Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Vegan Orange and Pineapple Cake with (non-diary) Cream frosting

The final post under the theme Vegan/Gluten-free/Paleo genre is this pretty pineapple and orange cake. This cake was originally made for the Bake-a-thon, the baking marathon we did in December 2018. But unfortunately i couldnt do the last day post and it was this cake. Though i baked the cake 2 days earlier, i couldn't take proper pictures of the cake that time. Thankfully, since i had them in the drafts, i m posting it today. Actually all of my posts this week are from my drafts. 
Today's cake is full of flavors, every bite bursting with pineapples and sweet oranges. This was one of most appreciated flavors at home. My hubby always  love my bakes, so, it is my kids feedback, i take seriously. My elder one loved the flavor combination, the younger one as usual didnt want pineapple pieces in his cake. So he left them all out and enjoyed the sponge and the cream.  I wanted to frosting to look like a tropical themed cake with yellow and spots of green here and there, I tried my best to present that theme. 
1.5 cups of whole wheat flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
300 ml orange juice
1 tinned pineapple chunks (i used libby's 570grams tin)
1/2 cup oil
1 tsp orange zest

  • Preheat the oven to 170C. Grease two 5 inch pans and lay them with parchment.
  • In a wide bowl, sift together whole wheat flour, baking powder and baking soda. Add sugar to this and whisk well.
  • Drain the pineapple chunks and reserve the sugar syrup, we can use it to soak the sponge if you are frosting this cake.
  • Add 3/4 of the pineapple chunks into the flour-sugar mix and mix well. By adding the chunks to flour mix, we evenly distribute the fruit in the cake.
  • In another large bowl, take orange juice, add oil and zest to this and whisk well into a smooth liquid. I used to my electric whisk to do this.
  • To this liquid add the flour-mix in three batches and mix using a spatuala. Take care not mix vigorouosly. See to that you don't leave any white flour traces. 
  • Divide the batter amongst the two cake pans. Tap the cake pans twice or thrice on the counter to release air bubbles. Bake the cake in the preheated oven for 45-50 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center of the cake, comes out clean.
  • Remove the cake from the oven, let it sit for 5 minutes, then slowly remove the cake from pan and let it sit on the wire rack and cool completely.
  • Now if you are not planning to frost the cake, slice when it is warm and serve. Since i was planning to frost the cake, i let it cool completely on the wire rack, wrapped in plastic wrap and returned it to the refrigerator.
For the Frosting200ml non-diary whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup icing sugar
2-3 drops of Gel food colors Forest green and lemon yellow

  • Take the whipping cream in a large bowl, add icing sugar and anilla extract and using a electric beater, beat for 6-8 minutes until stiff peaks forms. I usually make my cream at the last minute, just before frosting my cake. 
  • Once done, keep the whipped cream in the refrigerator until you get your cakes ready on the table for frosting.
Filling and Frosting the cake
  • Remove the cake from the refrigerator. If the top is uneven or crusty, torte the top. Remember we reserved the syrup from the pineapple tin, keep it ready by the side.
  • In a cake board or a flat plate, put a blob of cream in the center, this will hold the cake in place while we fill and frost them.
  • Spread half of the sugar solution on top of the sponge, this keeps the cake soft. Add a thick layer of frosting on top. Spread it to cover the entire cake surface, do not forget the edges.
  • Now stack the second cake on top of this with its bottom facing the top. Spread the sugar solution on top of the cake.
  • Now add a thick layer of frosting on top and crumb coat the sides. Place the cake in the refrigerator for 10 minutes for the crumb coat to set.
  • Now divide the rest of the cream into two portions, add green color to one and yellow to another. Fill the cream in two separate piping bags and keep in the fridge until you use them.
  • After 10 minutes remove the cake and the piping bags from the fridge, Snipe the end of the piping bag,  pipe the yellow first, then pipe the green here and there around the cake. Once you finish the sides, smoothen it with a offset spatula dipped in warm water. Once you are done with the sides, Pipe the cream on the top, alternating green and yellow and smoothen using the offset spatuala.
  • Let the cake sit in the refrigerator for atleast 10 minutes for the frosting to set. If the cake is refrigerated for more time, remember to take it out atleast an hour or two before you slice and enjoy.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Capsicum and potato Cashew masala

