Sunday, November 15, 2009

Low Fat Chocolate Marble Bundt Cake



Today November 15th is the National Bundt cake day and I made a Chocolate marble bundt cake to celebrate it. This recipe is adapted from Alice Medrich's Chocolate & the Art of Low Fat Dessert's.The cake was very moist & chocolaty. I have made this cake many times & its one of my favorite.

Chocolate Marble Cake
(adapted from Alice Medrich's Chocolate and The Art of Low Fat Desserts)

2 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon instant espresso or coffee powder
1/3 cup dutch-process cocoa powder
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 whole egg
1 egg white
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup nonfat yogurt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Method:

Have all ingredients at room temperature. Preheat the oven to 350F. Prepare the pan. Combine the flour with baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Sift together. Set aside.

In a small bowl, combine espresso powder, cocoa, and 1/3 cup of the sugar with 1/4 cup water. Whisk until smooth. Set aside.

In another small bowl, whisk whole egg with egg white. Set aside.

Cut the butter into pieces and place in an electric mixer bowl. Beat for about 1 minute to soften. Gradually add remaining 1 cup of sugar and beat at high speed for about 3 minutes. Dribble eggs in slowly, about 1 tablespoon at a time, beating constantly for about 2 minutes. On low speed, beat in a third of the flour mixture. On medium-high speed, beat in half of the yogurt. On low speed, beat in half of the remaining flour. On high speed, beat in the rest of the yogurt and the vanilla. On low speed, beat in the remaining flour.

Measure out 1-1/2 cups of yogurt batter and mix into the cocoa mixture; set aside.

Use a large spoon to fill the bottom of the pan with about three quarters of the white batter placed in dollops. Cover the white batter with dollops of chocolate batter. Top the chocolate batter with small dollops of white batter spread so that the chocolate batter shows through. Use a table knife to marble the batters together with a circular or zigzag motion; be careful not to blend them too much.

Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until cake begins to pull away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake in several places comes out clean. Cool for 10 to 15 minutes on a rack. Unmold the cake. Cool completely before serving or storing.


Sunday, November 8, 2009

Halloween Cake



I made this cake last week for halloween. I know its late but better late than never. It is a vanilla cake covered with buttercream. The top layer is covered with powdered oreo cookies and the skeleton is made with royal icing.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Khaman Dhokla for Indian cooking Challenge


I had been on a blogging break for more than an year now and finally decided to get back. This month's recipe for Indian Cooking Challenge was Khaman Dhokla. Khaman Dhokla is a popular Gujarati snack made by steaming fermented chickpea batter. I followed Srivalli's recipe & the dhokla's came out perfectly. They came out very soft & fluffy.




Ingredients:

For Batter:

Bengal Gram flour / Besan - 250 gms (1 & 1/2 cup)
Curd - 1/2 cup (not very sour)
Water - 1/2 cup
Cooking Soda - 1/2 tsp

For seasoning to be mixed to the batter (to be added just before cooking)
Oil - 1 tbsp
Turmeric a pinch
Green Chili paste - 1 or 2 (as per taste)
Sugar - 1 tsp
Citric acid - quarter tsp or Lemon juice - 2 tsp

Eno - 1 packet(5gms/1tsp) (green colour fruit lime) + sprinkle or dust few bits on the plate

For tempering:


Sesame seeds
Mustard Seeds
Curry leaves
Grated coconut
Coriander leaves

Little water + Oil to be topped on dhoklas

Method :

