Baking | My famous mosambi cake!!

Ladies and gentlemen, this is a cake that gave me some quick fame.. literally.. I baked this cake and posted a couple of pictures on Home Bakers Guild, a closed group of bakers and bloggers on Facebook. Within a few hours so many people liked and commented on it.. I was overwhelmed with this warm response I received.

It was not my plan to post the recipe really.. but it is for all those lovely guild members that I am sharing this recipe for mosambi (sweet lime) cake with you all.

Just look at the colour and texture of the cake – I was mighty pleased with results… mind you this is an eggless one!

Also there is nothing very fancy or complicated about this cake, some simple basic pantry ingredients come together to bake this magic! It is so amazing to see that mixing those basic ingredients gives you such beautiful results, isn’t it?..

Let’s just dive right into the recipe!

Here is the list of ingredients-

  1. All purpose flour (maida) – 1 1/2 cups
  2. Milk – 1/2 cup
  3. Yogurt/curds – 1/2 cup (if there is a lot of liquid in the yogurt/curds, remove excess water – you do not need greek yogurt or completely set yogurt but you do not want too much liquid either)
  4. Sweet lime (mosambi) juice – from 2 medium sized sweet limes
  5. Unsalted butter – 6 tbsp; melted and cooled to room temperature
  6. Castor sugar – 3/4 cup
  7. Baking powder – 1 tsp
  8. Baking soda – 1 tsp
  9. Zest of 2 small to medium sweet limes
  10. Zest of 1 lemon
  11. Pinch of salt
  12. More butter and flour for the pan.

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As the list of ingredients, the recipe cannot get more simple than this…Here are the step wise instructions-

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius for 15 minutes. Prepare a loaf pan by greasing well with butter and lightly coat with flour, removing excess flour.
  2. In a small bowl, take castor sugar and add sweet lime and lemon zest. Rub the zest and sugar with fingers so that the sugar becomes fragrant with the zests. Keep aside.
  3. In another big bowl, take the yogurt. Add lime-zested sugar and mix until sugar is dissolved. Next, add in the melted and cooled butter and sweet lime juice. Mix well but gently till all the ingredients come together.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Break the lumps in baking soda if any. You don’t have to sift the mixture.
  5. Now, add the flour mixture in the yogurt mixture. Mix the batter with a spatula using cut and fold method until combined. Add in the milk little by little and continue mixing. In the end, the batter should be velvety soft and shiny and falling in a ribbon off the spatula.
  6. Pour the batter in prepared loaf pan. set the pan on the middle rack and bake at 180 degrees for first 15 minutes. Then reduce the temperature to 170 degrees and bake for another 20-25 minutes.
  7. Cover the top of loaf pan loosely with aluminium foil if the top of the cake is browning too quickly. The cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out completely clean.
  8. Enjoy the cake as a snack or on the side with tea or coffee.

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I thank all the guild members again for such a great response for my post there.. I am truly overwhelmed and very happy!

Do let me know if you bake this cake. Feel free to share my page and blog with your friends and family of you like my work! 🙂

~Happy baking,

Prajakta

 

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Baking | Fresh figs & almond cake

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Fresh figs and almond cake

Welcome everyone to a brand new year! I hope you all had a fantastic time with your friends and family and are geared up to welcome the new year.

We had a simple celebration with our neighbors to say goodbye to the year gone by and welcome 2019.

I have been making a few interesting dishes over a past few days and I will surely post about them very soon.

But let’s talk about this fresh figs cake I baked using whole wheat flour and almond meal. This is not a very fancy and fluffy cake – but it is rich in flavour and a perfect fit as a breakfast or coffee cake. It is somewhat dense due to the whole wheat flour although it surely had a great crumb (sorry, no picture of sliced cake for you!)

It is good to eat as is with a cup of tea or coffee or a glass of milk, and it can be served as a simple dessert with a sprinkling of powdered sugar and whipped cream!

These were probably the last figs of the season over here, and as much as my husband loves them I can’t eat them as is. I like seasonal fruits, but there is something with the fresh figs which I cannot stand … what better way to eat figs than to bake a cake! Anything tastes better in a cake, right? 😉

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Who can say no to this beauty?

Let’s get right into the recipe now, shall we?