The beets paratha which i posted yesterday where paired with this yumm capsicum and potato cashew masala. We at home love potatoes, i bet most of the human kind love potatoes, the rest who hate them should be classified as aliens living amongst us. 
Seriously, if you hate potatoes then you must have never tasted anything delicious with them, that is why the hate. At home, we eat potatoes in every form, as curry, as bread, in breads, boiled, fried, smashed, smeared, with chili, with pepper, with jeera, as jhol, as a dry curry, with ras, without ras but crisp and crunch, this list can go endless. 
This curry with capsicum and cashewnut is another delicious way we enjoy our potatoes. The midly spiced, semi gravy with tender potatoes, and perfectly sauteed capsicums tastes out of the world. Pair it with rotis or with rice, you are going to make them again and again in your kitchen.
1 Large Potato or 2 medium sized potatoes, peeled, chopped into cubes and parboiled
2 now capsicums, medium sized, cut into cubes
1/2 tsp red chili powder
1/2 tsp freshly pouded coriander powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp garam masala powder
1/2 tsp salt

To be Sauteed  and Ground to a paste
1 tsp oil (These days i use coconut oil to my cooking, feel free to use any oil of your choice)
1 large onion, roughly chopped
2 tomatoes ( medium sized tomatoes), roughly chopped
1 green chili
2 cloves of garlic
5-8 nos cashews ( i added 6)
1/4-1/2 cup of water

  • Prepare all the veggies, wash them and chop accordigly. Wash, peel and cube the potatoes and parboil them. This step is absolutely optional, i have tried both ways of parboiling prior and cooking directly in the liquid. The former might reduce the time a bit, but taste-wise it is the same.Go ahead and use the method that suits you best. 
  • In a pan, add oil, when it is hot add roughly chopped onions, garlic and green chili. Saute until onions are translucent. Next add chopped tomates and saute. Let the tomtoes lose their shape, it might take around 2-3 minutes, add the cashewnuts to this, add 1/4 cup of water, cover and cook for 2-3 minutes. Take it off the stove and let it cool for 5 minutes.
  • I usually use my stick blender for blending masala paste for my curries. So i dont mind when it is hot. If you are using your normal blender, kindly let the ingredients cool well or else you might end splattering hot liquid all over you.
  • Add 1/4 cup of water to the onion-tomato mix and blend it to soupy consistency. Once done, keep aside.
  • Now in the same pan, add another tsp of oil, add cumin and chopped capsicums to it and saute for 2-3 minutes. Next add the parboiled/raw potatoes to this and saute for a minute. Add turmeric to this and mix well. 
  • Now add the blended onion & tomato cashew liquid to this. Add red chili powder, coriander powder and salt. Mix well. 
  • If potatoes are parboiled :let the curry cook without covering for 8-10 minutes. Once done, finally add the garam masala and let it sit for 2 more minutes in heat. 
  • If the potatoes are not parboiled : Cover and cook for 8 minutes and let the potatoes cook well, then uncover and cook for another 5-8 minutes.
  • I served them with beets paratha for my kids lunch.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Beetroot Paratha/Beets Chapathi/Beets Roti

After a break i m back with our Blogging marathon group and i chose to post Vegan/GF/Paleo recipes for this week. In this genre, i m posting a vegan recipe today, a simple paratha made with colorful beets. Beets is our vegetable. Beets rasam and beets chutney being our favorite. 
Now this beets paratha too joined that favorite list. I was a little skeptical whether my little one would like it, but to my surprise he loved the mildly spiced paratha, his favorite side for this is plain curd, whereas my elder one enjoys with a spicy side too. 

1&1/4 cup - 1&1/2 cup Whole Wheat flour
salt to taste
1 tbsp of oil
1/3 cup - 1/2 cup warm water
To grind to a coarse paste
80 grams of beets. peeled and cooked until soft.
1/2 a green chili
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1 or 2 tbsp of water to ease grinding
  • In a food processor or a chopped, take cooked beets,add green chili and cumin seeds to it and blitz away. I prefer almost smooth mix.
  • If you are doing in a food processor then you can add wheat flour to the processor and continue kneading the dough.
  • If not, remove the ground beets to a bowl, add flour and salt to it and mix. To this slowly add 1/4 cup of water first and knead and add extra water when you need.
  • When the dough is almost done, add oil to it and knead to a smooth dough and let it rest for 10 minutes.
  • Once rested, divide the dough to 4-6 portions, depending on the size you roll. Dust each dough ball with flour, roll out into thin discs, cook on a hot tava on both sides until done. I usually smear ghee once the roti is cooked. 
  • Keep the roti covered in a kitchen cloth until served. I packed these colorful roti's for my kids breakfast box along with Potato and capsicum masala.

