Monday, December 31, 2012

Eggless Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Ganache

For the final day of Bakeathon, I decided to save this double dose of chocolate cake, which was really a mix in the pan types, you need not worry about using too many vessels. After making it I know this is one of those cakes that I will be doing again. It was really very crumbly and had just the right sweetness, with the ganache, it made all the difference!

I actually loved the fact that this cake is that "mix in the pan", you simply mix in the dry and wet ingredients right in the pan before being baked. There are couple of things I loved about this cake, one being eggless and the other using lemon juice. We don't use so much of lemon juice, still you will have a slight taste of it when you are eating this. The final best part is using ganache for frosting. I have always been wanting to make ganache myself, never found the apt time. I enjoyed making it and would be doing a separate post.

The recipe is adapted from Joy of baking.

















Chocolate "Mix in the pan" Cake

All purpose flour / Maida - 1 1/4 cups
Sugar, granulated - 1 cup
Cocoa powder - 1/4 cup
Baking Powder - 1 tsp
Baking Soda - 1/2 tsp
Salt a pinch
Unsalted butter, melted - 1/4 cup
Warm water - 1 cup
Lemon juice - 1 tbsp

Chocolate Ganache for frosting - 1 cup

How to make the Eggless Chocolate Cake

Preheat oven to 185 * C

In an ungreased 8 inch (20 cm) cake pan, stir together the flour, sugar, sifted cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Add the melted butter, water, lemon juice. With a fork, mix all the ingredients together until well blended.

Bake in preheated oven for about 35 minutes. The cake is done, if a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.

For Frosting:  Once the ganache is ready, with a spatula or knife spread the ganache over the cooked cake.


The cake had that delicious look and feel of the truffle cake that's normally sold over cake shops. Unfortunately I haven't actually tasted a truffle cake because of the eggs. And I have never really bothered to make it myself.

With the new year ringing in, I think it makes sense to plan out those recipes that I would surely want to make.

It's been a great month, with me baking so many dishes. Though I know I settled for easy ones, with mostly muffins and cookies, I really enjoyed myself. I would like to thank Champa for challenging us again and giving a schedule that was easy for me to follow. I would mostly surely try my hand at complex things going forward.

Here's a toast for the coming year and wish you see you again sharing the joy that food, invariably brings in.

I once again wish my readers a great year ahead!

Check out the bloggers doing the Bakeathon: Champa, Sumana Deepak, Priya Suresh, Veena Krishnakumar, Preeti Deo and Jayasri Ravi

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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Memories the Essence of Life ~ Best of 2012!

It’s again that time of the year when you take a moment to ponder on what’s been and what’s to happen. As cliched as it may sound, the year again passed off very quickly. One of the main changes was my boys going to primary school, with it came so many changes that we had to take care of. With so many projects that they were given, which quite literally meant I sit up doing those work. It has been quite challenging and quite depressing as well, as I always end up doing the work at the last moment.

On the blogging front, I have been quite active in Spice your Life!, with Blogging Marathon keeping me going. I have literally racked and tortured my brain to come up with themes that were challenging for my members. More than my own challenging themes, I have been left with a sense of awe, seeing how well they came up with different recipes, meeting the theme requirement.

I started the year with the usual Sankranti special recipes, then went on to do some Melas like Chocolate Mela, Kabab Mela,, Indian Thali Mela, Cookie Mela, 30 Minutes Meal Mela which has been so wonderful. I had infact planned to make an eBook with the Thali Mela details, which is a work in progress.



I ended up doing Party Menu themes, which were so appreciated and asked for more.  In July, my parents left to visit my brother. That almost squeezed the interest I had in making anything new. I had to really struggle to meet my BM requirement.

With all the pressure I felt with no cause, I was determined that I should do Navratri Pooja for all ten days. So along with doing BM, I was planning for elaborate menus for the ten day long pooja. On the whole I was so happy that I finally managed to make it.

While all these were happening, on health wise I faced enforced bed rest twice this year. I had to really come in terms with these unexpected emergencies and forced to realize how we take the life so easy. I was determined that I should make the best of every moment. I started doing things that I might otherwise never do, as I never give time for those things. I was feeling so much better, knowing I had enjoyed life in the process.

