Spiced Banana Raisin Loaf


There was a time I used to make banana bread regularly then one day it all stopped. Some 15 years back a loaf of banana bread lovingly baked was tucked away in a steel container and shoved on top shelf of the kitchen due to sheer malice. I was visiting my mother for a few days so baked the bread and left the next day. Some six month later while spring cleaning I found a container that won’t open. The container was heavy so I was curious about what lay inside. With great difficulty I managed to pop the lid away and there it was, a rotten banana bread with fungus that could be a perfect sample for a science student. It broke my heart and never baked the bread again.

I did make a banana nut bread in a mug. You can get the recipe Here.

Since a few days mom had been craving for it and I was just not getting into the mood. I usually do not bake breads now so the pantry was empty. No baking powder or baking soda. I was too lethargic to go buy or even order. The bananas were getting overripe and yesterday I gave in to the temptation.

The whole wheat bread that I usually made had jaggery instead of sugar but here I powdered and used the regular sugar.  Brown sugar or jaggery is the best to use in banana bread. The rich flavor is amazing. Do use that if you have it.   1/4 cup is good for this recipe. If using jaggery or Muscovedo sugar then use 1 cup.

It was an experiment of sort as I had not baked without baking powder or baking soda before so I began to search for options on the internet. Yeast, sour dough were out so I was about to give up when Alice’s blog link popped up. I was happy someone had bothered to bake a bread without the two ingredients that are considered important and adapted her recipe to suit my needs. Thank you Alice. I knew it would be dense but cooked so there wasn’t much to worry.

Surprisingly, the bread turned out to be good. Moist, sweet, spiced and dense. Something between a cake and a bread. I decided to call it a loaf. 🙂 Everyone who had it thought that the texture resembled the Bishop Bread we get from ITC Maurya. Well, that was a very satisfying compliment. That bread is out of the world.

It needed some adjustment of temperature etc.

Do give it a try :

Ingredients :

Bananas – 3 medium or 2 large , over ripe ones

Whole wheat flour – 11/2 Cup (16 tbsp)

Butter – 1/2 Cup ( softened) ( I used a salted butter but if you use unsalted then add 1/4 tsp of salt) or 1/2 Cup – Vegetable oil

Spice powder – cinnamon, clove, nutmeg

Powdered Sugar – 1 Cup ( depends on the sweetness of  the bananas)

Eggs – 2 (well beaten)

Raisins –  1/2 Cup (Plumped in water)

Walnuts – A handful ( toasted / optional)

Buttermilk – 2 tbsp

Steps : 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F or 175 degrees C.  Grease and dust a 8×3 or 9×5 inch loaf tin. I used an 8 inch one.

Peel and mash overripe bananas in a large mixing bowl. Don’t make a smooth paste. Clumpy is good for a nice texture. Bananas with blackening skin or brown skin with deep brown spots are good. Make sure they are not fermenting. Do not get tempted to add more bananas just because you want to finish them. It will result in a dense under cooked center.

Gently fold in the softened butter /Oil, sugar and spice powder to the mashed bananas. Using oil is a good idea as it helps the bread retain the moisture. Next one will be with oil.

I add the beaten eggs just before putting the bread into the oven. If your oven and loaf tin are ready then beat the eggs very well in a bowl. Get in as much air as you can. This will make the bread light. Remember we aren’t using anything to help it rise. Add the beaten eggs to the banana sugar mixture and mix well with a spatula.  Don’t use any hand mixer for the recipe.

Now, make a well in the center of the whole wheat flour and slowly fold in the banana mixture wit ha spatula. It would be lumpy but that is great. Just mix everything nicely so that there are no flour streaks. Add 2 tbsp of buttermilk or sour cream. The batter is usually very thick so this help in making it smooth and nice. Gives a nice flavor and texture too.

Fold it the plumped raisins and toasted crushed walnuts if using. Dry raisins burn easily so it is good to plump them a little. You can toss some of the nut raisin mixture on the top also.

Pour the batter in the loaf tin and bake for 50 minutes or til toothpick comes out clean from the center.

