Monday, 24 August 2015

Extremely Chocolatey Butter Cake

I had to give the title of 'extremely chocolatey' because that is exactly how it is..:) A very firm cake.. but soft crumbed.. It was like eating a blown up chocolate.. :).. and needless to say, well loved by kids. The recipe is an adapted one. The 3/4 cup cocoa is a lot.. and I'm thinking of reducing it to 1/2 cup next time... :)


1 1/2 cup APF
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
a pinch of salt
3/4 cup cocoa
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
115 g unsalted butter
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk

Prepare a 9 inch baking tin. Preheat the oven to 170deg C.
Sift the dry ingredients except sugar in a bowl.
Cream the butter and sugar. Add the egg and vanilla and beat well.
Add the buttermilk alternating with the flour mix.. Do not overmix.
Scrape into the pan and bake for about 50 mins or until done. I took 80 mins because my tin was smaller..
Unmold the cake and allow it to cool and enjoy it the next day.. :)

Monday, 3 August 2015

Nankhatai / Indian Butter Cookies

My Nankhatai are done. . :)
Tastes like mysore pak cookies. .as I added besan.. After all there is no fun in making a plain butter cookie with ghee .. so the gram flour. :P.. Have given a close up of the crumb. . :) a nice crunchy texture. . Tried Vanilla flavoured.. next time will give it cardamom. .:)

1 cup Maida (all purpose flour)
1/4 cup gram flour
a pinch of Baking Soda
a pinch of Salt
1/2 cup ghee
1/2 cup Sugar, powdered
1 tsp vanilla extract

Sieve 1 cup maida in a bowl, add gram flour, baking soda and a pinch of salt.Mix them with a spoon.
Take ghee and powdered sugar in another bowl and beat them. Add vanilla.
Add sieved dry ingredients.Mix well and make a dough using hand. Do not knead much.
Rest the dough in a cling film wrap.
Preheat oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit (180 degree Centigrade) for at least 10 minutes. Divide dough into 12-15 equal portions and make round shaped balls from it. Line an aluminum foil over baking tray. Take each ball and press a little between your palms to flatten and place it over baking tray. If you want, you can make a criss-cross cut using a knife over top surface of each cookie. Top each one with a little bit of finely chopped pistachio or any nuts of your choice and press gently with your finger. Keep enough space between each cookie because it will expand in size during baking.
Bake for about 20 mins.. or till light golden.. keep an eye on it after 15 mins.
Remove baking tray from oven. Cookies will be soft at this stage but they will turn crispy and hard as they cooldown. Cool on a wire rack and enjoy...:)

Sunday, 31 May 2015

Egg Free Vanilla Cake with Bananas

Having lots of over ripe bananas at hand, the first thing that came to my mind was to try an egg substitution with banana. Decided on my plain vanilla cake recipe and here is the result.. A super moist and tender crumbed cake..which could be the perfect base for an eggless christmas fruit cake..some spices and nuts can change the whole story.. :D.. must try it sometime later.. :)

     1 1/2 cups (195 g) all purpose flour
     2 tsp baking powder
     1/4 tsp salt
     1 cup  [granulated white sugar + brown sugar (can take half and half or use just one type) ]
     100 g unsalted butter at room temperature
     1 tsp vanilla extract
     3/4 cup banana puree/mashed
     1/2 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place rack in the center of the oven. Butter (or spray with a non stick vegetable spray) a 9 inch (23 cm)  cake pan with three inch (7.5 cm) sides.

In a large bowl, sift or whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter and then add sugar until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and then beat in the vanilla extract. Add the banana puree beating well after the addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the flour mixture (in three additions), alternately with the milk (in two additions), ending with the dry ingredients.
Pour the batter into the cake pan, smoothing the top. Bake in preheated oven for about 35-40 minutes (the time varies with different ovens) or until the top of the cake has browned and starts to pull away from the sides of the pan (a toothpick inserted into the cake will come out clean). Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool for about 10 minutes. Run a sharp knife around the edge of the pan and then ease the cake onto your serving plate.

Makes one - 9 inch (23 cm) cake. Serves 6 to 8.

