Archive for the ‘Cakes’ Category

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While browsing through the food pictures from last year, I came across above picture and thought to post it on the blog. Its not one of the best pictures I clicked but I did not get time to bake this cake again for new pictures. There are too many dishes to experiment with and hence most of the times I am not able to re-create my old recipes. I love this cake for its sweet and tangy taste. The sweetness comes from blueberry and tangy taste comes from fresh squeezed orange juice. In the picture you can see how hastily I cut the cake before it cooled down. I am just like that – impatient. I couldn’t wait for the cake to cool down to have a good slice as I wanted to taste it so badly. That will be my advice and tip for any cake – make sure that the cake is not hot/warm and is cooled before cutting the slice from it. You will get the best slice of cake if kept in freeze for at least one hour.You can relish this cake with a cup of milk, coffee or tea. This cake can be a prefect gift to someone you love, someone special like mom as mother’s day is nearby. 

Ingredients :-

All purpose flour 1 and 1/2 cup minus 3 tablespoon
Blueberries 1 cup
Orange juice 1/2 cup
Orange zest 1 tablespoon
Sugar 1 cup
Baking powder 1 and 1/2 teaspoon
Baking soda 1/2 teaspoon
Salt 1/2 teaspoon
Yogurt 1/2 cup
Cornstarch 3 tablespoon
Oil 1/2 cup
Vanilla essence 1 teaspoon

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Method :-

  • Preheat oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit.
  • Coat a 9×5 inch loaf pan well with non-stick cooking spray or butter. You can even line the bottom of pan with parchment paper.
  • Wash the blueberries and pat them dry with a kitchen towel. Add some all purpose flour to the blueberries once they are dry and give a good mix. Keep it aside.
  • Sieve the all purpose flour/maida along with cornstarch/cornflour twice to ensure the even mixing.
  • Mix yogurt and sugar in other bowl and add baking powder and baking soda and let it rest for 2-3 minutes so that mixture turns bubbly and frothy.
  • After the mixture turns frothy add oil, vanilla and orange juice to it. Mix well.
  • Add the flour mixture one tablespoon at a time to the wet mixture and mix well. Do not over mix.
  • In the end add the blueberries and orange zest and fold them gently.
  • Put the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 45-50 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool it on wire rack. Let it completely cool before slicing and serving.

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Notes :-

  • You can use orange flavored orange yogurt to enhance the taste
  • You can use cranberries instead of blueberries or mix of both as as both goes well with orange 
  • If you see the top browning too fast loosely cover the cake with aluminium foil.
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Its more than one year since my last post and I simply cant believe how fast time flies. The year 2014 was so much busy as I delivered a cute baby boy who is now one year old. The whole year was really exciting, overwhelming and a roller coaster ride for me. But now as everything has started settling down I restarted to experiment with my love “the food”. All through this time, I did experiment new recipes, took pictures but unfortunately did not get enough time to write the blog. The little one was of course keeping me very busy all the time. I think all the mothers out there can understand what it means to be a MOM. Really Hats Off to all Mothers in this world! Its the most purest and dedicated job in this world. Now coming back to my recipe – I thought of sharing something I really enjoy these days – Baking. I used to make sure to celebrate monthly birthdays of my little one and tried different types of cup cakes on each occasion. Some of them were clicked and some of them were missed. Today I want to share Egg-less Black Forest Cake which I made for his 6th month and 1 year birthdays. I am in love with this cake as its super moist and very light. Black Forest Cake as famous in the US and as Black Forest Gateau in the UK is  a German dessert name Schwarzenegger Kirsch Iorte. It consist of several layers of chocolate cake with whipped cream and cherries in between each layers. Now enough of chatter lets get back to recipe.

Ingredients :-

For Egg less Chocolate Cake :-

All purpose flour 1 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp for dusting
Granulated Sugar 1 cup
Cocoa Powder 1/3 cup
Baking Soda 1 teaspoon
Salt 1/2 teaspoon
Water 1 cup
Oil  1/2 cup
Pure Vanilla Extract 1 teaspoon
Vinegar 1 tablespoon

For Cherry Filling :-

Dark red sweet pitted cherries 1 can
Sugar 1/3 cup
Corn Starch 3 tbsp
Lemon juice 1 tsp
Water 1 1/4 cup

For Sugar Syrup :-

Reserved Cherry Syrup 1 cup
Sugar 1/4 cup
Kirsch or Cherry Brandy 2 tbsp

For Whipped Cream :-

Heavy Whipping Cream 2 cup
Sugar 1 cup
Vanilla Essence 1 tsp
Chocolate Shavings, for decoration 1 cup