On the whole, it’s been a year of perceptive inner thinking, making me want to look at things closer and find more meaning for doing what we are doing.

I do not have loftier things for next year planned. I would again want to take time to spend in every aspect of my day, filling it with things that make sense and meaning. Plan and make dishes that I have always wanted. I actually like the way I plan my BM, going through lists and arriving at recipes that meet the theme and also makes me more creative. That way I end up trying out all those bookmarked recipes, always forgotten.

I am never good at making resolutions. I always think, make a resolution, and break it at the earliest. So why even waste time wanting and planning to do something that I might never do.

However, being disciplined and systematic is something that’s innate to me, so will be doing whatever that will give me more experience and enjoyment in the process.

Here’s wishing all my readers a great year ahead and I hope to bring and share more joy from my Kitchen. 

As always this is for my Best of the Year 2012 Event.





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Friday, December 28, 2012

Masala Kara Bun | Spicy Savory Buns

I almost forgot about doing a post today as I was thinking I still had time. It would have been funny knowing that I had baked ahead and the pictures were ready. Anyway since it's a vacation for kids, things have been very relaxed at home. I know it's going to be hard, getting back to the normal. I know vacations are only good for a short span, and moreover how much can the kids do to keep themselves occupied. I had noticed earlier that they start asking when school reopens when the holidays extend over a longer time.

Coming to today's recipe, when I was making the Garlic pull apart loaf, I also made these masala kara bun. The ingredients are almost the same, except adding more masala to make this spicy.






Masala Kara Buns

Ingredients Needed

For the Dough

All purpose flour - 3 cups
Warm water - 1 cup
Salt - 1 1/4 tsp
Sugar - 1 tbsp
Olive Oil - 2 tbsp
Active Dry yeast - 2 tsp
Green chillies - 2 chopped fine
Red Chili Flakes - 1 tsp
Mint leaves - 1/2 cup tightly packed
Coriander Leaves - 1/2 cup tightly packed
Garlic - 1 clove
Butter - 1 tbsp

How to make the Kara Bun

For the Yeast proofing

In a cup, take warm water, sugar. Add yeast to it. Let it stand till it froths.

For the dough making

In wide bowl, take the remaining ingredients listed under dough, add the yeast mix and start making a dough.

Crumble well and slowly add the warm water. When all the flour has been absorbed, knead it for 10 minutes or until it is smooth and elastic.

Add the oil and knead again. It should not be sticky or tacky. If it is, add 1 tbsp flour at a time and knead it.

Place in an oiled bowl and turn it once to coat all the sides. Cover and let rise in a warm place. About 45 minutes to an hour or till double in bulk.

Once the second rise is done, punch it down and pinch out equal size balls. Line a butter paper and grease with oil. Place the balls with enough space for it to rise. Let it rest aside for another 30 mins. The balls would rise and before baking brush with butter/milk.

Bake in a pre heated oven at 185 C for 15 mins.




Check out the bloggers doing the Bakeathon: Champa, Sumana Deepak, Priya Suresh, Veena Krishnakumar, Preeti Deo and Jayasri Ravi

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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Eggless Christmas Fruit Cake 3 ~ How to make Eggless Fruit Cake

Merry Christmas to all my readers!

I am so glad that I have a perfect eggless Christmas cake to share.

I was supposed to post on the Christmas eve, however as things would always be, I was procrastinating baking this cake. I have been thinking I must bake a fruit cake again this time as I have been doing since couple of years. I was debating whether I should use condensed milk or simply make do with fruits and butter. Since this cake has to be dense, you really don't have to bother about how fluffy the cake raises. I started very late in the morning, along with my regular cooking. So I had completed majority of cooking done, before setting out to make this cake.

Thinking I could make use of my multitasking skill to hilt, I went ahead melting the sugar along with the nuts. As the Tomato Kurma or the Methi Dal was getting done, I had a quick glance at the pan that had sugar and dry fruits mix cooling. To my horror, the sugar simply got struck to the bottom along with the fruits. Well there are certain things you should really give full attention! I decided to melt it along with butter. This recipe is something that I did as I was making it. It's a mix of what I thought could put together. I was elated with Amma said this was the best cake she has tasted till date. What more can I ask!