Friday, 1 May 2015


A delightful italian dessert... I have made it several times with eggs.. but not being a great lover of the yolk flavour.. decided to give it a go without the zabaglione. The pudding has set like a cake good enough to slice.. :)


36 ladys finger biscuits
100 g chocolate

Soaking mix:
300 ml boiling water
2 tblsp instant coffee granules
6 heaped teaspoons of sugar
1 tblsp vanilla extract
3 tblsp baileys Irish cream

Cheese filling:
2 cups heavy whipping cream
10-12 tsp sugar
500 g cream cheese
1 tblsp vanilla extract
3 tblsp baileys irish cream

Prepare the coffee soaking syrup by dissolving the coffee granules and sugar in boiling water. Cool and add vanilla and irish cream.

Beat the cream cheese with half the sugar and irish cream.

Whip the cream with sugar and vanilla till soft peaks form.

Fold 1/3rd of the cream into the cheese mix to lighten. Then the rest in two batches folding in gently each time.

Refrigerate until use.
Prepare a 10 inch springform pan lined with cling film. (it will help in the easy removal of the ring.)

Dip the biscuits in the coffee syrup one by one and arrange at the bottom.(just dip..  Do not drench)

Spread half the cheese mix over the biscuit layer.

Grate some chocolate over it.

Layer the biscuits dipped in the coffee syrup again.

Spread the cheese mix over it... decorate with more grated chocolate. Refrigerate for atleast 6 hours. Remove the ring and cling film gently.

Serve cold... and enjoy!!

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Shawarma Sauce

Everyone loves shawarma... The meaty saucy middle eastern wrap with fresh crisp veggies.. :) I am yet to come across someone who can say no to this wonderful sandwich.. :P and the garlicky sauce that goes with it is what makes this mouthwatering delight complete.. :D
I have picked the yoghurt based tahini sauce.. and flavoured it according to my tastes.. Each batch is different though..:)    
Here is a recipe without the yoghurt                   


1/2 cup of thick yoghurt
3 tablespoons of tahini
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
a clove or two minced garlic/paste
1/4 teaspoon salt
*optional: chilly flakes/ pepper/chilly powder/ketchup
*Here I have used 1/2 teaspoon chilly powder and a tablespoon ketchup

Whisk all the ingredients in a bowl till thick and even.. :)
The lemon juice can be added according to taste.
Enjoy as a dip or spread on your shawarma/ sandwich instead of mayo.


Monday, 20 April 2015

A Perfectly Chocolate Cake

I fell in love with it the first time I had it.. and every time I have it.. I fall in love all over again. . :P
A snack or a dessert. .I have used this cake in all possible ways to make my family and friends happy.. and is an ultimate Chocoholic's delight when teamed with Ganache or Vanilla ice cream. . :P I would call it a fluffed up Chocolate bar.. :D
Got this recipe from an aunt of mine who makes wonderful cakes.. and I remember her with gratitude each time I bake this, for sharing this beautiful, no fail recipe.

1 cup = 240 ml
For measure in grams refer here

3 cups All purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup flavourless oil
1 cup curd/ yogurt (sour)
2 large eggs
1 or 2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup hot water

Preheat the oven to 175 degree C. Prepare a 9x13 inch pan ..greased and lined with baking paper.

                                                   Whisk all the dry ingredients in a bowl.

                                            Whisk all the wet ingredients except hot water in another bowl.

Add the wet in to the dry and beat on slow speed until it is combined. Add the hot water slowly beating the mix as you do so.
Pour into the pan and bake for 60-80 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Cool a bit and remove from the pan..allow to cool completely on a wire rack.. 

And... always serve it on the next day ... :)

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Apple Upside Down Cake

This is one of my mother's favorite cakes... and so made it for her homecoming ...:)
I have made this cake several times... and each time it has a different ending. Sometimes the apple pieces would 'come up' into the cake batter as it cooks,,as it happened this time, or it would stay at the bottom and get caramelized with the toffee layer. Either way you get a nice, sticky, toffee topped vanilla cake.. :D

For the vanilla cake the recipe is here

 Ingredients for apple layer

2 green apples sliced thin (can also use red..but the tartness of the green ones are perfect)
4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) (55 grams) unsalted butter, cut in small pieces
3/4 cup  brown sugar
a tablespoon of fresh cream (optional)
a pinch or two cinnamon powder.. to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place rack in the center of the oven. Butter and line with baking paper, a 9 inch (23 cm) round cake pan with three inch (7.5 cm) sides.

