Pumpkin Walnut Cake

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It is amazing how everyone has such lovely stories to share when they bake. But sometimes (well in my case almost every time), you just bake because you want to. Especially because there is something you are just dying to try out or mostly, because you have just the right stuff in your fridge and pantry. And sometimes, it just turns out perfect! This is the story of my pumpkin walnut cake. I made it because I just did. It is dense, moist and just scrumptious.

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For the cake:

  • Butter: 250 gms.
  • Flour: 200 gms.
  • Cornmeal: 150 gms.
  • Pumpkin puree: 400 gms.
  • Sugar: 350 gms.
  • Salt: 1 teaspoon
  • Baking powder: 1 ½ teaspoon
  • Eggs: 2
  • Vanilla extract: 1 teaspoon
  • Cinnamon powder: 2 tablespoon
  • Walnuts (chopped): 100 gms.
  • Milk: ½ cup
  • Quark /mascarpone: 200 gms.
  • Caster sugar: 100 gms.

For the ganache frosting:

  • Dark chocolate (70%): 200 gms.
  • Cream: 200 ml.

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Cake:

Preheat the oven to 150 degrees Celsius.

Line a 9 inch square baking dish with parchment paper.

Sieve the flour, cornmeal, salt, baking powder and cinnamon powder in a bowl and set aside.

In a food processor, beat the butter and sugar until pale and creamy (about 8-10 minutes).

Add the eggs, one at a time and incorporate well.

Mix in the milk, followed by the pumpkin puree and vanilla extract and incorporate.

Add the sieved dry ingredients, about half a cup at a time, and mix well.

Fold in the walnuts in the batter.

In a separate bowl, mix the quark/mascarpone and sugar until smooth.

Gently pour the batter in the bowl and smooth the top with a spatula.

Pour the cheese on top.

Bake for 35-40 minutes.

Remove from the baking dish and cool completely.

Ganache:

Break the chocolate in to small pieces.

Over low heat in a saucepan, heat the cream, making sure that it does not boil.

Remove from heat, add chocolate and mix with a whisk until smooth.

Cool to room temperature.

Pour the ganache on top of the cooled cake and smoothen the top.

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Voila!!

Chocolate Cupcakes with Nutella Frosting

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I have been super lazy for the last couple of months. It has been crazy cold in Delhi this winter, and all I can think about is slipping under the blanket with a hot cup of tea. Don’t get me wrong, I have been cooking and baking, just haven’t been writing about it!

My friend just celebrated her 30th birthday, and I wanted to bake something special for her big day. These cupcakes were just perfect, because after all, chocolate is her favourite! These super-moist gooey cupcakes were devoured at a pretty decent speed, and I was happy to see them go!

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You will need:

For the cupcakes:

  • Caster sugar: 1 cup
  • Plain yoghurt: 1 cup
  • Vegetable oil: ½ cup
  • Eggs: 2
  • Flour: 1 ½ cup
  • Cocoa: ½ cup
  • Baking powder: 1 teaspoon
  • Crushed peanuts: For sprinkling on top (optional)
  • Chocolate syrup (optional)

For the Nutella buttercream:

  • Nutella: 300 gms.
  • Butter: 150 gms.

For the cupcakes:

Preheat the oven to 150 degrees Celsius.

Line a regular 12 cupcake tin with cupcake liners.

In a large bowl, sieve the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder together.

In a food processor or a large mixing bowl, whisk the oil and sugar together until creamy (about 5 – 10 minutes).

Whisk in the yoghurt until smooth and add the eggs, one at a time, while continuously whisking, until pale and smooth.

Add the sieved dry ingredients from the third step, about half a cup at a time, and mix in, until smooth.

Fill the cupcake liners halfway with the mix.

Bake for 20 – 25 minutes.

Cool to room temperature, on a wire rack.

Makes about 12.

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For the Nutella buttercream:

Ensure that the Nutella and butter are at room temperature.

In a food processor or a large mixing bowl, whip the Nutella and butter until smooth.

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To decorate:

Use piping bag with a large star nozzle to ice the cupcakes.

Top with some chocolate syrup and peanuts, if using.

Orange Cake

 

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So I woke up yesterday, went to kitchen, made breakfast and got baking! I think I may have dreamt of orange cake, or at least cake in some form. All the healthy breakfast eating was killing me. Don’t get me wrong, I love eating healthy, but everyone needs some heavy calories once in a while right? Also, oranges are healthy, right?!!

