Monday 30 July 2012

The Perfect Chocolate Cake for Hubby Dear

27th July was Hubby dears birthday. Though there wasn't much excitement from his side, I was looking forward and planning for this day with a lot of zest. It was a double treat for the baker in me to attempt yet another sinful delight ! After all occasions like these can't just go away without some yummy choco sin !
The plan was made a week ahead-A handmade card and a homebaked cake! Perfect combination.

The card was made using my newly learnt Quilling technique. Simple rolling of colourful strips of paper  and shaping them results in such intricate and beautiful looking flowers.
The cake recipe was taken from Easycooking (a blog I love to follow) and Hershey's site. A simple recipe with no butter and lots of cocoa powder. The cake came out super duper moist and extremely soft with a beautiful rich dark chocolate colour.  
I tried my hands on the spider web icing for the first time and wasn't very happy with the attempt. Assuring myself to think like they say -There is always a next time !!
Well, the true icing on the cake were the Champagne bottle shaped candles !

Ingredients: For the cake

  • 2 cups sugar(powdered)
  • 1 3/4 cups refined flour
  • 3/4 cups cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 cup boiling water
Preheat oven to 180 degree Celsius. Grease and line a 9" round baking tin.
Take a bowl and mix sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla essence. Mix well so all the ingredients are well incorporated. Stir in boiling water (do not worry about lumps) The batter will be quite thin. 
Pour the batter in the prepared tin.
Bake for 40 mins or till a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Cool the cake on a rack.
Cut the cake horizontally in two rounds.

Ingredients: For the cream icing
  • 150 ml Whipping cream(Refrigerated)
  • 1/4 cup chocolate sauce(I used Hersheys) or use 4  tbsp cocoa powder diluted with some water
Take the whipping cream in a clean bowl. Put this in another bowl with ice cubes making an ice bath. Mix the chocolate sauce or diluted cocoa powder and whip the cream till peaks form. 
Sandwich the two pieces of cake with cream.
Leave some for the spider web icing and use the remaining cream to smoothen it on all sides. Put in the fridge to set.
Make rough vertical and horizontal design with a fork on the cream on side of the cake.

 Ingredients: For the spider web icing
  • 4 tbsp dark chocolate
  • 2 tbsp cream
Melt the chocolate on a double boiler or microwave for 1 min.
Mix the cream well and pour on top of the cake while the Ganache is still hot.
Take some of the whipping cream in a piping bag or put in a zip lock bag and snip off the ends to use as a piping bag. Make concentric circles on the top and then with a toothpick draw 6 lines from the center to the outer edge and 6 lines from the outer edge to the center.
pic taken from google to show the concentric circles and the spider web design  using a toothpick
Chill the cake till required.

Wishing my true friend, my loving husband and the best father in this whole wide world a very very Happy Birthday. Wishing us many many more years of love and togetherness.

Happy Cake Baking

Tuesday 24 July 2012

Mango Mousse- Celebrating "Sweet Day"

Time truly flies. It seems it was just yesterday that we were gifted with the most beautiful gift by the Almighty-our daughter Vaanya. Today our little angel turns 14 months old and we celebrate 14 months of pure joy and love. Since her 1st month every 24th has been a small party with a bought or home made cake. This ritual continued till her first birthday with every 24th being a day of celebration. Since last month I have decided to dedicate a post on sweet for my sweety-pie on every 24th making it a "Sweet Day" on our blog.
Mango mousse is one dish that I have made the most  this season. It all started as my last attempt at trying a desert with mangoes. This desert was loved the most by all. I even tried a variation with chocolate but mango still won hands down.

So here is the recipe for the amazingly smooth and yummy Mango Mousse. You can try the variation with chocolate or any other flavour by simply substituting the mango.

Ingredients: For 4 people
  • 1 cup Mango puree
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1 tbsp gelatin

Take 1/4 cup cold water and dissolve the gelatin in it. Wait for 5-10 mins till the gelatin becomes spongy. 
Meanwhile warm the mango puree in a pan and add  the sugar. Take it off the flame when its warm. Do not let it boil. 
Mix gelatin in the mango mixture. Keep aside.
Whip egg whites in a clean bowl till stiff and fluffy.  
Whip cream in another bowl till soft peaks form.
In a bigger bowl add the mango mixture and mix the egg whites and cream one by one. 
Put this mixture in bowls or glasses and refrigerate for 2-3 hours to set.
Garnish with a dollop of cream, some chopped mango and fresh mint.

Sending this recipe to Mango delights

Happy Mousse-eating !

Sunday 15 July 2012

Mutton Saundha-Amma's Recipe

Being born in a Punjabi family people normally perceive me as a hardcore Non-vegetarian. Ironically the truth is that we seldom have non-veg dishes cooked in our kitchen. A chicken dish being cooked at home would suggest that someone is invited for dinner. I guess this is because my parents were never too fond of chicken, leave alone red meat. As a result I had never tasted a good mutton dish in my life. 
When I go married and went to Allahabad for the first time, I had the most amazing Mutton Biryani made by Amma (Mother-in-law). I could'nt believe that the meat was so well done that it just melted in my mouth. It was cooked with so much perfection and flavours.
On my last visit to Allahabad I took down the recipe of this yet another amazing mutton dish made by Amma. Basically I took it for Vishal to experiment because a few last horrid chewy attempts demoralized him and made him stay away from venturing into the red meat category.
I followed the recipe to the 'T', though Amma is such a freelancer when it comes to food, she has no fixed recipes and just cooks with lots of love. Probably that what we get to taste everytime!
This recipe is very simple with no marination time. The most amazing thing is that it is meant to be done in flat 16 min mark and what you get is an extremely well cooked and yummy mutton dish. 

