Strawberry and Cream Cake

_DSC0159

Strawberry and Cream – does that ring a bell? I remember those winter days in Kolkata when I ate a huge bowl full of fresh strawberry and cream and I fell in love even more everyday. It almost became a part of my meal each day such that I ended up eating less of my staples because I needed to eat my bowl of happiness. This cake is a dedicated for my love towards Strawberry and Cream! I am enamored by the ruby red strawberries and can’t contain my excitement when I get hold of the freshest batch at the grocery store. Its like giving a kids his favorite candy, pure joy! I love it, I am obsessed by it and then fall in love with it even more.

This cake is no brainer, no ornated cake. Simple, basic pantry staples to bake a moist and vanilla rich cake. And then let your imagination flow. I have done a basic whipped cream decoration with lots of strawberry chunks and fresh blueberries to adorn my lil cake. Grab your box of strawberries because you can’t go wrong with it ever!

_DSC0151

RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (Makes a 6 inch round cake)

  • 260 grams whole wheat flour (you can also use all purpose flour/ maida)
  • 113 grams unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 160 grams white granulated sugar
  • 120 ml whole milk
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tsp baking powder, slightly heaped
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup whipping cream
  • 4 tbsp icing sugar
  • 1 cup strawberries, diced
  • 8 – 10 fresh blueberries, to garnish

_DSC0165

METHOD:

  • Preheat your oven to 170 C. Butter/ oil your cake tin and lightly flour it and keep aside.
  • In a bowl beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. This takes about 3 – 4 minutes.
  • Add vanilla extract and whisk it until just incorporated. Now add one egg at a time and beat it until just incorporated.
  • Add whole wheat flour, baking soda and baking powder to this egg mixture and fold it. Add milk and fold the mixture until well incorporated.
  • Transfer the cake batter to the mould and put it to bake for 35 – 38 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  • Once done allow it to cool and then de-mould it. Allow the cake to completely cool down. This may take several hours.
  • Once its closer to cooling down, place a bowl in the freezer for 30 minutes.
  • Take the bowl and pour in the whipping cream and icing sugar and whip until stiff peaks are formed.
  • You can add some chopped strawberries to it. Cover the cake with the cream. You can divide the cake horizontally and then apply whipped cream between the 2 halves of the cake along with the top and sides.
  • Garnish with remaining strawberries and blueberries and enjoy!

 

Boozy Christmas Bundt Cake

_DSC0385

A Christmas tree is dressed up beautifully and my house is looking festive. Those lil shining stars hanging from the tree, those bright red socks hanging all over the house and bright lights all around the tree – what a pretty sight! While my house is ornated beautifully, my food table looks prettier. Latest on my holiday table is this Boozy Christmas Bundt Cake. It has all the Christmas feel that you are looking for.

Christmas week often reignites childhood memories. School closed down for the festve season, some chilling out scenes with friends, lots of bakery hopping to grab the newest dessert in town and then praying to Santa to give the best gift possible. Ah! I miss those days. While official holiday is slightly difficult now, the rest still holds true. Those delicious Christmas puddings and Bundt cakes were always a hit in my family. This recipe is inspired from my childhood memories and I have added a slight Boozy twist to it. Loaded with the goodness of rum soaked dry fruits and the warmth from the spices is surely going to make this cake a hit in the Christmas get together this year. Try it and you won’t be disappointed.

_DSC0401

RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (Makes 1 bundt cake)

  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried apricot, finely choppes
  • 1/4 cup raisins, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup dates, finely choopes
  • 1 cup rum (or brandy)
  • 2 cup all purpose flour (you can also use whole wheat flour)
  • 3/4 cup granulated brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup warm water
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/4 tsp dry ginger powder
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg powder
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 ts baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp walnut, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp candied orange peels, finely chopped (optional)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp butter, melted and cooled

_DSC0380

METHOD:

  • Soak cranberries, cherries, apricots, raisins and dates in rum in a glass jar for 2 days to 15 days.
  • Now preheat your oven to 180 C for atleast 15 minutes. Butter your bundt pan with butter properly and keep aside.
  • Now in a bowl mix together oil, water and brown sugar until incorporated well. Now add vanilla extract and whisk it well.
  • In another bowl sieve flour, orange zest, cinnamon powder, nutmeg powder, dry ginger powder, salt, baking powder and baking soda and keep aside.
  • Now add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and fold in gently making sure no lumps are formed.
  • Now add walnuts ad candied peels to the mixture and fold the batter gently.
  • Transfer it to the prepared bundt tin and put it to bake at 165C for 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  • Enjoy!

