Monday, November 26, 2018

Moist Apple Spice Cake (With Video)

I honestly wasn't so much of a fan of fruit in baking as the thought of cooked fruit would put me off. But now I actually love some fruit based bakes as long as the fruit is not done to death, doesn't turn very sour upon baking. I loved this French Apple Cake and have baked it several times now. It is buttery, with a very dense custardy texture. It is definitely dessert!  Now recently I tried this cake from David Lebovitz and it turned out great as well. 

This cake is more of a snack cake. Well, nothing to stop you from topping it with a scoop of ice cream and some dulce de leche and enjoy it as dessert though! It is a lighter cake made with oil, warm spices and lots of nuts. Just the kind you would want to savor on a cold winter day.

David Lebovitz makes double the below recipe in a 9'' springform tin. I have baked it in an 8'' square tin. He adds Calvados to the cake, I have used milk instead (am sure he won't be happy with this swap!) Please go ahead and use apple juice/ calvados/ whisky / rum if you like, either way you will enjoy the cake. 

Watch my video here 

Here is how to make it 


Maida   227 grams 
Ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon 
Ground cloves 1/8 teaspoon
Baking soda   1/2 teaspoon
Salt 1/4 teaspoon
Sugar 200 grams / 1 Cup 
Eggs, at room temperature  75 grams(whisk 2 eggs, then weigh) / 1.5 eggs 
Vegetable oil or sunflower oil   3/4 cup / 180 ml
Milk or apple juice  2 tbsp / 30 ml  
Walnuts or pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped 1/2 cup 
Apples - peeled and chopped - 250 grams (weigh after peeling and coring) 
Read note below 

  • Grease and line an 8'' square tin with baking parchment. Preheat oven to 180 C / 350 F
  • Sift together the flour, the spices, baking soda and salt. Keep aside.
  • In a large bow, whisk together the sugar and eggs until well combined. 
  • Whisking constantly, pour in the oil in a slow, steady stream. This will help it emulsify well. Whisk in the milk or rum. 
  • Whisk in the flour mixture until most of the flour is combined.
  • Using a spatula, fold in the apples and the nuts. The mixture will be thick.
  • Transfer to the prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 
  • Cool the cake on a cooling rack for 10 minutes and invert on the rack so that it cools with the  top side facing up.
  • Cool completely and slice. The cake is more moist a few hours after baking. 
  • Serve as is or with some whipped cream or ice cream. 
  • The cake can be stored airtight at room temperature for 2 days. Do not freeze the cake. 
  • Please note: Wash, dry, peel and cut the apples. Do not wash the apples after you cut as there will be more moisture which may ruin the cake. 
  • The baking time will vary depending on your oven. If using an 8'' square tin check after 30 minutes. You can also halve this recipe and bake the cake in a muffin tray, the baking time will be less. Use good quality fresh spices. 
  • You can try using ground flax seeds instead of egg ( I haven't tried yet but should work). Mix 1 tablespoon flax seed powder with 3 tablespoons warm water and keep aside for 10 minutes until very sticky (like egg) . This replaces 1 egg. The recipe uses 1.5 eggs, so calculate accordingly and use. 

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Monday, October 29, 2018

Motichoor Kesar Pudding. Diwali Recipes

Motichoor Kesar Pudding An embarrassingly simple pudding you can make in just 10 minutes! Using store bought laddoos of course. A simple but delicious saffron and elaichi infused pudding on top of crushed motichoor laddoos garnished with toasted almonds and pistachios. Aren't these just the kind of recipes you need when you have a zillion things to do? Diwali cleaning, shopping, planning those parties, potlucks, regular cooking, home, kids, work - its never ending! But then what's Diwali without homemade sweets and desserts? 

For me it also makes sense to make small servings of desserts light on the palate(if not in calories) when there will be multiple things on the menu. So here comes this super simple dessert. You can of course serve just the pudding and skip the laddoos or even fill the chilled pudding in crisp tart shells if you are feeling upto it. What are you planning to make this Diwali? Do tell me!