Temperature may vary from oven to oven and I found my bread gets browned from top quickly if I place on top slot. I have two slots so I placed it in the lower one after it was 3/4 done. You can use aluminium foil to cover it to prevent extra browning. I didn’t so my crust browned more.

Another thing is to place some water in the drip tray under the wire rack. The steam makes the bread softer. I did it earlier, not for this one.

Keep checking after 45 minutes and if it needs more cooking from the center just give it 10-15 more minutes.

Once done, turn off the oven and let it stay there for 10 minutes. Remove on wire rack after that and cool.

Wrap it up in cling wrap when warm or cut it and use as desired. I usually slice it and keep in a tupperware box on the table.

Some people add vanilla essence or extract or chocolate in the bread but I personally do not like to mask the taste of spices and the rich banana flavor. You can add to your liking.

Do let me know how this loaf tasted if you make it. It is unlike the usual banana bread as I said. more like a fruit cake. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hasselback Potatoes With Garlic Butter And Herbs


 

Baked potatoes are my favorite and these beauties top the list. Though there are numerous ways to bake potatoes I love the shape of Hasselback or the accordion potatoes as they are called. For a long time a wondered why they were called Hasselback as they are totally hassle free to make but then someone told the history. You will find it on internet too.

This Swedish version of baked potatoes, with their slices fanned out like the feathers of some exotic bird or the expanded bellows of an accordion.

One can use a many variations of stuffing and seasonings, herbs to make these or keep them simple by just sprinkling salt and coarsely pounded black peppercorns. You can add lemon zest or sneak in ham, bacon, spinach, chives or any other stuff that fancies you. Load it up with cheese of any sort but Parmesan, Cheddar or a mix of your favorites.

The fun thing is that you can make them as per your taste and adjust the ingredients to your choice.

Crispy from outside and tender from inside these delicious baked potatoes can be made with any  variety of potato that is available in your local market though the recipes may call for specific ones. You can use large ones or small ones as per your liking.

I usually keep the skin as it tastes awesome and also gives the desired crispiness to the hasselback but here I am using the peeled ones.

I love the use of roasted garlic where ever possible but here I have used them raw.

To make these mouthwatering baked potatoes you will need,

Ingredients – 

Potatoes – 6 medium small

Butter – 4 tablespoon (I used salted)

Olive oil – 1 tablespoon ( I used a herbed one from Ottimo, at West View, ITC Sheraton)

Fresh cracked black peppercorns – 6-8

Garlic ( roasted or raw) – 4-5 medium cloves ( finely chopped)

Fresh herb of your choice

Seasoning of your choice ( dried herbs, oregano, etc) I used Ottimo’s Italian herb mix Seasoning in some.

Salt to taste

Cheese of your choice ( optional)

Steps –

  1. Choose potatoes with clean, unblemished skin, wash and peel ( if you do not wish to retain skin, If retaining then pat dry completely so the moisture is all absorbed and keep aside. Hasselback Potatoes taste best with skin though.
  2.  Pre heat the oven to 200 degree Celsius or 420 degree Fahrenheit.
  3. Put the peeled potatoes in a pan full of water so the potatoes don’t brown.
  4. You can par boil the potatoes till they are just tender enough for the fork to go in when pricked. (optional)
  5. In a bowl melt the butter to room temperature and beat it with a spoon. You can microwave for 2 seconds for it to melt completely. Add the olive oil to it and mix. Mixing these two give a nice flavor to the potatoes.
  6. Finely chop the fresh herbs and garlic. You can slice the garlic fine. If using roasted garlic, roast it in the oven or gas stove and then slice/chop. I love garlic so put a little more than usual, you can cut it down or omit if you wish.
  7. Mix the fresh herbs, a little salt & pepper and chopped / dices garlic in the butter + oil mix and mix them well to make a smooth garlic and herb infused butter.

( I do the steps 5-7 a few hours before making the Hasselback so that the garlic and herbs release all their flavor in the butter oil mix.)

8. Line a oven proof dish or baking tin with aluminium foil / parchment paper  and smear it with some herb infused butter.

