.
10. Cool completely.

Perfectly Chocolate Chocolate Frosting

Ingredients

Butter or margarine – ½ cup
Hershey’s Cocoa – 2/3 cup
Powdered sugar – 3 cups
Milk – 1/3 cup
Vanilla extract – 1 tsp
Melt butter. Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency. Add small amount additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla. Makes about 2 cups frosting.
Assembling:
  1. I baked 2 square cakes. So I horizontally cut each cake midway to get 4 layers.
  2. Place one layer on serving plate. I uniformly drizzled 3-4 tbsp of aerated cola (I used coke) This step ensures that you get a moist cake. Some use sugar syrup but I prefer cola.
  3. Spread the frosting uniformly with a spatula. Place the next layer and repeat the steps.
  4. Once all 4 layers are in place. Cover the top and sides with the frosting.
  5. I garnished with almond flakes and piping birthday note using whipped cream.

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”)
Ingredients:
  • 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
Method:
  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.

Paneer Pound Cake

Being in Bangalore during summer this year seems like a relief when I recollect last summer that we spent in Chennai. Kids’ were taken to the salon every month to chop all the hair off their head. We would make them wear smallest of chaddis (How we wished we could flaunt in a similar attire) They were given bath atleast thrice a day and prickly heat powder sprinkled generously all over their body. Severe heat meant all food items persihed even when kept out of the refrigerator for a small duration. Milk would curdle every other day and I learnt making rasagullas out of it. Recently I saw this paneer cake recipe at Divya’s blog which she had made out of curdled milk. It don’t possess the heart to forcefully curdle milk on purpose. One night I forgot (unintentionally) to place the milk saucepan in the refrigerator before going to sleep. The next morning when I saw the saucepan lying on my kitchen deck, I knew it was time for the bookmarked Paneer Cake. 
I made the cake in a Bundt Pan. The colourful eggs that you may see in the pics are empty egg shells that I preserved and painted.
Ingredients
Cake flour – 3/4 cup[make your own-add a tbsp of cornflour into your measuring cup and top it with flour-sift well] – (I used Weikfield’s vanilla custard powder instead of cornflour)
Baking powder – 1 1/2 tsp
Salted Butter – 60 gms
Fresh Paneer [drained] – 3/4 cup
Granulated sugar – 3/4 cup *
Egg – 1
Lime juice – 1 tsp
Vanilla Extract – 1 tsp (I added rose essence)

Method
1. Preheat oven to 180C. Grease and line an 8′ round cake tin. (I used a Bundt Tin)
2. Sift together the flour and baking powder. Keep aside.
3. Make a smooth paste of Paneer by blending it in the mixer. Cream the paneer and the butter till soft and fluffy.
4. Mix in the sugar and beat till the mixture is creamy. Scrape down the batter from sides of the bowl in between.
5. Add the egg and vanilla extract (in my case, rose essence) and beat well till mixed.
6. Spoon in the flour mix and beat on medium speed till you get a smooth batter. Add the lemon juice and beat again. The batter might look slightly curdled, but that’s alright.
7. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 30-35 minutes or till the top has turned a golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
8. Cool the cake in the tin for 5 minutes and then gently transfer to a wire rack for further cooling.
9. Slice and serve.

Note:
* I found the cake a bit extra sweet for my sweet tooth although when I tasted the batter before baking it seemed fine. I’m gonna reduce the sugar to 1/2 cup next time.

Sending this to ‘Bookmarked Receipes every Tuesday’ event hosted by Priya and Aipi

Moist Carrot Cake

I like trying out a new cake each time I bake and this time I picked up this Moist Carrot Cake from Nags’ Edible Garden. The picture of her cake frosted with cream cheese haunted me for days until I finally prepared it on one of those busy weekday nights. I chose to skip the frosting as the cake itself was dense, moist and we simply loved the cinnamon flavour in it.
Recipe:
Ingredients:
AP Flour / Maida – 1 cup
Baking powder – 1 tsp
Baking Soda – 1 tsp
Cinnamon powder – 1 tsp (Nags stresses on not skipping this and I second)
Salt – ¼ tsp
Ground all spice – ¼ tsp (optional – I didn’t add this)
Eggs – 2
Vegetable oil – ½ cup + 2 tbsp (I used sunflower oil)
Sugar – ½ cup
Brown sugar – 2/3 cup
Milk or buttermilk – ¼ cup (I used milk)
Grated carrots – 1 ½ cup
Walnuts – ½ cup coarsely chopped
Method:
1. Preheat oven to 350F / 180C
2. Grease and dust a baking tin.
3. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and allspice. Set aside.
4. In a large bowl whisk the eggs, oil, both sugars and milk (or buttermilk) until blended. Stir the flour mixture into the egg mixture just until combined. Fold in carrots and walnuts.
5. Transfer to your greased and floured baking tin. Bake about 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let it cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then invert onto a rack and let cook completely.
 

Sending this to ‘Bookmarked Recipes Every Tuesday’ event hosted by Aipi and Priya.