Sunday, December 11, 2011

Egg less orange cake with orange glaze




Baking cake without eggs is a challenge. I love to bake cakes. Either made from instant cake powder or made from scratch. I always like to try with different ingredients and wait to see the final results after baking and cooling. I thought of making an orange cake with a dash of spice topped with orange glaze.


Ingredients:
1 cup of freshly squeezed orange juice
2-3 tsp of orange zest
2 1/2 cups of All Purpose Flour
1 cup of condensed milk
1 stick of unsalted butter
2 tbsp of distilled vinegar
3 tbsp of sugar
2 tsp of nutmeg powder
2 tsp of baking powder
1 tsp of baking soda
A pinch of salt
A drop or 2 of orange flavoring/essence


For Glaze:
2 tbsp of Orange juice
1/4 cup of powdered sugar
Orange food color (optional)


Preparation time: 15 mins    Cook time: 30-35 mins
  • Grease cake pan with non stick spray or butter. I used a 10 1/2" X 6 1/2" rectangular cake pan.
  • Preheat the oven at 350 F. In a large mixing bowl, mix all purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda and a pinch of salt. 
  • Grate or zest about 2-3 tsp of orange skin. Peel off only the colored portion of the rind; the white pith can be bitter rather than flavorful. This imparts abundance of citrusy aromatic oil to the mixture.
  • To bring out the aroma and spice from nutmeg, I used freshly grated nutmeg about 2 tsp. You can use powdered too. 
  • After mixing all the dry ingredients, add wet ingredients one by one. 
  • Add cubed butter first (bring it to room temperature), followed by freshly squeezed orange juice, condensed milk, vinegar, sugar, any citrus or fruit essence just about a drop. 
  • Use a hand mixer to fold the mixture together.Pour the cake batter evenly to the prepared pan and gently tap to avoid air bubbles.
  • Bake for about 30 mins or until toothpick inserted near center of cake comes out almost clean. Cool in pans on wire rack 15 minutes. Carefully invert cakes from pan to wire rack; cool completely. 

Mix the glaze ingredients and spoon it over the cake.
This egg less cake is without doubt the ultimate comfort food with tantalizing aroma of orange and nutmeg.











Monday, August 1, 2011

Baby Corn masala in Coconut milk


I make veg masala almost once in a week for rotis/ chappathis or jeera rice. I had a can of baby corn and coconut milk.Hence, I decided to make a masala / korma out of this. All you need is,

Baby corn 1 can
1 cup of coconut milk
Finely diced onion 1/2 cup
Green chilies chopped 1 teaspoon
Cloves 2-3 nos
Fennel seeds 1 teaspoon
Cardamom crushed about 1 teaspoon
Whole black pepper 5-6 nos
Cinnamon stick about 1/2 inch
Garam masala powder 1 teaspoon
Ginger garlic paste 1 teaspoon
Turmeric 1/2 teaspoon (optional)
Oil 2 tbsp
Salt to taste



Drain water from the can and rinse the baby corn thoroughly in cold water.

Heat about a tbsp of oil in a heavy bottomed pan and saute baby corns for about 3-5 minutes until the color slightly changes to golden brown. Switch off the heat and keep the corns aside.

I do not want to cut the baby corns. This is up to your choice. You can chop into bits if you like.

In the same pan, heat the remaining oil, add cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, fennel seeds and whole black pepper.



When you smell the aroma from the spices, add the onions and about a pinch of salt. The color of onion changes gradually to golden yellow, add the ginger garlic paste and green chilies. Saute for 2-3 minutes or until the raw smell goes.

Let this mixture cool and blend together to form a smooth paste.




The paste goes to a skillet over a medium flame with about 1/4 cup of water.Do not pour too much of water, as we are going to add coconut milk.

When the bubbles slowly appear, its time you add the baby corns, salt, turmeric and let it cook for about 5-6 minutes. Add the garam masala powder and reduce the heat to low.

Pour the coconut milk to the mixture and switch off the flame. 

Garnish with chopped cilantro (optional)



This smooth creamy masala is perfect combination for Rotis/parathas.


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Fruit Bouquet to Dear Father

Happy Father's day. Cut, carve and arrange all your favourite summer fruits and make any day special. This is inexpensive compared to online or store orders. This is perfect to gift on special occasions or a healthy centerpiece for a table setting.


The fruit bouquet requires few skewers, a base (I used a small basket), a paring knife, flower shaped cookie cutter, Styrofoam or a lettuce head and fruits like honeydew, strawberries, grapes. Use your imagination and creativity for different shapes and fruit combination/arrangements. Involve your kids and have fun.














Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Mofongo


               Dear Foodies, its has been a long time since I added new recipes. The reason being I am a new mom now and held up with my little princess. But this time, I would like to share with you my trip to Puerto Rico and mouth watering recipe of 'Mofongo' I had in Old San Juan, PR. The basic ingredient is green plantain, which is mashed and fried. This reminds me of  Vazhaikai podimas ( mashed green plantain) popularly known and served in the south indian cuisine. Old San Juan is beautiful with El Morro fortress, colorful colonial architecture, coconut shell jewellery and crafts and you are bound to find tasty and happening restaurants.
               I had Mofongo in a restaurant called Barrachina in Old San Juan. The surrounding beauty of a colonial building is over two centuries old with an interior courtyard and birthplace and home of the world famous Piña Colada, where don Ramón Portas Mingot first made the famous drink in 1963.


Some of the pics captured during our trip.

View of the beach from El Morro Fort

Bell Tower - El Morro Fort

Colorful buildings with beautiful balconies, Old San Juan


Usually this dish is served with pork or chicken .Since, I am a vegetarian I like to have with lots of grilled or sauteed vegetables or a sauce prepared of vegetable stock and pureed tomatoes. This is my version of making it with slight variation.

Serves 2

2 raw green plantain
2-3 cloves of Garlic
1/4 cup of Olive oil plus 1 Tbsp
1 tsp of Cumin
2 tsp of paprika powder
1 tsp of Turmeric powder
salt to taste

For the sauce

4 tbsp Tomato puree
1/4 cup of vegetable stock/ water.
salt and pepper
Chopped cilantro to garnish






Wash and cut the ends of the plantain and peel the skin lengthwise and cut into about 1 inch chunks. Heat water in a vessel and add 1 tbsp of oil, salt and drop the cut plantains and cook until soft and drain excess of water.Mash the cooked plantains with mortar and pestle or a potato masher. In the meantime, peel,crush and mince garlic pods.In a medium flame, heat oil in a skillet, add cumin seeds, minced garlic, turmeric, paprika powder and mashed plantains. Allow to shallow fry the contents and mix altogether till the mixture becomes golden brown and crispy.




For the sauce, heat a  medium skillet, add the pureed tomatoes and when bubbles start to appear, add the vegetable stock or water. This process is to just thin the sauce.Add little salt and pepper.





To serve mofongo, shape into molds using a simple cereal bowl. Fill and pack the mixture into the bowl. Place a plate inverted on top of the bowl. Transfer the contents of the bowl into the plate to form a beautiful dome shape.Drizzle some sauce on top of mofongo and garnish with finely chopped cilantro. 

This crispy plantain and tangy sauce is perfect a combination to please your taste buds. 

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