Here is what you will need –

  1. 1/4 cup almond meal – see notes
  2. 1/4 + 2 tbsp brown sugar
  3. 1 cup whole wheat flour
  4. 1 tsp baking powder
  5. 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  6. 3 eggs at room temperature, lightly beaten
  7. 4 tbsp butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
  8. 1 tsp almond extract
  9. 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  10. a pinch of salt
  11. Zest of one lemon
  12. Two medium to big size figs (more if you want to cover entire cake with figs)
  13. Powdered sugar/vanilla ice cream/whipped cream – optional for serving

 

Here is the step wise procedure-

  1. Grease the cake pan with butter and set aside. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  2. Clean the figs and cut each fig in 8 wedges. Set aside.
  3. In a medium sized bowl, combine 3 lightly beaten eggs, melted butter, almond and vanilla extracts, lemon zest and whisk till eggs and butter are mixed together.
  4. Add sugar and mix till the sugar is dissolved.
  5. In another bowl, combine whole wheat flour, almond meal, cinnamon, baking powder and salt. Mix with a rubber spatula till all the ingredients are mixed.
  6. Add the flour mixture in the eggs mixture and fold with spatula to mix together. Note that this mixture is quite thick, unlike normal cake mixtures.
  7. Level the mixture with the help of spatula and arrange the figs wedges in a circular pattern.
  8. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. The cake is done when the center looks almost set and the cake starts to take a golden colour at the edges.
  9. You could serve this cake warm with some whipped cream or vanilla ice cream or let the cake cool completely, then sprinkle with powdered sugar and enjoy with team/coffee or milk.

Notes:

  1. You can make your own almond meal by grinding blanched or normal (skin on) almonds in a grinder or food processor. I ground the whole (skin on) almonds (1/4 cup almonds gave me about 1/2 cup almond meal).
  2. Even if the figs are no longer available where you stay, you could top the cake with strawberries or blueberries. Dried figs can also be used.
  3. This recipe is loosely based on this recipe.

Go make this cake, if you still get your hands on the figs!

If you make this recipe, please share it with me on Facebook or Instagram or comment below. I would love to hear from you.

Happy baking~

Prajakta

 

Baking | Multigrain bread for two

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As much as I love baking breads at home, I am always intimidated by the thought of wasting food if the recipe doesn’t work out.. and it’s especially true with the beast called yeast! Not all the time, yeast cooperates and gives you a beautiful bread!

However, when I got a packet of instant active yeast this time, I was determined to bake a bread I have been dreaming about (yes I dream about food ;)).. We get a nice multigrain bread here from a local bakery topped with different seeds which we (I and dear husband) love. I wanted to replicate that but for a small batch for the two of us.

I wasn’t very sure about the measurements and proportions for flour and yeast and was searching aggressively for a good small batch bread recipe, and I found one here.

Everyone who bakes a bread says this and it is so so true – there is no other feeling like baking your own bread and it is such a stress buster! I absolutely feel elevated when the bread comes out of the oven – all crusty and fragrant, and the whole house smells like a quintessential little bakery! 😊

I made some sandwiches for us for the dinner. It was a perfect little weeknight meal. I am sure you will enjoy baking this bread as much as I did. So let us go straight to the recipe – shall we?

Ingredients-

  1. Whole wheat flour – 1/2 cup
  2. Otas flour – 1/4 cup*
  3. Chickpea flour – 1/4 cup
  4. All purpose flour (maida) – 1/4 cup
  5. Amaranth (rajgira/ramdana) flour – 1/4 cup
  6. Oil (any flavourless and odourless oil like vegetable oil or olive oil) – 1 tablespoon
  7. Lukewarm water – 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons
  8. Active dry yeast – 1 and 1/2 teaspoon
  9. Sugar – 2 teaspoons
  10. Salt – 1 teaspoon
  11. White sesame seeds, black sesame seeds, flax seeds and oats – to sprinkle the top of bread
  12. Melted butter – to brush the baked bread

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Here is the stepwise recipe –