Method :-

For Chocolate Cake :-

  • Preheat oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit or 180 degree Celsius.
  • Lightly grease a 9 inch pan with butter and dust it with all purpose flour.
  • Sift All purpose flour and cocoa powder in a wide bowl to remove the lumps.
  • To the same bowl add rest of the dry ingredients i.e sugar, baking soda and salt.
  • In another bowl mix all wet ingredients – water, oil, vanilla extract and vinegar.
  • Now gently fold the wet mixture into dry mixture in batches.
  • Mix it till well blended. Don’t over mix it.
  • Fill the pan with the mixture and bake it in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes.
  • Check the cake by inserting a toothpick in the center and if it comes clean take it out otherwise bake for few more minutes.
  • Let the pan cool for 10 minutes on wire rack.
  • Now remove cake from the pan and let it cool completely on wire rack.

For Cherry Filling :-

  • Drain cherries keeping the liquid reserved for making sugar syrup.
  • Add water to a small pan.
  • Add cherries along with sugar in the same pan and heat it till bubbles come out whisking occasionally 
  • Make slurry of cornstarch by adding 2 tbsp water in a separate bowl.
  • Add this cornstarch slurry to the pan and keep stirring till the cherry mixture thickens.
  • Remove from heat and add lemon juice.
  • Cool completely.

For Sugar Syrup :-

  • Place 1 cup of the reserved cherry syrup in a small saucepan, along with the sugar, and heat until sugar has dissolved.
  • Remove from heat, add 2 tablespoons Kirsch, and let it cool.

For Icing :-

  • In a bowl, add the cream and beat it using mixer/whisk until soft peaks. Now add in the sugar, vanilla essence and then whip until stiff peaks.
  • Peel the chocolate using a peeler to make the shavings. Then refrigerate until use.

For Assembling :-

  • Take the sponge cake and level the top. Now cut the cake into half using a big knife or serrated knife. Transfer the layers to two different plates.
  • Add sugar syrup on top of both the layers so that cake becomes fully moist
  • Place the bottom layer on inverted plate or turn table.
  •  Add cherry pie filling evenly on top. Reserved the rest of cherry filling if left for future use.
  • Add thick layer of whipping cream and spread it evenly on top of cherry filling.
  • Put the other layer of cake on top of whipped cream evenly.
  • Now take a big dollop of cream and place on top..Now spread the cream using a big knife or spatula.
  • After spreading the cream on top, spread some cream in sides using the big knife. You can still see the crumb and cake as icing is very thin. Smooth the icing as best as you can and let it dry. This is crumb coat icing. Put it in the freeze for about 30 minutes.The crumb coat needs to be dry to the touch before you put the final layer of icing on.
  • After the crumb coat dries out take a big dollop of cream for final icing and spread it on top as well as on sides using a big knife or cake spatula.
  • Add the remaining cream in piping bag and decorate the cake on top and sides.
  • Sprinkle chocolate swirls and curls in sides as well as in top..
  • Decorate the top with remaining cherries in the top.
  • Refrigerate minimum for 6 hr or more and Enjoy!

DSC_0071 Notes :-

  • You can use any type of tinned cherry for this cake. Just check out the tartness and accordingly adjust the sugar while making cherry filling.
  • Adding liqueur is optional and you can  avoid it. But the real taste comes with the Kirsch liqueur.
  • You can make the cake beforehand and keep it in fridge for a week. Just remember to wrap it with plastic foil so that it doesn’t get dry.
  • Similarly you can make the sugar syrup, cherry filling beforehand. The cooler the better.
  • Cake tastes best if kept refrigerated for overnight.
  • I have used Kirsch (a clear liquor distilled from tart cherries) for the cake but you can use other liquors too such as Rum.
  • Remember to add vinegar at last while adding all wet ingredients.
  • You can skip making cherry filling and instead add chopped cherries in between the layers.
  • For chocolate shavings and curls you can use store bought or can use homemade. Its very easy to make. I followed below link  http://www.williams-sonoma.com/recipe/tip/making-chocolate-curls-and-shavings.html

tiramisu

This time for my 2nd anniversary I decided to make the famous Tiramisu Cake from scratch and surprise my hubby. I tasted this heavenly delicacy in Olive garden for the first time and instantly fell in love with it. Tiramisu literally means ‘pick me up’ in Italian which probably refers to the jolt you get after eating espresso and alcohol laced ladyfingers. I always wanted to try my hand on making this delicious cake but was afraid of not doing real justice to it due to its complicated layering, texture and taste. Keeping aside all my fears I tried this with some googling and came to know that instead of sponge fingers I can use my own home made cake. After seeing the long list of preparation don’t be afraid to try it. Its really easy to make if you prepare yourself in advance. Here I have used my own home made Mascarpone (to keep in budget and to give it homely touch) cheese but you can skip this by buying it from any grocery store. Usually, the original recipe calls for eggs for filling and frosting but I skipped it as I was little skeptic to use raw eggs.

