Category Archives: Bakes/cakes

Strawberry Cupcakes

Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes
Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes

Hmm and finally the last month of the calendar has already rolled in. The month holds a special place and lot of happenings are lined up which makes it a more exciting time of the year. The month brings with it the best weather one could ask for in this desert country, the winter vacation of the kids, lots of baking lined up that fills the home with heavenly aroma and leaves blissful memories, upcoming home bound trip for a wedding in the family and the list continues.

I want to start my blog post for this beautiful month with my most favorite cooking post and that no doubt has to be a baking one. I made these fruity delish bites on the morning of 5th  of this month, and they were already finished by the 6th morning. Two boxes of Strawberries were purchased and one box had lot of sour ones, and these I used to make the sauce that I have used in these cupcakes. The oven temperature dries up the top sauce and makes it more chewy, hence I added the sauce on the batter before inserting the tray for baking.

The ingredients are the usual ones that are required for any cakes, the flavor is from fresh strawberries, and I just added two types of sugar- the dark brown and white granulated sugar. One could add whichever sugar is used in the house. When one bakes frequently as I do, then all the baking essentials are stocked in the house and hence can be used anytime. The overall making of this cupcake process is quick and if all ingredients are assembled then it becomes quite a zhatpat (easy-to-make) recipe.

INGREDIENTS:

Sugar: 75 gm (white)  + 25 gm (Dark brown) (or 100 gm White sugar)

Refined Flour: 150 gm

Egg: 1

Butter: 75 gm (unsalted)

Milk: 50 ml

Baking Powder: 3/4 Tsp

Baking Soda: A small pinch (1/4 tsp)

Strawberry Essence: 1 Tsp

SAUCE

Strawberries: 1 Box (250 gm)

Sugar: 2 Tbsp

METHOD:

Assemble all the ingredients together. Note that all the ingredients used are at room temperature. Mix/sieve the baking powder and baking soda with the refined flour and keep ready to use. Preheat the oven to 170 deg C. Line the muffin tray with paper cases, I have used 12 small cases.

Wash and dry the strawberries and cut them into halves. Heat a pan on the gas stove and add the halved strawberries to it. Sprinkle 2 Tbsp white sugar over it and cook with occasional stirring. Cook till we get a thick sauce consistency, and then switch off the flame and remove the contents from pan and keep it in a bowl.

I used a mixer pot to beat the wet ingredients and then poured it in a bowl and folded in the flour. Beat sugar and butter together till soft and fluffy. Add the egg and beat. Add the milk and the strawberry essence. Beat for a minute and then remove the contents in a bowl.

Taking a spoonful of the flour at a time, fold it into the wet batter. While making cake, folding the flour in wet batter is the step of mixing of flour using rubber spatula, moving hand in one direction, cut and fold, until flour disappears. Take care not to burst or make the air bubbles disappear from the batter, hence do not over mix.

Take the lined cupcake tray, and add a spoonful of strawberry sauce in the center of the empty paper cupcake case. Then add a tablespoon of the cake batter and again put a spoonful of strawberry sauce on top in the center. Insert the tray into the preheated oven and bake at 170 deg C for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

muffin batter with strawberry sauce
muffin batter with strawberry sauce
Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes
Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes

The fresh, warm Strawberry cupcakes are ready to be enjoyed. I made and kept them ready on the dining table for the kids to enjoy as soon as they entered the house.  It is the best form of expressing love, so go ahead and try them out in your kitchen and feel the joy.

Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes from ashuskitchen
Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes from ashuskitchen

December could not start on a more happier note than this. Love and happiness to all. More baking is lined up, so do visit for more cake recipes. Check out my other cupcake recipes here.

ashu

 

 

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Dried Cranberry & Blueberry Loaf

    Slices of Cranberry & Blueberry LoafSlices of Cranberry & Blueberry Loaf

By now, you all are aware of my fondness for home-baked cakes. Every couple of days and I have the urge to bake cake, this time I wanted to use the dried cranberries and blueberries that I had purchased with thoughts of adding them to make a loaf cake. Also, couple days back, my niece had requested me to share my recipe for a simple cake , which I already gave. I had promised her that I will put a cake post for her, this is an easy and delish recipe baked especially for my dear niece. All my nephews and nieces love eating cakes, a few of them are good at baking too. I feel they are part of my chain that spreads the happiness through the cakes they bake.

