Thursday, 12 September 2013

Banana Sponge Cakelette

I've been into sponge cakes recently. I thought of coming up with flavour variations. Found some ripened bananas lying and guess what I wanted to do with them? BAKE!!!

I'd go for the basic sponge cake method that uses melted butter. For those who are health conscious, vegetable oil can be substituted.

Banana Sponge Cakelette

What do we need:

1 cup plain flour
1 tbsp corn flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tbsp sponge cake emulsifier (optional)
2 bananas
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup butter, melted

How do we do it:

Butter and flour a few little cake moulds. 

Mash the bananas. Add baking soda to prevent discolouration. Set aside.

Combine the flours, baking powder, sugar, eggs and sponge cake emulsifier, if using. Whip till light and fluffy. Stir in the mashed banana. Mix until well combined. Finally, stir in the melted butter.

Spoon the batter into prepared little cake moulds. Bake at 180°C for 20-25 minutes of until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

When done, remove the cakelettes immediately from the moulds. Let cool on wire rack.

The cakelettes were incredibly aromatic. Texture wise, soft and fluffy. Mom, hubby and kids loved it!

Friday, 26 July 2013

A Velvety Weekend Breakfast

It has been long since I made a decent breakfast. Poor kids have been eating only bread. As I was not busy with business, thought of making a simple yet nice breakfast.

The kids love pancake. I have tried making some innovative flavours. Suddenly wondered why not make Red Velvet Pancake. I then, very quickly whipped up the batter. I always prefer having pancakes drizzled with sauce. What would be the most complementing sauce for a red velvet pancake other than cream cheese sauce? So, while cooking the pancakes, made some cream cheese sauce.

Red Velvet Pancake

What do we need:

1 cup plain flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1 tsp white vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp red food colouring

Cream Cheese Sauce
1 cup milk
1 egg yolk
1/2 tbsp corn flour
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup cream cheese

How do we do it:

Combine ingredients A. In a another bowl, mix ingredients B together. Incorporate the wet ingredients with the dry. Mix thoroughly until smooth and silky. Cover and leave the batter to meld for about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine all the pudding ingredients except the cream cheese and cook on low heat. Stir constantly until mixture boils and thickens. Keep whisking for 2 minutes and remove from heat. Stir in the cream cheese. Let cool.

Lightly grease pan with a touch of butter. Drop a ladleful of batter. When the pancake is full of bubbles, flip over and cook for another 30 seconds.

Serve Red Velvet Pancakes warm, drizzled with cream cheese sauce.

Verdic from hubby and kids: SUPERB!

Friday, 16 March 2012

Black & White

It has been more than a month since I blogged. Hubby was away and I was way too busy running around with the kids and so on. Also stuck with daughter's school project. I was not this much inclined to my own projects when I was schooling.

For a long time I have wanted to try to combine both dark chocolate and white chocolate in one dish. Thus, came up with the idea of making a trifle. I just love trifles. They are simple yet luxurious desserts.

Dark and white chocolate have distinctly different tastes. Dark chocolate is made of chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, small amounts of sugar and vanilla. White chocolate is not true chocolate because it contains no chocolate liquor and, likewise, very little chocolate flavour. Instead, it is usually a mixture of sugar, cocoa butter, milk solids, lecithin and vanilla.

I used my famous moist chocolate cake as the base of the trifle. The recipe is found here.

Black & White Trifle

What do we need:

1 moist chocolate cake
200g cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup double cream, chilled
2 tbsp grated dark chocolate

White Chocolate Pudding
1 cup milk
100g white chocolate
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp corn flour
2 tbsp sugar

How do we do it:

Combine all the pudding ingredients except the white chocolate. Cook on low heat while whisking constantly until mixture boils and thickens. Keep whisking for 2 minutes and remove from heat. Stir in the white chocolate. Cover with cling film and press down so that it touches the surface of the pudding. This is to prevent a skin from forming. Let cool completely.

Slice the moist chocolate cake to 1 inch thickness and place it in a pie or flan dish.

Lightly beat the cream cheese until soft. Set aside. Beat the double cream until stiff. Fold in the softened cheese and the cooled white chocolate pudding. Pour the white chocolate cheese mixture on the cake. Finally, sprinkle the grated dark chocolate on top. Chill thoroughly. It tastes better after a few days.

The trifle may also be made in smaller portions like in ramekins or dessert glasses.

This trifle not just look amazing but it tastes AWESOME!!

Thursday, 9 February 2012

For Love......

My son has been asking me to bake something using cocoa powder. So, I decided to bake him a chocolate packed cake. I filled and covered the cake with chocolate ganache. The cake was so chocolatey. Hubby and children loved it!!

I have always used sour cream in my pancakes but never in my bakings. For the first time I tried adding it in my cake. The sour cream made the cake rich and moist.

Soured cream is a dairy product that is rich in fats made by partially fermenting a regular cream using lactic acid bacteria. The bacteria causes the cream to sour or thicken. This process is called souring. The taste of sour cream is only mildly sour.