Mix all the ingredients except apples and pour into the prepared pan (9 inch)

                                                          Layer the apple slices.

Pour the vanilla cake batter over the slices and bake.

It will take longer than the plain cake..About 30 mins. more. It is ready when a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

  Allow to cool and then flip it onto a plate to bring the apple layer up.

Slice and serve.... :)

Saturday, 7 March 2015

A Mousse Cake

It was Papa's birthday... :)  Thinking about something new to try, I came across this site  ...It looked awesome... A mousse cake.. :P
I have eaten this dessert several times and have always wanted to give it a go. The addition of gelatine did not appeal to me... and searching for an agar version was not fruitful either. The only information I got was to add 1 Tsp of agar powder or a tablespoon of flakes for every cup of liquid/cream.. I had no agar powder nor the flakes. . Just the strands. Having no alternative I decided to experiment. Somehow I managed to get a cake which was firm enough to slice when chilled but soft when brought to room temperature.... Thus a long post on my first experience with agar. Next time I would try with more quantity of agar.. to try if it would remain firm at room temperature.

       The layers ... brownie, chocolate mousse, cream cheese, ganache...

It all starts with a fudgy layer of brownie ...recipe here
I made it in a 7 inch pan this time.

 Give a wrap of baking paper around the brownie..securing it with tape. Put the cake ring on.                                                                              

The Mousse layers...

Chocolate layer:
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2-3 teaspoons of granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
120g dark chocolate (mine is Galaxy)
80g milk chocolate
agar 2 teaspoons powder/ the strands as shown in the picture

It has to be soaked in a cup of water for 15-20mins

Beat the cream till soft peaks form..add the vanilla and sugar and whip until dissolved.

Melt the chocolate . Bring the agar to a slow boil ...for about 10-15 mins till dissolved, stirring frequently. Take off the flame and bring down the temperature a little by stirring to avoid setting. Add the hot agar mix to the melted chocolate spoonful at a time..  if the chocolate seizes(mine did) continue adding the hot agar mix little by little and stir till the chocolate is free of lumps. (I read that to prevent the chocolate from seizing you can add a teaspoon of water to it before melting) 
Stir your mix constantly as you bring down the temperature because you don't want to set your agar before adding the cream. Add the cream in 3 additions folding in carefully to avoid loosing the fluffiness.

Your mix should look like this. Pour it over the brownie. Smoothen the top. Refrigerate till it sets. 
Note:You need to work very quickly with agar or it will set before you pour over the brownie. 

The cream cheese layer:                                                                                                                     200g philadelphia cream cheese                                                                                                    
4 table spoons honey+ a tablespoon of sugar                                                                                 
1 cup of heavy whipping cream.                                                                                                    
3 tablespoons of granulated sugar                                                                                                  
A teaspoon of vanilla extract or Bailey's Irish cream                                                                    
     2 teaspoons of agar powder/agar strands as shown in the earlier picture(soak it in a cup of water for 15-20mins)

Beat the cream till soft peaks form..add the vanilla/ Irish Cream and sugar and whip until dissolved. 
Bring the cheese to room temperature and add the honey. Mix well. 
Bring the agar to a slow boil ...for about 10-15 mins till dissolved, stirring frequently. Take off the flame and bring down the temperature by stirring to avoid setting. Add the warm agar to the cheese mix a spoonful at a time stirring to avoid setting the agar. Fold in the cream in 3 additions.

Pour over the chocolate mix and smoothen the top.Refrigerate till it sets.. ( I left for 2 hours)

The moment of truth!! Unmold from the ring. It has set !!!... :) :) 
(the chocolate layer has set well.. the cream cheese layer need more agar I think)

Pour over the ganache ...recipe here

Refrigerate till you use it. ....:)