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Sunday, May 11, 2014

Eggless Dark Chocolate Layered Cake with chocolate buttercream and ganache frosting

This has been a long hiatus from blogging. Longer than I intended to or expected. But a lot of cooking has been done meanwhile. Every other time I was tempted to bring out my camera. This blog has always been on my mind. I am so glad to be finally posting a new recipe here. And on mothers day..this dark chocolate cake seems apt.  

Dark Chocolate cake-2

Nothings exictes me like an eggless bake. Especially a cake. It is a rewarding experience. An eggless cake recipe is something I always want to give a try like this one previously posted. This one uses vinegar which does sound strange, but the results are great. I found the texture much lighter.
Just for fun, I ve used 2 kinds of frostings. Ganache and buttercream. I used the buttercream as the layer and ganache for the final topping on the cake. The cake and the ganache can easily be veganised by using soy milk or water instead of milk.

Dark Chocolate cake-3

Eggless Dark Chocolate layered cake with butter cream frosting and chocolate ganache.

Things you need -


175 gms plain flour/ all purpose flour

125 gms sugar
75 ml neutral vegetable oil + extra to grease
25 gms unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp vinegar/cider vinegar
200 ml milk or soy/almond milk or water

Chocolate butter cream
100 gms Butter at room temperature
75 gms gms icing sugar
About 5 tbsp cocoa powder
pinch of salt
milk as needed
a drop or pinch of vanilla extract

Chocolate Ganache
200gms semiweet chocolate
100 ml cream
1-2 tbsp of honey or corn syrup, optional for a super shiny glaze

Method -

For the cake-
Preheat oven to 180 deg Celsius. Grease a 7 inch round cake pan with oil and keep aside.
Sift the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda and baking powder together.
In a separate bowl whisk oil, vinegar, milk and vanilla extract.
Quickly pour into the dry ingredients and mix. Pour the mixture into the pan and bake for about 30-40 mins until a skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
Take cake out of the oven and allow to cool completely before unmoulding.
Using a serrated long time, carefully cut the cake horizontally into 2. To achieve a smooth cut, dip the knife into hot water, wipe with dry cloth and cut in one sided motion.

For the chocolate butter cream
Whisk all ingredients except milk together with a whisk. As the frosting comes together, add drops of milk as required to attain the right consistency for frosting. The mixture should be easily spreadable. 
Frost a tin layer of butter cream icing on one of the layers of the cake and cool in refrigerator for 15 minutes. Now frost another coating on to it. This ensures a smooth coating. Top with the second cake layer.

For the Chocolate ganache
Melt the chocolate on a double boiler or in microwave at 360w in bursts of 1 minute.
Allow to cool slightly.
Pour the cream and honey/corn syrup into the chocolate and whisk well.
Pour onto the cake and spread lightly with a spatula until it is coated as desired.

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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Cinnamon Toasted Panettone and Persimmon Mini Trifles

Toasted Pannetone and Persimmon trifles-4

These super easy trifles combine the 2 of my new found love. Panettone and Persimmon. I've had Panettone many times before, but I wasn't too keen on it .... until this year. I've gobbled up copious amount of panettone this month. I have no idea why. But it just tastes delicious this year. May be I have developed a taste for it now.

Toasted Pannetone and Persimmon trifles-3 

Toasted Pannetone and Persimmon trifles-1

Toasted Pannetone and Persimmon trifles-5

My favourite part is biting into the candied citrus peels and raisins.

I've discovered Persimmons only after coming to Europe and have always loved them since. My son calls it “Mango's cousin” and enjoys it as much as I do.

The idea of these trifles took root in my mind one day and all I had to make was custard and assemble them. They can be put together in a few minutes.Cinnamon adds a nice touch. This dessert can be served warm or chilled.


Cinnamon Toasted Panettone and Persimmon Mini Trifles

Yield – 2 to 3

Ingredients -

2-3 Persimmons cut into cubes, chilled or at room temperature
4-5 large Panettone slices
Butter to toast the panettone slices
vanilla custard (store bought or make your own. See notes)
2-3 tbsp whipped cream or crème fraiche
1-2 tsp cinnamon powder
a few pistachios

Method -

Butter the panettone slices, sprinkle some cinnamon on both sides and toast the slices on a hot griddle or toaster until they are slightly brown.
Cut the slices into cubes/squares.
Assemble the trifles. First a layer of pannetone pieces. Then spoon some custard. Next a layer of persimmon cubes. Top with more pannetone and finish off with whipped cream. Garnish with a pistachios and sprinkle a pinch of cinnamon.

