Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Caramel Cake

It was a few years ago,when I noticed many bloggers posting the same recipe on a particular date of the month.One after the other,the recipes looked complicated to me,and that too baked recipes.For a beginner baker like me,all those looked like recipes which I could only gape at but never try.Later I came to know it was all a part of Daring Bakers,daring recipes they sure were!


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I remember seeing a Caramel cake recipe challenge where the caramel syrup was made from scratch,so was the cake and the buttercream frosting plus caramel shards for garnish.I still remember,I saw it first on Deeba's blog PAB and thought to myself how one could even attempt something like that,I was too dumbstruck.

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Years later,when me and a baker friend were having a conversation about adding caramel to cakes for the intense flavor it provides,I was immediately transported back to this particular recipe.Suddenly,it didn't seem so complicated at all.Making caramel from scratch is indeed a breeze,you've got to be cautious that's all,and the cake is a basic butter cake.I decided to skip the frosting,but let me tell you,the cake tastes awesome even when served plain.


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Ever since,I've made this cake a number of times.This recipe even fights to take the first spot among my all time favorite cakes,a spot which currently belongs to this gem.The flavor of caramel intensifies after a day,so make sure you resist the urge to cut and serve it immediately.I had some chocolate sauce in the fridge,which I had to use up so I drizzled the sauce over the cake.


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Caramel Cake

Recipe source - Baking Obsession

Ingredients

Unsalted butter – 150 gms, at room temperature
Granulated white sugar -  1 1/4 cups
Salt – 1 teaspoon
Caramel syrup – 1/3 cup
Eggs – 2, at room temperature
Pure vanilla extract – 1 teaspoon
All-purpose flour – 2 cups
Ground cardamom – 1 teaspoon
Baking powder – 1/2 teaspoon
Milk – 1 cup, at room temperature

For caramel syrup
Granulated white sugar – 2 cups
Water - 1/2 cup
Water to stop crystallization - 1 cup  

P_20150416_125641.jpg Method

For making the caramel syrup

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Add sugar and 1/2 cup water in a heavy bottomed sauce pan and put it on high flame until the sugar dissolves. Keep stirring with a wooden spatula. It will start boiling and bubbling and colour starting to change. Stir once in a while but not constantly.Let the colour change. Now switch off stove and remove the sauce pan to the kitchen counter. Take all precaution, step back and stretch your hands to just pour a bit of the water and keep away while it splatters. Now again pour some more of the water and let it splatter some more. Now you can pour all of the remaining 1 cup. Mix well and bring it back on to fire on high flame and keep on high flame for 2 to 3 minutes until it reduces a bit and thickens. Do not leave it for long, then it would really thicken making it difficult to pour once it cools down. 
Caramel Syrup 
You got to have a fairly thin syrup while switching off the stove, which when cooled down is honey consistency.
For making the cake
Pre-heat oven to 160 degree C. 
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Butter and flour an eight inch round pan. 
Sift together flour,
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salt
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and 
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baking powder. Keep aside.
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Add butter into your bowl and whip it with beater until fluffy and then 
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add sugar and whip on medium high speed for 5 minutes until the mixture has become really creamy and paler. 
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This process needs all that time, because here is when air is incorporated into the batter which gives the cake its real texture.
Caramel Cake 
Add the eggs one by one and beat well for a minute after each addition. 
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Now add vanilla extract and beat again until incorporated well.
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Now add caramel syrup and beat well again until incorporated.
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Add flour mixture and milk alternating both and beating just until incorporated after each addition. 
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(Start with 1/3rd of flour mixture, followed by 1/2 of the milk mixture, then again 1/3rd of the flour mixture, remaining milk and then the final part of flour. You got to beat just until they get incorporated into the batter). 
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You should NOT over beat at this stage, else you might end up having a tough and dense cake.
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Pour the batter filling half of the pan and tap the pan on your counter to release air bubbles if any.Bake in pre-heated oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until the top of the cake is well risen, and a tooth pick inserted into the center comes out clean. 
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Cool on wire rack.The cake keeps well at room temperature for 3-4 days and upto a week,refrigerated.

Caramel Cake

At the cost of sounding repetitive(I seem to be saying this in every post of mine!)let me thank all my readers from the bottom of my heart for being so supportive of me,it gives me a huge confidence boost and that's what brings me back here even when all my time is taken by a piece of my heart,my 8 month old Arjun.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Baby Corn Paneer Masala ~ Easy Side dish Recipes

Baby Corn Masala
How often do you think about making dinner and decide on making chapathi and a second later keep scratching your head for side dish ideas?Well,that's the scene at our house most of the days as both me and Ajay love having hot phulkas for dinner provided we have a scrumptious curry to dip it with.I love making north Indian curries but refrain from making it thinking of the calories.

But there are many curries which taste delicious without adding copious amount of butter or ghee.I chose this as I had to finish up a packet of peeled Baby corn and half a block of paneer.I made this one a while back and have made it a few times ever since.You can add veggies of your choice,substitute Mushrooms in place of paneer or mixed veggies in place of baby corn,it's totally up to your palate.