Sour cream is primarily used as a condiment. It is also used as the base for some creamy salad dressings and provides the base for various forms of dip used for dipping potato chips or crackers as well. Sour cream may also be used in baking. It can be eaten as a dessert, with fruits or berries and sugar topping.

Sour Cream Chocolate Cake

What do we need:

1 1/2 cups plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate sode
1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup recently boiled water

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 cup sour cream

How do we do it:

Sift together flour, baking powder, bicarbonate soda, and salt. Set aside.

Pour recently boiled water into cocoa powder. Stir well and set aside.

Cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and beat well. Stir in vanilla essence. Fold in the sifted flour mixture alternately with the sour cream, starting and ending with the flour. Finally, fold in the cocoa mixture.

Pour batter into a greased and lined 8 inches round pan. Bake in a preheated oven at 175° C for 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Fill and cover the cake with your favourite frosting. Decorate as per desired.

Submitting this entry to:

Monday, 30 January 2012

Let's Cook: Rice

Coriander is my the most favourite herb. In the US it is generally known by the Spanish word cilantro. Coriander leaves have an extremely pungent odour and flavour that lends itself well.

I have always been using coriander leaves to garnish most of my cooking. I was wondering if could use it in the cooking itself. I was inspired by a rice dish that I ate at my uncle's place. It was curry leaves rice. Curry leaves were ground into paste and rice was cooked with it. It was not rich but very spicy and garnished with fried peanuts.

I have used the idea of grinding coriander into paste and cook rice with it. I followed my mom's way of cooking ordinary ghee rice. I have used ghee and evaporated milk for the richness and vegetable stock to give it body.

The ratio of rice and liquid may vary from rice to rice. So, be cautious with the amount of liquid used. The ratio below is just a guide.

Coriander Rice

What do we need:

3 cups basmathi rice

Grind into paste
2 cm ginger
3 cloves garlic
1 green chilli
1 bunch coriander leaves

1 cinnamon bark
1 star anise
2 cloves
2 pods cardamom
1 cup evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
1 tbsp ghee
salt to taste

How do we do it:

Wash and soak the rice for 15 minutes. Later, drain and set aside.

Heat ghee. Fry cinnamon, star anise, cloves and cardamom until fragrant. Pour the ground ingredients and fry until aromatic and the oil separates. In goes the rice. Fry the rice until well coated with all the ingredients. Pour in vegetable stock and milk. Season with salt to taste. Cook until the rice fluff up.

Serve hot with your favourite dishes.

Submitting this entry to:

Monday, 23 January 2012

Blueberry Cheesecake

Hello everyone. After a long long gap I'm pleased to be back to the world of foodblogging. 2011 has been a hectic year for me with lots of changes in lifestyle and some significant achievements.

In conjuction with Chinese New Year and as a comeback gift I present my ever favourite blueberry cheesecake. This recipe was given to me by my brother who is a great baker.

Cheesecake is a luscious, rich dessert consisting of a topping made of soft, fresh cream cheese. A cheesecake may or may not have a crust or base. This crust is can be made from biscuit crumb, pastry or sponge cake. The filling is made by creaming the cheese and mixing it with eggs and sugar. A range of flavourings may be added to this mixture. It is then poured into a special springform pan and baked. After baking, the cheesecake is thoroughly chilled and generally topped with fresh fruit or with a sweetened fruit sauce, nuts, and/or chocolate.

Cheesecakes may be baked or unbaked. Uncooked cheesecake is made with a biscuit crumb base and a filling made of cream cheese enriched with eggs, flavoured and set with gelatine.

The texture of cheesecake can vary from light and airy to dense and rich to smooth and creamy. Unbaked cheesecake is lighter and creamier than the baked version.

What do we need:

1 cup graham cracker crumbs
2 tbsp sugar
1/4 cup melted butter

2 packages/8oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup sour cream
3/4 cup white sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp plain flour
4 eggs
2 cups blueberry pie filling

How do we do it:

Combine crumbs, sugar and butter. Push mixture into the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan.
Lightly stir the cream cheese until soft and creamy. Beat in sour cream, sugar, vanilla and flour. Add in eggs one at a time. Pour the mixture into the crumb lined pan. Bake in a preheated oven 165° C for 1 hour or until firm to the touch.

Cool the cake completely. Loosen the edges of the cake with a knife to removing the cake. Place blueberry pie filling on top of cake. Chill well before serving.


Submitting this entry to :

Saturday, 10 April 2010

A Specially Brewed Cake

Living with him or not, I have been baking him birthday cakes for the past few years. This time I was too busy to bake one. Felt so guilty about it. Thus baked a cake the next day. It is a favourite flavour of mine; coffee. Just love the aroma of coffee. I incorporated some chopped almond to give the cake a bite and additional flavour.

Coffee Almond Cake

What do we need:

1 cup plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup soft brown sugar
2 eggs

1 tbsp instant coffee granules
1 tbsp hot water

2 tbsp chopped almonds

How do we do it:

Dissolve the instant coffee granules with the hot water. Leave to cool.

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together. Set aside.

Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and beat well. Stir in the cooled coffee. Fold in the sifted flour mixture.

