Easter recap

As we move into another weekend, I am struck by the contrast between this week and the last, when we were busy preparing for Easter. As during every other festival at our home, food was the focal point of the observance and celebrations – the main departure from last year was the absence of my mother-in-law and the joys of eating the food she cooks. This year, for the first time, ever, inspired by her rendition, I attempted to make Pesaha (or Indiri) appam, which is essentially unleavened bread served and consumed on Passover night. This savoury bread is eaten along with jaggery-sweetened coconut milk called pesaha paal (Passover milk). Continue reading

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Of many firsts

First birthday cake

First birthday cake

I have started many a post with an apology for my tardiness, the reasons for which were many. However, none were as pressing as the one which for which I had to put blogging on hold for nearly two years. Soon after the last post, I went ahead and got myself a new job and a year later, a brand new baby! After a slightly difficult pregnancy (during which time, I handed over my kitchen to the spouse and friends) and an eventful one year of motherhood,  I am back. Hopefully to stay. As always I want to document my culinary journey here, sharing a story once in a while and importantly evolve as a cook and writer. Hopefully, the blog will reflect that evolution, whilst remaining an interesting read for you all. For this new chapter, I would like to share a recipe adapted from Mary Berry’s simple Victoria sponge cake with white chocolate buttercream icing that I baked for my munchkin’s first b’day. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • Eggs (medium): 4
  • Caster sugar: 225g
  • Self-raising flour: 225g
  • Baking powder: 2 tsp
  • Butter (softened): 225g

For the frosting in the middle:

  • Raspberry jam: 175 gm
  • Whipped cream (Beat 200 ml heavy/double cream with 200 gm icing sugar till it becomes just stiff. Take care not to beat it excessively lest it becomes difficult to spread

For the white chocolate buttercream icing:

  • Unsalted butter (softened): 110g
  • Icing  sugar: 250g
  • White chocolate: 150g

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
  • Grease (and if you’d like line) a 20 cm springform cake tin.
  • Break the eggs into a large mixing bowl, Add the sugar, flour, baking powder and butter.
  • Mix everything together until well combined.

TOP TIP: As Berry advises, take care not to over mix. The finished mixture should fall off a spoon easily.

  • Bake the cake for 40 minutes. I, however, set the timer first to twenty minutes and then a further twenty (or less).
  • The cake is done when it is golden-brown and coming away from the edge of the tin. Let it cool in the tin before removing.
  • Once cool cut the cake in two*
  • Spread the raspberry jam as a middle layer, topped with whipped cream. Place the top half of the cake on the creamy layer.

Icing:

  • Make sure the butter is soft before you beat it along with half the icing sugar. Keep adding the remaining icing sugar little-by- little and mix until all is smooth.
  • Melt the white chocolate (I did this in a microwave oven) and add to the mixture; mix until smooth.
  • Spread the icing on top of the cake.
  • Decorate (or not) as you like.

* Alternatively, you can divide the cake mix in two tins and bake them simultaneously

New find- Lemon Blueberry bread

A friend’s Facebook update yesterday revealed yet another day to “observe”- World Baking Day. Not that I need a reason to bake. Anyway.

As I was saying in my last post, I have a long list of recipes that I want to try out. One of which is today’s Lemon Blueberry Bread. I chanced upon it on FurgalFeeding‘s Pinterest wall (Thanks Nick!) and it looked enticing enough to try. Glad I did.

You can find the original recipe here on Fresh Tastes.

The cake was soft, with gooey blueberries and a hint of lemon – perfect for tea or breakfast and all times in between. If you can manage to save it for that long.

The measure of this bread’s success was the rate at which it was devoured – an hour after it was brought out of the oven all that was left were crumbs.

Lemon-Blueberry Bread

Lemon-Blueberry Bread

Friendly batter

A few days back I made friends with Herman. He came in a jar, courtesy a friend of mine, who put him in there and handed him to me. He stayed with me for ten days and on the tenth day delivered a delicious promise. No this is not a gory spin off of Fifty Shades of Grey(which I haven’t read, I hasten to add. Yet. the library waiting list is 600 people long! :O). This one is about a friendship cake named Herman who stayed with us for twelve days, the last two of which were spent polishing him off. Continue reading