Category: Dessert


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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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.
This is a typical Konkani Sweet Dish that gets made during festivities. One of our aunt’s mom was an expert in making these. They are the melt in your mouth kind and bite sized. Just pop one into your mouth and experience the bliss. I can never eat just one. I had absolutely forgotten about this sweet until recently I saw it in The India Food Court. The author Prathibha has given a beautiful step by step pictorial for making it. She made it appear so simple, so I had to give it a try… 
For the dough:
Maida – 1 cup
Chiroti Rawa / Fine Suji – 2 tsp
Melted Ghee – 1 tsp
Water – Around 1/2 cup
Salt to taste
Method:
Mix all the above ingredients and knead into a firm but pliable dough. Keep it covered for about half an hour.
For the filling:
Thin poha / beaten rice – 2-3 cups
Sugar – 1 cup
Green Cardamom – 8-10
Method:
1. Dry roast Poha in a Pan so that it crimples and turns crispy.  Ensure that it does not change its colour. Keep aside
2. Dry roast sugar in a pan till it begins crystallizing. Keep aside. Once cooled, grind together poha, sugar and cardamom into a coarse powder.
Method for assembling the final dish:
1. Heat oil in a pan for deep frying.
2. Pinch a small ball from the dough and roll it to a thin disc (1mm thickness) 
3. When the oil is hot, just add the disc into it, fry on both sides for not more than 30 secs.
4. Remove it from pan. Add a tsp of the sugar-poha powder.
5. Fold it in a semi circle. Again sprinkle little more powder on it and fold into a triangle.
6. Roll this in the powder once and keep aside.
7. Once the Mandos come to room temperature, they may be preserved in an air tight container.
Note:
1. In the original recipe, the discs were folded in the oil itself. I tried doing it. But I guess I need more practice and expertise for that. So I did all the folding only after removing the disc from oil.
2. If you are rolling the discs ahead before frying, make sure you don’t pile them one on top of the other. Place them separately and covered.

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.



Dulche De Leche Payasam

 
I was raving about how I made Dulche De Leche at home in my last post. While I had plans to make brownie and flan using it, I had some guests coming over. Due to short notice, I made this easy breezy payasam impromptu. There is no such recipe as such. I shallow fried some vermicelli in ghee. When it turned brownish, I add milk and let it cook. I finally threw in dulche de leche as per my sweet buds. It’s as easy as that folks. I do not have the exact measurements of milk to vermicelli to dulche de leche ratio here coz I added by instincts and while tasting as I went about it. So follow your instincts folks! It came quite close to Nolen Gurer Payesh due to its caramelized taste.

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.

After having successfully made rasagullas at home, I was flying high. Abbas put me back on ground and assigned me another mission of making Mishti Doi at home. I love it when people demand some food to be prepared by me. After surfing a lot of Bengali recipes over the net, I came up with this version. After 2-3 trial and errors, the following measurements worked out best! It’s very easy to prepare, only thing that needs utmost care is the right temperature of milk at which you need to add curd and shut it off to set.
Ingredients:
Milk – 1/2 litre
Curd – 2 tbsp (I used Nestle Dahi)
Sugar – 4 tbsp
Water – 1 tbsp
Method:
1. Heat milk and 2 tbsp of sugar in a heavy bottomed pan till it reduces to almost half.
2. Heat remaining sugar and water in a separate pan till it attains a golden brown colour. Add this to simmering milk and boil for another 10 mins.
3. Strain and pour the milk into a bowl in which you want to set the Doi.
4. You need to add curd as the milk cools down and is luke warm. (If milk is too hot it will curdle, milk is too cold it will not set)
5. Close with a lid and place in a warm place overnight or till it sets. (Refrain from disturbing the bowl to check again and again. You may place the bowl in your oven with the lights on whole night.)

Rasagulla

When in Kolkata, I used to often buy an earthen pot laden with 15 rasagullas on the way back home from work. The sweet shops usually prepare fresh rasagullas in the evening. Ma and I are huge fans of hot rasagullas and we would gulp down rasagullas as if there was no tomorrow. We would keep aside a couple of them for Abbas. After moving out of Kolkata we rarely got fresh rasagullas. And I don’t like tinned ones much. Even if we get, we find them too expensive as we were used to buying them at 2 bucks each. It was in Chennai that I learnt making rasagullas as milk used to curdle every other day and I had to find a way of putting it to good use.
Turns out that my kids have become huge fans of rasagullas. Whenever Ma leaves Bangalore, they ask her to bring ‘Lottotullas’ for them. There’s nothing like Kolkata’s fresh rasagullas from Mishtir Dokan. But my version is quite good too. If you have the sugar syrup left after finishing all the rasagullas, don’t throw it. You can make Bengali chutney using the sugar syrup.
1 litre milk gave approximately 25 small rasagullas
Ingredients:
1 lt milk
3 tbsps lemon juice
3 1/2 cups water
1 cup sugar
pinch of cardamom pwd