This is a super easy and super moist cake, and smells heavenly! A good tea cake, midnight snack cake…errmmm.., well, frankly, anytime cake!

  • Flour: 2 cups
  • Caster sugar: 1 and ½ cups
  • Oranges: 2
  • Yoghurt (unsweetened): 1 cup
  • Oil: 1 cup (I used rice bran)
  • Orange essence: few drops (optional)
  • Baking powder: 1 tablespoon
  • Salt: ½ teaspoon

For the glaze:

  • Orange juice: 1/3 cup
  • Icing sugar: 1/3 cup
  • Pouring cream: 1/3 cup (I used 20% fat cream)
  • Candied orange peel to decorate (optional)

Preheat the oven to 175 degrees Celsius.

Line a 9 inch round cake tin with parchment paper.

Using a zester, remove the zest from one orange and keep aside.

Peel and pit the oranges.

In a food processor, process the oranges and the yoghurt together for about 1 minute and keep aside.

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together.

In a large mixing bowl, mix the sugar and sifted flour, baking powder and salt, and make a well in the middle.

Add the oil, blitzed, yoghurt and orange, orange essence and orange zest to the dry ingredients and whisk for about two minutes.

Pour into the prepared pan.

Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Invert carefully on a wire rack and cool.

To make the glaze, add the orange juice, icing sugar and cream to a bowl and whisk for about two minutes.

If any lumps of sugar remain, pass it through a sieve.

Pour over cooled cake.

Decorate with candied peel if you like.

Eat!

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Spiced Cranberry Upside Down Cake

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Last week my parents were in town and as luck would have it, I had a crazy busy week at work as well! I managed to rustle up a couple of things for them in a hurry, no time for any elaborate fancy stuff.

My mom got some dried cranberries from Calcutta (I can’t seem to find any here, and I have never spotted fresh cranberries in India!) and they are pretty great! I used them for this cake and it was quite delish! This cake was super moist and the cranberry just made it better!

You will need:

For the cranberries:

  • Dried cranberries: 200 gms.
  • Water: 2 cups
  • Sugar: ½ cup + 2 tablespoons
  • Bay leaf: 1
  • Mace:  2 whole blades
  • Ginger: 1 inch cube

 For the cake:

  • Flour: 2 cups
  • Sugar (granulated): 1 cup
  • Oil (canola/sunflower/rice bran): 1 cup
  • Milk: 1 cup
  • Vanilla essence: few drops
  • Baking powder: 1 ½ teaspoons
  • Eggs: 2
  • Salt: ½ teaspoon
  • Butter for greasing
  • Grated white chocolate (optional): 1 tablespoon

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Chop the ginger into small pieces.

Grease a round springform pan well with butter and keep aside.

In heavy bottomed saucepan, add the dried cranberries, sugar water, bay leaf and mace (broken into small pieces) and ginger.

Bring to a boil and let is simmer on medium heat for 20 minutes. Keep aside.

Sift the flour, salt and the baking powder together and keep aside.

In a food processor, add the sugar, oil and eggs and mix until well combined.

Add half the flour and half the milk and combine well. Add the remaining flour, milk and vanilla essence and mix into the batter.

Pour the prepared cranberry into cake pan first and next, gently pour the batter into the pan.

Bake for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Let it cool and carefully invert onto a plate.

Sprinkle with grated white chocolate if using.

Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream!

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Cape Gooseberry Cake with White Chocolate Ganache

Cape Gooseberry Cake with White Chocolate GanacheMy husband and I are both great dog lovers. Sadly, can’t keep one since we both have long working hours and keeping a dog at home alone for most of the day seems just cruel. One of our friends has a very adorable golden lab and the only way to get him to visit is to promise our friend a good meal! So last Saturday we planned a party of mostly fellow dog lovers (with a pretty elaborate meal and this cake), mainly for some cuddles.

Here is a picture of him. Cute isn’t he?

RogerI love cape gooseberry and they are pretty abundantly available in the local markets. I was just in the mood for a slightly tart and fruity cake and wanted to really see how chocolate and cape gooseberry would go together. This turned out pretty good and super moist and totally yum! I even had people lick the ganache saucepan clean (shameless).

Cape Gooseberries

You will need:

  • Butter: 100 gm
  • Caster sugar: 1 cup
  • Eggs: 2
  • Milk: 1 cup
  • Flour: 1 1/2 cup
  • Baking powder: 1 teaspoon
  • Vanilla essence: few drops
  • Cape gooseberry (halved): 1 cup

 For the ganache:

  • White chocolate: 200 gm
  • Cream (20% fat): 200 ml
  • Vanilla essence: 2-3 drops

Preheat the oven to 175 degrees Celsius.

