Adios, 2016 | Kerala Plum Cake Recipe| Christmas Rum Cake| Festive Fruit Cake Recipe

kerala-plum-cake

What an year it had been, health and wellness had been the major goals as I stepped into 2016 and it was a roller coaster ride all the way. Half way through which, I started this blog <3. Cooking, going gaga over best angles to shoot food, pestering friends and family while doing so ;P , connecting with fellow foodies and bloggers on Instagram, I have done quite a bunch of things out of love for experiments. Of course there were many tasks which weren’t initiated or left incomplete. One such incomplete task includes a huge chart of recipes that I jotted down to share on the blog which I never took them to kitchen. Gasps. Still, working on disciplining myself.

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The magic lies in this potion 😉

Last post of this year is about this fantastic, rich, boozy plum cake I adapted from Marias Kitchen. This cake summed up this year for me at one go. The process of whipping whites and yellows, caramel preparation was arduous but, it was all worth it. Just a bite into this cake and I was mesmerised at subtle explosion it created on the taste buds. It is soft, fluffy with  sharp notes of sweetness and punch from rum. And no fancy sugar pastes or extra chocolate indulgence just a simple yet a poignant flavour profile. A combination which I always craved for.

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Growing up, I have only had local bakery plum cakes and I couldn’t wait to try my hands on prepping up one from scratch. I have soaked the dried fruits for about 20 days. You can soak them for one day – one year too. The more you soak, the intense it gets. 😉 Peeping into the jar everyday was so much fun. Use only a glass jar for this purpose as alcohol might react with plastic. Also, stir the dry fruits every alternate day and store in dark place away from heat.

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Let us get into the recipe.

Ingredients:

Cake Mix:

  • 2 cups Plain flour (maida)
  • 1 ¼ tsp Baking powder
  • ½ tsp Baking soda
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1 cup Unsalted Butter @ room temp
  • 4  Eggs @ room temp
  • Vanilla essence – 2 tsp
  • 1 tbsp Jam (I used Apple Jam)
  • ¼ cup – Candied Ginger
  • 3 tbsp all purpose flour to coat the dry fruit mix

Spice Powder:

  • 2 Cloves
  • 2 Cardamom
  • Cinnamon – a small piece
  • Nutmeg – a small piece

Caramel:

  • Sugar – ½ cup
  • Warm water – ¼ cup

Soaking:

  • Mixed fruits – 1 cup (¼ cup each of Almonds, Black raisins, ½ cup Kismis)
  • Rum/Brandy – 1 cup (I used Bacardi dark rum)
  • 2 inch Cinnamon stick
  • 1 Star Anise

Mature the Cake: Black rum – 6 tbsp ( I have fed 2 tbsps per day approx after baking the cake)

Procedure:

  1. Take sugar in a saucepan and heat it on low heat. Allow it to slowly melt. Keep heating on low heat till it gets nice dark colour. Now take it off the heat and add in water and heat till the sugar dissolves again. Set aside to cool.
  2. Drain the dry fruits. Preserve the rum. Roll them in 3 tbsp of maida and keep them aside.
  3. Powder the sugar.
  4. Sift the flour, baking powder and baking soda.
  5. Separate egg yolks and whites. Beat them separately. First beat the egg whites to soft peaks. Then you can use the same whisk to beat yolks.
  6. Add softened butter and sugar to the yolks. Cream them together.
  7. When it turns smooth enough, add cooled caramel, jam and vanilla essence into it. Beat slowly (min speed).
  8. Add sifted flour mix into this batter in 2-3 batches and whip.
  9. Add the flour dusted dry fruits and nuts along with 4 -5 tbsps of preserved rum.
  10. Now slowly fold in beaten egg whites in 3 – 4 batches. Mix it in using the cut and fold method. Do not over mix or whip at this point. It would release the trapped air in the whites.
  11. Pour the batter in a lined baking tin.
  12. Bake the cake in a preheated oven for 40 – 45 mins or you can even use a cooker like me. Cooker method took for about 90 minutes on low flame.
  13. Take it on to a wire rack, cool it down. Prick holes with a fork or knife and pour in rum over it. Seal it with a plastic wrap and keep it in a cool place. Repeat the process as many times as you can. I did this for three days. Slice it down and serve with a choice of toppings – ice cream, ganache or even more rum , may be 😛

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Bake this treat for yourself or your loved ones and get all the brownie points 😉  This year has been an amazing journey. I can’t feel more alive than ever , with more so ever gratitude, peace and love.

I will end this post with a powerful note from one of my favourite travel blogger, Abhinav.

So move ahead, it’s your time now. For now you can connect dots, creating constellations out of wayward stars, and you’re not among the ones who fade across the sky, but now is your time to burn like a sun, and inundate everyone in your light.

