Eggless Upside Down Pineapple Cake

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Last week was just another one of the many monotonous and tedious weeks that I have been experiencing from the last 3 months.. From the last 3 months, I have been working whole week.. be it a weekday or weekend.. As for most of the people, I love weekends, and not getting my dose of these two free days to forget the tensions of the job, to remove all the fatigue of the week, meet my friends was driving me insane..

One thing that got affected the most during this time is my new blog.. Cooking is one thing I can’t leave , I did make new things every weekends these last months, may be a new drink.. or just helped out mum in the kitchen.. It helped me relieve the stress and get started for the new week.. But I was not able to give time to write the recipes, to share out my experiences..which I am not proud of.. so, today when I got a free day, I promised myself that I will try out a new recipe and post it on the blog. Also, no more neglecting my blog , no matter how busy I am I will try to find time for blogging too.. 🙂

Well , to celebrate my comeback and the promises I made the eggless pineapple upside down cake, hope you all will like it..

Recipe for Eggless Pineapple Upside Down Cake –

  • Flour/maida – 1 ¼ cups
  • Baking powder – 1 tsp
  • Baking soda – ½ tsp
  • Butter – ½ cup
  • Milkmaid – ½ tin
  • Fresh pineapple juice – ½ to ¾ cup,as required
  • Fresh pineapple slices – 5-7
  • Raisins – to fill between the circles in the pineapple slices.
  • Sugar – 3-4 tbsps,for making the caramel

Method:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degree F or 180 degree C for at least 10 minutes.
  2. Grease a round cake pan well with butter or oil.
  3. Add sugar in a pan and stir it continuously on high flame till sugar starts melting.Once , the sugar starts melting reduce the flame and keep stirring till it turns brown. Pour and spread this caramel sauce on the greased cake pan.
  4. Arrange the pineapple slices as shown in the picture or any way you like. I added some raisins in the circles in the slices.IMG_5354
  5. Take dry ingredients (maida, baking soda, baking powder) in a bowl. Mix them well till they get incorporated.
  6. In another bowl take butter at room temperature and beat it, add condensed milk. Beat them well together.
  7. Add pineapple juice. Whisk it well.
  8. Add dry flour mixture to wet mixture.
  9. Mix well and make sure there are no lumps.
  10. Pour the batter into prepared cake pan.IMG_5360
  11. Bake into pre-heated oven for 30-35 minutes. Check the cake by inserting a toothpick in the centre. If toothpick comes out clean then cake is ready.

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Enjoy the delicious bake .. 🙂

Note: I have followed the recipe from the blog http://www.divyascookbook.com/. I have made some changes in the recipe.

  • I have used fresh pineapple juice instead of milk and pineapple essence.
  • Instead of cherries, I used dried raisins in my cake.. 🙂

 

 

 

 

Vanilla Checkerboard cake – Republic Day Special :)

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26 January 2015 , India celebrates its 66th Republic Day..Every Indian celebrates the day with great enthusiasm and patriotism .Being brought up in a family of military officers (my grandpa and uncle both served for Army),this day holds a lot of excitement for us..Every year, we all wake up early and have breakfast watching the Republic Day parade.. Till 12 , all of us always remain glued to the TV , feeling a sense of pride with every marching platoon, beautiful jhankis and dances that are performed at Vijay Chowk, New Delhi. 

This year was no different..Around 11 mum served some fried chips with coffee. There was something special about those fried chips that made me want to make this cake.. Guess what?? Well , they were tricolor chips ..

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After having those chips , I decided on making a tricolor checkerboard cake.. with saffron(orange), white(plain)  and green vanilla cakes to celebrate our Republic Day.. 🙂

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For cake:

Ingredients: 

  • 2 cups of maida
  • 1 cup of full cream milk
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 tsp of baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp of baking soda
  • 1 tsp of vanilla essence
  • 3 tbsp of oil
  • 1 tbsp Lemon juice
  • Food color (orange and green color)

Method:

  1. Sieve maida, baking powder, baking soda in a bowl.
  2. Add the sugar in the milk and mix well.
  3. Add the dry mixture in the milk mixture, combine everything to make sure there are no lumps of any dry ingredient.
  4. Add vanilla extract and oil and again mix well.
  5. Add 1 tbsp lemon juice and mix everything well.
  6. Divide the batter into three parts. Add green food color to one part and orange color to the second.(No color is required for the third)
  7. Grease the microwave safe dish with oil and pour anyone of the batter in it. Keep it in microwave at 720W (80% power setting) for about 4 minutes.
  8. Cool the first cake and put the second one in the microwave. 
  9. After making the three cakes, reassemble the cake.

