Thursday, May 31, 2012

DOUBLE ORANGE CAKE with MARBLED ICING...for me from him!

My Birthday Cake

There is a small tradition we had started between the two of us. Some of you might already know about it. It's a simple one,we bake each other's birthday cakes. Last year it was Real Tiramisu and the year before that it was Finnegan's Chocolate Cream Cake.This year was no different and I LOVE the fact that it's no different when it comes to our little tradition :-) A week before May 31 he starts asking me what I want him to bake as my birthday cake and it's not that I haven't been thinking about it since May 4 but still, I tell him,'I'll think and tell you!'. I love the entire one week when he asks me again and again if I have decided what I wanted :-) I feel like a child all over again!

Double Orange Cake with Marble Frosting

This time, I was a bit confused because I wanted something very simple, very home-y, very soft and something with fruits in it. So when he got back from work yesterday, I told him I wanted an orange cake with a simple icing. I used to call a frosting an icing before my blogging days began and never noticed that it changed along the way. Whenever I say icing, it has a very warm feeling...that's the word Amma uses whenever she iced a cake :-)

Orange Cake Making

Last evening, I was sitting on the couch browsing through my favourite navy blue recipe diary and wondered if I ever had a storemade/bakery made cake for my birthday at home. I really couldn't recollect even a single birthday which had nothing but Amma baked cakes!

Double Orange Cake with Marble Frosting

When I was small, she baked me all sorts of good looking cakes like Hickory Dickory Clock Cake, Castle Cake etc. Seriously, she had the patience to hunt for things in Kannur and bake it that many years ago! Even now, Kannur is not a place where you can find everything that you want, even if your wants and wishes are as simple as marshmallows!

My Birthday CakeDOUBLE ORANGE CAKE with MARBLED ICING
My own recipe

Ingredients:
Cake
100g flour
100g butter, softened
100g sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp orange zest
3 tbsp orange juice

Method: Pre-heat the oven to 350 F and line a 6 inch cake tin.
In a medium bowl, beat together flour,butter, sugar, eggs, baking powder & baking soda on high for 2 mins.Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the zest and orange juice. Beat on high for another minute. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30 mins. Let it cool in the tin for 10 mins . Unmould and cool completely over a cooling rack.

Marble Frosting
60g butter
1 1/4 c icing sugar
1 tbsp orange juice
1 tbsp orange zest
1 tbsp cocoa powder

Method: In a small bowl, beat butter and orange zest together until light and fluffy. Add orange juice and icing sugar little by little and beat till smooth. Divide the batter into 2 and whisk in cocoa powder to one half. Spoon out the icing alternately over the cake and marble it using a toothpick.

Our birthday routine is the same, always. We wake up early and go to church for mass . Once we are home I  make the breakfast and when we are done with it, we get ready to cut the cake :-) I couldn't help poking into this cake every now and then because it was so so soft and moist that I kept telling Jobin,'This cake is so soft!' and he always answered back,'Who baked it!' :-)

Double Orange Cake with Marble Frosting

Trust me people, this is one really good cake! The icing is a perfect combination of chocolate and orange. This is not the kind of cakes you get in patisseries, it's the kind you get to eat only at home! It has such a comfort factor attached to it!I really don't know what's with me and citrus cakes! I LOVE them and maybe that's why I end up making my own proportions for them. The last time, it was my Lemon Yogurt Cake and this time it's a Double Orange Cake with Marble Frosting! :-)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

MOCHA BAVARIAN CHARLOTTE for a Wedding Anniversary!

Mocha Bavarian Charlotte

May 30th 2012 marks the 30th year since my Appan & Amma got married and the least that I can do from here is to wish them many many many more together! :-)

This cake is a blend of many that I've posted on the blog. It has a lining of  Ladyfingers & layers of Simple Vanilla Sponge soaked with Simple Syrup which was filled with Mocha Bavarian Cream and later frosted with a Chocolate Ganache

Friday, May 25, 2012

QUICK & EASY COCONUT MACAROONS

Coconut Macaroons

One thing that I've found common between Appan and Jobin is their liking for the candybar, Bounty. I completely, wholeheartedly hate it...so does Amma and forget about Ritchie boy! I have no idea how people can relish it.At the same time, I am a big fan of Lamingtons and I must say it's only because of Jobin that I've started liking them and now I like them so much that I wait for his birthday every year so that I can make it.