Baking is a joy, you will not know of until you try and bake your own first cake.

For those who know how to bake a cake it is not a big task. But for all the new beginners who wish to try out baking their first homemade cake it sure becomes an anxious time until the baked good is out of the oven. I would like to point out here to all the new/first time bakers to go ahead, it is not something that cannot be done, even the first attempt at baking would make it clear to you how pleasurably simple baking a cake is.

Go ahead and give yourself these happy moments.

NOTE:

  • Please note to use all ingredients at room temperature.
  • Weighing the ingredient quantity is the most important step to follow to get the perfectly baked goods.
  • Use good quality ingredients and check for the expiry of the baking powder or baking soda used.
  • Line the baking tin with butter paper or grease the tin with butter and dust with flour and shake off the excess flour. In this way keep the cake tin ready for use.
  • The oven should be preheated to the set temperature before inserting the cake tin for baking.

DRIED CRANBERRY & BLUEBERRY LOAF

Dried Cranberry & Blueberry Loaf
Dried Cranberry & Blueberry Loaf

INGREDIENTS:

Refined Flour: 250 gm

Sugar: 200 gm

Unsalted Butter: 170 gm

Milk: 50 ml

Orange: 1/2 (I used the Valencia variety)

Eggs: 3

Orange Essence: 1 Tsp

Baking Powder: 1 Tsp

Baking Soda: 1/4 Tsp

Dried Cranberries & Blueberries: 150 gm (More can also be added)

METHOD:

  1. Prepare the cake tin as explained above in Note paragraph. Preheat the fan-assisted oven to 150 deg C. Mix the bake powder and baking soda with refined flour and sieve the flour. This allows even mix of the ingredients.
  2. Beat the unsalted butter until soft and light. Add the powdered sugar and beat, then add the milk and beat mixture till light and fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time, beat till the mixture is smooth. Add the essence and juice of half orange and mix well.
  4. Taking a spoonful of the flour at a time, fold it into the cake batter. Folding the flour in cake is mixing flour using rubber spatula, moving hand in one direction, cut and fold, until flour disappears. Take care not to burst or make the air bubbles disappear from the batter, hence do not over mix.
  5. Finally add the dried berries into the cake batter and mix gently.  Pour the batter immediately into the prepared loaf tin and put it into the preheated oven to bake at 150 deg C for 45 min or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  6. Finally mix the dried berries into the cake batter.

    Finally mix the dried berries into the cake batter.

Adding of the milk and orange juice makes it a slightly thin batter, so the loaf slice is light and fluffy. I have used a mixer pot to beat and mix the wet ingredients to make the batter, and folded the dried ingredients into this batter.

TIP: For a more orangey flavor, one can add 1-2 tsp of orange zest.  (Scrap out the orange outer cover to get the zest).

Dried Cranberry & Blueberry Loaf
Dried Cranberry & Blueberry Loaf

With the winter almost upon us, warm tea or coffee mugs with a delicious cake slice would make a perfect start of the day. One could also make this cake and give as home-baked gifts during this season of sharing, adding a personal touch to gifting. You would also help me by becoming the part of my chain and spread happiness through your baked cakes. 

Wishing you all Happy Thanksgiving, enjoy the day with family and friends.

ashu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Madeira Cake, my birthday bake.

Ashus version of the Madeira Cake.
Ashu’s version of the Madeira Cake.

The month of October dawns with loads of anticipation, excitement and lots of parties lined up. Yup, for me this is one of the favorite months of the year. This unique individual was born in this month, happens to be the birthday month of my dad as well as sisters. In fact, their is a long list of family members celebrating birthdays in October. Thus this is a a month of celebration, and calls for a recipe to post as the cake -of-the-month!

For this mother, baking cakes and organizing birthday parties comes in stride as annual events that are looked upon with great eagerness. This birthday I took special efforts to bake a cake for myself, something that I am very much fond of eating. Since my trip to my motherland India, I had not baked cakes as frequently and hence was eager to taste my handmade cakes, and what better day to make than for one’s own birthday! I have taken the recipe from a cookbook and adapted it a little with regards to the taste. I believe each person is different and tastes differ and there is always room for little changes in any recipe. It is a rich, dense, buttery-tasting cake to which I have added the juice of one orange, that gives it an orang-y flavor that I liked. The top of the cake is layered with my choicest dried fruits instead of the fruit peels as per recipe. The whole process from assembly of the ingredients to the actual steps of baking the cake, fond memories of my late Dad, the self love and feelings of happiness, all resulted in quite an enjoyable process of baking, and not to forget the divine buttery aroma that engulfed my senses and made the wait for tasting it an exceptionally long one.

