Friday, 28 November 2014

M's Chocolate Cake

Its birthday time here and a birthday means a cake needs to be on the table. The birthday boy's demand was all about chocolate and strawberries so here is what I came up with. Its a three layers chocolate fudge cake with dark chocolate ganache and strawberry fillings. And the icing is chocolate whipped cream. But big brother thought that it wasn't chocolaty enough so he added chocolate truffles and milk chocolate cubes on top and of course sprinkles are a must for a kid's birthday, isn't it ?
Here is Mr. M's cake :)

Cake Ingredients

All-purpose flour                              1 1/2 cups
Sugar                                               2 cups
Cocoa powder                                 1 cup
Baking soda                                     2 tsp
Baking powder                                 1 tsp
Salt                                                  1/2 tsp
Yogurt                                             1 cup beaten
Butter                                              1/2 cup melted
Extra-large eggs                                2
Vanilla extract                                   1 teaspoon
Water                                                1 cup


Preheat your oven at 350. Butter and flour 9 inch pan around 2 inches deep.
Sift flour, sugar, cocoa, salt, baking soda and baking powder in a bowl.
Mix melted butter, eggs, yogurt, water and vanilla.
Add your wet ingredients to dry ingredients. You will need to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula during mixing. (you can use your mixer or a whisk)
Pour it in your pan and bake for 40-50 mins. Test with a skewer. If the skewer comes out clean, means cake is ready.
Cool for about half an hour in the pans and turn them over onto cooling rack.

Chocolate Ganache Ingredients

Dark chocolate                        8 oz or 1/2 lbs
Whipping cream                       8 oz or 225 ml
Butter                                      2 tbsp


Cut the chocolate in shards or chop very finely.
Bring cream to scalding point and then pour over the chopped chocolate and add butter. Let rest for a minuter and then stir.
Stir it again after 2-3 minutes. Do it a few times till all chocolate pieces disappear.
Let stand at room temperature for 4 hours or in refrigerator for about 2 hours to cool down until thickened.

Chocolate Whipped Cream

Whipping Cream                     2 cups
Chocolate Ganache                 1/4 cup
Icing sugar                               3-4 tbsp


Chill the cream very well.
With the help of a hand whisk or mixer, whip till soft peaks. Add sugar and chocolate ganache and beat till stiff. Avoid over beating.
Refrigerate till ready to assemble the cake.


Slice the cake in three layers.
Place one layer on your cake board and spread 1/2 cup of chocolate ganache to cover the layer. You can increase the amount of ganache as per your liking up to 1 whole cup.
Place the second layer of cake and spread 3/4 cup of strawberry jam to cover the whole cake.
Place the third layer on and start icing your your cake from top to the sides. Top with with some chocolate, chocolate curls, strawberries etc.

Use cocoa powder to flour the pan in stead of flour to avoid white residue on the cake.
If cream is over beaten, add a bit of more cream and whisk a little more to bring it back to the whipped cream texture.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Potato,Leek and Zucchini Soup

Winter has started with full force here and the most comforting thing I can think in this weather is a hot, steaming bowl of a hearty soup. This is my way of having a healthy dinner, a soup filled with vegetables served with butter croutons made with multi-grain bread. I used home made chicken broth for it but you can replace with vegetable broth to have a vegan version. Potatoes add a nice creaminess to the mellow flavour of leeks and zucchini.  I have used yukon gold but use any yellow flesh potatoes.


Leeks                     3
Potatoes                 4-5 cups 1 cm cubes
Zucchini                  2  (1 cm cubes)
Broth                      6-7 cups
Butter                     1 tbsp
Spring onion           1
Salt                         to taste
Black pepper          1/2 tsp


Cut the leeks in half length wise. Wash them thoroughly by soaking in a big bowl of water, then thinly slice.
Thinly slice the spring onion and keep aside.
Cut potatoes and zucchini into 1 cm cubes.
Add 1 tbsp of butter in a frying pan. Once melted, add sliced leeks and green onion. Cook on low medium heat just to soften them up. Do not brown them.
Boil the broth, once it comes to a boil, add potatoes, salt and pepper. When potatoes are fork tender around 5-8 minutes, add zucchini cubes. Cook for 2 minutes and add leek and onion mix.
Bring it back to the boil, adjust seasonings if needed and serve hot.

Serve with any crusty bread or croutons.
Freshly cracked black pepper just lifts the flavour to a whole new level .

Friday, 14 November 2014

Beef Tikka

BBQ -  who doesn't love it? I have shared the Seekh kabab recipe already so its the turn of tikka boti now. These tender, succulent, juicy chunks of beef are a treat for your mouth and of course tummy :)
Just six ingredients including the meat, can it get any more easy! Just give it an hour to marinate and you will be praised by one and all. You can cook these under a broiler or even in indoor grill. I used charcoal because we loved that smokey flavour. Serve it with NaanMandi rice, parsley potatoes, fresh garden salad or fries.


Beef chunks                       2 lbs cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
White wine vinegar             1/4 cup
Salt                                    1 tsp
Turmeric                             1/2 tsp
Black pepper                      1/2 tsp
Olive oil                              3 tbsp


Mix oil, vinegar, salt, pepper and turmeric in a bowl. Add the meat and marinate for at least 1 hour in the refrigerator.
Put them onto the skewers and bbq or heat your broiler and put the skewers on a baking rack and broil for 3-4 minutes on each side.

Monday, 10 November 2014

Blueberry Sour Cream Cake

Blueberries are a family favourite here and so is the moist cake. What a way to make the family happy :)
This is a very moist buttery cake with a punch of anti oxidants from the blueberries. Simple deliciousness!  


Butter                       1 cup
Milk                          3/4 cup
Sour cream               1/2 cup
Eggs                          3
Sugar                        1 1/4 cup
Salt                           1 pinch
Blueberries                1 cup
Vanilla essence          1 tsp
Flour                         1 1/2 cup +1 tsp + 1 tbsp
Baking powder          1 1/2 tsp


Preheat the oven at 350 F or 180 C.
Butter and flour a bundt pan or you can use two 8 inch pans.
Sift 1 1/2 cup of flour, baking powder and salt, keep aside.
In a mixing bowl, whip the butter until pale and creamy.
Add sugar and beat for another 4-5 mins.
Add eggs one at a time and mix well.
Mix vanilla essence, sour cream and milk in a bowl.
Alternate flour and milk mix and add in five additions starting and ending with flour mix. Mix until everything comes together but avoid over beating.
Sprinkle a teaspoon of flour over the blueberries and stir them in the cake mix using a spatula. Be careful not to bruise the fruit or else cake will be blue.
Pour the mix into the prepared pan and put in the middle rack of the oven. Bake for 50-60 mins. Mine took exactly 50 mins.


You can add lemon icing to the cake by mixing a cup of icing sugar with 2=4 tbsp of fresh lemon juice.

Monday, 3 November 2014

Vanilla Sour Cream Pancakes

These fluffy, lighter than a cloud pancakes are a sure hit on the table. Spongy texture of the pancakes are  a perfect carrier for this delicious home made raspberry syrup. A bite of this decadence in your mouth and you are in heaven. A very quick recipe sure to please every one.


Sour Cream                                          1/2 cup
Milk                                                     1 cup
Vanilla extract                                       1 tsp
Flour                                                    1 cup plus 1 tbsp
Baking Soda                                         1 1/2 tsp
Eggs                                                     2
Butter                                                   2 tbsp melted plus for cooking
Sugar                                                   1 tbsp
Salt                                                      a pinch


Sift flour and baking soda together. Stir in the salt and keep aside.
Beat butter, milk, sour cream, sugar and eggs together.
Pour dry ingredients in the wet. Add in the vanilla essence and mix to incorporate. Avoid over mixing. Batter would be a little lumpy that's how it is suppose to be.
Heat the griddle or a frying pan on medium low heat. Add a little bit of butter to coat the pan.
Using a quarter cup measure, pour the batter into the pan.
When tiny bubbles appear on top and pancake seems a bit dry, flip it over. Cook for another minute or so and its ready to serve.

Raspberry and Apricot Syrup 

Nothing says it more girly than this ruby red raspberry syrup. It has a really fresh flavour with a tangy note from the raspberries. This is how I like mine but you can always adjust the amount of sugar according to your palette. I like mine with a hint of tartness.  


Raspberries                                1 cup
Sugar                                          3/4 cups
Apricot Jam                                2 tbsp
Corn starch                                 1 1/5 tsp mixed with 1/4 cup of water
Water                                         3/4 cup


Put raspberries, apricot jam, sugar and water in a sauce pan.
Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes.
Add in the corn starch mix and cook till it starts boiling.
Take off the heat and strain the syrup. Let it come to the room temp before serving.