Coconut Macaroons
I am also known for scraping the coconut topping from Puttu and the coconut stuffing from Idiappam. Nevetheless I like a good coconut macaroon! If that coconut macaroon is dipped in chocolate, it's even better! I found it funny that it almost tastes like Bounty but I hate Bounty! Ack! It's way too confusing! :-)

Coconut Macaroons

When I'm in a good mood or when we run out of our daily quota of a sweet bite, I ask Jobin what does he want me to make next. His standard answers include Jalebi, Bavarian Cream Torte,Coconut Macaroons, Madeleines, Boondi Ladoo & Kalakand. Recently he asked me why I haven't been baking French Macarons and my immediate reaction was,'Do you like it that much?' and he said,'Yes!'.

Coconut Macaroons

So I started saving up egg whites to make some French Macarons for him but in the end I though I'd surprise him and bake some coconut macaroons instead! The confused Gemini soul was torn between the French & the American treat so when he called home from work, I popped the question to him and all he said was,'You chose.' Alright! Macaroons it is! I need to make something new :-)

Coconut MacaroonsQUICK & EASY COCONUT MACAROONS
Recipe source:Taste of Home
Makes 15 nos.

Ingredients:
1 1/3 c dessicated/flaked unsweetened coconut
1/3 c sugar
2 tbsp flour
1/8 tsp salt
2 egg whites (no need to whisk or beat)
1/2 tsp vanilla

Method: Pre-heat the oven to 325F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, whisk together coconut, sugar,flour & salt. Add the whites and vanilla to it and mix well. You will have a nice soft dough. Spoon them onto the baking sheet using a teaspoon and bake for 20 mins or until golden brown (I wanted little conical macaroons and hence the shape).Let them cool completely on a cooling rack and then ,store in airtight tins.

Coconut Macaroons

These were really really good! Crisp on the outside, soft, moist and slightly chewy in the centre. I don't think you can find an easier recipe than this...it's very simple to make! So the next time you have a guest on a short notice for tea/ coffee, you can whip up a batch of these and while they are baking in the oven you can go get ready to welcome your guest :-)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

KANNUR SPECIAL KOOTU CURRY

Kootu Curry

Being the Kannur girl that I am, I have a few forever favourite Kannur curries. One of them is the Kannur meen curry which I've already blogged about. The other ones include  Kootu curry,Varutharacha Kozhi curry & Varutharacha Sambar. I've made the latter two at home quite a few times but it's never ever lasted long enough for me to share it here.This time while I cooked the kootu curry, I made sure I save some to photograph and blog about.

Kootu curry

Kootu curry as the name suggests is a mix of a few vegetables cooked together. The highlight of this curry is the flavour of the tempering.It is awesome! It transforms the othewise simple looking and simple tasting curry into a good one.This curry is very common on a sadya menu in Kannur and is also made during Vishu & Onam. I maybe wrong here because in my household Onam & Vishu is always celebrated with a good Chicken Biriyani and the food that's sent over by neighbours :-)

Kootu Curry

Yes, in Kannur you would be surprised to know that not many celebrate Onam with the full swing sadya. There's always biriyani on the table :-) So now, you may know why there's hardly any Vishu & Onam specials here on my blog. How can I blog about things I don't make for that day ? ;-)

ChanaKOOTU CURRY
My own recipe

Ingredients:
1 c dried bengal gram / Karutha kadala
1 big green plantain / Paccha ethakka /Kaya, cubed
1 c elephant yam /Chena /Suran , cubed
1 tsp red chili powder
2 -3 tsp pepper powder or to taste
Salt to taste
1/2 c grated coconut
1 tsp cumin

Method: Soak the bengal gram overnight in plenty of water and pressure cook the next day with enough salt & 1 1/2 c water for 2 whistles. Let the pressure go down and then open the cooker. Add the cubed plantain & yam. Pressure cook for one more whistle. Open the cooker and check if the gram & vegetables are cooked enough.Grind together the grated coconut ,cumin & 1/4 c water to a coarse paste. Add this to the pressure cooked veggies. Also add red chili powder, pepper powder and some more water, if needed. Let it come to a boil.

For tempering:
3 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
2 sprigs curry leaves
1 tbsp urad dal
1/4 c grated coconut

Method: Heat oil, crackle mustard. Add the curry leaves and let it splutter for 10 secs. Add the urad dal and cook till golden brown. Add the grated coconut and fry till it turns golden brown. Pour over the curry and check for salt & pepper. Serve hot with rice!