  1. In a big mixing bowl, take 1/4 cup warm water (reserve the other 1/4 cup and 2 tbsp water for later use). Add sugar and sprinkle the yeast. Stir with a spoon to somewhat dissolve the sugar. Add flour and mix with a wooden spoon to just combine the yeast mixture and flour. I used active yeast in this recipe, so I did not need to activate it first, however I rested this mixture for about 10 minutes.
  2. Take the yeast and flour mixture on a lightly floured surface. Add salt, mix the dough together lightly. Start kneading the dough by adding more water. The dough needs to be very loose and it will be quite sticky at this stage. I used all the 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp water, but you may not need to use all of it. Make sure that the dough is not too stiff and use the quantity of water accordingly.
  3. Add the oil and knead the dough for about 8-10 minutes, using very little flour only to not let the dough stick to your hands. Knead the dough using the base of your palms and rolling and gathering it back together. At the end of 10 minutes, the dough should be very elastic and sticking only very slightly.
  4. Place this dough in a the same mixing bowl, coating the bowl with some oil first. Roll the dough upside down so that its coated with oil from all the sides. Rest the dough loosely covered with damp kitchen towel for about 40-45 minutes or until it is doubled in size.
  5. Take the baking dish, I used a 5 inches by 1.5 inches ceramic dish (pictured above). You could use similar baking dish or even a 5 inch cake tin to bake this bread. Alternatively, place a firm layer of aluminium foil strip to convert your regular loaf pan to convert into a smaller pan. Brush the baking dish/pan with oil.
  6. Take the risen dough on the lightly floured surface again, punch the dough down knead for 3-4 minutes until its smooth and shiny. Make the dough into a rough rectangle of the size of your pan and start rolling lengthwise (start from the opposite end of yours and bring the dough towards you), pinching the seams as you roll. Pinch the sides and place the rolled dough in the prepared baking dish. Cover loosely with the damp towel and let rise until its doubled in size or it starts touching the edges of the pan and top of the dough is risen as such about half an inch above the rim of the baking dish.
  7. In the meantime, when the dough is rising in the baking dish, preheat the oven to 200 degrees C, placing the tray on middle rack.
  8. Sprinkle the risen dough with the seeds and bake the bread in preheated oven on the middle rack for about 35-40 minutes. If the top is browning too quickly, cover the top with aluminium foil making sure its not touching the top of the bread.
  9. The bread is ready when it sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom (be careful while you check for this as the bread will still be hot).
  10. Let the bread sit in the pan for a couple of minutes. Brush the top of bread with melted butter. Remove from the pan and let cool slightly on a cooling rack.
  11. Serve warm with soup or salad or cool completely and slice to enjoy with tea/coffee or make sandwiches the way I did!

Notes –

  1. Measure 1/4 oats and grind in a mixer to make oats flour. You can use any combination of flours you have in your kitchen.
  2. The bread is not big enough to make regular sized sandwiches, the slices are small rectangles but it was sufficient as a light meal. This recipe makes about 11-12 slices of bread.

~Happy baking

Prajakta

Baking | Homemade veg pizza with homemade crust!

Hi folks! As promised in yesterday’s post here I am writing about the best homemade pizza (including crust)…

Now, as I said yesterday – pizza is liked by children and adults alike; I mean who doesn’t like pizza? Homemade pizza loaded with veggies is the best way to have one!

I made this pizza dough from Sally’s baking addiction and I can’t thank Sally enough for this perfect pizza crust recipe. I followed her instructions to the t. The only difference is that I used locally available brand of yeast. What’s best about this pizza dough recipe is that it really froze well and it still baked up nicely. I think I should have baked it for some more time to get golden brown edges but nonetheless the pizza turned out to be tasty with great texture – chewy, soft, perfectly cooked!

I made the dough almost a month back and have baked the pizza twice -one around 20 days back and now this one a couple of days back. I used different toppings both the times; you can customize the toppings as per your liking.

I baked my pizza using ready made pizza sauce but if you can use the homemade one, I am sure the pizza will be to die for!

Here is what you need~

  1. One part of pizza dough from here.
  2. Pizza sauce – homemade or store bought; approx. 2 tablespoons
  3. Red, yellow and green bell peppers – chopped in squares; 1/2 cup
  4. Broccoli – cut into small florets; 1/4 cup
  5. Onion – 1 medium; chopped in squares about the same size as peppers
  6. Zuccini – 5 to 6 thin slices
  7. Mozzarella cheese – grated, 1/2 cup
  8. Olive oil – to grease the baking dish
  9. Corn meal – to dust the baking dish

Here are the step-wise instructions~

  1. Preheat oven to 250º C for at least 15 minutes. Grease baking dish with little olive oil and dust with corn meal. Set aside.
  2. Take the dough (thawed if using frozen) on a lightly floured surface and knead very gently for only less than a minute. Flatten into a disk and start rolling the dough by pressing with your fingers with one hand and rotating with the other hand. Roll to the diameter of your baking dish.
  3. Now, using a rolling pin transfer the rolled dough gently into the prepared baking dish. Poke the dough either with your fingers or with a fork so that pizza does not bubble up while baking. Create around 1/2 inch outer edge using your fingers.
  4. Now spread the pizza sauce on the inside circle leaving the edges.
  5. Add your favorite toppings, spread grated cheese on top.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven at 250º C for 15-18 minutes.
  7. Slice and serve the hot pizza!

Unfortunately I did not have time to take enough pictures. This one is from my husband’s cellphone..But I will be making the pizza again, and I will post more pictures 🙂

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This recipe makes 8 medium slices of pizza.

~Happy cooking

Prajakta

 

Baking| My Red Velvet Birthday Cake!!