  • Mix first 1/2 cup curds with 1/2 water. To this add the besan and mix well to get a lump less batter, the consistency should be of idli batter, more of dropping not pouring consistency. Slowly add more water if needed else, add the soda. Keep it aside to rise for 1 hour.
  • If you are using a pressure cooker, fill the pan with water, place a plate over which you will have use a plate for steaming the dhoklas. Thali plate can be used for steaming
  • To the batter mix in the citric acid, oil, salt, sugar, green chili paste and turmeric powder. Mix well. This has to be done just before pouring to the plate.
  • Meanwhile have the pan on stove, and let the water start boiling. When the water reaches the rolling stage, you can mix the eno to the batter (Save little of eno for dusting on the plate), mix gently, you will see bubbles coming out.
  • Dust or sprinkle the plate with eno. Then immediately pour the batter to the plate. Place the plate carefully inside the pressure pan and cover with lid. You need not use the whistle. After covering you will find steam coming out of the outlet, simmer and don't disturb for almost 5 -7 minutes.
  • After 5 -7 minutes, remove the lid and proof it using toothpick or knife. If the knife comes out clean and does not have any batter sticking, then its done. Cover back and let it remain on flame for 1 min and switch off the gas and allow it for 5 minutes.
  • In a bowl, mix 3 tsp of water along with a tsp of oil
  • Remove the plate from the pan, pour the water and oil mix over the top.
  • For seasoning, heat a pan with oil, add curry leaves, sesame seeds, mustard seeds and finely chopped green chilies. When mustard starts popping, remove and pour over the dhokla.
  • The batter should be filled to only 1/2 as it will rise up. After adding eno the batter should not rest. Amount of sugar can be increased on preference.
  • If you want perfect shaped ones and not the crumbly squares, cut and handle gently.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Two Bittergourd dishes


Bittergourd Fry with Besan (Chickpea flour)

Bittergourd is one of my favourite vegetable. This is a simple and easy bittergourd fry . The addition of besan reduces the bitterness of the bittergourds. I learnt this recipe from my mom.


Ingredients:

2 medium sized bittergourds
1/3 cup besan powder (chickpea flour)
3/4 tsp chili powder
Pinch of turmeric
Salt to taste
Water as needed


Method:

  • Cut the bittergourd into 2 pieces length wise, deseed and slice them thinly.
  • Make a thick paste by combining besan, chilli powder, turmeric and salt.
  • Heat some oil in a pan and stir fry the sliced bittergourds untill they are slightly browned.
  • Now add the basan paste and stir untill it is cooked or for about 6-8 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and serve.

Spicy Bittergourd Curry

This is another bittergourd recipe made very often in my house. This is a spicy bittergourd curry which is not so bitter. It is slightly sweet and tangy and serves as a great side dish with rice.


Ingredients:

2 medium sized bittergourd(2 cups)
2 green chillies finely chopped
1 tsp chili powder
Pinch of turmeric
1/2 tsp of tamarind paste
1 tbsp sugar or more if needed
1 sprig curry leaves
1 dried red chilli
1/4 tsp Mustard seeds
Salt to taste
3/4 cup of water(more if needed)

Method:
  • Cut the bitergurd into 2 pieces lengthwise, deseed them and slice them thinly.
  • Heat some oil in a pan, add dried red chillies and mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds splutter add curry leaves. Now add the bittergourd and green chillies and fry untill they are slightly browned.
  • Now add turmeric and chilli powder and fry for a minute.
  • Now add water, tamarind paste, salt and allow the mixture to boil.
  • Remove from heat and stir in the sugar. Serve with rice.(Note: Adjust the chilli powder and sugar according to your taste.)
I am sending these to VOW-Bittergourd hosted by Pooja of My Creative Idea's.


Thursday, April 3, 2008

Tiramisu

Tiramisu is a famous Italian dessert. It consists of ladyfingers or savoiardi biscuits dipped in coffee and layered with creamy mascrapone cheese. They have been on my list for quite a longtime and last week I finally made these. I made these in individual bowls instead of a single dish, as it would be easier to serve. This recipe does not use any eggs for the filling. The filling is made using a mixture of mascrapone, cream cheese, sugar and coffee.




Ingredients:

3/4 cup of Expresso
3 tbsp Kahlua (coffee flavoured liquer)
1 block of cream cheese (8 ounce)
1 1/2 cups of mascrapone cheese (6 ounce)
1/2 cup + 1 tbsp granulated sugar
20-24 Italian ladyfingers (Savoiardi biscuits)
2 tsp of Cocoa powder or chocalate shavings for garnishing



Method:

  • In a small shallow dish , mix expresso and Kahlua coffee liqueur.
  • In a large bowl, combine cream cheese and mascrapone cheese, beat at medium speed untill smooth. Add sugar and 3 tbsp of expresso-coffee liquer mix and beat at medium speed untill well blended. (Note: I used fat-free cream cheese)
  • Dip each ladyfingers in the expresso kahlua mixture , only for aboout 5 seconds. If they are placed in the mixture for a long time they will fall apart. Place the soaked ladyfinger on the bottom of the dessert cups or glasses, breaking them if needed in order to fit to the bottom.
  • Spread about 3 tbsp of cheese mixture over the ladyfingers. Place another layer of soaked ladyfingers and top it with some cheese mixture. Fill the remaining cups in the same way. (Note: Instead of making individual tiramisu's you can arrange the ladyfinger and cheese mixture in a 8-inch square baking tray .)
  • Cover the cups with plastic wraps and refrigerate for a minimum of 5 hours. I refrigerated it overnight.
  • Sprinkle cocoa powder on top before serving. This recipe yields about 8 servings.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Cham-Chams


Cham-Cham is a delicious Bengali sweet. I never knew of these untill recently. When RCI-Bengal was announced i decided to make these.

Ingredients:

Half Gallon Milk
3 tbsp lemon juice
Pinch of food colour
1 1/2 cups of sugar
4 cups of water
1 tsp of rose water
Whipped Cream and dried nuts for garninshing (optional)

Method:
  • Bring milk to boil over medium heat. Stir often to prevent burning. When milk starts to boil add the lemon juice and mix well. Now the milk will start to curdle and the curd will seperate from the milk. At this point, turn off the heat and allow the milk to sit for 10 minutes.
  • Strain it in a cheesecloth and wash it under running water to remove all the lemon juice. Hang the cheese cloth in the sink or place it in the colander for one hour so that all the water drains off.
  • When all the water is drained off place the paneer in a bowl, add the food colour and knead it untill the paneer becomes very smooth. The paneer should be very smooth for making cham-chams. (If the paneer is very dry you can add few drops of water and if there is more water you can add little bit of all purpose flour. I added pink food colour to half of the mixture.)
  • Divide the dough into small equal sized balls and roll them between your palms such that there are no cracks on them. Now roll the balls into an oval and flatten them a bit.
  • Mix the water and sugar in a pan on medium heat and bring the mixture to boil. The pan should be large enough to hold all the cham-chams as they will almost double in size.
  • When the sugar syrup boils add all the paneer rolls to the syrup and cover the pan. Cook for 10 minutes on medium to high heat. Now turn off the heat and wait for 5 minutes before opening the lid. Allow the cham-chams to cool in the pan. The cham-chams will be very delicate now.
  • When cooled, add the rose water and refrigerate it atleast for 6-8 hours. It tastes better if you refrigerate it for a day.
  • When they are chilled fully, remove them from the sugar syrup. You can garnish these with whipped cream ,dried nuts or cherries. I garnished mine with a few almond slices.


I am sending these to RCI-Bengal hosted by Sandeepa of Bong Mom's Cookbook. I am also sending the above picture ( 2nd one) to Click-Metal hosted by Jai & Bee of Jugalbandi.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Chocolate Orange Cupcakes

It had been been a long time since i made something choclatey and i decided to make chocolate cupcakes. While making the cupcakes i substituted orange juice for milk and added some orange zest. The result were these spongy and delicious Chocolate Orange cupcakes. I frosted the cupcakes with some chocolate buttercream.

Ingredients:

For Cupcakes:
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs at room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup orange juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp orange zest


For chocolate Buttercream:
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup cocoa powder
2 cups confectioner's sugar
3 tbsp of whipping cream(more if needed)

Method:
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degree Farenheit. Line the muffin cups with paper liners.
  • Sift together cake flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cocoa powder, set aside.
  • Beat the eggs, sugar and oil untill the sugar is well blended. Now beat in orange juice, vanilla extract and orange zest untill well combined.
  • Gradually beat in the dry ingredients untill the batter is evenly mixed.
  • Fill the muffin cups 3/4 full with batter.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes or untill a toothpick inserted at center comes out clean.
  • Transfer the cupcakes to wire racks and cool completely.

Chocolate Buttercream:

  • Beat butter on high speed untill soft.
  • Add cocoa powder and half the sugar and beat untill blended well.
  • Now add the remaining sugar along with 1 tbsp of cream and beat untill well blended.
  • Add the remaining cream and beat on high for 3-4 minutes. (Note: You can make the consistency of the butercream more stiff or thin by adjusting the amount of cream. You can even ad some orange zest to the buttercream)

Frost the cupcakes with the buttercream. This recipe makes about 16 cupcakes.