Sieve the flour and the baking powder together and keep aside.

In a large bowl or a food processor, cream the butter and sugar until pale and smooth.

Add the eggs, one at a time and fold it in the mixture until well incorporated and add the vanilla essence.

Alternating the flour and the milk, incorporate into the batter (I usually always do it in three times; starting with flour and always ending with milk) and mix well.

Add the halved cape gooseberry and fold gently into the batter.

Pour into a springform cake tin which is well greased or lined with parchment paper.

Bake for 40-45 minutes or until brown and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Carefully invert the cake on a plate and cool.

For the ganache:

Use either white chocolate chips or chop the chocolate into about 1 square inch pieces.

Heat the cream over low heat until it starts to bubble.

Remove the cream from heat and add the vanilla essence and white chocolate and whisk until smooth and all the chocolate is incorporated.

Cool and pour over cooled cake.

Enjoy!!

Cape Gooseberry Cake with White Chocolate Ganache??Cape Gooseberry Cake with White Chocolate Ganache

Whole Wheat Chocolate Cake

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Happy new year everyone! This is my last post of my first year of blogging! I have been extremely lazy and should really pick up my blogging pace!

In case you (like me) have overeaten during Christmas and are guilt ridden, try this cake (since one can’t just stop eating cake altogether!)!

I have a lot of clothes in lots of different sizes. In an attempt to fit into clothes that are a few sizes smaller, I attempted this healthier version of a chocolate cake. It turned out to be pretty awesome!

  • Rice bran oil (you can use canola or sunflower oil as well): 1 cup
  • Eggs: 2
  • Caster sugar: 1 cup
  • Whole wheat flour: 1 cup
  • Flour: 3/4 cup
  • Cocoa powder: ¾ cup
  • Milk:  1 and ½ cup
  • Salt: ½  teaspoon
  • Baking powder: 1 teaspoon

For the ganache:

  • Dark chocolate 70% (chips or cut into small pieces): 200 gms
  • Cream: 150 ml.

Preheat the oven to 200 degree Celsius.

Sift the whole wheat flour, flour, salt and baking powder and keep aside.

In a food processor, mix the sugar and oil until smooth.

Add the eggs, one at a time and mix well.

Add the cocoa powder in the food processor until well incorporated.

Add half the sifted flour and half the milk and continue to mix.

Add the rest of the flour and milk and mix well.

Grease a round cake tin with butter.

Pour the batter into the tin and bake for 30 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Cool the cake completely in the tin.

Invert carefully on a plate.

To make the ganache:

Gently heat the cream until it starts to bubble. Remove from heat and add the chocolate. Stir until all the chocolate melts and smooth.

Pour over cooled cake. Serve with chocolate ice cream if you wish!

Dig in!

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Stone Fruit Upside Down Cake

I love stone fruit! Peaches, plums, apricots and cherries, i love them all!! The incredible flavours, the vibrant colours, what’s not to love? I of course end up buying far more than one can humanly consume and it breaks my heart to see them go to waste. So last week I decided to use all the excess fruit and bake a cake. The result – moist and delicious!

You will need:

  • Butter: 1 cup and for greasing tin
  • Icing sugar: 1 cup and 4 tablespoons
  • Eggs: 2
  • Flour: 1 and 3/4cups
  • Baking powder: 1 teaspoon
  • Salt a pinch
  • Ginger juice: 1 tablespoon
  • Lemon juice: 1 tablespoon
  • Milk: 1 cup
  • Plums and peaches: 2 each (sliced)
  • Grated ginger: 1/2 teaspoon

Preheat the oven to 200 degree Celsius.

Sift the flour with the salt and baking powder and keep aside.

In a food processor, mix 1 cup sugar and the butter until pale and fluffy.

Add the eggs, one at a time and mix well.

Add half the sifted flour and half the milk and continue to mix. Add the rest and mix well.

Add the lemon juice and ginger juice and mix into the batter.

Grease a round cake tin with butter.

Arrange the peach and plum slices to cover the entire bottom of the tin. Sprinkle the 4 tablespoons of sugar and the grated ginger to coat the fruit well.

Pour the batter gently into the tin and bake for 30 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Cool the cake completely in the tin.

Invert carefully on a plate.

Stone Fruit Upside Down Cake