I can eat this curry on it's own, in a bowl while watching a favourite Malayalam movie. This curry gets it's heat from black pepper powder, so incase you feel the heat is missing, add some more pepper powder. Don't skip the tempering , it really transforms the curry and leaves you wondering what a taste and smell some fried grated coconut can lend to a curry.The flavours were spot on and even the colour of the curry was exactly the same that I've seen in Kannur. You have to try this out,someday :-)

Jobin usually prefers Sona Masoori rice over Kerala Matta rice. But whenever I make any naadan curries he likes to pair it with the big fat Kerala rice :-) Even I think this curry would taste the best with that rice.If you can fry a pappadam or two, a micro mini sadya is there right on your plate! Now, can someone pass me some payasam please? ;-)

Monday, May 7, 2012

30 LAYERED NUTELLA CREPE CAKE, for my birthday boy!

Jobin's Birthday Cakes

Yes, you read it right! This little cake has 30 layers in it. 30 layers of soft melt-in-the-mouth French Crepes layered & coated with a nutella ganache. I came up with this idea after our trip to Vegas. We both kind of really really like Crepes, so why not make something with it for his Birthday! The number of layers has another implication to it, he just turned the big number!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOBIN!

Crepe Cake

I've never made a French crepe before but I've had a lot of good experience with Indian crepes/ Dosa's especially the finicky Neer Dosa. Therefore, I didn't have much doubts of me pulling these off.Alton Brown recipes are easy to follow and give exceptionally good results! Having tried his Homemade Chocolate & Boston Creme Doughnuts in the past and loving it, I didn't have to think twice before I went ahead with this one.

30 layered Crepe Cake

When I say that, I really mean it...they were so easy to make. Easy batter, easy flipping and tastes great on the palatte ! These crepes can be made ahead of time, which I usually never do but this time, I did try. It worked...like a charm! I doubled the quantity and it gave me 32 crepes, so the remaining 2 went straight into my belly while assembling the cake.

30 layered Crepe Cake

If you want to make a cake which is taller, you may need atleast 60-80 layers because crepes are really thin and even after stacking them up with the frosting in between, they don't grow much taller. It has it's own advantages, like seeing the jaws around you drop as everyone would be expecting a 2 or 3 layers inside it. Don't overdo the frosting as it would only make you feel heavy after eating it. Imagine 30 layers with thick frosting...no, you wouldn't want to imagine that!

30 LAYERED NUTELLA CREPE CAKE
Crepe Cake Recipe for the crepes (with video) : Alton Brown
Recipe for the nutella ganace: My own

Ingredients:
For the crepes
2 large eggs
1 c flour
3/4 c milk
1/2 c water
3 tbsp butter, melted
2 1/2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Method: Dump all the ingredients into a blender and whizz it for just 7-10 secs. Refrigerate the batter for 1 hour or upto 48 hours. Heat a small non stick skillet on medium high and butter the botton and sides. Pour 1/4 c of the batter into the centre of the pan and swirl to spread the batter evenly. Cook for 30 seconds and flip carefully. Cook for another 10 seconds. Remove the crepes and leave them to cool on a  chopping board. Once cooled, you can stack them up, cover with a clingfilm and store it the fridge for several days.

For the Nutella Ganache:
200g nutella
200g semi sweet chocolate
200g cream

Method: Combine all the ingredients together in a saucepan and cook over medium heat till the chocolate and nutella melts. Use it in between the crepes for stacking and also for cover the sides of the crepe cake.
Let the cake chill till needed and dust with cocoa just before serving.


Crepe Cake slice

When he got back home from work, I think he forgot about the 2nd cake. So when I told him,'There's something for you', his face lit up because he knew it was the other cake. The table was set out and the cake was cut while I sang for him.The minute he cut into it and pulled out a slice he said, 'WOW!'. Of course, the next question had to be,'Guess the no. of layers!'. Knowing me,he guess it right and after the first bite, I made him count all the layers just to tell myself that I'm not so predictable! :-)

Friday, May 4, 2012

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!

Happy Birthday!
It's that time of the year when you would catch me making Lamingtons secretly (even though he knows it!) once again. This is what he wants for his birthday every year because his mom used to make it specially for his birthdays while growing up and for Christmas. I follow the tradition but make it only for his birthday. Poor man, he actually waits to have a bite of this little chocolate coated pound cake cubes all year!
Last year he got lucky because his mom was with us around Christmas time and a request was shot out from him. Of course, his mom granted his wish and made Lamingtons. I think I had just one piece of it and even though it was super tempting to grab and eat more, I saved it all for him to finish :-)

Lamingtons


HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DEAR JOBIN!
I know that you know that you will always have Lamingtons as Cake no. 1 for your birthday,from me. So enjoy while it lasts and stop trying to guess & find out what that Cake no.2 would be(which we both know,exists!) When it's time, it shall be unveiled! ;-)
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