Saturday, February 09, 2019

Gulkand Coconut Ladoos - Quick bites made with Coconut,Condensed milk and Gulkand/Rose petal jam

Hello dearies, long time no see! yeah, i took relaxed break from my blogging, but i was active in insta and FB. More on insta actually. I read somewhere in FB that goes 
"I have decided to start my 2019 from February 1st, January is my trial month!"
With regard to blogging, i followed the above quote. Anyways, can't keep the place silent too long, isn't?  Thank you for all those who visited, even though there was not much happening in this space. Now, let us go today's recipe.
With Valentine's day around the corner, i thought why not posts some simple dishes that can be made in a jiffy to impress your loved ones. This coconut ladoos, flavored with gulkand and roohafza syrup is a hit amongst my friends. I made around 2-3 dozen of this and the Mango Ladoos for Diwali. The mango ladoos were quite famous with kids and the gulkand with the adults. 
I made these again for our Christmas get together along with the fruit cake. These Gulkand ladoos are quite a treat for ourselves and a great edible gift. If you are someone like me, who always feel that edible gifts hold that personal touch, then this ladoo should definitely be in your list. It hardly takes anytime, quick to make, a treat to look and as well as taste. Do try and let me know how you liked it.

2 cups dessicated coconut + 2 tbsp for rolling the ladoos
1 tin condensed milk
3 tbsp gulkand/Rose petal jam
1-2 tsp roofafza syrup
2-3 pod of cardaom, crushed 

  • Heat a wide pan, measure 1 tbsp ghee, add the coconut to it and roast until the raw smell dissappears. You dont have to roast it until golden brown. Toast it for 2-3 minutes in a medium flame.
  • To this now condensed milk and pounded cardamom. Keep the flame medium and stir the mixture frequently.
  • Once the mixture comes together as a mass, add gulkand and roohafza syrup and stir well. Take it off the stove and let it cool. Once it comes down and is warm to touch, divide the mixture into small balls and roll it in your palms. 
  • Roll the ladoos, on dessicated coconut and set aside. Rolling in dessicated coconut is optional, but gives a nice look to the ladoos.
  • Store them in an air-tight box in the refrigerator, i didnt want to keep them outside as it is made of coconut.

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Eggless Strawberry chocolate chip muffins

How come i not make a strawberry cake when it is in season! Every week when we go for vegetable shopping, these fresh berries, scream at us, asking us to pick few boxes home. My lil one loves the fresh jam i make with these berries. For that matter, this jam is very popular amongst our friends, last year i remember gifting them to many of them. 
This year the first batch i made, i gave it to my non-strawberry loving friend, who loved the jam, she took some lolo buns too with them, and she messaged me saying that she loved the combination. This is the second batch of jam i made and used it all up in this cake. 
The recipe is adapted from my Mango cake recipe, I just replaced the mango puree with strawberry jam. One can also use fresh strawberry puree in the recipe, if using fresh puree, kindly increase the sugar to 3/4 cup. Since the jam contains enough sugar, i have added only 1/4 cup of sugar to the muffins.
This recipe can be baked as a cake too, i baked a little batter in a bigger heart-shaped ramekin, the texture was pretty good, except it takes a lil longer time than the muffins. 
Enjoy these muffins bursting with fresh seasonal flavors for your breakfast or snack, these are great finger food for travels. If you love strawberry cakes, do check my Vegan strawberry mocha cake, Strawberry white chocolate cake, Strawberry cake with fresh strawberries
1.5 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup sugar (see notes)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup homemade strawberry jam/fresh strawberry puree  (See notes)
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • Preheat the oven to 180C. Line 12-hole muffin pan with liners. I got around 12 usual muffins and baked one in a slightly bigger heart-shaped ramekin. if you want to bake it all muffinss then you might get 14 normal ones.
  • Take the strawberry jam in a wide bowl, add milk to it and whisk it smooth. Pass this mixture through a sieve, to remove the seeds of the strawberries. If you and your people at home, don't mind that crunchy texture of seeds in the muffins, then you can skip straining. My kids have micro sensors in their mouth, which can go 'beeeeeeppp" when they sense something unusual in their bakes. So i strained the liquid.
  • Now to this strawberry milk, add oil and whisk smooth. In another bowl, sieve together, flour, baking powder and baking soda. To this flour mix add chocolate chips and mix. 
  • Now slowly add the dry mix in to the wet mix in 3 batches. Using a spatuala mix it in. Take care not to mix vigourously, mix in single direction. 
  • Now using an ice-cream scoop, fill each hole of the muffin pan with the prepared batter. I used my small ladle. 
  • Bake the muffins in the preheated oven for  20-25 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  • Once done, remove the muffin pan from the oven,  remove the muffins onto a wire rack, let it cool completely. Enjoy the muffins warm along with  your evening coffee or tea.

  • I have used my homemade strawberry jam, which already has enough sugar, so i have used only 1/4 cup sugar in this recipe.
  • If you are going to use fresh strawberry puree, kindly use 3/4 cup of sugar for the muffins. 

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