This birthday was special, the people connected to me, those who are far yet near, who love me made it special in their own unique ways. I feel blessed to have my wishes fulfilled and to be surrounded with people who make it special. My Jr. gave me some precious moments of the day that brought happy tears to the eyes. His effort in shopping gifts for his mamma brought to notice once again his excellent taste. My week long celebrations saw me enjoy different food preparations, something that is of interest to me. Arabic cuisine dinner, homemade South Indian snacks Brunch, Barbecue dinner and finally my wish of eating at my favorite chef Vikas Khanna’s restaurant Junoon at Shangri La Hotel, Dubai. It was a notable eating experience at Junoon. Chef Vikas Khanna with his humble and down to earth quality has won over many hearts, and to experience the most friendliest and excellent service at his hotel be it the dish presentations, the taste, the different flavors creating a riot, the food cooked to perfection, the ambiance all that made the eating experience worth the money spent. Thanks to dear hubby who made this birthday dinner my most special and memorable evening. I loved the open kitchen concept of this restaurant and the friendly staff was well aware of the numerous ingredients that went on to make those special dishes on the menu.

Arabic cuisine
Arabic cuisine
South Indian dishes made by me for friends
South Indian dishes made by me for friends
@Absolute Barbecue
@Absolute Barbecue
Birthday special Dessert for me from Junoon Restaurant, Dubai.
Birthday special Dessert for me from Junoon Restaurant, Dubai.

Let us get ready to bake this Madeira cake. It is a simple, tasty and a good choice of cake for serving with tea, dense, and quite similar to a pound cake. The ingredients used are as per my taste with modifications from the original recipe.

INGREDIENTS:

Butter: 180 gm (Unsalted, softened)

Grated Orange Rind- 1 Tsp

Orange: 1 (Juice)

Sugar: 150 gm (little less if you prefer less sugar)

Eggs: 3

Refined Flour: 225 gm

Baking Powder: 1 1/2 Tsp

Mixed dried fruits of choice: 50 gm (Finely chopped)

Sliced Almonds:  25 gm or (as per own wish)

(I used a mix of dried apricots, cranberries, figs, raisins, and a red cherry)

METHOD:

Preheat the oven to 160 deg C (Fan assisted). Grease a square tin and keep ready for use. (Line with parchment paper, as it is easier to remove the cake.)

Sift the refined flour and baking powder together.

Beat the softened butter and sugar together using a hand mixer. Then add the orange rind and juice of the orange. I used orange rind instead of the lemon as per the recipe. Mix until the mixture is light and fluffy.

Beat the softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Beat the softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

Add the eggs one at a time and continue beating batter for sometime.

Fold in the flour with the batter mixture. Pour into the greased and lined baking tin. Bake for 10 min and remove tin from oven and sprinkle with the dried fruits mix and again return the tin to the oven. Bake for 35-40 min or until done, a needle inserted into the batter should come out clean.

Cool the cake in the tin for sometime then remove and let it cool on a cake stand or wire rack.

Sprinkle or arrange the dried fruits on top of the cake and bake till done.
Sprinkle or arrange the dried fruits on top of the cake and bake till done.

Enjoy this delicious buttery delight with hot cups of tea or coffee, or as a dessert after meal.

NOTE: As I baked it the previous night of my birthday, the picture quality is not very great, do bear with me.

I hope you would like baking this sweet delight and enjoy it as much as I did. It was nice to share with you all a few memories of the extended birthday celebrations. I chose this day to post in remembrance of my late dad who was fond of the cakes that I baked for him. All feel the loss of the dear departed ones, but moments like these make us relive the old memories that one shares with them. While baking the cake I had thoughts of my dad with me and was recollecting our old October celebrations, and made a small heart-shaped cake too along with the square one, one mine and one dads. I cut this one when my friends visited for the birthday brunch.

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Heart shaped cake for myself 🙂

Have a wonderful day dear readers.

ashu.

Mini Madeleines

Mini Madeleines and blue berries for breakfast.
Mini Madeleines and blue berries for breakfast.