Notes –

I prepared the egg free custard using custard powder(I used Birds custard powder), sugar and milk. You could also use a pudding mix or store bought ready custard. Chill/warm the custard as you would like to have it.

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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Potato and Coconut soup with Coriander Cashew Pesto

With temperatures hitting subzero, a bowl of soup is a treat these days.
But we enjoy our soup all year round. Usually Sunday nights are soup nights. Sunday lunch is quite elaborate and traditional and we prefer something light for dinner. A bowl of soup accompanied with homemade bread or salad makes a hearty comforting meal. I simply love that combination.

Potato coconut soup-1

I have happily swapped by evening tea for soup many a times. It was also my favourite snack for those sudden bouts of hunger during my pregnancies.

This soup doesn't need a long list of ingredients. Just some pantry basics. 
It is also a great way to use up leftover boiled or mashed potatoes. The soup could of course be had sans the pesto. But the pesto complements the creamy soup well and adds loads of flavour. So I highly recommend it

Potato coconut soup-3

Potato coconut soup-2

Potato and Coconut Soup with Coriander Cashew pesto

Serves 2-3

Ingredients -

3-4 medium potatoes, boiled and mashed
half cup coconut milk + a few tsps extra for garnish
1 small onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 cup vegetable stock/water
1 packed cup of coriander leaves, stalk and all
handful of cashew nuts
2 tsp olive oil + extra for garnish
1-2 green chilli
chilli flakes for garnish

Method -

Prepare the pesto
Grinder coriander, cashew, 1 tsp oil and green chilli until a slightly coarse paste forms.

Make the soup
Heat 1 tsp oil in a large saucepan and fry the onions until transparent.
Add garlic, potatoes, vegetable stock, salt and bring to boil. Turn heat down and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
Puree with a hand mixer or blender and return to saucepan.
Add the coconut milk and bring to boil again. Switch off heat.
Serve hot with a dollop of coriander cashew pesto, garnish with chilli flakes, coconut milk and olive oil.

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Friday, November 15, 2013

Delhi style Pumpkin stir fry

My recent holiday to India has sure made me lazy. I was spoilt by my family and got away without doing any chores. Its been weeks and am still reminiscing about the wonderful time I had.

Delhi Style Pumpkin-6

Delhi Style Pumpkin-7

But its time we got back to business. With my little girl starting to walk, she is busy exploring the world…the kitchen cabinet and drawers being her favourite!! And the little boy starting kindergarten, they do keep me on my toes and our meals are getting simpler. Elaborate cooking is limited to weekends and special occasions.
This stir fry or sabzi is easy but full of flavour. The pepper and nigella seeds  especially render a very unique flavour. Ive used butternut squash here. But any variety of pumpkin should work.

Delhi Style Pumpkin-1

Delhi Style Pumpkin-3

Delhi Style Pumpkin-4

Delhi Style Pumpkin-5

Delhi style Pumpkin stir fry

Adapted from Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian

Yeild - 3-4 servings

Things you need -

1 small butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cubed
1 tsp whole pepper corns
1 tsp nigella seeds(kalonji)
1 tbsp oil
1-2 dried red chilli(or use a tsp of paprika powder)
1 tsp cumin seeds
half tsp fenugreek seeds
half tsp fennel seeds, optional
salt, as per taste
1-2 tsp sugar
1 tsp amchoor powder(dried mango powder) or juice of half a lemon

How its done -

1. Heat oil is a non stick pan on medium-high heat.
2. Put the cumin seeds, nigella seeds, fennel seeds, fenugreek, peppercorns and red chillies.  Stir for a few seconds and add the pumpkin. Stir for a minute.
3. Reduce the heat to low and cook covered for about 20-30 minutes stirring frequently until the pumpkin is tender.
4. Add salt, sugar, amchoor powder and stir gently.
5. Sever hot with flatbread or as a side dish to any rice.

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