Thursday, October 20, 2011

Yellow Cake with Chocolate Ganache

Long before I started baking and even cooking,while in school and college,my Christian friends used to bring slices of homemade yellow cake in their snack box.Though I loved the fluffy texture and the pretty golden yellow colour,I used to be put off by the strong smell of eggs.Some one later told me they added almost 6 egg yolks to get the colour and the texture and then I started to politely say no whenever I was offered a piece.

I tried different variations of Yellow cake lookalikes,but never got around to baking the real one.Having several trusted recipes up my sleeve,I knew I shouldn't delay it further.I got the perfect excuse to bake when we got invited to a friends' place for lunch.I also had to use up some dark chocolate ganache remaining from the cake I made for a friends' birthday.
This recipe is named My favourite Yellow Cake and is from PW's Tasty Kitchen.

Yellow Cake - 
Yields 2 8' cakes-I halved the recipe


Sugar - 2 cups
Oil - 1 cup
Vanilla Extract - 1 tsp
Eggs - 4
All-purpose Flour - 2 1/2 cups
Baking Powder - 2 tsp
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Milk - 3/4 cup
Sour Cream - 4 tbsp(I used Yogurt)


Preheat oven to 175C.
Grease/Line an 8' round pan.
Whisk together flour,baking powder and salt.
Beat sugar, oil, and vanilla extract for a few minutes.

Beat in eggs one at a time.

Add flour mixture and milk/sour cream alternately to the sugar mixture.Mix until combined.

Transfer to the oven and bake for 35 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

To Serve

Chocolate Ganache - 1/2 cup

Smear the top and sides of the cake with the ganache and swirl with a palette knife lightly.You could also fill the cake with the ganache.


  • I used normal granulated sugar and had to beat for a couple of minutes for the sugar to mix well(after adding the eggs).Next time I am using fine sugar or else sugar powdered in the mixie.
  • The cake stays soft and moist even after refrigerating because of the oil added,but if you are frosting the cake with the ganache,leave it outside to come to room temperature and then serve.
  • Use good quality vanilla extract which most of the times masks the eggy smell entirely.I find beating the eggs for a while till they turn light and fluffy makes the cake devoid of the eggy smell too.Having said that,this cake does not smell eggy at all.(too many eggy in one sentence,sorry:)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Simple Cauliflower&Green Peas Stir-fry

How often do you raid your fridge for prospective vegetables for curries and stir fries for lunch or dinner and find a bit of everything and get confused even further?yes,that happens to me most of the time.Since I cook for two,I always have half or quarter of a vegetable left in the fridge and God help it if I forget about it.After a fridge cleaning drive lately,I am more careful about the stuff I am putting in these days.

As I was finishing up cooking for lunch,I got few florets of Cauliflower(left from making this sabzi)and the last of my frozen green peas.I also had some peeled shallots in the fridge so decided to put everything together.Do you add different vegetables in a stir-fry and call it a mix veg stir fry too;),I'd love to know!
Simple Cauliflower & Green Peas Stir fry


Cauliflower florets - about 2 cups,chopped
Fresh/Frozen Green peas - 1/3 cup
Haldi/Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Shallots/Pearl onions - 5-6,sliced
Oil - 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Sambhar powder* - 1 tsp
Salt to taste


Clean the cauliflower florets in several changes of water.In a pan,add haldi and warm to the touch water and add cauliflower and green peas(if frozen) and keep aside for a few minutes till you get everything else ready.
In a kadai,add oil and splutter mustard seeds.Mix in the sliced shallots and curry leaves till the shallots start turning golden brown.
Lower the flame and add sambhar powder and saute for a minute or so taking care not to burn.
Drain the cauliflower and green peas and mix it in.Add enough salt to taste and sprinkle about a tbsp or so water and close the kadai with a lid.
Simmer and cook for 5-7 minutes.

*If you do not have ready made Sambhar powder,you can use a mix of red chilly powder and dhania powder.

On another note,a week back we had a grand blogger meet at Hyatt,Chennai for an event organized by Indiblogger along with Tata Grande.I was a bit apprehensive in the beginning as I didn't know anyone other than a couple of Food bloggers,but oh boy was I wrong.The bloggers were so friendly and in a while,all of us got along with each other like a house on fire.Here's a peek-

(Image Source)

(Image Source)

Indiblogger also had a Dove campaign going on and as a part of it,they sent home a Dove Hair care package.I am very choosy when it comes to using hair products but Dove is truly a class apart.Loving the product.