Method:
1. Take a heavy bottomed vessel and boil milk. Once its boiled, slowly add the lemon juice and you will find that the milk will curdle and the whey will separate. The whey will become clear which is an indication that the milk has curdled completely. Immediately add about 10-12 ice cubes and turn off flame. Leave aside for 3-4 mins.
2. Strain the whey and add the chenna to a damp cheese cloth or a light cotton cloth. Gather the four corners of the cloth and twist it gently and rinse under cold water to remove the sourness of the lemon juice. Tie the ends and hang it at a height and allow the whey from the chenna to drain completely. Leave aside for 30 mts.
3. Remove the chenna onto a wide plate. Now knead it gently for 7 mts till there is no trace of moisture and is absolutely soft on touch. This is a very crucial step in the process of rasgulla making.
4. While you are kneading the chenna, prepare the sugar syrup. Place a pressure cooker on the stove and add water and sugar and allow the sugar to dissolve. Bring it to a rolling boil. Add a pinch of cardamom pwd.

5. While the sugar syrup is cooking, make small smooth balls of the kneaded chenna. Ensure there are no cracks on the balls. Slowly add the chenna balls to the boiling sugar syrup. Place lid and pressure cook upto 1 whistle and continue to cook for another 4 mts.
6. Turn off heat. Once the pressure is off, remove the lid. The balls will double in size and become light and springy on touch. If you feel that the balls are not cooked yet, place lid and cook for another 5 mts without the whistle at medium heat.

I’m sending this to Flavours of Bengal event hosted by Priya and origintaed by Nayna
We were a family of cricket fanatics at home except Amma. We would be glued to the television sets during cricket matches played by India. My Annamma (grandma) was a self proclaimed cricket freak! Sindhu (my sis) and I accompanied Annamma while watching the late night matches. After marriage, I stopped watching matches coz they reminded me of those days. And I didn’t like cricket with the absence of Annamma and Sindhu by my side to cheer and frown. Sindhu would occasionally even put me out of the drawing room and make me sit in some other room when Indian wickets fell coz she believed it was because of me… This time however I couldn’t stop myself from getting hooked to the sport ever since India reached quarter finals. I closely followed all three matches against Australia, Pakistan and Srilanka… Yes, I remembered Annamma and Sindhu all the while. So all I did was imagine how they would have rejoiced at opponent’s wicket fall or boundaries and sixers hit by Indians.
Kudos to the Indian team for bagging the World Cup this time. It sure was a lifetime experience to watch this victory coz I wasn’t even born during the previous Indian World Cup victory… FB and Twitter have been infectious in spreading the Cricket virus. One question by Ria in FB ‘How should we celebrate it?’ had lots of people making something sweet in unison towards a single cause. I too couldn’t resist joining in. So here goes Chocolate Honeycomb Cake for the Indian Cricket Team who worked hard like honeybees with unity towards an undeterred aim and came out with flying colours…
With IPL round the corner, my loyalty is all with Bangalore Royal Challengers. Well, I will be left alone with the rest at home supporting Kolkata Knight Riders. Never mind! Let’s wait and watch… Who are you supporting this IPL season?
Cake recipe source:
It’s the ‘Perfectly Chocolate’ Chocolate Cake by Hershey’s
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:
Whipped cream – 11/2 to 2 cups (I used whipped cream powder, since it had sugar in it, I didn’t have to add any)
Pepsi / Coke – 1 cup
Chocolate curls – for decorating
For the honeycomb pattern:
Semi sweet chocolate – 10 oz
Bubble wrap
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 both the cakes are cool, cut them horizontally into 2 layers each.
  2. Place the first layer on the serving plate. Drizzle pepsi / coke all over it. Cover with whipped cream. Repeat the same for next three layers.
  3. Cover the top and sides with whipped cream. Stick chocolate curls all over the sides of the cake.
For the bubble wrap:
  1. Cut a template out of bubble wrap of the size and shape of the top of your cake.
  2. Melt chocolate in microwave for a minute. Stir well. Pour the melted chocolate evenly all over the bubble wrap.
  3. Once the chocolate is half set, carefully invert it over the top of the cake and slightly press it.
  4. Refrigerate for 15 mins and then carefully peel off the bubble wrap.
This was undoubtedly the best cake I have baked so far. It was super moist and perhaps addition of Pepsi on all layers made it even moister. I just couldn’t stop myself staring at the honeycomb pattern. It was hard to believe that it was so simple to get yet looked so elegant. All thanks to Ria, I got this idea from her!
This goes out to Bookmarked Recipes every Tuesday event hosted by Aipi.