9. To prepare the potatoes, dab the peeled potatoes dry, cut a very thin slice for the base so that the potato doesn’t roll over and rest it in a serving spoon. This will ensure that you don’t cut through the whole potato till the end.

10. Now slice the potato till the knife hits the edge of the spoon. You can make as thin or thick slices as you wish. Repeat with all the remaining potatoes. (I have no knife skills so this is the best way to ensure nice, equal thin cuts)

11. Smear half of the prepared butter mix all over the potatoes. gently push the butter, garlic, fresh herbs in the crevices with a sharp knife but don’t push to hard. We will add more at half way through the baking.

12. Arrange the potatoes in the baking dish and sprinkle salt and cracked black pepper generously. Using freshly cracked pepper gives this dish a unique rich spicy flavor which is not achieved by the powdered pepper. If you have used salted butter like I did then go easy on extra salt.

13. Put the baking dish in the oven and bake the potatoes for at least 20 minutes. You can grill them too.

14. Take out the baking dish and baste the potatoes with more of the butter or just olive oil. Make sure it goes well into the layers as it will help the layers to spread open.

15.  At this point the slices will begin to fan out in an arch so do insert the extras like ham, bacon, cheese or whatever you choose carefully between the layers. take the help of the knife to carefully nudge the layers open a bit for stuffing.

16. Bake for another 30-40 minutes or till the outside it crispy brown and the flesh is tender soft. Pierce the potato between the layers to check if the potato is done.

Your baking time may vary with the size of potatoes.

Serve is immediately wit ha dip of your choice. I use sour cream or hung curd sip which is my favorite. Will post the recipe soon.

Baked hasselback is best had hot.

 

You can adjust the ingredients to your requirements for 1 or many hasselback potatoes, it is that versatile.

Make it simple or fancy as per your mood for the day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Puff Pastry Experiments-Baked Apple Roses, Strawberry Filled Mini Puffs And More


 

Food hall at the DLF place, Saket is addictive. This Saturday after a hearty meal I and my son decided to do our usual round of the Food hall and soon we were filling our basket with more than what we needed. The food monster wanted to create something from ready made frozen puff pastry sheets and I too was game for it. The dish on my mind was the gorgeous Apple Roses I had been viewing all over the internet.

Now, I used to make apple pie crust at home but the store bought frozen puff pastry sheets were something new to me too.  The images of delicious pinwheels, tarts, quiche, pie, croissants, churros, torte, cheese sticks etc began to float in front of my eyes. I had to rein my imagination as I was going to get only a sheet or two. The food monster had made this clear. Finally I decided on the amazing Apple Roses, Fresh strawberry and fruit spread filled mini puff pastries and some churros.

On a sunny Sunday afternoon the food monster took over the kitchen and created some sumptuous dishes like Salted Caramel and Chocolate Tart, Chili Salsa and Cheese Tart , Marshmallow, chocolate and coffee pockets topped with dark caramel and chocolate ganache  .  You can follow the Food Monster Delhi on twitter too.

The yummy treats were devoured instantly.  On reminding about my share of the pastry sheets and he very graciously left some. I realized that the churros would have to go as the sheets were just enough of the Apple Roses and Strawberry mini puffs.

Though there are many versions of Apple roses on internet and all amazingly gorgeous but I liked the ones made by Sherri of To Simply Inspire  I followed her directions though I tweaked them a bit. You can check out her perfect roses by clicking on the link of her blog. Thanks Sherri for inspiring.

Here is how I made those Apple Rose Puffed Pastries 

Ingredients : (For 6 apple roses )

2 Delicious Red Apples (I used organic)

1 frozen Puff Pasty Sheet (Thawed)

2 Tablespoon of fruit preserve (I used mixed fruit but you can use plum, peach, apricot…whatever you desire)

Cinnamon sugar for sprinkling ( 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder + 1 teaspoon fine sugar)

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

Flour to sprinkle on the counter

Powdered sugar for sprinkling as decoration

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Method:

Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celcius ( Sherri did it at 190 degrees Celsius / 375 degree F)

Remove the frozen puff pastry sheets and let them thaw on the counter. They should still be cool when you use them. I removed them from freezer and kept them in the fridge overnight to use them in the morning. (See instructions on the packet)

Prepare cinnamon sugar by mixing the two ingredients together. Keep aside. (You can use apple pie spice mix too)

Half fill a bowl with water and add lemon juice to it. Now cut the apples in half from top to bottom. Remove the core ends and scoop out the center core.