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Who bakes their own birthday cake?! Well, I did and it was super fun! 🙂

Red velvet cake is one of my favorites…I first tasted this beauty when I was in the USA. Cakes and cheesecakes were one of the best part of my days in the States! Also, I was exposed to cream cheese frosting for the first time and boy, I love it!!!

So, it was one of the top choices for my birthday; and because I have tried baking this once (while in the US; using a cake mix) I was at least somewhat confident of baking this again…

This time however, I used this recipe from The Cake Merchant. Natasha made cupcakes using this recipe; however she mentioned that it can be made into a 8″ round cake too. I did turn this recipe into an 8″ round cake with butter and cream cheese frosting also adapted from that she used.

The cake turned out to be super moist and just sweet enough. However, the frosting is on a more sweeter side – that’s what my husband said when he took his first bite! But, the taste really lingers on – the frosting is totally velvety smooth!

I made this cake and frosted it on Friday while my birthday was on Saturday – and I am still grabbing a slice. The cake is equally moist on day 3 and I feel the taste has matured than the first day. I also kept the frosting simple – just spreading it on top and sides of the cake…I am still to practice my piping skills…however the frosting can definitely be used to pipe and decorate the cake as per your liking… 😉

Oh yes, one more thing – this recipe uses red food color for the cake. There are ways to eliminate the artificial food color and using beetroots to color your cake; but due to lack of time and patience I used the color here. I have read many recipes using beetroots to this use and definitely want to try that out. I will let you know the results if I do try 🙂

This red velvet cake is a one bowl recipe -just what I needed for my birthday! Who wants to do the dishes after baking anyway? 😉

Here is how I made this cake-

What you will need~

  1. 11/4 cups all purpose flour
  2. 3/4 cups granulated white sugar
  3. 11/2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  4. 3/4 teaspoons baking soda
  5. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  6. 1 large egg
  7. 3/4 cups neutral tasting oil (such as canola, sunflower)
  8. 1/2 cup buttermilk
  9. little less than 1 ounce red food color
  10. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  11. 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  12. Oil or butter for the pan

Step wise instructions~

Most importantly keep all the ingredients ready. Egg, buttermilk and lemon juice have to be at room temperature.

Also, grease sides and bottom of one 8″ pan with oil or butter and keep aside.

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C i.e. 350 F
  2. Sift the flour to break any lumps in a big steel/glass bowl, add sugar, sift in the cocoa powder, soda and salt. Mix with a wire whisk to incorporate everything together (I prefer sifting even soda and salt)
  3. Add the egg, buttermilk, food color, vanilla extract and lemon juice in that order. Mix using a electric hand mixer on low to medium speed or with hand using a wire whisk until wet ingredients are well incorporated into the dry ingredients and you don’t see any streaks of flour mixture. This will take about 4-5 minutes
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake at 180 degrees C for 35 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 170 C (325 F) and bake for another 8-10 minutes. Check if the cake is done by inserting a wooden skewer into the middle of the cake. Also, the cake should pull from the edges (as you can see in one of the pictures).
  5. Remove the pan from oven and let it cool in the pan for about 20 minutes. Remove cake from the pan onto a cooling rack and let the cake cool completely before frosting.
  6. Cut the cake horizontally in two layers of approximately same height. Place the cake on a dish or cake board and put a small drop of frosting in the middle. Place the bottom layer of the cake, spread the frosting to desired thickness. Put the top layer and cover with frosting. Also frost the sides.
  7. Keep the frosted cake refrigerated. Take out the cake around half an hour or 15 minutes before cutting/serving. Always clean the knife after each slice to avoid tagging rest of the cake with red cake crumbs.

For the frosting you will need~

  1. 1/2 cup butter (at room temperature)
  2. 1/2 cup or less (depending on how sweet you want your cake) icing sugar (powdered sugar)
  3. 180 grams cream cheese (at room temperature)

Step wise instructions~

  1. Take the butter in a large bowl and beat on low to medium speed till light in color about 2 minutes (using an electric hand mixer)
  2. Add cream cheese and beat on low speed for a minute till butter and cheese is mixed together for about minute or so.
  3. Add the icing sugar and beat on very slow speed. If you beat it on medium or high speed, chances are that the icing sugar will be everywhere – so it is important to beat on very low speed (and also using really large bowl). Beat on low speed until sugar is incorporated with the butter and cheese mixture. Increase the speed gradually from medium to high and keep beating until smooth and fluffy.
  4. Frost the cooled cake and serve!

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Red velvet cake_10Oct-001I also made this cute banner at home to decorate my cake 🙂

Do share this recipe with your friends and family if you liked it! And do let me know if you tried it – I would love to hear back from you!

Happy cooking,

Prajakta