Below is my clumsy attempt at video editing, I hope I will eventually get there! :)

Motichoor Kesar Pudding(serves 4-6). Fresh Motichoor Laddoo - 4 Cold Full Fat Milk - 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons Kesar - 1 big pinch Freshly crushed elaichi - 1/2 teaspoon Cream(I use Amul 25%) 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Sugar - 3 tablespoons (or more to taste) Cornflour 4 teaspoons (or more for a thicker pudding) Soft unsalted butter - 1 teaspoon(optional), Mix after taking pudding off the heat. Toasted almonds and pistachios for garnish 

1. Take some of the milk and soak the saffron and crushed elaichi. Let sit for a couple of hours or even overnight in the fridge.
2. Crush the laddoos into the dessert glasses, leaving space for the pudding. 
3. Take the cold milk,saffron milk, cornflour, cream, sugar in a heavy saucepan. Whisk well so that no lumps remain.
4. Whisking constantly, cook on low heat for a few minutes until the pudding thickens and comes to a gentle boil. Cook for a minute more.
5.The pudding will leave a trail when you run a finger on the back of a spoon.
6.Take it off the heat, (add  butter now and mix if using) strain. Pour into the glasses.
7. Let cool completely, wrap cling film and refrigerate for 3-4 hours or overnight. 
8. Top with toasted almonds and pistachios just before serving. 

Monday, October 15, 2018

Spiced Pumpkin Walnut Cake (video recipe)

Spiced Pumpkin Walnut Cake. It's hard not to get tempted to bake one  of those pumpkin things raining all around! May I suggest you give in to the temptation,indulge in a slice of this moist cake fragrant with warm spices? If you have never baked with pumpkin before,let me assure you, it is almost tasteless. It only makes your bake moist and adds some nutrition to it. So you can get those picky eaters to enjoy it as well! Isn't that a win-win?

If you would be making fresh pumpkin puree for the first time, please do check my post and video here. It is a very useful and versatile thing, can be used in both sweet and savory. And I actually liked it better than the canned stuff I tried once. 

This recipe for Spiced Pumpkin Walnut Cake is from Rose Beranbaum's The Cake Bible. She calls it Pumpkin Walnut ring. She uses a combination of walnut and safflower oil as it complements the flavor of the walnuts in the cake. The recipe is very simple - simply mixing wet and dry ingredients together. If you have your pumpkin puree ready,your cake will be in the oven in no time. 

Another good thing,this cake keeps well and tastes better as it sits,so great for the holiday season. Without further ado, here is the recipe. Watch me make the cake here. Do not forget to subscribe for more easy recipes and tips!

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Ingredients(at room temperature). Use 6 cup bundt pan, sprayed with baking spray.
Maida - 105 grams plus 20 grams cornflour OR 125 grams cake flour
Baking soda - 1 teaspoon
Salt 1/4 teaspoon
Ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon(make sure you use best quality, fresh spices)
Ground cloves 1/2 teaspoon
Ground ginger (optional) - 1/4 teaspoon
Eggs - 2 large / 100 grams (weighed without shell) OR 3 large egg whites (90 grams)
Brown sugar - 150 grams
Oil - 108 grams
Fresh pumpkin puree - 1 cup / 240 ml
Toasted walnuts, chopped - 1/2 cup

Variation: Skip the spices, add 1 teaspoon vanilla essence and stir in 1/2 cup chopped dark chocolate with the walnuts.

  • Preheat oven to 180C /350F. Generously coat your 6-cup bundt pan with baking spray. Alternatively you can use some ghee and a light but thorough dusting of flour.
  • Sift together the flour, cornflour, spices, salt and baking soda twice. Set aside .
  • In a large bowl,whisk together the sugar, eggs,vanilla and oil (if using). Whisk in the pumpkin puree.
  • Gently whisk in the flour mixture.
  • When most of the flour is mixed, stir in the walnuts.
  • Transfer the batter to the cake tin. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted into the thickest part of the cake comes out clean.
  • Let the cake cool on the rack for 10 minutes. Invert and cool completely on the rack.
  • Wrap the cake with clingfilm and let it sit overnight before serving. The flavors meld better that way. Serve at room temperature.
  • Store airtight at room temperature for 2 days,in the fridge for 5 days. You can also wrap in cling film and freeze in an airtight container for 3 months.