Pour the mixture into a greased and flour or paper lined pan. Bake in a preheated oven at 175° C for about 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Remove cake from oven and let it cool completely on a wire rack.

Fill and/or frost the cake with your favourite frosting. Decorate as per desired.


Friday, 27 November 2009

The Premier Chinese Fruit

Lychee, also spelled litchi or laichi, is a tropical fruit tree that originated in southern China. It is the most popular Chinese fruit and has been cherished for over 2,000 years.

Lychee fruits are showy and are borne in loose pendent clusters of 2 to 30. It is a drupe, oval, heart-shaped or nearly round shaped and is quite small though at only about 2.5 cm wide and 4 cm long; about the size of a small plum. The fruit is covered by skin or pericarp that is thin, leathery, roughly-textured or minutely warty rind that comes off easily but is inedible. It is usually strawberry-red, sometimes rose, pinkish or amber, and some types tinged with green colour. This skin often referred to as the "shell" encases a layer of glossy, succulent, thick, translucent-white to grayish or pinkish fleshy pulp which usually separates readily from the seed. The flesh is similar in texture to a grape but is chewier. It is edible and consists of a highly developed aril enveloping the seed. The flavour of the delicately scented flesh is distinctive, sub acid, sweet, exotic, and very juicy. In the centre is a single glossy dark-brown nut-like seed of about 2 cm long and 1–1.5 cm in diameter. The seed, which looks like a buckeye seed, is inedible as it is slightly poisonous.

Fresh lychee fruit still in their skin will explode if thrown onto a fire. Lychee naturally dehydrates in just a few days. The skin turns brown and brittle and the flesh becomes dry, shriveled, dark reddish brown and the flesh becomes brown and crisp. As it resembles a nut, dried lychee is nicknamed “lychee nut”. It has a raisin-like, richer and musky flavour. The flesh of the dried lychee is eaten like raisins, as a snack. The Chinese use it to sweeten their tea.

Other than potassium, lychee contains various minerals. It is rich in vitamins B & C and is a fairly high source of vitamins E and D. Eaten in moderate amounts, it is believed to relieve cough and is said to have a beneficial effect on gastralgia, tumours and enlargements of the glands. Though the Chinese believe that excessive consumption of fresh lychees causes fever and nosebleed, they use the seeds to relieve neurological pains and orchitis. A tea of the fruit peel is taken to overcome smallpox eruptions and diarrhea. According to legends, ancient devotees have consumed from 300 to 1,000 of fresh lychees per day. In India, the seeds are powdered and used for intestinal troubles. Decoction of the root, bark and flowers are gargled to alleviate ailments of the throat. In the USA, lychee roots are being experimented on a type of tumour.

When purchasing, choose lychee that has bright coloured skin and free of blemishes. Lychee could be kept at room temperatures for only two or three days. Therefore, place it in a plastic bag and refrigerate unpeeled for up to a week.

Lychee is a premier dessert fruit. Though available tinned and dried, it is most relished fresh; peeled and pitted. It is also used to make ice cream, juice, candies and wine. Recently, I flavoured my jelly with lychee.

Lychee Jelly

What do we need:

1 tin lychee
5 g agar-agar strands
2 cups water
1/4 cup sugar
A pinch of salt
A few drops of food colouring

How do we do it:

Soak the the agar-agar strands in water for an hour. Wash and drain. Cook with water.

Strain the lychees and save the syrup.

When the jelly strands have dissolved, add the lychee syrup, sugar and salt. Cook until the sugar dissolve. Colour the jelly mixture with a fre drops of food colouring. Mix well.

Roughly chop the lychees and scatter in a mould. Strain the jelly mixture into the mould onto the lychee pieces. Chill in fridge. To ease unmoulding of the jelly, ensure that the moulds are wet before pouring the jelly mixture. Serve Lychee Jelly cold.

Saturday, 31 October 2009

That Perfect Breakfast

I was so hungry this morning. Starving for a sweet buttery breakfast. So, quickly whipped up a pancake of my favourite flavour; vanilla.

Vanilla Custard Pancake

What do we need:

1 1/4 cup plain flour
1/4 cup custard powder
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

1 egg
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup sugar
1 tbsp melted butter

1 tsp butter

How do we do it:

Sift the flour, custard powder, baking powder and salt.

Mix the egg, milk, sugar and the melted butter together. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Combine the egg mixture with the flour mixture. Cover and leave the batter to meld for about 30 minutes.

Lightly grease pan with a touch of butter. Drop a tablespoonful of batter. When the pancake is full of bubbles, flip over and cook for another 30 seconds.

Serve Vanilla Custard Pancake warm with a drizzle of maple syrup, honey or vanilla sauce.

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Happy Deepavali 2009

This year is a special Deepavali to me as I get to celebrate it for the first time in my own place after marriage. Though busy at work, I still managed to make some festive delicacies.

Clockwise from top: Ghee Balls, Achi Muruku, Pineapple Jam Tarts & Muruku
Centre from left to right: Blackforest Cookies, Orange Cookies & Custard Cookies

Wishing Hindus Thoughout The Globe a Very Happy & Prosperous Deepavali
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