Friday, 28 September 2007

Strawberry cake

Well, here is a cake I made for my husband's birthday last year. I followed Delia Smith's all-in-one-sponge-cake, but instead of halving the cake and doing a raspberry filling, I went with strawberries on top. It was delicious!
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Thursday, 27 September 2007


It's arguably the simplest dessert ever. We call it Chinia ghaans (china grass) because that's the name agar-agar goes by in Mumbai, which happens to be the only place I know of where its available here in India. Maybe because of the sea, but then India has a huge coastline. Anyway, its not to be found even here in the national capital! Lucky that my mother hails from Mumbai.

The recipe is simple enough. Your packet will probably tell you the amount of liquid, milk in this case. Cut the agar agar up fine, like this, this way it dissolves quicker. Add it to the milk. Cook on low heat, stirring occasionally till all the agar-agar disappears. Optionally you may add a bit of cardamom powder. Add the sugar, quantity will obviously depend on your taste, and bring to the boil once.

Take off the heat, pour into the dish you want to set it in. You want to sprinkle it with saffron, it looks beautiful! Once it has cooled to room temperature, carefully transfer the dish to a refrigerator, this way it firms up better. Once chilled, you may run a knife through it and cut it up in squares or diamonds, or have it just like that.


Monday, 24 September 2007

Upside down cakes

Thanks for inviting me to contribute! Well here is my first post, very quick since my 3-year-old is crying for attention, two cakes I made recently, using up the fresh blackberries, cherries and pineapple I picked up at my local fruit market.

I got the recipes from trolling the web, for the pineapple upside down cake I chose this one, not because it seemed easy and didn't call for a skillet, but because I liked the idea of using ground cardamom -- the spice of choice for Indian desserts-- in this recipe, I went ahead and added about 1.5 tsp of cardamom powder, and I used cherries to add some color. I actually baked two, to use up the whole pineapple and took one to work, where it reminded nearly everyone of their mother's cakes!

The blackberry cake was from this recipe. Frankly, I was underwhelmed by it, and my 3-year-old found it too icky -- but then she finds most food so. Of course my husband was happy to polish it off!


Sunday, 23 September 2007

a chunk of chocolate...

I just fell in love with these. Usually I use chocolate chips when I combine Madeira and chocolate, but this time I decided to push a chunk of it in them before putting them in the oven. And I love the effect.

Like this semi-sunken effect, the chocolate's peeping and its left its traces too, sort of leaked on the surface. Inviting.

And you can see the grins on these cupcakes who have swallowed the chocolate, its as if they are unaware of their own fate!

But they have their disadvantages too, your normally 'tuptake' loving (so much so that when you try to threaten him into obedience with a 'no chocolate, no toffees for you' line, he looks imploringly at you at says, 'tuptakes?') two-year-old-nephew might just dig out the chocolate and abandon the rest with a grin to match the ones above!

Note: The Madeira recipe is the same one used for Pineapple Upside Down.


Monday, 17 September 2007

Tannu's Birthday... another reason...

It was the same as Aaliya's cake, chocolate cake layered with chocolate sauce, except for that I covered it with Swiss Meringue Buttercream, which according to Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook, pairs great with chocolate cake. And topped with chocolate shavings (chocolate at room temperature and a vegetable peeler), which incidentally was the only thing the two year old birthday boy (who insisted that it was Shaun the Sheep's birthday and not his) was interested in, the 'shabings'. My buttercream sorta curdled slightly on adding the cream, gotta find out why... It gave it a not so smooth texture, but otherwise (taste wise) it was good.

Picture taken with a cellphone, my feeble reason for the quality being poorer than usual :(


Saturday, 8 September 2007

Baked Doughnuts!

My sister recommended this recipe she came across at 101cookbooks. She had tried it, liked it, and had even got her 3-year old to have some, which is an achievement of sorts! It indeed is good, and ofcourse healthy! Quite a match for its deep fried bro!

Adding cinnamon to the dusting sugar was a great idea, it gives them a nice taste and ofcourse a lovely aroma.

Dunno just felt like trying unconventional shapes, like these doughballs and doughbolts... :P