For the chocolate ganache:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of Dark chocolate
  • 1 cup of Heavy cream

Method:

  1. Pour the cream into a small pan and place it over medium-low heat for a few minutes. Keep an eye on the cream , it’s not necessary to boil or simmer it. It just needs to get hot. The cream is ready when you can place a finger in the cream and keep it there for 3 to 4 seconds. 
  2. Chop the chocolate in small pieces and add the chocolate in the cream. Stir the chocolate through the cream and let it sit for a few minutes 
  3. Mix the ganache and keep stirring untill it comes together.
  4. Cool the ganache before using.

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Assembly of cake:

  1. Cut each cake into three circular parts. I used a cookie cutter for the centre part (smallest one) and a small plate for the medium one.
  2. After getting all the three parts for each cake ,start with the assembling. Place the outer circular part(largest part) green color cake first and layer with chocolate ganache in the insides of the cake. Place the second piece of the white color cake and again layer the inside of the white cake with chocolate ganache. Now, place the third and smallest piece of orange color cake in the centre. Layer the whole top of the cake with chocolate ganache.
  3. Swap the cut outs between the layers.Pile the cake one on top of the other, alternating the colors.
  4. Make sure to add frosting between the layer ..
  5. Layer the cake with chocolate ganache in the end.
  6. Slice the cake and serve 🙂

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Granola oats bars

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Waking up at 6 to catch office bus in this cold and chilly weather is like a curse..and what makes it more worse is when you have to leave home without breakfast because empty stomach and sleepy eyes leaves me irritated whole morning.. 😦

So, this weekend I decided to prepare some ready to take, healthy and nutritious breakfast… I was thinking about something that I can easily carry and is also very filling and can help me survive the morning till I have my 11 o’clock coffee.. Granola oats bars are perfect for this, made with oats, dry fruits and honey, they not only make a healthy and tasty breakfast, but also a perfect snack for evening tea time..They also make a really good snack for campers and hikers as they are lightweight and healthy. 🙂

Recipe for granola bars:

Ingredients-

  • 2 cups oats
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup sliced cashew nuts
  • 1 cup shredded coconut, loosely packed
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped dates

Method-

  1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C. Butter a baking dish and line it with butter paper(I didn’t use butter paper in mine and found it a little difficult to take out the bars, so I would suggest don’t  miss to use butter paper :)).
  2. In the pan, toss the oats, almonds, cashew nuts and coconut together on the medium flame, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned (& a great aroma of coconut fills the kitchen :))aprox for 7-10 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl.DSC_0446
  3. In another pan, add butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook and stir for a minute, then pour over the toasted oatmeal mixture. Add the dates and mix well.(if you feel that the sauce is little less, add 1 or 2 tbsp. of honey)DSC_0449
  4. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Wet your fingers and lightly press the mixture evenly into the pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until light golden brown. DSC_0451
  5. Cool for at least 2 to 3 hours before cutting into squares. Serve at room temperature.Store them in a air tight container.

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Since,my brother was on the visit home, I packed some for him too.. 😀

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 Note: You can also add chocolate chips , dried cranberries or any types of dry fruits you like.. 🙂

Gajar ka halwa..-New year special..

2014 has been a wonderful year for me.. This year marked the arrival of many new things in my life..starting from my first Project in my job life in February  to my food blog in November…I met some wonderful new people, enjoyed with my old buddies.. Well as they say time passes quickly when you are in the best company.. I can’t imagine 2014 is already coming to end.., but it’s all thanks to the people in my life who had been there for me in every up and downs in my life and made 2014 soo memorable.. 🙂

Now , with few minutes left for 2015.. lets raise a toast for the wonderful year spent.., and welcome 2015 in a little traditional way.. 😉 I celebrated my New year eve with this delicious gajar ka halwa..  

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Recipe for Gajar (Carrot) ka halwa-

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups of grated carrot (1 Kg before grating)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 tbsp of ghee
  • 5 cups of full cream milk
  • ¼ cup of almonds & cashew nuts (roasted)

Method:

  1. Grate 1 Kg of carrot.

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    6 cups of grated carrot

  2. Heat the kadhai(pan) and add 1 tbsp of ghee , add the grated carrot ,add milk and mix well.

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    Adding milk to grated gajar(carrot)

  3. Cook this on a low to medium flame. the milk will froth and start reducing slowly and slowly.

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    cook the mixture on low flame.

  4. When the milk began to reduce(about reduce to 75%) , add the other 3 tbsp of ghee and cook for sometime.
  5. Keep stirring the mixture and add sugar and mix well.
  6. Continue to stir and cook on low flame till the whole mixture becomes dry. the milk should evaporate completely and you will see fine milk solids in the halwa.
  7. In a separate pan , dry roast the almonds and cashew nuts on medium flame.
  8. Add the roasted cashew nuts & almonds in the gajar halwa..