Cut them in paper thin slices with a sharp knife. (unfortunately mine weren’t that thin.. a reason to buy a good sharp knife)

Place the slices in the water bowl. This will prevent them from turning brown. (enough water to cover the slices)

I used organic apples as we are using the skin too.

Place the bowl in the microwave for a minute to soften the apple a little so they don’t break while folding. They should not become mushy.

Now drain the apples in a colander and gently pour some cool water over them. drain properly.

Now, sprinkle some flour over a clean counter and roll out the pastry sheet, stretch it a bit with a rolling pin. Move in one direction only.

Try to keep the rectangle shape and cut it into six equal strips of 2 in x 9 inches approx. The sheet should be 1/8 in thick. In my excitement I didn’t make it rectangle but then corrected the strips by cutting the rounded edges. One learns 🙂

In a bowl take the fruit preserve and add a teaspoon of water to it. Microwave for a min so that the preserve is of spreading consistency. Let it cool.

Spread a little preserve on each strip.

Line 6-9 apple slices overlapping each other a little with the peel side facing out along one side of the strip. Leave a little space on both ends when you line up the slices.

Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar or apple pie spice mix if you desire. I love it.

Fold the bottom part of the strip so that it covers the apples.

Now, starting on one end carefully start to roll the fruit lined strip into a rose shape. Don’t make it very tight roll. Once you reach the end, seal the edges by pressing with your finger and gently place in a well greased muffin tin or a silicon muffin tray. You can apply a egg wash. I used melted butter and brushed it on the pastry with a pastry brush.

Make six roses from the strips and place them all in the tray.

Bake in the middle rack for 30-45 minutes. The pastry should be nicely cooked.

I did not keep the water pan in the tray below as suggested in the original recipe but you can try that.

Take them out and let them set for a few minutes before removing from the tray.

Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired. You can serve them warm or at room temperature as required.

You can double the amount to make 12 roses.

You can also use, butter, brown sugar and apple pie spice mixed together instead of fruit preserve.

You can bake these on a flat ray too but make sure the ends of the rose pastry are sealed well so that they do not open while baking.

Next time I will use different coloured apples, red , green, yellow and will also try peach and nectarine. You can try too. They will look amazing I think.

For the fresh Strawberry and Fruit Spread Filled Mini Puffs :

I had some leftovers from the Pastry sheet used by the food monster so I used that to make a few of these fruity delights. I rolled the dough into a flat sheet and cut out a few circles slightly larger then the muffin hole. you can make them into squares too or like an overlapping pocket well. I didn’t decorate the edges but you must mold the top edges into fluted design. It looks very pretty.

Then I prepared a sauce made with fresh strawberries, sugar and whole strawberry fruit preserve. Preserves are very versatile and the sauce came out delicious.

Just cut the fresh ripe strawberries and drizzle some sugar on them and let them macerate for approx 20 min. Now microwave some fruit preserve till it bubbles. Take it out and add the fresh strawberries.

Place the pastry circles in the muffin cups without flattening the puffy texture and poke some holes at the bottom of the shell with a fork so that it doesn’t rise while baking. Pour the fruit mixture in it. Bake for 30 minutes on middle rack  at 180 degrees. The shell should become golden in colour.

You can pour this fruit mixture to make puff pastry pockets,  tiny tartlets. pinwheels, pies or even a little galatte . I will do that soon, so watch this pace.

You can even bake the tart shells separately and simply spoon this lovely berrilicious mix and top it with some whipped cream before serving.

Overall, we had a great day experimenting with the frozen puff pastry sheets. Next time there will be some more great things and better pictures. 🙂 Till then, keep experimenting and exploring.

