Thursday, July 22, 2010

Masala Bread - Taming The Yeast!!

I am on a real high since yesterday!! Baking bread has been an intimidating thought for me as my first two attempts were not-so-successful. Thanks to Champa for being a constant source of inspiration and guidance to me for baking bread. She blogs at Versatile Vegetarian Kitchen and has a huge variety of breads, muffins,cakes among a lot more scrumptious stuff, making her a truly versatile foodie. Who can resist the idea of recreating the magic of  Iyengar Bakery style Stuffed Potato Buns, Iyengar Bakery Toast, