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Cake

Celebration Post – Super moist, Venetian Carrot Cake

Super Moist Venetian Carrot Cake...

Yippie Yay! this is my 200th recipe post on Keli Paan and I am so glad that my plans to post a something baked succeeded. Yes, I have been planing this post for a while now. The plan was to indulge & celebrate with a good cake.. It’s such a wonderful feeling writing this post.. Feels like it was just the other day..! Now, I am at the 200th post.. when I now look at few or rather many of my vintage posts, I feel what was I thinking ???.. the photographs are atrocious..!! There is no concept..! It made me think, if I should let them stay or re-do them.. What do you guys think?? Do leave a comment.. I would love to know your thoughts! I’m not claiming I have turned into a master at photography.. I’m still learning the art of food styling… The posts help me see the transition my blog has gone through. I do see I have gotten better from the time I have started.. 🙂

Super Moist Venetian Carrot Cake....

When I was reading about Carrots cakes, I got to know that they came into existence because sweeteners were scarce & expensive during the medieval period. Since carrots & beets contain more sugar than most other vegetables, carrots were preferred. These cakes were huge in the United States in the 1970’s.. it was considered a novelty.. But then it go so popular that it became a standard dessert across the country. In a radio survey conducted in 2011, in the UK rated Carrot cake came out as the favourite & why wouldn’t it be? they are just so wonderful. I have always eaten store-bought cakes. Never tried making one at home.. I had picked up lovely looking fresh juicy carrots from the store yesterday for this.

Super Moist Venetian Carrot Cake....

This recipe is an adaptation of Nigella Lawson’s Venetian Carrot cake recipe. I baked a smaller cake though.The moment I had seen this recipe, I fell in love with it.. No flour, no milk & even them you get such a lovely moist cake.. ! There were all my favourite ingredients.. Pine nuts.. I’m a huge fan of these tiny silky nuts… !!! Fresh carrots, ground almonds, Rum!! yes, this cake has rum.. & sultanas which are cooked in rum.. The fragrance of simmering rum cooking the sultana’s is wonderful.. 🙂 Ground nutmeg adds jus the right flavour to this cake.. it just gets your senses reeling.. Though it might not be the prettiest cake you have seen around.. I always say that something has to look good to make it appealing, specially when it comes to food.. but then here do not go by the looks…! 🙂 I tried to make it look as pretty as possible :).

Notes:
1. I used normal sultana’s ,though the recipe calls for golden sultana’s..
2. The most popular icing on this cake is the cream cheese icing. I did not want a sweet overdose, hence I skipped it.. 🙂
3. I used a silicone cake pan. Use a springform cake tin if you have one.
4. This cake will seem to be shallow. Wont be higher than 2 inches. This cake does not rise like other cakes, you will notice a small rise though.

Ingredients: (Serves 6 )        Preparation Time: 60 mins
Pine nuts – 30g,
Carrots – 2, medium-sized, hand grated, If you’re using a food processor, do not turn it into pulp. It should still have strands.
Dark Rum – 40 ml
Golden Sultana’s – 30g
Golden castor sugar – 80g
Pure Vanilla extract – 1/2 tsp
Olive oil – 50ml + for greasing
Ground almonds – 100g
Nutmeg – 1/8 – 1/4 tsp
Eggs – 1 large/ 2 small
Fresh Lemon zest – 1/4 tsp
Fresh Lemon juice – 1/4 tsp

Method:
Take a small saucepan & soak the sultana’s in the rum before you start.

Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees C. Meanwhile, line the base of a cake pan, preferably a springform tin with grease-proof paper. Grease the sides with some olive oil.

Lightly toast the pine nuts on a fry pan without any oil, till they turn golden brown. Keep aside.

Grate the carrots & take out the excess water from them by wrapping them around kitchen towels. Keep aside.

Now bring the saucepan with the rum & sultana’s to a boil over medium heat. Simmer & cook for a couple of minutes.

In a mixing bowl, whisk the sugar & oil. Use a hand mixer/ stand mixer if you have one because you need to mix till they turn creamy & airy. Add the vanilla, eggs, almond meal/powder, nutmeg, grated carrots & the sultana’s along with the rum. Fold all these ingredients in using a spatula.

Note: Nigella does not add the rum which is left behind. I did. So you can choose to do what you please. 🙂

Finally add the lemon zest & juice. Mix.

Transfer the batter into the prepared cake pan. The batter, like I mentioned will seem shallow because it’s not a tall cake. Use a spatula, preferably a silicone spatula to even out the top of the cake. Since I added the left over rum my batter was not as solid, hence I did not need to do that. Sprinkle the toasted Pine nuts around.

Ready to be baked...

Bake for 35-40 minutes or until you see a golden hue on the cake with a slight rise. Check using a toothpick, it may be come out a wee bit sticky, but that’s alright.

Cool the cake on a wire rack.

Baked & Out... cooling on the wire rack...

Let it sit for 10 minutes or so before you spring it out of the tin. Now cool further.

I’m sorry to say I did not get down to clicking more pictures of the preparation process..  was a cloudy day & did not get enough sunlight for good pictures while I was mixing & preparing the batter.. Luckily the sun came out for  a bit when the cake was out of the oven. I must say I got lucky.. 🙂 

Transfer to a serving plate..

Oh by the way, this serving plate is a prized new possession now.. 🙂 I had to own it, the instant I saw it….. 🙂 I’m in love with the little pink & red hearts..!! It can just pep up anything you serve on it.. 🙂 That’s how I made this cake look pretty.. !!

Serving Suggestions:
Serve a slice with some cream cheese mixed with some rum & icing sugar on the side if you wish.. 🙂

Super Moist Venetian Carrot Cake...

You can save this cake for 3 days tightly wrapped in cling film & stored in a air-tight container.

If you like this recipe, then you may also like – Summer fruits Compote sandwiched between Sponge cake..Coffee Banana loaf Cake with Coffee ganache frostingDark Chocolate & Mocha Cheesecake with Rum…Plum Cake etc.

 


Dark Chocolate & Mocha Cheesecake with Rum…


This cheesecake has so many different flavours that blend so beautifully that it will definitely be a treat for your taste buds..

We had a wee bit of an Indian Dark Rum called Old Monk left with us; it wasn’t enough for a drink & it was not going to be wasted :). I had noted this recipe down sometime back from a magazine & found it while I was cleaning up some old documents in my laptop. Guess its meant to be.. I had everything that I needed to make this cheesecake.. did not have to make a run to the grocers at all..

The only thing was that it needed to be set for at least 6-8 hours before you dig your fork into it for a bite.. ! Well, I know it’s easier to buy a slice from the bakery or your favourite restaurant because your wait time is just from the time you place your order & till the plate is brought to your table.. But think on the brighter side.. here for the same price of the slice you have a whole cheesecake which is yours!! That’s just one way to think about it… then it always involves all your precious time & love that goes into baking it..so it is definitely special.. 🙂

Dark Chocolate & Mocha Cheesecake with Rum...

This is the first time I tried a cheesecake which involved baking. The last time I had tried a no bake cheesecake.. I fancy cheesecakes because it’s a bit sour & salty when compared to other cakes which are only on the sweeter side.. Its been unbearably hot from a couple of days & a chilled cheesecake just helped me cool down.. 🙂

As I did not have a 18 cm tin, I used 2 smaller tins to make this. One was a midnight snack.. I could not wait to let it set overnight & ate it.. shared it with K .. 🙂  The other one I patiently waited till the next day & went through the process of garnishing it & clicking pictures for the blog.. 🙂

Ingredients: (Serves 4 – 6) Preparation Time: 75-80 mins
For the cheesecake base:
Dark chocolate digestive biscuits – 150 gms
Butter – 50 gms, melted
Tip: I used unsalted butter, you can use salted butter for a nice salty flavour to add a nice salty biscuit base.
Mixed spice (optional) – 1/4 tsp, I used this just for the twist 🙂

For the filling:
Dark chocolate – 100 gms, I used Bournville
Cream cheese or soft cheese – 400 gms
Sugar – 90 gms
Eggs – 2
Cornflour – 3/4 tsp
Granulated coffee of your choice – 3/4 tsp
Sour cream – 150 gms
Dark Rum of your choice – 2 tbsp

Method:
Pre-heat your oven to 130 degrees. While the oven is heating up, break each biscuit into 2-3 pieces. Using a blender, blend the biscuit pieces into tiny bits.

Blend the biscuit pieces into a bits in a blender...

Take a medium-sized mixing bowl, & mix together the blended biscuit bits, melted butter & mixed spice powder if you plan to add it using a spatula.

Mix the biscuit bits with melted butter & mixed spice..

Line the base of a 18 cm springform tin/ a loose bottom sandwich tin with grease proof paper & transfer the biscuit mix to it. Evenly spread & press this to make a base. Once the oven has pre-heated, bake this in the oven for 10 mins.

While the biscuit base is baking, take a large mixing bowl, add the cream cheese, sugar, sour cream, eggs, corn flour & using an electric beater, beat all the ingredients together. Mix the coffee granules in 3/4 tsp water & let it dissolve completely. Add this to the cheese mixture. Mix well.

Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a bowl of simmering, bubbling hot water. Once its melted, add this to the cheese mixture along with the rum & give it a good mix with the beater. Make sure everything has blended well.

Mix all the ingredients well....

Cover & keep aside.

Meanwhile the base should be ready, let the base cool down to room temperature. Now pour the cheese mixture over the biscuit base.

Pour the mixture over the baked & cooled biscuit base...

The mixture should fill it to 3/4 the height of the cake pan. Give the pan at least 4-5 sharp taps so that any air bubble will escape.

Place the cake pan on a baking tray & bake at the same temperature 130 degrees for around 40 – 50 minutes or till done. The centre should wobble & the sides should be firm; that’s when its done.

Take the cheesecake out, place it on a wire rack & let it cool down completely.

Baked & cooling on the rack...

The sides should loosen up & get separated from the tin, else use a blunt knife to separate the edges. Cover with cling film or with a ceramic plate & chill in the freezer for 6-8 hours or overnight.

Once chilled, take out the cheesecake from the tin.

Garnishing:
Garnish with shavings of dark chocolate & white chocolate or dust with some cocoa or coffee powder.

You can even add chocolate chips if you wish to. Or  you can eat it as is… 🙂

Serving Suggestions:
Slice, serve & enjoy chilled..

Dark Chocolate & Mocha Cheesecake with Rum

If you like this recipe, then you may also like –Lime n Lemon Cheesecake PotsCaramel CustardMuhallabia.. a Lebanese sweet dish….Gaajar Halwa/ Carrot Halwa etc.


Coffee Banana loaf Cake with Coffee ganache frosting

A slice after chilling it in the fridge..

Again, banana’s were turning a wee bit ripe; I did not want  to waste them… I had this recipe of Banana chocolate cake… But was not in the mood to eat chocolate.. so substituted it for some coffee…

I’m not a fan of the fruit.. I don’t eat banana’s until & unless I suffer from constipation.. 😛 My dad would be a better person to explain how all the while in my childhood & days when I grew up he was after me to eat banana’s & I would cleverly come up with a new excuse each time not to eat them.. 🙂 It’s the same even now.. Now I make reasons that I like the tiny banana’s called Elakki (Cardamom in Kannada) Banana’s… this variety of banana has small cardamom seed like eyes in them… hence the name.. & here in Glasgow you don’t find them.. 🙂

I know they are full of iron & that they are good for you.. but the gooey texture always made me feel like I wanted to puke after the first bite…! But cooked banana i really don’t mind.. fried plantain… plantain bajji’s..banana halwa.. banana cakes… banana flavoured Wrigley’s chewing gum.. are all fine.. 🙂

Coffee Banana loaf Cake with Coffee ganache frosting....

Note: This cake turns out real soft & gooey.. It was very spongy & puffed up when I just took it out of the oven…. but as it cooled.. the weight of the banana made a dip in between.. So I flipped the cake over to add the frosting as this side was flat.. The recipe calls for one medium-sized banana but I ended up adding 2 close to medium-sized banana’s.. which I should not have.. 😦 That’s the reason the cake had a dip is between.. Also make sure you mash the banana real well.. use a blender if required…

This cake does take some time to get ready.. but in the end your efforts are worth every bit of it..

Ingredients: (Serves 6-8; Depends on how greedy you are.. 😉 )  Preparation Time: 1 hr 30 mins..
All-purpose flour – 125 gms
Granulated white sugar – 200 gms
Coffee powder – 5 tsp
Baking powder – 3/4 tsp
Baking soda – 3/4 tsp
Salt – 1/4 tsp
Eggs – 1
Banana – 1 medium-sized ripe banana
Warm water – 1/2 cup/120 ml
Whole Milk – 1/4 cup/60 ml
Cooking oil – 60 ml, use any flavourless oil
Vanilla extract – 3/4 tsp

For the Coffee Ganache:
Cream – 75 ml
Dark chocolate – 80 gms, chopped, use any of your choice
Coffee powder – 2 tsp

Method:
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Butter, or spray using a non stick vegetable spray, a large loaf pan. I used a 27.5 cm loaf pan. Set aside.

In a large bowl whisk together the sugar, flour, coffee powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In another large bowl, whisk together the eggs, mashed bananas, water, milk, oil, and vanilla extract. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir, or whisk lightly, until well combined.

The batter..

You will notice that the batter is quite thin, do not worry, this is how the texture should be. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

When the cake is baking, you can prepare the ganache & let it cool & get thick… The ganache takes about 20-25 minutes to set once you prepare it..So start preparing the ganache when there are about 10 minutes left for the cake to be completely baked.

If the proportions are right, you will also notice that the cake won’t stick to the sides.. & it can be easily taken off the pan when it cools down.

See the edges are free.. & not sticking to the mould..

As I mentioned earlier.. I used a wee bit extra banana.. so the cake has a dip in between after cooling…

Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack. When completely cooled, I cooled this for 30 – 40 mins. I upturned the cake & frosted it, because of the dip… 😦

Now frost the top of the cake with the Ganache.

Coffee Ganache:
Heat cream, add coffee powder and bring to boil.Transfer the chopped chocolate to small mixing bowl. Pour this mixture over chopped chocolate.Stir until chocolate has melted and combined with the cream and coffee. Check the sweetness level. If you want to, you can go ahead & add some sugar.. I added a tsp of sugar. This purely depends on the sweetness of the chocolate you have used.. so add accordingly..

Pour the cream & coffee mixture over the chocolate...

Allow ganache to cool to room temperature before covering the top of the cake with the ganache. It takes about 20-30 minutes for the ganache to turn thick & get set. So begin to prepare the ganache in the last 10 minutes left for the cake to be completely baked. Use a bread knife or a flat knife to spread the ganache over the cake..

Serving Suggestions:

A slice before chilling it in the fridge.. notice that the cake is so soft that I could not cut a clean slice using a bread knife... should have used a sharper knife...

Serve as soon as it’s ready or chill it in the fridge before you serve.. your choice.. 🙂

A slice after chilling it in the fridge..


Messy Black forest fruits fresh cream cake

Messy Black forest fruits fresh cream cake....

Watching Russel Peters live.. was indeed an experience.. was so much fun.. we were about 10 of us who went in a group to watch the show.. This was my first time watching a live stand up comedy show.. It was brilliant.. had loads of fun.. Man! that man can really talk straight for 1.5 hrs without taking a sip of water in between..

It was one of our friends bday this weekend.. & he was here to watch Russel Peters show in Glasgow & spend his bday with us…Since K was home & I had help to bake this cake. Yes, my neck & arm are still recovering.. & I did not want to stress it out with all the mixing involved in cake baking..

This is a 2 layered cake… with some plain cream frosting & a forest fruits mix in between the 2 layers.. The cake was pretty dry when I cooled it.. I was worried… But then when the bday boy cut the cake.. it was perfect… It got soft & yummy from the juices soaked in from the fruits… First time I tried a layered fresh cream cake..

The cake...
I modified the black forest cake recipe to what I had in mind.. Click for  the original recipe.

Yes this cake does involve some patience if you are attempting to prepare a fresh cream cake for the first time.. but then its worth the efforts..! This is not very sweet.. perfect for those who do not like sweet things..!

Ingredients: (Serves 8 – 10) Preparation Time: 1.5 hrs
For the Cake:
All purpose flour – 235 gms
Sugar – 220 gms
Unsweetened cocoa – 85 gms
Baking Powder – 1.5 tsp
Baking Soda – 3/4 tsp
Salt – 3/4 tsp
Whole Milk – 250 ml
Vegetable Oil – 125 ml
Vanilla extract – 1 tbsp
Eggs – 3

For the Fruits filling:
Black Forest Fruits mix – 500 gms, pitted, I used a pack of frozen fruits..
Vanilla extract – 1 tsp
Sugar – 110 gms
Corn flour – 30 gms

Black forest fruits mix...

For the Messy frosting:
Double cream – 330 gms
Icing Sugar – 40 gms

Method:
Preheat oven to 175 degrees C. Grease and flour two 12 inch, round, cake pans..If you have waxed paper use them… I did not have any waxed paper.. so did not line the bottom of the cake tin with  it…

In a large mixing bowl sift & combine flour, 220 gms sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix eggs, milk, oil, and 1 tbsp vanilla in another mixing bowl; beat until well blended. Add the wet ingredients to the dry & mix well till combined. Pour equal amounts of batter into prepared pans.

Bake for 35 minutes, or until wooden toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool layers in pans on wire racks for at least  10 minutes. Loosen edges, and remove to racks to cool completely.

Drain the forest fruits mix, reserving about 50 ml juice if present, else add 50 ml water if there is no juice present. Combine reserved juice/water, forest fruits mix, 110 gms sugar and corn flour in a saucepan. Cook over low heat until thickened, stirring constantly. Stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla. Cool before using.

The thickened cooked fruits mix... kept to cool..

Add double cream and Icing sugar in a blender jar. Beat to combine them at high-speed until stiff peaks form.

To assemble, place one cake layer on cake plate. Spread some of frosting on the top with 3/4 cup mix fruit topping. Top with second cake layer, frost side of cake. Add the rest of the frosting on the top layer and add rest of the fruit on top, spread it around as you like. If you want to, spoon reserved frosting into pastry bag fitted with star decorator tip. Pipe around top and bottom edges of cake.

Messy Black forest fruits fresh cream cake....


Banana Cranberry Muffins….

Banana Cranberry Muffins...

Today is an Indian festival called Ugadi in most South Indian states & Gudi Padwa in the state of Maharashtra. The word Ugadi is derived from Sanskrit & refers to the beginning of a new age, in other words it’s the New Year according to the Hindu Calendar & there is no fixed date that this is celebrated every year.. It changes based on the sun & the moon!

Banana Cranberry Muffins..

My right hand has been acting up from the past week hence preparing Indian sweet dishes was out of the question.. I’m sure any of you who has tried his/her hand at preparing an Indian sweet dish will agree with me.. So had to settle with making something much simpler…. since making these muffins have been on my mind from sometime now…luckily for me the banana’s I had saved up to make these muffins were perfectly ripe.. … the festival & the banana’s turning ripe fell into place…

Ingredients: (Makes 6 muffins) Preparation Time: 30 mins
All purpose flour – 150 gms
Castor sugar – 75 gms /brown if you prefer
Baking powder – 8 gms
Melted butter/sunflower oil – 50 gms/50 ml
Milk – 25 gms
Egg – 1, beaten lightly
Banana – 1, well-ripened
Dried cranberries – 50 gms
Bicarbonate of soda – 1.5 gms
Cup medium cake moulds – 6
Medium Muffin paper cases – 6

Some of the ingredients..

Method:
Pre-heat oven to 190 degree C. Sieve together the flour, sugar Bicarbonate of soda and baking powder. Mash the banana,the riper the better, as this adds more flavour. Lightly beat the egg, add to the melted butter, milk and mashed banana.

Add this to the dry ingredients and cranberries, and mix gently, just until all the ingredients are combined, and no flour is visible. Do not beat as this will end up making the muffins tough.

Add sliced banana pieces if you wish to..

Divide the batter to fit into 6 muffin cases, remember to grease your tin if you are not using cases, or they will stick. Fill each muffin case till 3/4.I added a sliced banana piece on the top of each muffin, you could too if you wish to or you can skip this. Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until they are well risen and firm to the touch.

Remove the tray from the oven, and let the baking tray stand for 5-10 minutes so that the muffins firm up, before moving them out on a cooling rack.

Let them cool on a cooling rack...

Eat warm or leave them to cool.

Banana Cranberry Muffins...

These muffins are yummy, soft & moist….they have a wonderful banana flavour to it. You can store them for a couple of days in airtight containers.

Banana Cranberry Muffins...


Flaked almond & Dark Choco chip muffins

_MG_5548

Happy Women’s Day to all you beautiful ladies out there.. 🙂 Do we need a day of our own? Isn’t everyday our day? I think it is.. !

Well, I finally baked again today.. Yes, after a long time…guess I was waiting for an occasion..

Baking some muffins has been on my list from a long time…

Flaked almond & Dark Choco chip muffins

I love to bake but don’t really know what holds me back.. Anyways there will be loads of bakes updated henceforth… I promise.. 🙂 Enjoy all the pampering while you can without demanding for it.. the rest of the days we demand it anyways.. 😉

Ingredients: (Makes 6 medium-sized muffins) Preparation Time: 25 mins
All purpose flour – 150 gms
Castor sugar – 90 gms /brown if you prefer
Baking powder – 8 gms
Melted butter/sunflower oil – 50 gms/50 ml
Milk – 50 ml
Egg – 1, beaten lightly
Almond flakes – a handful
Dark chocolate chips – 50 gms
Bicarbonate of soda – 1.5 gms
Vanilla essence – 1/8 tsp
Salt – a pinch
Cup medium cake moulds – 6
Medium Muffin paper cases – 6

Method:
Pre-heat oven to 190 degree C. Sieve together the flour, sugar Bicarbonate of soda and baking powder. Add the dark chocolate chips & the almond flakes. Lightly beat the egg, add to the melted butter & milk.

Gently add the wet ingredients to the dry till they are combined, and no flour is visible. Do not mix a lot as this will end up making the muffins tough.

Batter ready,...

Divide the batter to fit into 6 muffin cases. Do not add more than 3/4 to each mould, as they will puff up.

Fill 3/4 of each case..

Remember to grease your tin if you are not using cases, or they will stick, then bake for approximately 20 minutes or until they are well risen and firm to the touch.

Baked muffins..

Remove from the oven, and leave in the baking tray for 5 minutes or so to firm up, before turning out on-to a cooling rack.

Leave them to cool completely on a cooling rack..

Eat warm right away.. 😉 or leave to cool completely for at least 15 minutes.

Flaked almond & Dark Choco chip muffins

You can store them for a couple of days in airtight containers.

Serving suggestions:
Warm up & serve or serve as is.. 🙂 They are so yummy & soft that they will melt in your mouth..

Flaked almond & Dark Choco chip muffins

If you want to check out some other sweet bake/dessert recipe’s here are a few – Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Vanilla flavoured frosting,Lime n Lemon Cheesecake Pots, Gaajar Halwa/ Carrot Halwa etc.


Dark Chocolate Brownies

Dark Chocolate Brownie

Wanted to start the New Year’s with something Chocolatey.  Keshav loves Chocolate, well who doesn’t??. He has been working his ass off over the new year..  Wanted to cheer him up.. so made these Brownies for him.

Brownies

They are tiny muffin like brownies. I used a small muffin tray made of Silicone to bake these. Quick to make provided you have the ingredients handy. 🙂 Just the right thing to pack into your kids lunchbox for a snack. Or they are a quick dessert. Since they are small, bite size, indulge in them and you wont even feel guilty. Made from Dark chocolate so healthier. 🙂

Ingredients: (Serves 6)    Preparation Time:20 mins
Unsalted Butter – 80 gms, softened
Dark chocolate – 150 gms, chopped coarsely or you can use Dark Chocolate powder
Brown sugar – 150 gms
Egg- 1, beaten well
All purpose flour – 50 gms
Soured cream – 60 gms

Method:
Grease the Mini muffin tray with some butter.

Greased mini muffin tray

Pre-heat oven to 180 degree Celsius.

Stir butter and chocolate in a small saucepan over low heat until smooth.
Stir in all the sugar. Cool to just warm.

Add in the beaten egg, then flour and soured cream. Gently fold all the ingredients together.

Brownie mixture

Using a spoon, add the mixture into the greased muffin tray.

Keep the rest of the batter aside. Once the first 12 are done we will bake the next 12.

Bake in the pre-heated oven for 15 minutes. Using a toothpick, insert to check if the brownies are done. The toothpick should come out without any batter stuck to it.
Now loosen sides of brownies from the tray. Let them stand for 10 minutes.

Baked Brownies

Remove brownies gently from the tray.

Now add the mixture again to the tray to bake the next batch of 12.

Serving Suggestion:
Serve while warm. You can also serve them along with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Dark Chocolate Brownie


Plum Cake

Plum Cake

As a kid, when the Christmas season used to set in with the start of Christmas Hols.. all I used to wait for is the Plum cake with Rum…the yummy Rose cookies and Kalkal (Kidio/Kidios). I studied in a Catholic Convent school. Had loads of friends whose mum made this cake for christmas. If you did not get enough of them.. you could buy these goodies from the famous Vas Bakery in Mangalore., which happens to be on the same street the school was situated in.

My husband got a bottle of Old Monk through a friend to Glasgow. 🙂 I kept looking at the bottle and I thought… this famous dark run from India has to be put to good use..  So I put it to good use..

Plum CakeThis christmas cake is very flavourful.. while it’s baking away in the oven your whole house would be engulfed in the heavenly aroma of the spices its blended with…not to forget the dark rum used to soak the various candied fruits, the rum adds a  juicy kick to this cake.

You can chop the candied fruits, orange peel into smaller pieces and then soak them in the Rum if you wish to. I did not. I just soaked them the way they are available, from the packet for about 8-10 hrs.

There are some who add walnuts to this cake as well. But I have not since I prefer this cake without them.

I cannot purely take credit for this cake. I read the recipe of Plum Cake on another food blog called Love Food Eat, though I have tweaked it a lot to suit the flavours I was used to since childhood. So I made sure I got what I wanted in the cake. 🙂

We have a lot of teeny tiny parties to hang out as most of us are away from home. So this being the holiday season, we obviously had to meet up for a Christmas party. I chose to bake a cake & carry it to the friends place where we decided to hang out. It was almost like a Potluck.. yummy home cooked food with the endless chit-chats & dumb charades to keep us laughing.. you must try dumb charades after a few rounds of drinks.. its absolutely awesome.. !!

Ingredients: (Serves 8-10)
Candied fruits and citrus peel – 1/2 cup, soaked for at least 2 hrs in the Rum, I soaked it for about 8-10 hrs
Dark rum – 1 Cup (about 240 ml)
Sugar – 3/4 Cup
Cooking Oil – 1/4 Cup
All purpose flour – 2 cups
Salt – 1/4 tsp
Eggs – 3, beaten well
Baking powder – 1 tsp
Baking soda – 1tsp
Cinnamon – 1/2 tsp
Vanilla flavouring – 1/2 tsp
Ginger powder – 1/4 tsp
Clove powder – 1/4 tsp
Nutmeg powder – 1/4 tsp

Method:
In a big mixing bowl combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and all the dry spice powders.

Pre-heat the oven at 160 degree celsius. Grease a cake tin with some oil. Even if the cake tin you are using is nonstick. I used a springform cake tin as its easier to take the cake out once it is baked.

Mix sugar, beaten eggs and oil to the soaked fruits along with the rum that was added to soak the fruits. Mix well. Slowly pour this mixture into the flour and spice mix, fold it all together till well incorporated and pour the bater into the greased cake tin.

Bake this in the pre-heated oven for about 40 minutes. The top of the cake should have a nice golden brown colour. Check if a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. That means the cake is baked. Else bake for another 4-5 minutes.

Fully Baked

After the cake is baked, take it out and let it cool down completely. It should be about 20-30 minutes, before you cut it.

Plum Cake

How I love to enjoy this cake:

Cut up slices & enjoy with some red wine… & other Christmas goodies.. 

If you liked this recipe, do not forget to check –  Messy Black forest fruits fresh cream cakeSummer fruits Compote sandwiched between Sponge cake..Coffee Banana loaf Cake with Coffee ganache frosting etc.


Sultana & Mulled Wine Cake..

Sultana & Mulled Wine Cake

Merry Christmas to all.. I hope all the festive spirit around you is soaring as Christmas is just a couple of days away… I see people all around me buying baking ingredients and getting ready with all the different Christmas treats…

I kept postponing my baking till today.. (because this is the first cake I have attempted baking… ) I’m glad I tried.. 🙂 It’s actually easy.. I always had this fear towards baking a cake..  and unfortunately to avoid a disaster I ended up baking a very small cake using a 12cm *4cm baking tin..

I soaked some sultana’s in Mulled red wine for 8-10 hrs and made this cake. Its got a brown baked color on the outside and a pale violet-brown inside because of the Wine… 🙂

A slice of the cake...

And as promised.. here is the recipe.

Ingredients: (Serves 2)  Preparation Time: 30 – 35 mins
Mulled Wine – 100 ml
Sultana’s – a handful
Cake tin – 12 cm * 4 cm
All purpose flour – 4 tbsp
Sugar – 2 and a half tbsp

Spices:
Nutmeg powder – a pinch
Cinnamon powder – a pinch
Clove powder – a pinch
Ginger powder – a pinch

Baking powder – a pinch
Baking Soda – a pinch
Vanilla essence – 1/4 tsp
Cooking Oil – 3 tbsp
Salt – 1 pinch
Eggs – 1

Method:

Sultana's

Sultana’s

Soak the Sultana’s in the Mulled wine for at least 2-3 hours before you think of baking. I soaked for 8-9 hours. But 2-3 hours should be fine.

Sultana's soaked in mulled wine.

Preheat the oven to 160 degrees.

Meanwhile, in a bowl mix all purpose flour and all the spices along with the salt,sugar, baking soda and baking powder. Keep aside.

Beat the egg well and keep aside.

Mix the oil and vanilla essence, beaten egg into the soaked sultana’s. Now slowly fold this into the mixture of flour and spices. Make sure that you do not loose the air thats beaten into the egg. So fold very gently. Use a soft spatula.

Grease the cake tin with some oil. Pour in the mixture.

Pour in the cake mixture..

Place at the centre of the oven and bake for about 30 mins.

Baked Cake.. allow it to cool..

Insert a fork or a toothpick to check after 30 mins, if it comes out clean the cake is ready. Let it cool to room temperature.

Cooled and out of the tin..

I just sliced the top to make it even, before using icing sugar to decorate it.

Sultana & Mulled Wine Cake

Cut and enjoy.. 🙂 Merry Christmas once again… !

Dig in....

:)