Baby Corn Masala 
Baby Corn Paneer Masala
Recipe idea - Rak's Kitchen

Ingredients

Baby corn - 10-12,peeled and chopped
Paneer - 100 gms,cubed
Oil - 2 tbsp,divided
Onion - 1 medium,chopped
Tomato - 1 medium,roughly chopped
Green chilly - 1
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tsp
Bay leaf - 1
Cinnamon - 1' piece
Cloves,Cardamom- 2 each
Red chilly powder - 1 tsp
Garam masala - 1 tsp
Haldi powder - 1/4 tsp
Cashewnuts - 5-7,ground till smooth with 2 tbsp milk
Kasoori methi - 1 tsp,crushed

Method

Baby Corn Masala 
Pressure cook the baby corn for 2-3 whistles.
Baby Corn Masala 
In a kadai,add 1 tbsp oil and saute the chopped onions.
Baby Corn Masala 
Grind the onions along with tomato,green chilly and ginger garlic paste.
Baby Corn Masala 
In the same kadai add the remaining 1 tbsp oil and saute the whole garam masala - bay leaf,cinnamon,cloves and cardamom.
Baby Corn Masala 
Mix in the masala paste and saute for 2-3 minutes.
Baby Corn Masala 
Add red chilly powder,garam masala and turmeric/haldi powder.Let the paste simmer for 6-8 minutes or till oil starts floating on top,stir occasionally.
Baby Corn Masala 
Mix in the cashewnut paste and stir well.
Baby Corn Masala 
Add in the cooked baby corn,salt to taste and add water/milk little by little till you get a smooth,thick gravy.
Just before switching it off,
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add chopped paneer and 
Baby Corn Masala 
kasoori methi and let the curry come to a soft boil.
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Remove the bay leaf before serving.
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This curry goes well with phulka,naan and pulao.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Eggless Devil's Food Cake


I'm back!!

I hope I don't sound like a Hollywood movie hero(picture Arnold as Terminator! Lol)I really feel so happy to be back to blogging and hope to blog once in a while at least,if not regularly.

So,a lot of things have changed in the past year.2014 was a very very special year for us,with the arrival of our dear Arjun who has made our life worth living for.It was an eventful year but the blog bore the brunt as I struggled with regular everyday cooking,leave along cooking for the blog.Our anniversary,Ajay's birthday went without a cake for the first time in years!

As we start our new life as parents,I hope to contribute a little to the blog as well.Sweet beginnings with something sweet :)
Eggless Devil's Food Cake
I made this cake a while back for a birthday cake order.All the birthday girl wanted was a double chocolate cake loaded with chocolate chips.I stuck to my foolproof recipe which gives a super moist chocolate cake,each and every time.So when this year,as always,Ajay asked for a chocolate cake for his birthday I remembered this cake.Especially since when I posted a picture of this cake on Instagram,I was loaded with recipe requests for the same.

I chose to name this one a Devil's food cake because of the lovely deep,dark Mahogany colour.
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Devil's food cake is generally more moist and airy than other chocolate cakes, and often uses cocoa as opposed to chocolate for the flavor as well as coffee.The lack of melted chocolate and the addition of coffee is typically what distinguishes a Devil's food cake from a chocolate cake, though some recipes call for all, resulting in an even richer chocolate flavor. The use of hot, or boiling water as the cake's main liquid, rather than milk, is also a common difference.Devil's food cake is sometimes distinguished from other chocolate cakes by the use of additional baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) which raises the pH level and makes the cake a deeper and darker mahogany color[source]
Eggless Devil's Food Cake

Eggless Devil's Food Cake

Ingredients

Maida/All purpose flour - 1 1/2 cups
Cocoa powder - 4 tsp
Baking soda - 1 tsp
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Water - 1 cup
Sugar - 1 cup
Vanilla - 1 tsp
Vinegar - 1 tsp
Oil - 1/4 cup

Method

Preheat the oven to 180C.
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Grease/Line an 8' round cake tin.
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Sift together the dry ingredients - maida,cocoa,baking soda and salt,reserve.
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In a mixing bowl add sugar,
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water,
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oil,
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vanilla 
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and vinegar.
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Beat for 1-2 minutes or till the sugar dissolves.

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Mix in the sifted dry ingredients,
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one tablespoon at a time till you get a smooth lump-free batter. 
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Pour the prepared batter into the cake tin and tap well on the counter top to eliminate air bubbles. 
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Bake for 40-45 minutes or till a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
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Remove the cake from the tin after 5 minutes and finish cooling on a wire rack.Slice horizontally and fill with a filling of your choice,I chose Chocolate ganache.

For the ganache

Dark chocolate - 400 gms
Cream - 200 ml

Melt together the chocolate 
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and cream in a microwave for 1 minute.
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Remove and stir well.
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If chunks remain,microwave again for another minute.
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You could strain the ganache if you prefer.Keep the ganache in room temperature for 8-10 hours for it to set well to a consistency wherein you could frost and fill the cake.
Eggless Devil's Food Cake
This recipe is enough to fill and frost this cake.

Eggless Devil's Food Cake

*pictures taken with my phone as lack of planning led the battery of my camera to die down and no time to charge before cutting the cake :)

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