Spiced Semolina Cake with Orange Drizzle

_DSC0188

Simple ingredients, quick recipe and an addictive cake – this Spiced Semolina Cake with Orange Drizzle is juts about that. Its getting quite cold back in Bangalore and all I am craving for is nuts and spices for the extra warmth. And then its December where I don’t need any additional excuse to make homemade cakes. My kitchen smells amazing – some nuts and fruits soaking in booze at one end, cookies baking in the oven, fruits being converted into jam on the stove top, cake cooling down and cream getting whipped up elsewhere. Amidst all this its me – an excited soul who is loving every bit of this scene in my kitchen.

Suddenly my mum calls and tells me she made this amazing semolina cake loaded with nuts. Ah! My to do baking list just increased slightly and I set to make this cake since I had everything stocked up at home. The crumbly cake loaded with the goodness from different seeds is a perfect accompaniment during tea time. Garnished with toasted nuts and a tangy orange drizzle, I have got my go to recipe whenever I want to bake something quickly. Delicious, moist and super easy. Try it now!

_DSC0184

RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (Makes a 8 inch cake)

  • 1 1/4 cup semolina
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature + extra for preparing the baking tin
  • 1 cup light brown sugar (you can use granulated white sugar too)
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar
  • 1/3 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 1/4 cup yogurt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom powder
  • 2 1/2 tbsp mixed seeds (I used pumpkin, melon, flax seeds and chia seeds)
  • 1/2 cup blanched almonds
  • 2 tbsp unsalted pistachios, roughly chopped
  • few strands of saffron
  • pinch of salt

METHOD:

  • Preheat your oven to 200 C for atleast 10 minutes. Spread the blanched almonds on the baking tray and allow it to toast for 8 – 10 minutes or until just slightly brown.
  • Once done, take it out of the oven and allow it to cool completely.
  • Again Preheat your oven to 180 C for atleast 15 minutes.
  • Take 2 tbsp of milk and soak the saffron strands in it for sometime.
  • Meanwhile take the cake mould, slightly butter and flour it and keep it aside.
  • Now in a bowl whisk melted butter and brown sugar until a smooth mixture is formed. To this add semolina, whole wheat flour, salt, , orange zest, cardamom powder, mixed seeds, saffron soaked milk, curd and milk and fold in gently until well combined.
  • Allow this mixture to rest for 5 – 10 minutes.
  • Lastly add baking powder and baking soda and fold the mix gently until just combined.
  • Transfer the mixture to cake mould and allow it to bake for 30 – 35 minutes until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  • Take it out of the oven and allow the cake to cool completely.
  • In a bowl take fresh orange juice and add icing sugar and stir until completely dissolved.
  • Take the cake, generously drizzle the orange juice mixture. Garnish with toasted almonds, pistachios and dig in.

Fig and Almond Cake

_DSC0232

Love to eat a cake at breakfast or do you love your tea time with a stumptuous piece of cake? Do not worry because this recipe has got you cravings covered. A simple and delicious cake often needs no introduction. A cake which has been adorning my breakfast and brunch tables these days is a Fig and Almond Cake. It is as pretty as it tastes and darn easy to make!

I must confess as much as I love eating cakes, I am not a bog fan of the frosting and fondants that come along with it. I hated it as a child because it was overly sweet and overpowered the true flavors of the cake and the feeling still prevails. When it comes to my kitchen, I enjoy baking cakes free of frosting. Something which is simple, naked and true to its flavors.

This cake is moist and fluffy. The combination of fresh and dried figs together in the cake is so magical. The subtle cardamom flavors lends an aromatic and spicy nature to the cake. The gorgeous and perfectly toasted almonds on the top adds the perfect crunch to the entire cake. Such simple ingredients yet a pretty little cake that you can never get bored off!

_DSC0213

RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (Makes a 6 inch cake)

  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp cardamom powder
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg powder
  • 1 egg
  •  3/4 cup plain buttermilk (you can use 1/2 cup yogurt + 1/4 cup water)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp dried figs, roughly chopped
  • 3 tbsp melted butter, room temperature + extra for greasing the cake tin
  • 1/4 cup granulated brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract (optional)
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsp whole milk
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds, for garnishing
  • 10 – 12 fresh figs, cut in circles for garnishing
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar, for garnishing

METHOD:

  • Preheat your oven to 170 C for atleast 15 minutes. Butter and flour the cake tin and keep aside.
  • In a bowl mix all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder, brown sugar, cardamom powder, nutmeg powder, and salt and keep aside.
  • In another bowl mix melted butter, eggs, milk, vanilla and almond extract and keep aside.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients mixture and fold gently.
  • Add the dried figs to the mixture and fold in until its evenly spread.
  • Transfer the mixture to the cake mould. Now top it with fresh fig slices, sliced almonds.
  • Allow the cake to bake in the oven for 22 – 25 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted comes out clean.
  • Once done, allow the cake to cool down, garnish with icing sugar, slice it and eat!