 

Rum Balls With Chocolate Ganache


Boozy Chocolate Ganache

There is nothing more beautiful and heart warming than to watch your sons cook up a chocolate storm in the kitchen. Yesterday both the young men officially kicked off the holiday season with Chocolate Ganache rum balls. All I did was watch and eat the sinfully loaded goodies. of course, I helped them clean up the stuff.

There was a time when my kitchen would smell of Christmas baking and four little hands would help me make the delicacies. Roles change with time but the warmth and love of bonding over cooking in the kitchen remains the same. That is true love – for food and for each other.

Chocolate ganache is easy and tough at the same time. Simple ingredients and quick to make, this beautiful glaze can be used for anything from truffles, cakes, bread / cookie spread, cup cake filling. We used it to spread over the tasty coconut macaroons.

Coconut Macaroons with Rummy Chocolate Ganache

You just need to keep in mind two important things while making ganache- temperature and proportion. For layering you need to take 1:1 equal proportion of cream and chocolate, for filling it will be 2:1 ( two part chocolate one part cream) and if you want it as a pouring glaze just make the proportion 1:2 (one part chocolate two part cream) It is that simple.

There is no need to simmer or boil the cream, it should be hot enough to melt the chocolate. Use a rich dark chocolate for the ganache.

Usually heavy cream is the best but here I have used fresh cream with semi sweet very dark chocolate.

To make a  voluptuous chocolate ganache you will need :

Dark chocolate (We used semi sweet)

Fresh or heavy/ double cream

Salt – one pinch

coffee powder – 1 teaspoon

Pure Vanilla – 1 teaspoon

butter – 1 tablespoon

Weigh the chocolate and cream to 2:1 proportion so that you have a thick voluptuous ganache.

In a heavy bottom saucepan heat the cream ( do not boil) on low-medium heat.

While the cream is heating, chop the chocolate with a serrated knife into very fine pieces.

Add butter salt and vanilla to the cream and turn off the heat once the cream is heated properly.

Add the chocolate and let it stand for a few minutes for the chocolate to melt properly.

With a kitchen whisk,  blend the ganache slowly until it comes together in a creamy glossy mass.

To use this for making the rum balls or truffles you will need to set the pan in the refrigerator so the ganache cools down completely. Take out the pan every fine minutes and stir to let it cool evenly. It will go from soft to hard quickly so if if that happens simmer it over hot water for a few seconds.

Basically you will need to perfect the recipe by trial and error.

To use it for the frosting for a cake, let the ganache cool completely and whip it with a spatula or wooden spoon until it is light and fluffy. About 1-2 minutes.

We added Old monk dark rum to the ganache (about 2 tablespoons) before setting it in fridge for using later for rum balls.

Rum Balls With boozy Chocolate Ganache

Traditionally the rum balls or truffle balls were made with biscuits and nuts. I have had some awesome Danish rum balls (Rumkuglers) and trust me no other thing in the world can beat them in richness of flavour and texture.

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I love the hands smeared in chocolate, the aroma of dark rum and freshly baked cake for putting together of one of my favourite truffles. I prefer them without any nuts.

Here we used a 8 inch Devil’s Food cake to make them. (1/2 kg cake) . You can use any other cake of your choice. An old pound cake or a fruit cake that you have had enough of should do. This is one of the good ways to use leftover cakes

The moist, rich cake was cooled completely before it was crumbled.

Add about 30 ml of dark rum to it and let it soak for say about 10 minutes.

Into the cake crumble went a handful of  raisins and dried blackberries soaked in 20 ml of dark rum (including the liquid) and 1/2 cup of chocolate ganache.

Rum balls are supposed to have a potent taste of rum, that’s the way we love them. It is sinfully boozy and chocolaty.

In went 1/2 cup of grind mix of nut to this. Walnuts, pecans go well.

Everything was mixed well and the mixing bowl was then covered with a plastic wrap.

The mixture was left to cool in fridge for an hour.

Now to make the balls :

Make small or large balls with the dough and coat them with more ganache or thick melted chocolate/ molasses and then roll them on desiccated coconut/ chocolate rice, sprinklers / mix ground roasted nuts for a decorative layering or keep them plain like I did.

Place the balls on a parchment paper and put them in the fridge.