Madeleines, small French cake that taste similar to sponge cake. The mould is special that gives them it’s unique shape, which I find to be very cute and hence I always wanted to bake them. The delay in attempting to make these beauties was because I never had the mould in my stock of baking utensils. This week I finally saw a mini madeleine Silicone mould in one of my favourite shop and immediately purchased it. Returning home I made my first batch of Madeleines following the recipe that was included with the packaging. It was a first attempt and I was hungrily waiting to taste the result of my efforts, I had never even tasted them before. The kiddos were delighted with the cute looking spongy madeleines and they were over in no time. I did manage to arrange them in a flower shape to click pictures before they all disappeared from the plate, and I liked the look. As the madeleines got finished, I made a second batch and the pictures taken are used here. As I had never tasted them before, I tried following the recipe steps mentioned. Refrigerating the batter before use makes them spongier, and gives a rise in the middle, and that is how they should be is what I read on some celebrity chefs sites. These cakes taste the best when freshly baked, I had made them for breakfast, and some left over blue berries were also served. I loved the fresh fruit and cake combination. They can be eaten as is or along with Nutella for the chocolate lovers or any types of fruit jams. These are just options that I am mentioning, but I liked them hot, straight out from the oven and without adding or spreading anything on top of it. Most of the recipes I browsed used 3 eggs, but I have used only two eggs as I do not like too much of the eggy taste. Little bit of milk could be used, though the recipe does not include that. Most of the time the recipes I mention are modified and as per my taste preferences.

INGREDIENTS:

Butter: 90 gm

Eggs: 2 or 3

Sugar: 90gm

Refined flour: 100gm

Baking Powder: 1/2 tsp

Vanilla Essence: 1Tsp

OPTIONAL:

Zest of Orange: 1Tsp

Tightly packed brown sugar: 2 Tbsp

(Note: I used 2 eggs and little milk as I do not like too much of egg taste in the cake. Use 3 eggs for more soft and fluffier cakes.)

Assemble all the ingredients needed for the recipe.
Assemble all the ingredients needed for the recipe.

METHOD: All the ingredients used should be at room temperature. The refined flour and baking powder should be mixed and sieved together.The butter should be melted. The oven should be preheated to 190 degree Celsius. The mould should be greased with butter and dusted with flour so that the madeleines do not stick to the mould.

Greased and dusted madeleine mould ready for use.
Greased and dusted madeleine mould ready for use

Take a bowl and crack the eggs in it. Beat the eggs using a hand mixer or stand mixer. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla essence and mix with the eggs and beat well to get a smoother mixture. This should be done for almost 4-5 minutes or till the mixture becomes very smooth.

Smooth mixture of eggs, sugar and essence.
Smooth mixture of eggs, sugar and essence.

Fold in the sifted refined flour and baking powder mix into the smooth egg and sugar mixture. Pour the melted butter from the side of the bowl and lightly fold into the batter.

Melted butter and flour mix batter.
Melted butter and flour mix batter.

Cover the bowl of the batter with a cling wrap and put in the fridge for an hour or two. Then, using a spoon, fill into the prepared mould. Put the mould inside the preheated oven and bake at 190 deg C for 10 min or until a slight golden colour is seen on the risen cakes.

Baked madeleines
Baked madeleines

I baked them a little longer than 10 minutes to get a more darker golden colour, but I felt some of them got over baked. The exact time for baking depends on the oven used, hence use self discretion for deciding when to remove or if it needs to be baked a little above 10 minutes. Mine were mini in size and the batter that was leftover went back to the fridge until I baked the second round. They take very little time to bake and if the batter is kept ready in the fridge then they can be freshly baked and served with hot cups of tea or coffee.

I find this to be an easy and handy bite size cake recipe that could become a favourite of the kids and hence would definitely ask my friends, readers, and fellow bloggers to give this dish a try.

I loved and enjoyed baking and eating them😊.