Enjoy!

 

Lemon Syrup Cake with a hint of Star Anise

lemonsyrupcake1

Being an ardent fan of Masterchef Australia, I am in awe of what they cook. I often get inspired to cook their dishes, especially the dessert. It looks phenomenal. However when I actually go through their recipes, its indeed a mammoth task to achieve such beautiful dishes. The complexity of the ingredients and the different textures they incorporate into one single dish is well beyond my imagination. Each dish is a complete revelation to the viewers – its artistic, its beautiful and I am sure it is as delicious as it looks.

One such dish I came across was a lemon syrup cake with honey semifreddo. The look of it made me get up my sofa and make the cake for my family if not the honey semifreddo. Didn’t have all the ingredients as mentioned in the recipe so the ingredients available in my pantry. The whole experience of doing a Masterchef inspired dish was exciting.

So this recipe of mine is simple and quite rustic. No ornating the cake, its all about the syrup drenched moist cake, full of lemonness. As the weekend is almost there and its time to relax, bake this cake and have it with your cup of tea or as a dessert, you will fall in love with it.

lemonsyrupcake2

RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (For 2 – 4.5 inch ramekins)

  • 4 tbsp milk
  • 65 gms unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 90 gms caster sugar
  • 90 gms all purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • juice of 1 1/2 medium lemon
  • zest of 1 medium lemon
  • 2 star anise
  • 30 gms icing sugar (you can also use caster sugar)
  • pinch of salt

METHOD:

  • Preheat your oven at 150 C for atleast 15 minutes. Butter and flour the ramekin and set aside.
  • Cream the butter until its pale and fluffy. This will take around 2 – 3 minutes atleast.
  • Add the egg to the above mixture and beat it.
  • Now add the lemon zest and juice of 1/2 lemon to the mixture and fold it gently so that it evenly spreads in the mixture.
  • In another bowl mix all purpose flour, baking powder and salt.
  • Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix it gently. Now add the milk in the mixture and mix it everything is incorporated well.
  • Transfer the batter to the ramekins, dividing the batter evenly between the two ramekin.
  • Put it to bake for 30 – 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  • Just 5 – 10 minutes before the cake is ready to come out of the oven, take a saucepan mix the icing or the 30 gms of sugar with the remaining lemon juice.
  • Add 2 tbsp of water and star anise and put it on medium heat to allow the sugar to dissolve.
  • Once the cake is done, take a toothpick and puncture it so that when you drizzle the syrup it goes through the entire cake. Don’t make the holes too big.
  • Drizzle the syrup and serve it!

1465403301218

NOTES:

  • You can add 1/2 tsp of cinnamon to the cake batter.
  • You can completely partially cool down the cake and then drizzle the syrup too.

Basic Chocolate Cake

Basic_Chocolate_Cake

Who doesn’t love chocolate?
And when you get a slice of a perfect chocolate cake, it’s pure bliss. Be it a friend’s birthday or your parents anniversary, a chocolate cake is a treat for all chocolate lovers. Texture – moist and fluffy, flavor – chocolately and not too sweet, appearance – perfectly cooked, thats what this recipe is bound to give you.

I remember my mother making this yummy chocolate cake very often for me and my brothers. I eventually stopped eating pastries and cakes from the bakeries. She used this basic chocolate cake as the base for a number of other desserts but it was always the flavor of this cake that stole the show.

Easily available ingredients, easy recipe and delicious outcome – grab your utensils and start baking!

Cocoa-Powder-and-Dark-Chocolate

RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (8″ cake tin)

  • 1 tin sweetened condensed milk
  • 120 gms unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 210 gms  all purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tbsp chocolate powder (optional)
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1/2 cup thick plain yoghurt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup room temperature water
  • 1/2 cup whole milk

METHOD:

  • Preheat the oven at 180 C for 10 minutes.
  • Mix all purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa powder and chocolate powder in a bowl and set aside.
  • Beat butter with condensed milk until fully incorporated. Add vanilla essence and mix well.
  • Mix the yogurt slowly and beat until full incorporated.
  • Add milk and water to the above mixture.
  • Fold in the flour mix with the mixture of the wet ingredients until fully incorporated.
  • Pour in the cake tin and bake at 180 C for 40 minutes. A tooth pick inserted if comes out clean, then the cake is cooked.
  • Let the cake cool and then unmould it.
  • Dust the cake with powdered sugar or cocoa powder and serve.

final2

Enjoy this fantastic basic recipe which you can use for creating some other desserts too.