Ingredients :-

For the Vanilla Sponge Cake

Large eggs, separated
4
All purpose flour
1 cup plus more for pan
Corn Starch
1 cup
Baking Powder
2 teaspoon
Baking soda
1 teaspoon
Sugar
1 cup
Vanilla Extract
1 1/2 teaspoon
Salt
A pinch of
Butter, melted
2 tablespoon

For the espresso extract

Instant espresso powder
2 tablespoon
Boiling water
2 tablespoon

For the espresso syrup

Water
1/2 cup
Sugar
1/3 cup
Amaretto, Kahlua, or brandy
1 tablespoon

For the filling and frosting

Mascarpone Cheese
One 8 ounce container (homemade or store bought)
Confectioner Sugar
1/2 cup
Amaretto, Kahlua, or brandy
1 tablespoon
Vanilla Extract
1 1/2 teaspoon
Heavy Whipping Cream
1 cup
Cocoa Powder, For dusting
As needed

For homemade Mascarpone

Heavy Cream (not Ultra Pasteurized)
2 cup
Lemon Juice
1 teaspoon

Method :-

Homemade Mascarpone

  • Take a medium sized pan and coat the bottom of the pan with clarified butter/butter so that cream does not stick to the pan.
  • Pour the heavy cream into it and heat it stirring continuously until you can see small bubbles (just simmering) forming on the edges of pan. Boil it until the temperature reaches 190 degree Fahrenheit (thermometer will be very handy). This will take about 15 minutes with delicate heating.
  • Add the lemon juice and continue stirring gently until the cream curdles. The texture of this cheese will not be as ricotta or cottage cheese. The whipping cream will thicken so it can cover the back of your wooden spoon thickly.
  • Remove from the heat and let it cool for 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, line a sieve with four layers of dampened cheesecloth/muslin cloth and set it over a bowl. Transfer the mixture into the lined sieve.
  • Do not squeeze the cheese in the cheesecloth or press on its surface. Refrigerate for 8 – 12 hours to allow the cheese to drain. The longer you leave it to drain, the firmer your cheese will be.

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Baking the cake

  • Heat oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit. Butter a 9-inch-square baking pan. Dust it with some flour and set aside. In a small bowl, sift together flour,baking powder, baking soda and corn starch. Keep it aside.
  • With hand  mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg yolks, vanilla, and 1/2 cup sugar on high speed for about 5 minutes until it becomes thick and pale. Wash and dry the mixer bowl and the whisk attachment.
  • Combine egg whites and salt in other bowl, and beat on medium speed until whites hold soft peaks. Now add  remaining 1/2 cup sugar and continue beating for about a minute until its stiff and glossy.
  • Fold the egg-white mixture into the egg-yolk mixture. In three batches, fold the reserved flour mixture into this new mixture. Transfer the batter into the prepared pan and bake it into oven until a cake tester (generally toothpick) comes out clean, approximately 35-45 minutes depending on oven heat.
  • Take out the pan and let it cool for 10 minutes. Transfer the cake to a wire rack to cool for about 20-25 minutes. Wrap it in plastic wrap until ready to use.

Espresso extract

  • Stir the espresso powder and boiling water together in a small cup until blended. Set aside.

Espresso syrup

  • Stir the water and sugar together in a small saucepan and bring just to a boil. Pour the syrup into a small bowl and stir the espresso extract and the liqueur or brandy. Set aside.

Filling and Frosting

  • Take a bowl and pour the heavy cream into it. With hand mixer whip the cream for about 10 minutes until it becomes firm peak. Set aside.
  • Put the Mascarpone, sugar, vanilla, and liqueur in a large bowl and whisk it until just blended and smooth. *(See notes)
  • With the help of rubber spatula gently fold the whisk whipped cream into the Mascarpone.

Assembling the cake

  • Cut the cake into vertical slices of 1/4 inch thick. Take an ungreased square/rectangular pan (mine was about 6 cup/1.5 l rectangle pan). Lay the slices into the square pan.
  • Divide the slices of cake, espresso syrup and filling into two batches.
  • Soak the slices with 1/2 of espresso syrup.
  • Spread 1/2  of the filling into the espresso soaked cake slices and smooth it with the help of spatula.
  • Repeat with the sponge cake, syrup and filling until the whole pan is filled up.
  • With a long metal icing spatula, smooth the frosting over the top.
  • With the help of a sieve dust the cocoa powder on top of the cake.You can also use some chopped chocolate in between the layers and top of cake.
  • Refrigerate the cake for at least 3 hours before serving. Before serving dust some confectioner/powdered sugar.