Happy baking!

ashu

Upside-down Apple and Almond Cake

Greeting’s dear friends. Pleasant weather round this time of the year in this part of the world with brightly coloured seasonal flowers blooming all over, around the pavements and gardens, bring out the best of the moods and lift the soul.  We already are in the second month of the year, the month of celebrating Valentine’s day, showering love and affection, of caring  and it also happens to be the birthday month of my dearest hubby.  To celebrate his birthday I baked a warm, comforting, delicious apple cake with cinnamon and nutmeg flavouring, my first time try of using apples in a cake. I had seen and purchased a cute apple-shaped cake tin in one of my shopping spree that was waiting for the day to dawn when I could use it. Today’s post is my 50th blog post and therefore it had to be something to do with baking and I decided to post this recipe of an Upside-down Apple and Almond cake. The aroma that engulfs the house when a cake is baked is always heavenly, this time round the fruit and cinnamon flavour was divine. From the oven it went to the cake stand and was cut as a midnight birthday celebration.

I have used the Royal Gala apple variety from USA. The markets here have so many varieties from different countries, but I prefer to use these for the sweet dishes that I make. The apple slices were tossed in caramelized brown sugar to give it the sweet and chocolaty taste and almond slices were used to provide the nutty taste, I prefer to use sliced or crushed nuts in most of my cakes. To give more of a chocolate taste to the apples, the bottom layer of the cake was of batter containing chocolate and top was kept plain that added the cinnamon taste to each bite.

General Tips: Before starting  to bake anything it is very essential to weigh the ingredients correctly, use room temperature ingredients, and assemble the ingredients so that one is not rushing around to get them. When everything is kept handy you would notice that baking cakes at home is not a big effort at all . Sieve the baking powder in the flour mix and keep ready for use. Grease the cake tin with butter and dust flour on it.

Upside-Down Apple and Almond Cake:

IMG_5364INGRIEDIENTS:

Apples: 2 no. (Ripe and firm)IMG_5377

Almonds: 50 gm (sliced or crushed)

Unsalted butter: 200 gm

Sugar: 200gm

Dark Brown Sugar: 3 Tbsp

Milk: 180 ml

Eggs: 3

Refined Flour: 200 gm

Baking Powder: 1 Tsp

Baking Soda: 1 Pinch

Cocoa Powder: 2 Tbsp

Cinnamon & Nutmeg: 1Tsp (Use powder or grate it directly)

METHOD:

Preheat oven to 180 deg C, fan-assisted. Grease the cake tin that is to be used for baking with butter. I used an apple-shaped tin, but a square or round tin would also be fine.

Peel, core, and slice the apples with the  help of an apple cutter, and make thin slices.  Heat a pan on the stove, add 1 Tsp butter and the brown sugar, stirring it and taking care not to burn the sugar. As the sugar caramelises add the apple slices and toss so that all the slices get coated with the sugar. Remove from pan and keep aside. Do not discard the leftover sugar syrup, if any.

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In a bowl take the butter and  beat it soft.  Use a hand blender or spatula. Then add the powdered sugar or castor sugar and mix so that the mixture becomes soft, light and fluffy.

Add the eggs to the mix, one at a time, mixing after each addition. Grate the cinnamon stick and nutmeg  directly over the mixture or make powder and add 1 Tsp of the powder to the mixture. If one does not want to use these flavours then add Vanilla essence 1 Tsp.

IMG_5374Stir in the refined flour and milk in two batches to the egg and sugar mixture. The batter should be mixed so that the mixture is smooth and folds. Divide the batter into two equal portions.

In a small bowl take the leftover caramelised sugar syrup and mix 2 Tbsp of cocoa powder in it, add milk if required. Add this cocoa mixture to one portion of the batter.

Line the bottom of the cake tin with the caramelised apple slices. Sprinkle dark brown sugar and almond slices over the apples. Then pour over the chocolate batter over it. Next pour over the other cake batter portion.

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IMG_5369Insert the cake tin into the preheated oven, bake at 180 deg C for 50 min or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.

IMG_5368Let the cake cool in the tin for sometime and then as the sides loosen up transfer it or invert it upside- down on a cake stand, with the apple layer on top.

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The sugar content added to the cake is as per my taste. If you like a more sweeter cake, then increase the sugar content to 250gm instead of 200 gm.

Serving Options: The cake can be served as a warm dessert with more chocolate sauce poured over each slice if you prefer a chocolaty taste. It can be cooled then cut into slices and served with cups of hot tea or coffee. For a cake lover it would hardly matter how it is served, I always love to have cake at home so that every time I walk past the cake I can stop and grab a slice or a bite of it.