And also to Treat To Eyes Series-2 hosted by Rumana
 

With my right wrist tightly gripped with a bandage which extends to embrace the thumb as well, I am unable to freely use the hand. I just hate it!  Once in a while I rip the bandage off when I feel very frustrated but put it back on with a hope of removing it once and for all soon. In such times of crisis, posts lying in Drafts come very handy.
When Ria posted her Checkboard Gateau, I was simply enthralled. I too love experimenting with techniques and she is an inspiration. I love twists and turns to the conventional way. When I’m caught by inhibitions before trying out something, I somehow catch Ria on FB. Her words of encouragement give the necessary thrust to go ahead. I made this cake over the weekend and used Chocolate Mascarpone frosting to cover the cake. In my excitement, I even gave it a chocolate lace border. The top was decorated with left over melted chocolate in the piping bag. The top looks more like a Rangoli now when I see in the pics. (Well, I am improving with each new cake)
Ingredients:
For the vanilla sponge:
3eggs
1/2c sugar
1/2 c flour minus 1 tbsp
1tbsp cornstarch/cornflour
1tsp vanilla extract
For the chocolate sponge:
3 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 c flour minus 3 tbsp
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1tbsp cornstarch/cornflour
1tsp vanilla extract
For Assembling:
1 portion soaking syrup (Dissolve 1 cup granulated sugar in 1 cup warm water.)
1/2 cup heavy cream, whipped (I used whipped cream powder)
For Chocolate Mascarpone Frosting:
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
1 cup whipped cream
2 tbsp coco powder
Sugar to taste (I didn’t require sugar as I used whipping cream powder which already had sugar in it)
Vanilla essence – ½ tsp (optional)
Whip heavy cream till it forms firm peaks. I used whipping cream powder. It gave me very good results. Just make sure you use ice cold water while using whipped cream powder. It’s also recommended to freeze your beater blades before beating.
Gently fold in the rest of the ingredients. (Do not over beat as the mascarpone cheese might curdle)
Method:
For the sponge (Vanilla & Chocolate)
1. Preheat the oven to 350F/180C
2. Butter and flour/line a 8′ round cake tin with parchment paper.
3. Sift the dry ingredients together. Reserve.
4. Beat the eggs and sugar together till mousse like and almost tripled in volume. This will take about 10-12 mins of beating on high using an electric beater. DO NOT skimp on this as we are not using any leavening agents (baking powder/baking soda). Otherwise the cake WILL NOT rise.
5. Fold the dry ingredients into the egg mixtures, carefully. The mixture will deflate a little, don’t worry.
6. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 28-30 mins or till the top is springy to touch and the skewer inserted comes out clean.
7. Cool in the tin for 10 mins and then invert it onto a rack and cool completely.
To make the checkerboard pattern:
Imagine a cake having 2 more concentric circles in it .Cut accordingly. I used a round my measuring cup for the innermost circle and a container lid the middle circle as the template. So now, you have 3 rings out of one cake. Similarly do the same with the second cake.
Now, interchange the middle ring. While you do so, be careful and try to spread some whipped cream/jam/ganache so that the rings sticks together. Now you will be left with two black and white cakes. Place one cake (with the interchanged rings) on the serving plate and soak it using half the soaking syrup. Spread some whipped cream over it and place the second cake over it. Spoon the remaining syrup over it.
Cover the sides and top with chocolate mascarpone frosting.
For the chocolate lace border:
Melt some chocolate and pour into a piping bag. Measure the height and circumference of your cake pan and cut parchment paper of the same size. Doodle pattern over the parchment paper using the piping bag. When the chocolate is almost about to set, wrap the cake with parchment paper lightly pressing the chocolate lace onto the cake. Keep in refrigerator for about 5 minutes and delicately peel off the parchment paper. It’s really very easy to do…
Serve the cake chilled
Note: My vanilla sponge had a thin portion which was a bit stiff, I dunno why! But on the whole, the cake won me a feather in my baking cap! Thanks Ria.

My li’l assistants at work. The best part is they remind me to click photos of food if I forget to.