You can also roll the dough into a small logs and cover them in marzipan and dip the ends in melted chocolate to make rum logs.

You can use cocoa powder and any fruit jam / honey / golden syrup/ corn syrup / for binding

Also,  you can use Brandy, Bourbon instead of dark rum but there is a reason these are called Rum Balls 🙂

Enjoy them fresh or freeze them for later use. The rum balls stay good for 10-15 days in fridge. That is if they aren’t gobbled up sooner than you can blink your eyes.

Hope some of you will try this and do not forget to let me know your experience. These rum balls are midway between the solid rum truffles and Christmas pudding. They are soft and moist. One can make the other variation just by adjusting the proportions. I prefer the melt in the mouth texture. 🙂

Happy Holidays.  

 

 

Drunk Coconut Macaroons

 

 

Recipe – Whole Wheat Banana Nut Bread In a Mug


Moist and delicious banana bread  infused with the flavor of sweet banana and the goodness of whole wheat and organic jaggery  is not just nutritious  but also simple to put together. It is also the best way to use the over ripe bananas unless of course you blend them into a smoothie. You do not need a fancy mix for this fluffy bread. I usually bake it in the oven but the idea of a single serve banana bread cake in a mug is super awesome and a must try.

One can use Finger Millet instead of wheat or even almond flour and voila! you have a gluten free banana bread. I used organic jaggery granules, a healthier option than refined sugar. Now, we all know the benefits of all these ingredients so I won’t go into that here. Don’t be shy to ask mother Google. 🙂

You can add your choice of nuts (walnuts pair best with bananas). I have used sun dried blackberries instead of raisins/sultanas in this recipe. Just a handful. Some people add chocolate chips too but I do not not like to mix the two strong flavours. I feel chocolate masks banana’s delicate flavor.

So let us fill the warmth of holiday cheer in the house and start making this wonder bread in a mug.  Yes, you can whip up this goodness in just a bowl or directly into the microwave safe mug.

 

Ingredients :

1 over ripe banana ( 3 full tablespoons of mashed banana approx)

3 tablespoon organic jaggery granules

3 tablespoon whole wheat flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 medium size egg

pure vanilla –  few drops

A pinch of salt

2 pinches of fresh cinnamon powder

choice of nuts/raisins/berries/chocolate chips etc (all optional)

Method :

Dry roast the flour on low heat till it gives a roasted aroma and the wheat turns light brown in color. ( this is optional step. You can use the wheat flour without roasting too but this step makes the bread more flavorful)

Mash an over ripe banana and dry roast the nuts you are using. Crush them a little.

Mix together , wheat flour, baking powder, cinnamon powder and salt in a bowl.

Add a lightly beaten egg, mashed banana, roasted crushed nuts, raisins/berries/sultanas, vanilla, jaggery and mix well with a fork or small whisk. Make sure that the jaggery melts. You can keep the mashed banana chunky or smooth as per your liking.

Now take a microwave safe mug and spray it with some cooking oil or just rub a little butter to grease the mug.

Spoon the batter into the mug and tap it gently on the counter. Add some roasted crushed walnuts and dried berries / raisins on top.

Place the mug on a saucer and into the microwave for 90 seconds. Keep the mug in the center of the microwave plate. You will see the bread rise as it bakes.

Check by inserting a tooth pick if the bread is done. If not give a few more seconds. The time may vary depending on the microwave and the mug you are using. It is tough to standardize these recipes.  you will get the hang of it. Don’t overcook. Check after a minute.

Be careful as the mug bread will be hot at the surface. Let it rest for a few seconds. I know it will be tough not to dig in as the aroma is truly tempting. 🙂

You can replace the jaggery with brown sugar or white sugar but the consistency may differ. Same with the use of flour.

Double the quantity if you want to share it with someone special.

 

Top it with sifted confectioner’s sugar, have it with a dollop of rich coffee ice cream or just enjoy the sweet banana infused wonder as it is.

Check out my other microwave mug cake recipes.

They are super quick and sumptuous.

Enjoy.