Note for new or first time bakers: In case their is no brown sugar at home then the normal white sugar can also used for caramelizing the apples. It is always a joy to cook or bake in the kitchen, experience it for yourself by trying out different recipes.

Enjoy!!

 

 

Almond Trutti Frutti Raisin Cake

IMG_3231

It had been almost a month with no cake baking since the Marble cake post, hence the foodie in me was constantly sending reminders to bake something sweet. This was all way back early November. I did bake, but then home tour happened resulting in delay in writing and publishing the post. Therefore before I totally forget about it, here I post the Almond Trutti Frutti Raisin cake. With the Xmas season approaching, a favourite time for cakes, I baked another of the dried fruit soaked in coffee liqueur cakes on 14th, well that would be a future post as I did not take all the step-wise pictures while making it.

During one of my shopping Mall visits I happened to come across a mini loaf cake tin, liked it, and it got added to my cake tins collection. I am sure many of you too must have done something similar sometime. This time I used this tin to make a couple mini loafs from the cake batter instead of one big cake. The individual loafs were a delight to the eyes, delicious and enjoyed to the last morsel with hot cups of spiced tea.

Back home we get sliced trutti frutti cakes, they were always part of the school annual sports day food packet. Slices from these mini loafs brought back the old memories.

Lets get baking these Almond Trutti Frutti Raisin mini loafs.

INGREDIENTS: IMG_3244

Sliced Almonds: 50gm

Trutti Frutti: 50gm

Raisins: 50gm

Eggs: 3-Medium range

Sugar: 175 gm

Refined Flour: 225 gm

Butter: 200 gm

Vanilla Essence: 1Tsp

Milk: 50 ml

Baking Powder: 1Tsp

Note: The dried fruits can be adjusted according to one’s preference.

METHOD:

  1. Assemble all the ingredients together, they should be at room temperature. The cake tin should be greased with butter and kept ready to use. The oven should be pre-heated to 170 deg C, fan assisted.
  2. IMG_3243Beat the butter soft.
  3. Add ground sugar to the soft butter and beat well.
  4. Add one egg at a time and beat the mixture with a hand blender or spatula.IMG_3240
  5. Fold in the baking powder mixed refined flour into the batter and add the milk along while mixing the batter. Add all the raisins, trutti frutti and some part of the sliced almonds to the batter.
  6. IMG_3237
  7. Pour the batter into the greased cake tin using a spoon or spatula. Tap the tin so that the batter is even and flat in each loaf tin and then cover the top of the batter with the remaining sliced Almonds. IMG_3234
  8. Insert the tin in the preheated oven and bake for 45 min or until a needle inserted into the loaf comes out clean.
  9. Cool the mini loafs in the tin and later place on a wire rack.IMG_3233IMG_3273Make your tea time special with these mini loaf cakes. Serve them as it is or cut them into thin slices.

Enjoy!!

 

 

Marble Cake

I have always loved baking this cake, as I get to become an artist to create my own unique design in the cake every time I bake it. To make the design two batters are used and mixed with a spoon or knife to give a marbling effect to the cake.

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Last year on my holiday to Jordan, I visited Petra. The pattern on some of the huge rocks of Petra transported me back to my kitchen and made me think of this marble cake. Friends, seeing the vivid designs in the rocks in Petra left me awestruck. To create this kind of magical design in my very own kitchen makes the experience of baking this cake a very satisfying one. The taste too is delicious that one keeps raiding the kitchen for more, hence the bigger the tin the more cake to eat.

This time I baked it using a round cake tin, instead of the usual rectangular loaf tins that I love to use for this cake. It was baked for my daughter’s birthday and hence I wanted a big round cake. I made it with two equally divided batters, one was vanilla and the other was chocolate. We can make use of strawberry too to get a pink layer instead of the brown when chocolate is used.

While baking and making the design pattern a stray thought came to this mothers mind that made me compare this marble cake with the student life. The daughter does not like the Vanilla flavored cakes, but loves the chocolate ones, but mixing both batters in this recipe results in a unique mix of flavors, the cake that she has loved every time I made. The student life too is a mix of moments, some which are cherished and some which are not, moments that teach one endurance and some that highlight our strengths. On the whole each of these experiences enrich the student life and makes it one of the most memorable time of our life.

Friends, here is another of the delicious treat that you would never resist after taking a bite of the cake slice. Happy baking!