  • 1/2 kg mutton (Ideally Raan and chops)
  • 2-3 chopped onions
  • 1 1/2 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • 2 dried red chillies(seeds removed)
  • 1 1/2 tsp jeera
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 badi elaichi
  • 4 choti elaichi
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 1 inch piece of cinnamon
  • salt to taste
  • 3 tbsp mustard oil
  • 2 peeled and halved potatoes

Take a pressure cooker and put washed mutton pieces, chopped onions, ginger garlic paste, all the whole spices, salt and mustard oil. Add 1/2 cup 
water and close the lid. After the first whistle lower the flame and let the mutton cook for 8 mins.
Open the lid and let the water dry. Add potatoes and  1 cup of water and close the lid again. After the first whistle lower the flame and cook for another 8 mins or till the mutton is done.

For an amateur-in-mutton cook like me this was such a simple to follow recipe and turned out absolutely amazing. 

Sending this recipe to Feast for your Guru
Happy Cooking

Thursday 12 July 2012

Healthy Mango and Banana Gelato

Mango season is about to get over and so I wanted to share this amazing recipe that I came across in a show on TLC called Donna Hay:Fast Fresh Simple. True to the name of her show chef Donna Hay comes up with these very easy to make and delectable recipes.
Needless to mention I am particularly a big fan of her very easy to make deserts esp her cakes and chocolate brownies (yummm)
This season I discovered my new love for fruit deserts and so have been exploring more of it. Fruit deserts are such a beautiful way to celebrate the season as each one has its own speciality and they add to the health factor in the desert !!
This recipe has been the easiest of all that I have been attempting and hubby Vishal(who is not much of a sweet fan) asked when will I make it again ! Vaanya my Desert princess loved it. Hope you will too since its very easy, fresh and requires just 4 ingredients!

  • 1 cup hung curd(preferably overnight)
  • 2 mangoes chopped
  • 1 banana chopped
  • 1 tbsp honey

Place chopped mangoes and banana in an airtight container and put in the freezer for 3-4 hours.
Put frozen fruits in a blender with hung curd and honey and blend till smooth.
Put this mixture in an airtight container and freeze again for 2-3 hours. 
Scoop out the gelato with a scooper and serve with fresh chopped mangoes. 

Thats it ..its so simple and so delicious. A must try.

Sending this recipe to Mango Delights

Happy Healthy Gelato Eating!

Wednesday 4 July 2012

Mango Mania- No Bake Mango Cheesecake

Some time back I shared a recipe on Cheesecakes Brownie Bottom chocolate Cheesecake and had mentioned the two essential types-Baked and Non Baked. This recipe is a no bake cheesecake where the mixture is set by using Gelatin.
Gelatin is my new found tool in making quick deserts!
Gelatin is easily available in powder form and sometimes in sheets. All you need to do is soak it in some water for about 5-10 mins till the granules swell up and become spongy and then add to the hot mixture you want to thicken and set. For instance to make a fruit juice jelly, all you need to do is warm up some juice and add the soaked gelatin. Let it cool to room temperature and pop in the fridge to set. Smaller quantity takes about an hour or two to set whereas larger quantities need overnight refrigeration.
I tried the same procedure in milk infused with saffron and cardamom flavours and what i got was a beautifully set desert !!

This No bake Mango Cheesecake is so easy to make and yummy to eat that you will definitely want more . It is served with a very easy Mango sauce and chopped mango. The only difficult step in the making is the wait for the desert to set !!

Ingredients: For crust
  • 6 Chocolate cream biscuits(I used Sunfeast Pure Magic)
  • 1 tbsp butter
Crush biscuits with a rolling pin or with your hands like i did. Mix butter to the crushed biscuits and make a layer in a round pan. Flatten with the back of a spoon to get a smooth layer. Refrigerate to set.

Ingredients: For the Filling
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup condensed milk
  • 1 cup cottage cheese or chenna
  • 1 cup Mango pulp
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp gelatin
  • 1 cup hung curd
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
Heat milk and condensed milk in a pan. Mix the cornflour in little milk and add to hot milk. Cook stirring continously till it becomes thick. Keep aside.
Add 1/4 cup boiling water to gelatin, mix till it dissolves and set aside.
Process the paneer or chenna in a mixer to get a smooth paste.
Mix milk, dissolved gelatin, mango pulp, paneer or chenna, hung curd and sugar and blend in a mixer till mixed well.
Pour on top of the set biscuit layer and refrigerate overnight (!!sigh!!)

Ingredients: For the Mango Sauce
  •  1/2 mango chopped
  •   1/2 tbsp cornflour
  •  1/2 cup water
  •  Sugar to taste
Mix chopped mango sugar and water in a pan and cook till sugar dissolves. Mix cornflour in some water and add to the mango and cook till it thickens to the required sauce consistency.
Pour the sauce on top of the cheesecake and serve with some chopped mangoes.

Happy Cheesecakemaking


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