So move ahead, for you know of pain and happiness, for now you know of peace that’s contained within everything, and the peace within every piece of you, and now you know that you are not a puzzle but a beautiful story revealing itself by every passing second. 

                                                                                                           “

Life is so endlessly delicious. Embrace and savour it.  Wish you all a very happy and prosperous 2017! 😀

Eggless Gulab Jamun & Whole Wheat flour Cake | Simple Eggless Cake recipe| Instant Eggless cake recipe| How to make cake with Gulab Jamun premix recipe| Best Homemade Cake Recipe| Irresistible Basic Cake recipe |Whole Wheat Cake recipe

Apologies for the infrequent posts in here. Been busy with different kinds of documentation works lately and cooking is limited to quick, rushed up sprints. Anyways, baked this quick cake today that I couldn’t postpone this post to anytime later. This is made of gulab jamun mix and is devoid of all purpose flour. Yes, gulab jamun mix! I couldn’t believe myself looking at the soft spongy texture it acquired despite being a complete wheat flour cake. This is the second experiment with wheat flour in recent times that proved cakes with only wheat flour can also turn spongy(less dense).  I think I have come across Anu’s recipe on a facebook baker’s group few weeks earlier and it caught my eye on the saved lists today. So when I resolved to make a sweet treat, straight away went for it.

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I have used a pressure cooker to bake and it came out moist with a satisfying crumb – almost tasted like Soda Bottle Openerwala’s mawa cake. 😀

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 30-40 minutes

Serves: 8 – 10 slices

Ingredients:

Dry:

½ cup Gulab Jamun Mix powder (I used Gowardhan’s)

½ cup Whole Wheat flour

½ cup Powdered sugar

½ tsp Baking powder

¼ tsp Baking soda

A pinch of salt

Wet:

¼ tsp Vanilla Essence

½ cup milk

¼ cup oil (odorless, I used Sunflower oil)

Procedure:

  1. Mix all the dry ingredients into a homogenous mixture with a whisk or just bare hands. Sifting is optional. Just ensure there are no lumps.
  2. Whisk together all the wet ingredients.
  3. Fold in dry ingredients in two batches to the wet mixture. Mix well.
  4. Line a baking tin with some butter/ghee/oil and dust with some flour or simply use a butter paper. Pour in the batter.
  5. Bake it in an oven at 180^C or inside a pressure cooker following the cooker cake method for 30 min. Check for doneness with a toothpick or knife. 
  6. I have sprinkled a mix of oats, sesame seeds and thin hyderabadi seviya. This is purely optional.

I have used a 1 lb Loaf Tin, 18 x 9 cm (7″ x 3.5″)which can hold double the measures used in the recipe. You can use any pan, but as the pan size becomes more shallow, you have to check frequently for doneness. That tiny pinch of salt balances the mild sweetness of the gulab jamun premix and lifts the taste. It is completely optional though.

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Note:

  • I have substituted buttermilk for milk on the following day and it came out just as perfect as the one with milk.
  • The sugar quotient of this recipe can be upped if you want it to be super sweet. You could stick to the above mentioned measure, if you are going to add a glaze or frosting.

Sweet Lime and Honey Stove Top Cake Recipe| How to make cake with Sweet Limes recipe| Interesting honey cake recipe

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Oh my, it has been more than a month since I have posted last recipe. Another break. With the festive hustle-bustle around brother’s wedding, time just flew. Colorful backdrops, kids dashing around with their antics, elders busy with the preparations, endless banters with bhai jaan, all near and dear – Wedding times are the best! Amidst all of this, couldn’t keep myself away from the kitchen at all. In fact, I have tried my hands in preparing food for a little over fifteen people. I am generally not good with seasoning when cooking for more than four or six members. So, it was a satisfying experience as the dishes turned so well.

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Splashes of colours during wedding ❤

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Guthi Vankaya Curry in the making

Sweet Limes are in season and I am a big fan of citrus fruits. The citrusy zing never fails to please my senses in an esoteric way.

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Packed with Vitamin C, they are good to eat at any point of the day. Especially, if you are having a busy day at the office or too tired after shopping, pick a citrus fruit. It hydrates and reenergizes the body instantly. Oranges and lemons are so famous as fruit based acidic agents and natural flavour enhancers used in baking. I was curious if I could use sweet limes instead of lemons or oranges. It resulted in this tasty and beautiful cake. I have adapted Honey Cake recipe from Epicurious and worked my way experimenting with the ingredients. Used the Wonder Pot I have used to bake earlier as well as pressure cooker to bake the cake. It tasted perfect both ways.