Some tips to keep in mind before baking anything- all ingredients should be at room temperature. Assemble all the ingredients together and then start the baking. Weigh the ingredients as per needed in the recipe to get the perfect baked products. The baking powder should be leveled teaspoon and not heaped, use a knife to level this.

MARBLE CAKE:

Ingredients: Butter: (Unsalted) 250 g IMG_2429

Sugar: 275 gm

Refined Flour: 350 gm

Eggs: 4-Small

Cocoa Powder: 2 Tbsp

Milk: 200 ml

Baking Powder: 2 Tsp

Vanilla Essence: 1 Tsp

Method:

Preheat the fan assisted oven to 180 deg C. Grease a round baking tin or a Bundt tin.

Sift the baking powder and the refined flour together so that it gets mixed well in the flour.

Take softened butter in a bowl and beat well with an electric mixer. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla essence and mix with electric mixer until the mixture is light and fluffy.

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Beat eggs one at a time into the mixture, beating well after each addition. Stir in the sifted refined flour and milk. Mix all the ingredients and then divide it into two equal portions.

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Mix the cocoa powder with 2 tbsp of milk. Add this to one portion of the batter. Mix well to get a smooth chocolate batter.

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Drop alternate spoonful of batter mixtures into the greased baking tin. When all the batter is put into the tin, gently pull a knife or skewer forward and backward through the cake mixture.

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Bake the cake for an hour or until a needle inserted into it comes out clean. Stand the cake for few minutes in the tin before removing to cool on a wire rack.

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IMG_2418Frost it with desired frosting or simply cut into slices that reveal the beautiful marble design and relish with a cup of hot tea or coffee.

Enjoy the delicious treat!

Chocolate Banana Bread

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Time spent in the company of my friends is always filled with fun and laughter. The last week was one such week that can be said as a friend-week, with lunch and dinner meets, a totally food indulgence week. The weekend brought in some great news from a dear friend who secured her dream project. Another thing to note, it makes me very happy to tell you all that this is my 25th post. To celebrate all these happy moments I am posting my Chocolate Banana Bread recipe. In my home country all celebratory occasions call for something sweet and hence the indulgence. Just like our friends and family who add joy to our daily life, this too is a delicious bread that fills the house with a very sweet aroma when being baked, adding the joy to our cake craving taste buds. A yummy delight!

Bananas are abundantly available all year round, and are a good source of fibre, potassium and vitamin B6. But asking the kids to eat them on a daily basis is a task in itself. Most often than not, they end up ripening in the fruit basket, giving them one more reason to not eat them. This bread is my way of using the ripened fruit and making it appealing and irresistible for them, which they never refuse. The recipe requires very ripe bananas, almost with black dotted skin, the one that would be seen fit for throwing in the waste bin. The more ripe the fruit, the better the taste and flavour of the bread. The plain banana bread was not much fancied at home, the colour of the bread is not that appealing. As mostly chocolate based cakes are preferred at home so I tried adding cocoa to the list of ingredients and that made this bread a winner. The kids cannot refuse this, in fact want it more, and even the baker gets to over indulge once in a while!

This is a very easy recipe, even new cooks will find it easy. I always enjoy baking it, and today am happy sharing with you all. Do try baking it and sharing the bread with others and continue my chain of spreading happiness to others that you come across.

Ingredients:

Medium-sized extremely ripe Bananas-2     IMG_9193

Eggs-2

Butter (unsalted)-100 gm

Sugar-200 gm

Refined Flour (Maida)-150 gm

Cocoa Powder-50 gm (3-4 Tbsp. I used Hershey’s cocoa)

Baking Powder-1 Tsp

Walnuts-50 gm (Dry roasted in hot oven for 10 min)

Note: All ingredients are at room temperature. Prepare/weigh and keep them ready to use.