 

 

 

 

 

Devil’s Food Cake Layered With Sweet Cherry Sauce


A few days back I made the warm cherry sauce from a mixed bunch of black and ruby-red cherries. It was an instant hit with everyone. Over dollops of vanilla ice cream the sauce finished in no time but the longing lingered and to satiate that I decided to do a rich, moist Devil’s food Cake filled with cherry sauce. Cherries are plentiful in the market and I got myself a box at an affordable price.

I made two exceptions with this cake , one I did not do the luscious chocolate, or mocha frosting nor the vanilla buttercream frosting. I reserve frosting for occasions only. I love the basic flavour of dark chocolate and cherries on their own, unmasked by any other thing. So this was a tenderly delicious, sinful summer treat. As there wasn’t going to be any topping or frosting I left the top layer as it is. No smoothing or leveling. It was a double 8″ cake with cherry sauce filling between the two cakes. The very thought of it is making me drool. Let me have a bit as the picture loads. .. Be right back .

This is my recipe for warm cherry sauce. Make a generous amount. Use it lavishly.

To make the Devil’s Food Cake :

Ingredients –

All purpose flour / cake flour – 2 cups

Cocoa Powder – 1/2 Cup

Brown Sugar – 1/2 Cup ( Light or Dark)

Powdered Sugar – 1/2 Cup

Baking Soda- 1/2 teaspoon

Baking Powder – 1/2 teaspoon

Unsalted Butter –

Salt – 1/2 teaspoon

Pure Vanilla or extract – 1 teaspoon

Boiling Water – 1 cup

Eggs – 2

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Method –

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and butter the two cake tins. Sprinkle a little flour on the base and sides if you don’t have parchment paper. Keep aside.

In a bowl mix the cocoa and brown sugar. Add recently boiled water and stir it into a nice mixture. Keep aside.

Sieve together flour, baking powder and baking soda in a bowl.

In a mixing bowl, add butter and powdered sugar and cream them together with a hand mixer till fluffy.

Now at this point add vanilla and drop a whole egg into it. Beating it continuously. Quickly add a scoop of flour mixture and mix it properly so the flour gets incorporated nicely.

Add the other egg and mix. Add the rest of the dry ingredients and mix till the battler is smooth and nice. Now add the cocoa mixture slowly into the batter and gently let the mixer blend  in into a nice chocolaty dark fantasy. Don’t get distracted by the heavenly aroma. Make sure you get all the mixture from the bowl from a spatula. (You can also lick the remaining mixture with your fingers. I do. 🙂 )

Now the luscious cake batter is ready to go into cake tins. Pour it gently into the tins. About two third high. Leave some place for the cake to rise.

Place the tins in the pre heated oven and bake at 180 degrees Celcius for thirty minutes or till the toothpick comes out clean. ( I don’t have fancy cake testers etc. )

Once baked, take the tins out on  wire rack to cool. I usually leave the tins in the oven after switching it off for a little while ( say about 10 min) before removing.

Once perfectly cooled you can do two things. Either cut one of the cake horizontally with a serrated knife and do the filling in that. Leaving the other cake for some other filling or for just enjoying it with no added flavours Or take the slightly larger cake and smoothen its top with a knife. You can turn it upside down also but I scrapped the top off and put the crumbs in the saucepan in which cherrysauce was made, to clean it off.I ate it with vanilla ice cream.

Make the cherry sauce as given in the recipe in the link above. Keep aside to cool. (Keep an eye on the lurking devil’s trying to take a dip into the cake batter and the sauce. I had a young adult looking for every opportunity to gobble up stuff before it reached its final destination. ) 😀

Lavishly spread the cherry sauce on top of the cake. Spreading it from center to sides. Now place the other cake on top of it.

If you want to keep it in the fridge use a cling foil wrap to cover the cake properly so that it doesn’t become dry. You can bake the cake and frost it the next day. Keep the cake loosely covered in a plastic wrap. It can stay for 4-5 days like this if unlayered, layered cake will stay for a day or two nicely.

You can use black coffee instead of water.

Use any frosting of your choice.

You can also make one cake with cherry sauce and the remaining batter can be poured into muffin tins and you will have rice devilish cakes to carry with you or steal when midnight hunger pangs keep you awake.