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Note :-

  • *If you are okay with raw eggs then you can beat one egg yolk along with vanilla essence, liquer, sugar and blend it until the mixture turns smooth and light pale in color. Then add the Mascarpone cheese into this mixture and gently fold.
  • I have cut the cake into slices to give a feeling of sponge fingers but if you want you can go with regular process of cake filling, by cutting cake into half lengthwise and there after adapting the same process.
  • Use of liqueur should not be skipped as it provides the basic taste of Tiramisu. Adding 1-2 spoon will have no effect on your body. I used Kahlua branded coffee liqueur.
  • I used Nescafe coffee as espresso powder.
  • You can decorate the cake with chocolate-covered espresso beans. You can also add some fresh fruits like strawberries for filling and frosting.

Marble Cake and the Perfectness!

Posted: July 22, 2012 in Cakes
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Cake!! A Birthday cake, a wedding cake , a new born arrival cake , a cake for every other festive occasion and for a good reason. Any variety of cake , name it –  Bundt cake, Loaf cake, Pound cake, Cheesecake, at the end of a meal always elicit attention and admiration. After trying hard and hard I came to know that cake recipes don’t have to be fussy and difficult (as I use to assume that). Baking cake is both an art and science. It can be fun and simple , carefully  follow the instructions and use the right equipments. Marble cake has always fantasize me through its marvelous swirls. I use to think how the hell in the world can anyone bake this. There might be any high fundoo equipment to make it. Silly me! Now I know the secret. You only need the recipe, equipments and one knife 🙂 . This is one cake which looks so beautiful without frosting and taste best with coffee and tea.

Ingredients:-

Unsalted Butter, room temperature 1/2 Cup/1 stick plus more for pan
Cake flour/All purpose flour/Maida 1 and 3/4 Cup
Baking Powder 2 teaspoon leveled
Salt 1/2 teaspoon
Sugar 1 cup
Eggs, room temperature
3 large
Vanilla extract 1 teaspoon
Buttermilk/Milk 3/4 cup
Cocoa powder(I used Hershey’s)
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon
Boiling Water 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoon


Method :-

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Grease a 9 by 5 loaf pan with unsalted butter. Set aside.
  • Sieve/Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together. Sifting helps in aerating the flour and breaks up the clumps/lumps.
  • In a bowl, with the help of electric hand mixer beat the butter and sugar together until it becomes light and fluffy. It took me about 10 minutes. Timing depends on the power of your electric mixer.
  • Add eggs to this mixture, one at a time beating until combined and scraping down the sides of bowl as needed. Mix in vanilla essence.
  • Add flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with the milk/buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour. Mix well after each addition. Set aside 1/3 rd of batter.
  • Mix the cocoa powder and boiling water in a separate bowl with the help of rubber spatula until the mixture becomes smooth. Add this cocoa mixture to the reserved batter (1/3rd batter). Stir gently until well combined.
  • Spoon batter in the prepared loaf  pan in 2 layers, alternatively making a checkerboard. Use big spoon for the white batter and small spoon for chocolate batter. To create marbling effects, run a knife through the batters in a swirling motion. Gently tap the pan for couple of times to get rid off the air bubbles. Note :- If you don’t get this step you can search on YouTube “How to marble cake”.  I personally followed this video to create marble effect. Only change was that I used Loaf cake pan. I will soon come up with my own images for creating marble effect. Sorry for this 😦 , as I  forgot to take the pictures of process while making the cake.  ” A picture is worth a thousand words”.
  • Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a tester inserted comes out clean. You can use toothpick as a tester to check. Insert the toothpick in center of the cake and if it comes out clean i.e no wet batter stick to it, cake is done. Don’t use knife to check as it can deflate the cake.
  • Take out the cake and leave it for cooling while still in the pan for 10 minutes. Turn out cake from pan and cool it completely on wire rack. You can store this cake at room temperature  for 3 days in an air tight container.

Handy Tips For Cake Baking :-

  • Have all ingredients at room temperature if its mentioned in the recipe. This is very important for butter and eggs. Soft butter makes batter smooth and loafy cake. Double check the recipe concerning egg as some recipe require it cold and some at room temperature.
  • Before preparing for the batter preheat the oven. A batter will not react properly to heat if it sits for 10 minutes at room temperature waiting for oven to heat.
  • Measure the ingredients as accurately as possible and use them in the order specified.
  • Place the pans on center rack of the preheated oven. Do not allow the pans to touch each other or the oven walls.