If you have not yet geared up for Diwali and confused where to start and what to cook,check out Indus Ladies Free e-book for download with 100 Diwali recipes.You can find my recipe for Kadi too.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Burgundy's,Chennai-Restaurant Review

A while back,a fellow blogger added me to a food group on Facebook which was aptly named Chennai food guide.It featured restaurant reviews and food reviews in general.Being in Chennai and being a foodie(somewhat!),I started liking the group.Me and Ajay are always at a loss when it comes to dining out and after a lot of thought process,we find ourselves going back to our regular joints(which is not a bad idea,btw).

Chennai has come a long way from being popular only for Idli-Sambhar-Dosa.You can find many restaurants which serve International cuisine and with people travelling out of the country ever so often,it is only a fitting change from the regular restaurant food.

We were invited for a food review of the newly opened restaurant Burgundy's,at MRC nagar.It is run by the popular trio Vipin Sachdev,Somna Sachdev and Neha Agarwal who are also part of the famous Tuscana Pizzeria,Kryptos and Subway in Chennai.Vipin took time off from his busy schedule and entertained us throughout with his witty stories!

Burgundy's is an all day dining restaurant which opens at 6.30 am till midnight.According to Vipin,the kitchen serves everything in the menu at all times.There is no compulsion to eat chat only in the evening or pakodas only during tea time.If it is on the menu,it is available throughout the day.

The restaurant has a typical lazy coffee shop feel.Spacious and airy it relaxes you getting you prepared to savour the food to come.We were served the buffet lunch which also had a live chaat counter.So platters of Bhelpuri and Dahi Papdi chaat were passed around.Chaat was just about okay,nothing extra ordinary.I think for us,eating chaat which gets prepared with gloved hands and mineral water just doesn't taste as good as the roadside ones,blame it on our palates!!

For vegetarians Tandoori Vegetables was served next.Now this one made me sit up.Broccoli,Zuchini and coloured peppers in a tandoori dish,that is some innovation.Crunchy vegetables with a lovely smoky flavour and the right hint of spiciness,this one was a winner.

The buffet menu also boasts of cold sandwiches and hot pizzas.The sandwich didn't score well on my opinion.The bread was too hard to chew,so I stuck to eating lettuce,tomatoes and the fresh buffalo mozarella cheese.

But the Pizza was just awesome.With few vegetables on top(compared to the overstuffed toppings) and just the right amount of cheese and thinner than thin crust it was worth the full price of the buffet!It was quite light and did not stuff you up as I feared since I had the full buffet spread to look forward to.The pizzas are baked in a wood-fire lookalike rotating oven which has a metal base and an internal flame to bake the pizzas evenly.A friend even made a passing comment that the pizza puffs up like Poori!!

We headed to the buffet table which was replete with salads of all kinds.Pasta salads,fruit and vegetable salads and dips.Here's a look.

Apple and Pear Salad IMG_6301

Cucumber and Cherry Tomato Salad IMG_6306

Pasta Salad

Broccoli Salad with Herbed Cream

Picnik collage

The main course featured South Indian food,Chinese,North Indian as well as Thai.I tried the Roasted Vegetables and Vegetarian Noodles and even though I wanted to believe this is no different than in others look wise,I have to say the prominent ginger-garlic-soya-tomato flavor was absent in these noodles.It tasted great though,I wonder what pixie dust the chef put into it! IMG_6309

Roasted Vegetables IMG_6321

As I was getting stuffed by now,I decided to take it easy and try only a few stuff more as I wanted to dig into the dessert section.My next course was North Indian as I chose to have Vegetable Biryani(which smelt so much like its Non-veg counterpart,I almost backed out before double checking with the chef!).With just the right amount of vegetables and perfectly spiced it could be had on its own without any sides.But I decided to pair it with some Vegetable Kofta-creamy and rich,Ajwaini Paneer-soft paneer cubes in a succulent gravy spiced with Ajwain and Kadai vegetables-again with vegetables which are not usually associated with such side dishes-Broccoli,zuchini and cauliflower.

Vegetable Biryani IMG_6325

Vegetable Kofta

Ajwaini Paneer

Kadai Vegetables IMG_6322

Picnik collage 
After the scrumptious meal,it was time for dessert.But sadly I couldn't indulge much as I was quite full.I decided to go for the most appealing dessert from the dessert section which was a very difficult choice indeed.There was a lot to choose from-Rice Kheer,Malai Sandwich,Sweet Tarts,Dates cake,Sacher Torte,Fruit Bowl,Blackforest Pastry,Mango Mousse,Banana Cake,Thai Coconut Custard and many more.