Serve hot.. 🙂

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New year means new hopes, new resolutions, new goals, new people,..and many more.. I hope this New Year brings joy, happiness, prosperity and growth in your life.. Welcome 2015 with the yummy gajar ka halwa.. 🙂

Stuffed Paneer Kulcha..

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India is famous for its diverse multi cuisine, cooking style varies from region to region and each variation adds a new recipe..In India, flat breads are one of the important accompaniment to the meal, we have variety of flat breads.. chappati, parantha, naan, Kulcha.. each accompained with different variety of dishes..
Kulcha is the flat bread made with maida and with raising agents like baking soda.I love having kulchas, they are soft, fluffy and buttery.. Also, I am a big fan of paneer, so thought of making stuffed paneer kulcha. 🙂

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Recipe of Paneer Kulcha:
For the dough:

  • 3 cups all purpose flour (maida)
  • 1/2 tsp Baking powder
  • 1/8th tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • Salt to taste (approx 1 tsp)
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup Yogurt
  • 1 tbsp Ghee

For the stuffing:

  • 1 cup paneer
  • 2-3 green chillies, v thinly sliced (or as per taste)
  • 1/4 tsp roasted cumin
  • A little salt (make sure to adjust accordingly since the dough has salt too)

Method:

  1. Place all the dry ingredients for the dough together and mix well.
  2. Now add the wet ingredients to the dry mixture.Mix well.
  3. Knead well for few minutes until it becomes a smooth pliable dough
  4. Place it in a bowl, cover and let it sit for 1-2 hours.
  5. Meanwhile mix all the ingredients for the stuffing together in another bowl.
  6. After the dough has been sitting for the specified hours, take a small ball and using a rolling pin roll into a very small circle.Make a small ball of the filling, smaller than the dough circle so that it can fit within the dough enclosing.Bring all the sides of the dough together to the top, covering the filling.
  7. Now lightly using your palm, press down the dough.Use a rolling pin and very gently roll the filled dough.
  8. Roll it out to a desired thickness making sure that you don’t press it too hard and that the filling does not come out of the dough.
  9. Now place this on a greased non stick or cast iron pan and cook until browned on both the sides.
  10. Serve them warm.

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You can serve them with pindi chole, dal makhani or chatpate matar .. 🙂

Chatpate Matar (white peas)

“Fruit Cake, Plum cake, donuts, hot hot gulab jabun, gajar ka halwa, gajak”.. winters are all about food and most of them are sweet delicious delicacies of winter that one cannot resist.. with Christmas , my last few days consisted of soo many sweet dishes. Though I loved each and every thing I had but eating soo much of sweet that had me craving for something really tasty and chatpata.. Also,let me tell you most important thing about me.. I LOVE CHATPATA FOOD.. I can even eat chat masala and lemon juice alone, well for some it might be gross but I simply love it.. 🙂

As weekdays meant office days… I put up with my strong desire for chatpata food till weekend 😛 From Friday morning I kept on going through various recipes I can make this weekend, and finally I settled on chatpate matar., healthy and yummy… 😀 I served them with paneer kulcha to complete one of my favourite Indian street food ..  🙂

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Recipe for chatpate matar-

Ingredients:

For the matar/white peas curry:

  • 1 and ½ cups dried white peas
  • 3 to 4 cups water for pressure cooking the peas.
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp chaat masala
  • ½ tsp roasted cumin powder/bhuna jeera powder
  • ½ tsp dry mango powder/amchur powder
  • ¼ tsp red chili powder
  • ¼ tsp garam masala powder

For Jaljeera chutney:

  • ¾ cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1 dry red chili, deseeded (optional)
  • a pinch of asafoetida/hing
  • 1 tsp black salt/kala namak
  • 5-6 black pepper
  • ½ tsp dry mango powder/amchur powder
  • 1 tbsp seedless tamarind
  • ¼ or ⅓ cup water for grinding

For Toppings & garnish:

  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium sized tomato, finely chopped
  • 1 green chili, slit or chopped
  • some coriander leaves (optional)

Method:

For cooking the peas:

  1. Soak the matar or dried white peas overnight or for 7-8 hours.
  2. Drain and then pressure cook with 3 to 4 cups of water till the matar are completely cooked.
  3. If there is extra water and the mixture is thin, then simmer till the matar get a medium consistency.
  4. Mash the matar slightly with a wooden spoon.