Ingredients:

Dry Ingredients:

1 ⅓ cup + 4 tbsp All Purpose Flour/ Maida

½ tbsp Baking Powder

½ tsp Baking Soda

¼ tsp Salt

2 tsp Ground Cinnamon

¼ tsp Ground Cloves

¼ tsp Ground Cardamom

Wet Ingredients:

1 cup Oil + 3 tbsp White Butter (room temp)

½ cup Honey

¾ cup Granulated Sugar

¼ cup Brown Sugar

1 Egg

½ tsp Vanilla Essence

½ cup Coffee/ Tea Decoction

¼ cup Fresh Sweet Lime Juice

Method:

  1. Coat the mould with butter on the inside and dust it with all purpose flour. Hold it upside down and tap it gently to remove any excess flour.
  2. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices together.
  3. Add in the wet ingredients into the same bowl and gently mix it using a strong wire whisk or an electric whisk on low speed.
  4. Pour the batter into the mould and bake it for about 25 minutes on the low flame.
  5. Check for doneness using a clean knife. Switch off the flame if it comes off clean. Otherwise, bake for some more time.
  6. I have used the pressure cooker and wonder pot with this batter. If you are using an oven for this recipe, try baking it at 180 degrees for 20 minutes and check for doneness and allow it to bake for more time if required.

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Somehow I have never developed liking for frosting or glazes on cakes. Most of the times, I prefer to eat them as it as. You could try putting on some chocolate ganache or a jam based glaze to give it more oomph. Else, for a simple spruced up finish,top the batter with sliced almonds. Original recipe has some whiskey in the ingredients. I skipped it altogether and didn’t even add the equivalent amount of citrus juice as mentioned there. The cake turned out extremely delicious and airy with a nice crumb.

 

Note:

  1. Depending upon the size of pan used and mode of cooking method followed, cooking time might vary.

Basic Chocolate Sponge Cake| Easy Cake recipe without Oven| Baking Cake in Wonder Pot

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Okay, today’s post is about a cake! Baking is always fun, even if you are a novice. It would take some time and patience to get the basics right before you can start experimenting though. But, if you stick to a recipe, it isn’t a difficult task. Biting into home-made cakes or muffins always leaves me smug as heaven. As a sweet-tooth girl, ever since I learnt whisking up cake batter, I couldn’t stop. Like a kid spoilt for choice, I reach out for recipes with my googly eyes. Greater the variety, greater the excitement of learning something new, right?

Not having oven at home, could never hamper my trials with baking. Initially I was little disheartened with getting limited to cooker cake recipes. But, it’s hard to keep your hands off from the irresistible recipes. So, I reverted to my mom’s stove – top oven. And it never disappointed me. Only recently, I have learnt its name – Wonder pot. It’s an Israeli invention for baking on gas stove. I am not sure if it’s widely available in supermarkets or kitchen utensils shop. So far, I haven’t been successful in finding a second pot from my local market hauls.

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Wonder Pot –  A Stove top Oven

Here is a simple recipe for a chocolate cake. Unlike other chocolate cakes I baked, this one is super light and airy. Cooking in this pot, does gives you a different texture when compared to the conventional oven. It makes the process of waiting for the cake to get baked more interesting. When I saw this recipe up at cookingandme, I had made a fair picture in my mind about what is it going to be like. But, it turned out to be much better than expected! I have substituted butter with cooking oil and followed it. If you don’t eat eggs, you can use flax seed powder instead. The drill is to use mix up 1tbsp of flaxseed meal with 2 tbsp of lukewarm water  for each egg. Let the mixture get to room temperature before mixing it to the batter.

Ingredients:

Dry Mix:

  • ¾ cup of plain flour
  • ¾ tsp of baking soda (soda bi carb)
  • ¼ tsp of salt

Wet Batter:

  • 3 tbsp of cooking oil (flavour less)
  • ½ cup of powdered sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup of water
  • 3 tbsp of cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup of milk
  • ½ tsp of vinegar or lemon juice
  • ½ tsp of vanilla extract

Method:

  • Sift and mix up the ingredients listed under dry mixture and put it aside.
  • Stir up oil, sugar and egg together.
  • Add the water followed by a mixture of cocoa powder and milk.
  • Now, add the lemon juice/vinegar and vanilla extract.
  • Grease the central mould pan of the wonder pot and dust it with some flour. No preheating is required.
  • Put the dome shaped disc with central hole on the stove.
  • Pour in the batter into the bundt-shaped central pan and place it over the disc and close it.
  • Bake it on a high flame for 2 minutes and for 25 – 30 minutes on low flame.
  • Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick or knife into the cake. If they come out clean, switch off the stove.
  • Cool it for ten minutes and invert it onto a wire rack or plate. Cut it once it cools down completely.

This cake tastes best with or without frosting. The texture reminded me exactly of the layers of a black forest cake. As, nags explained on her blog, you can try this recipe in an oven or a pressure cooker too.