Picnik collage 
I tried out the Sacher Torte and liked it.I mean,it is chocolate and it is a cake,whats not there to like!The Thai coconut custard also tasted great,full of coconut flavour and a lovely texture,sadly,I was too full to do justice to it!

The buffet lunch is priced at 750/-inclusive of all taxes and dinner is priced at 975/-(for veg and non-veg).Not cheap by any standards,but here you pay money for the quality and the whole experience.I am blown away by the buffet,now I am going for the alacarte.

Burgundy's is at Somerset Greenways,MRC Nagar,next to Chettinad School.For reservations call 044 49001000.

Food - 8/10
Ambience - 7/10
Service - 8/10

Friday, October 7, 2011

Chocolate Caramel Tarts

Remember these Jam tarts I baked a while back,well the Sweet Punch team has chosen it to be our challenge for the month.Though I had initially decided that I'd bake it once again for the punch,the food blogger in me poked her head and asked me to bake something else.I mean,Jam tart is already on the blog,so why not bake something else!

I looked around for different fillings and was confused which one to choose.We are not really fond of pastry and such and the only one we liked were these Jam tarts.I knew I had to tread in carefully to make it like-able.I'd thought of making Butterscotch filling from scratch but then had a better idea.

Leftover ganache from the fridge+leftover dulce de leche+fresh pastry for the tart=delicious chocolate caramel tarts.As simple as that!
Chocolate Caramel Tarts
Recipe source for the Tart - Thankam Philip book of Baking

Ingredients[Makes 12 tarts]
[I halved the recipe]

Butter-60g [chilled]
Baking powder – ½ tsp
Water-4-5 drops

For the filling

Dulce de leche - 1/4 cup
Chocolate Ganache - 1/2 cup

Mix flour and baking powder together.

Add the butter and rub it with your fingertips till it resembles breadcrumbs.
Now add water little by little and form a dough[do not knead,just mix slightly with your fingertips].
Divide the dough into 12 parts.Flatten each ball using a rolling pin and line the tart moulds.
Bake at 180 degress for 15 mins or till done.
De-mould when cool.
With the help of a spoon,smear dulce de leche over the tarts(more like a layer),pipe swirls of chocolate ganache on top and decorate with sprinkles,silver dragees,chocolate curls or cocoa powder.You could also leave it plain,either way it tastes delicious.


  • I refrigerated the tart dough for about 20 minutes before rolling it since it was quite hot and humid in the kitchen.This makes it easier to roll the dough.
  • Make sure you do not knead the dough,it just needs a little help to come together,if you work the dough too much the tart would turn out hard.
  • The combination of caramel and chocolate is worth trying out,I feared it would be too sweet for our choice,but it was just perfect.
  • You could fill the tart with anything of your choice,it could be whipped cream and fruits or some nutella or even jam and marmalade,choice is yours!!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Eggless Banana-Choco chip Squares

There was a time when over ripe bananas were used only to make Buns and then these muffins but these days when bananas get over ripe,I am lost for choice.There are so many yummy recipes using bananas and I feel I should try them all.Since it is Navrathri,I wanted to try out an eggless recipe from my over crowded bookmarked folder.Aparna's Eggless Banana Choco chip squares seemed like the perfect choice.
The recipe is a breeze to make and the chocolate chips in every bite make it a great treat.

Eggless Banana Choco Chip Squares


Butter - 75 gms,softened at room temperature
Brown sugar - 3/4 cup,firmly packed
Ripe Banana - 1 large,pureed/mashed
Milk - 3-4 tbsp
Vanilla extract - 1/2 tsp
Cardamom pod - 1(optional)
All purpose flour - 1 1/2 cups
Baking powder - 1 1/2 tsp
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Chocolate chips - 1/3 cup


Preheat oven to 180C.Grease/line a 7' square cake tin.
Puree the banana with milk,cardamom and vanilla extract till smooth.
Sift together flour and baking powder and keep aside.
Beat together sugar and butter till fluffy and creamy.Mix in the banana puree and beat till smooth.
Mix in the sifted flour and beat again on moderate speed till you get a smooth batter.
Fold in the chocolate chips.
Scrape the batter into the prepared tin,scatter more chocolate chips if you like 
and bake for 30-35 minutes or till a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
Cool in the tin for about 5 minutes and then invert into a wire rack for further cooling.
Cut into squares and serve.
The recipe makes 9 big or 16 small squares.

Sending this to Raks who is Celebrating Sweets with Fruits and Veggies an event originally started by Nivedita.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Pin It button on image hover