Christmas Cakes from previous years


 













Christmas Fruit Cake

Ingredients Needed:

Flour - 1 & 1/4 cup
Baking Powder - 1 tsp
Cooking Soda - 1/2 tsp
Brown Sugar - 1/2 cup
Granulated Sugar - 1/2 cup
Orange Juice - 1/2 cup
Warm water - 2 tbsp
Butter - 1/2 cup
Mixed Fruit Jam - 1 tbsp full
Salt a small pinch

Dry Fruits and Nuts


Tutti Fruity - 2 tbsp
Raisins - 2 tbsp
Almonds - 10 nos
Cashew nut - 5 whole
Cranberry - 1 tbsp
Pistachio - 2 tsp

Spice Mix
Cinnamon powder - 1/4 tsp
Nutmeg powder - 1/4 tsp
Fennel powder - 1/4 tsp

Melt the brown sugar and granulated sugar over slow flame, add the chopped nuts and dried fruits, cook for 10 mins in simmer. Then add butter and cook for 5 mins.

Shift the flour with baking powder and cooking soda, salt. Add the melted sugar and dry fruit mix. Blend everything together, add the jam and orange juice.

Check the consistency, if it's not of dropping consistency, add the warm water by spoon.

Pre heat the oven at 185 C, pour the batter in a grease cake pan and bake at 185 C for 35 Mins.


Note:

I first baked for 15 mins, increased by 10 mins interval. You can easily bake first for 25 mins, depending on the done ness you can increase. Since this has more moisture, you will end up baking for more mins.

This cake is not your typical dry fruit cake, rather it's rich and crumbly. Since the sugar got caramelized more than expected, it was little bit chewy but that again added to the whole fun.


Check out the bloggers doing the Bakeathon: Champa, Sumana Deepak, Priya SureshPreeti Deo and Jayasri Ravi

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Monday, December 24, 2012

Spicy Mint Garlic Pull Apart Bread ~ Step by Step

I have always loved bread, much to my hubby dear's woes. The last time I was pestering him to get some bread, he said I should simply consider buying the bread making machine that I recently saw. Well after much deliberation, I decided against it, not wanting to over crowd my already crowded and cramped kitchen. For the way things work out, I hardly get down to baking bread. It's more a muffin day at home, most times.

Since having decided on Bakeathon, I have been only baking muffins and cakes. Some almost twice, like in case with Chocolate Cakes. I am happy that with this Bakeathon, I have atleast cleared up my major bookmarked chocolate cake recipes. Well there is some more left, which I am sure will be done next year. Now with just about four more bakes to go on, I thought I should now look at breads, buns and what not. When Champa made her best of the year post, she reminded me again of the Garlic pull apart bread that she has made. I adapted today's recipe from hers, being fondly looking at that for a while. The bread came out so beautifully and soft. I really have to thank Champa for the wonderful recipe.
Spicy Mint Garlic Pull Apart Bread
I had the weekend off, and the Saturday went off just relaxing. Though I had so many posts to make, I just let the day pass by, and Sunday was so hectic. I must have made about six different recipes, making sure I covered my BM and Bakeathon. The oven was eternally on through the day. I was thankful it has been obedient enough to bake things well.

With the vacation started for the kids, they have been so buys playing through the day. Konda kept saying she was bored, so I roped her in for clicking the step by step pictures. Since there were so many, I thought making a collage of them would suit well. We enjoyed this bread so much that I really won't mind making it again soon.

 Proofing the Yeast
 Made the paste for the spread


 Making the dough

 Stacking the layers for getting the loaf in place.


 The final baked picture with the perfect soft crumble!

Spicy Mint Garlic Pull Apart Bread

Ingredients:
(Makes one 9 x 5 loaf)

For the Dough

All purpose flour - 3 cups
Warm water - 1 cup
Salt - 1 1/4 tsp
Sugar - 1 tbsp
Olive Oil - 2 tbsp
Active Dry yeast - 2 tsp
Green chillies - 2 chopped fine
Mint leaves - 6 chopped fine
Butter - 1 tbsp

To make a paste:
Oil - 2 tbsp
Salt to taste (about 1/2 tsp)
Green chillies - 3 chopped
Mint leaves - 2 - 3 TBSP
Garlic powder - 2 tsp

How to make the Pull apart Bread.