The possibilities are endless. Have fun. 🙂

When serving, bring it out to room temperature and serve with generous helping of vanilla ice cream. You can grate some dark chocolate over the dollops of ice cream.

Hope you enjoy this heavenly Devil’s Food Cake with cherry sauce filling. 

Bon Appetit

Simple Baked Apple -Recipe


I love to cook with apples and winter brings a variety of apples from Golden and green to delicious red. Apart from eating them raw I bake a variety of dishes with them like apple crumble, apple pie etc.  Some other favorites are Apple chutney and apple jam.

On a daily basis apple stew or baked apples with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream are hot favorites.

Here is a simple recipe for baked apples with spices, dry fruits, brown sugar and all.

It a quick no nonsense recipe , tried and tested in my kitchen.

Ingredients:

Apples – 2 ( I use whichever variety is available. Here I have used Golden apples)

Brown sugar-  4 table spoon (firmly packed)

Dry Fruits for filling – raisins, walnuts, dried apricots, sultanas, almond shavings

Nutmeg powder-  2 pinches

Cinnamon powder – 2 pinches

Warm water -(enough to cover the bottom of dish

Butter- I dollop for each apple

Dark rum or Whiskey- 2 table spoon (optional)

Method:

Wash and core the apples with the help of  apple corer  or with the help of knife. remove the seeds and keep the hollow approximately 1/2 to 1 inch wide. Remove the top peel for about an inch.

(Select apples which ae firm and ripe with no damage to the skin and no brown spots)

Mix all the crushed nuts , brown sugar, nutmeg powder and cinnamon powder in a bowl .

Once the filling is ready, stuff the hollow of apple with the mixture tightly and slowly pour a little whiskey or dark rum over it.

Preheat the oven to 375 degree Fahrenheit.

Prepare an oven proof dish and line the stuffed apples in it.

Top the apples with a dollop of butter and add a little warm water just enough to cover the base of the apples.

I sprinkle some brown sugar and nutmeg/ cinnamon powder mix  in it.

Place the dish in the oven and bake for 30-40 min or till the apples become tender.

Remove once done and serve in a plate with vanilla ice cream on side

This is what it will look when sliced half . If you like it a bit sweet add maple syrup or honey as per your liking.

Enjoy and let me know your experience with this delicious recipe.

BON APPETIT

No Frill Oven Baked Bread Pudding


Last few days my Laptop was in ICU 😀  and I was having withdrawal symptoms . The boys suggested baking and I decided to make a quick bread pudding.

This  is a very simple yet delicious pudding that can be eaten hot or cold as desired. A fabulous fragrance of nutmeg and raisins  and the aroma that fills your senses while it is cooking  is killing……hmmmm no wonder it is a hot favorite with us all.

I do not trim the edges but those  who don’t like them can trim the slices of bread and cut them in triangles or smaller squares.

Ingredients :

Bread slices – 8

Margarine or butter -30 grams

Full cream milk – 1 cup

Eggs – 2 large

Milkmaid or any condensed sweet milk – 1/2 tin ( 200 grams)

Nutmeg – 1 pinch

Raisins  – 1/2 cup ( coated in flour or they will burn )

Method :

Start by trimming the edges of the bread  or if you like them then just cut the bread in triangular pieces and butter them slightly on both sides.

Arrange the slices in a layer in an oven proof dish 8′ x 6″ is good enough.

Beat the eggs and blend together with milk, condensed milk and nutmeg.

Pour the mixture on the arranged slices of bread .

let the mixture get soaked properly. keep for five minutes  and then bake in moderately hot oven ( 160 degrees)  for 30 to 40 minutes or till the top becomes golden brown .

take out and if you can turn it over  do that and put it again for five to ten minutes for that extra golden glow on the other side  but if  you have impatient boys with bottomless pits as tummies then it will look like this after removing from oven 😀

Before I knew the pudding was out  in a box and brutally attacked . leaving behind something which resembled nothing that I know

This tastes wonderful and I am sure you will enjoy making it  as much as my kids enjoyed eating it ;D

Have fun . 😀 😀