For preparing jaljeera chutney:

  1. Grind all the ingredients listed under jaljeera chutney with ¼ or ⅓ cup water to a smooth paste. keep aside.

For preparing chatpate matar:

  1. In a pan, heat oil on a low flame, first brown the cumin seeds and remove the pan from fire ,then add the dry spice powders one by one – chaat masala, roasted cumin powder, amchur powder, red chili powder, garam masala powder.Stir and immediately pour this mixture into the cooked matar/peas or add the cooked matar to this mixture.
  2. Switch on the fire and heat through the matar for 3-4 mins.
  3. Now add the prepared jaljeera chutney and stir.
  4. If the matar mixture looks dry, add some water.
  5. Cook the matar or peas curry till all the flavors are mingled, for about 2-3 minutes.
  6. Check the seasoning and add more black salt if required.
  7. Top with onions, tomato and chilies. squeeze some lemon juice on top and mix lightly. 

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Serve hot with kulchas.. try my recipe for paneer kulcha with these yummy matar.. 🙂

Baked Donuts..

Another cold and foggy morning & the soft sheets felt soo good and warm compared to the cloudy glass of the window above my head,announcing that a heavy and cold weather was dispersing through the city.. If it would have any other day I would have gone back to sleep till my Dad brings me a hot cup of green tea.. But today is Chirstmas.. a festival that brings joy and happiness.. and most importantly awesome breakfast.. 🙂

Christmas breakfast has to be special..and this time I promised my family that I will make breakfast on this Christmas So,I tried to gear myself up and started my work from 7 am in the morning… and decided to make baked donuts with chocolate glazing..

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Recipe for Donuts with Chocolate glazing-

Ingredients:

For the Donut Dough:

  • 3 1/4 cups  all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 cup  granulated sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dried yeast
  • 2 tablespoons  butter,
  • 1 cup  milk
  • 1/3 cup  water
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence

For the Chocolate Glaze:

  • 1 cup dark choco chips
  • 1/4 cup milk

For white chocolate glaze:

  • 1/2 cup white choco chips
  • 1/8 cup milk

Method:

  1. For the dough :In a small bowl, add yeast and a tablespoon of sugar and warm water and let it rise to for 10 minutes. After the yeast has risen,Mix the flour ,sugar,yeast mixture together in a standing mixer fitted with dough hook. Add salt and mix well.
  2. In a measuring jug, heat together the milk and butter and heat until luke warm, and the butter is melted. Stir in the vanilla essence.
  3. Keep stirring the flour mixture and slowly add the milk mixture.
  4. Increase the speed to medium and mix until the dough is shiny and smooth, 6-8 minutes. The dough is supposed to be saggy and on the wet side
  5. Rub your mixing bowl with vegetable oil . Place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat lightly.
  6. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap tight and let the dough rise until doubled, 1 ½ -2 hours.
  7. Once it has risen, turn out the fluffy dough onto a floured work surface.
  8. Roll out to ½ “ thick
  9. Using a round cutter cut of your donuts circles. Dust your cutter in flour so it doesn’t stick to the dough. Then cut out the donut hole with a much smaller cutter.
  10. TIP: You can prepare the donuts to this stage and put in the refrigerator until the next day. When needed, take out and let me come to room temp and rise a little (roughly 30 minutes) and then bake off as instructed below. Fresh donuts for breakfast.
  11. Cover your donuts with cling film and let them rise at room temp for 20-30 minutes.
  12. Preheat the oven at 190 degree Celsius
  13. Unwrap the donuts. Brush the very top (not the sides) with melted butter. Sprinkle the tray with 2 tblsp of water.
  14. Bake for 15 minutes.

    Donuts just out of oven, ready for glazing..

    Donuts just out of oven, ready for glazing..

For chocolate glazing:

  1. Add dark choco chips and milk in a bowl and place it in the microwave for about 30 seconds at 540 Watt. Take it out and mix well.Keep it again,if the chocolate is not completely melted.

For White chocolate glazing:

  1. Add white choco chips and milk in a bowl and place it in the microwave for about 30 seconds at 540 Watt. Take it out and mix well.Keep it again,if the chocolate is not completely melted.
  2. Fill the white chocolate mixture in a piping bag to make patterns on the donuts.. 🙂

Glazing the donuts:

  1. Take you donuts straight from the oven and dunk into the chocolate glaze one by one. Dip each in the bowl of glaze with forks. Let the excess glaze drip off before and then place on a wire rack to dry.
  2. Make different types of pattern on the donuts using the white chocolate glazing..or put sprinkles on the chocolate glazing and enjoy.. 🙂

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Have leftovers ? Pop them in the oven and refresh them for a few minutes. the glaze might melt but they will be warm and fresh again…