For the Yeast proofing

In a cup, take warm water, sugar. Add yeast to it. Let it stand till it froths.

For the dough making
In wide bowl, take the remaining ingredients listed under dough, add the yeast mix and start making a dough.

Crumble well and slowly add the warm water. When all the flour has been absorbed, knead it for 10 minutes or until it is smooth and elastic.

Add the oil and knead again. It should not be sticky or tacky. If it is, add 1 tbsp flour at a time and knead it.

Place in an oiled bowl and turn it once to coat all the sides. Cover and let rise in a warm place. About 45 minutes to an hour or till double in bulk.

Meanwhile, line a 9 X 5 loaf pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Leave an overhang so that you can lift the loaf as soon as it is done. Coat the bottom and sides with oil or vegetable oil spray. Set aside.

Blend the ingredients together for the masala paste. Adjust salt and spice, keep it aside

For Stacking the loaf:

When the dough has doubled, punch it down. On a lightly floured or greased surface, divide the dough into 12 or 14 small portions.

Keep the loaf pan vertically so that the pan is sitting on the shorter edge. Take one dough ball and flatten it to about 1/2 " thick. It need not be a perfect rectangle. A rough oval shape will be fine.

Repeat with the remaining dough balls. Place one dough ball in the pan, top it with little bit of the butter and the masala spread over it. Make sure you use the paste evenly to coat all the dough balls. Stack the flattened dough balls in the pan and when done, place the loaf pan correctly.

If you have any more paste remaining, you can spread it on the top. You will have to stack in such a way that it's all on one after the other. Don't worry if the dough is not full in the pan. It will get full after the final rise. Cover loosely with oiled plastic wrap and let it rise till the dough is double or it touches the rim of the loaf pan. About 45 minutes to an hour.

Towards the end of the rise time, preheat the oven to 185 C. Bake for 20 minutes. Rotate the pan and reduce the temperature to 175 C. Brush with milk/ butter and bake for 2 more minutes or until the top is golden brown.

Cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then holding  the over hang, remove it and place on the wire rack to cool completely.

Serve it warm


Check out the bloggers doing the Bakeathon: Champa, Sumana Deepak, Priya Suresh, Preeti Deo and Jayasri Ravi

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Friday, December 21, 2012

Chocolate Brownie with Chocolate Fudge

Today was the last day of exam for the boys. They were so trilled at getting ten days off. It almost looks like as if going to school is such a core. Anyway we are getting ourselves ready to plan and see what best can be done to keep them occupied. Their vacation in their aunt's place got cancelled so they will have to find their own games at home. 

The third cake that I baked was the brownie with Chocolate fudge, and the best part was the batter was mix of wheat flour and all purpose flour. I adapted this from this recipe and even made chocolate fudge to make it look more attractive for the kids. 

 









Chocolate Brownie with Chocolate Fudge

Ingredients Needed

Whole Wheat Flour  -   1/2 cup
All purpose Flour - 1/2 cup
Sugar, powdered - 1 cup
Cocoa powder - 1/4 cup
Oil - 1/4 cup
Milk - 1/2 cup
Baking powder - 1 tsp
Salt a pinch
Butter - 1 tbsp
Chocolate Fudge

How to bake:

Preheat oven to 185*C and grease a baking baking tray.

In a bowl, take both the flours, salt, baking powder, cocoa powder and mix it well with a fork.

Next add the milk, oil and add powdered sugar in it. Whisk all the ingredients well with a fork.

Finally add the butter and gently blend everything together. Make sure the batter is dropping consistency.

Pour the batter onto the greased baking tray . Tap down gently for the batter to settle down well.

Bake at 185 C for 15 - 17 mins, check if the cake is down with knife.

Remove from the oven and let it cool completely on a wire rack.

Once the brownie is done, you can pour the fudge over the cake.

Check out the bloggers doing the Bakeathon: Champa, Sumana, Priya SureshPreeti and Jayasri

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