 

 

 

METHOD:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 °C. Grease a bread/loaf tin with butter and keep ready for use.
  2. Sieve the refined flour, baking powder and cocoa together. Ground the sugar and mix it with the flour mixture.
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  4. Take the room temperature butter in a glass bowl or a big mixing bowl. Beat the soft butter with spatula.
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  6. Mash the ripened bananas and mix with the butter.
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  8. Lightly beat 2 eggs in a small separate bowl and add to the butter mixture. Do not be alarmed if the mixture looks curdled.
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  10. Whisk for a minute all the ingredients of the glass bowl with a hand mixer so that the butter, bananas and eggs get mixed well.
  11. Add vanilla essence and give one whisk to the butter mixture.
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  13. Fold in the flour mixture into the butter mixture. This is done with help of a spatula, in one direction. The mixture should not be over mixed.
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  15. Add the oven roasted walnuts. (The nuts can be roasted for 10 minutes in hot oven.)They should be coarsely crushed with hand before adding to the cake batter.
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  18. Empty the batter into the greased loaf tin and put this in the preheated oven for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean.
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  21. When the cake is done, remove tin from oven and cool. Then remove the cake from the tin and let cool on wire rack.
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Enjoy the freshly baked warm banana bread with tea or coffee or store in fridge for later use. Today afternoon, in my house, it was a patient wait for cutting and eating this sweet temptation. So dear readers go ahead and try it out.

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Enjoy!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Black Currant Rock Cakes, perfect for tea time.

If you love your tea or coffee with some biscuits or cakes to nibble along, then these are the perfect cakes for such times. Tea time spent in the company of friends is always amazing. When calling over friends or guests for tea and snacks, then these can be freshly made and kept ready to serve. It is quite a simple recipe that does not take much effort and all the ingredients are almost always readily available at home. My friends loved them when I took some of these baked goodies for one of our tea time gatherings. The kids too love them but insist on replacing the black currants with chocolate chips.

I am sure they will not refuse these black currant rock cakes. Though these are called rock cakes, but they are soft to bite and crumbly. The appearance is rock like, so they’re called by that name.  As the sugar content is less, they are my favourite, and each bite is a delight with hot sips of tea.

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Ingredients:IMG_7090

Refined flour-300 g

Freshly ground cinnamon- 1/2 tsp

Egg-1 (lightly beaten)

Milk-150 ml

Dry Black Currants-1 bowl

Unsalted butter- 100 g

Sugar-75 g (powdered, keep some of it aside for sprinkling)

Baking powder- 1 tsp

Method:

Preheat oven to 180°C fan- assisted. Grease the baking tray and keep it ready. Sift the baking powder and flour. Add ground cinnamon and powdered sugar to the flour.

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Mix the flour and sugar together. Rub cold butter in the flour. Add the dry black currants, lightly beaten egg and milk. Stir all the ingredients together. Do not overmix.

IMG_7093Scoop out spoonful of the mixture and drop on the baking tray, keeping distance. Sprinkle some sugar on each scoop of mixture.

IMG_7095Bake in the preheated oven at 180°C fan-assisted for 20 minutes or till they are of golden colour. Cool the cakes completely before storing.IMG_7087

Do not be fooled by the rocky appearance, these are soft and tasty bites that you would love to bake often. Enjoy!

Blueberry muffins, Dad would have loved them.

Hello to all the readers of my blog. I take the opportunity to thank all readers/bloggers who have liked my posts so far. As it’s a new blog, your likes give me lot of encouragement, and I am enjoying this blogging experience. Each blog post written so far has been a different experience, with something new thing learnt along the process in this wonderful blogging journey.

Continuing with the baking post, I am sharing the recipe of blueberry muffins that I baked yesterday evening, thinking of my dad, who always relished and loved the cakes that I baked. Thinking of him brings out a flood of memories and lots of cherished moments. Dedicating my blog to my dad, knowing his love for me, he will always be with me in this journey. He would have loved commenting and giving me valuable inputs to each and every post of mine, something which I am going to miss a lot. In the next couple of posts, I plan to recreate some moments for myself by cooking and sharing some of my dad’s favourite dishes.

Blueberry Muffins:

IMG_5789 Ingredients:

2 Eggs

125g unsalted butter, softened

200g castor sugar (powdered sugar would also do)

300g refined flour + 1tsp baking powder

100 ml milk

1tsp berry essence

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan-assisted. Line the muffin tray with paper cases.
  2. Beat ingredients-sugar, eggs, butter, milk and essence in medium bowl on low-speed with electric mixer until ingredients are just combined. Increase the speed to medium and beat until the mixture is smooth.
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  4. Fold in the refined flour.
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  6. Drop rounded tablespoons of mixture along with the blueberries into the paper cases; bake for around 25-30 minutes.
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  8. Cool on wire racks.
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  10. Top with icing of choice or fresh cream with more berries on top. I prefer it plain with hot tea or coffee.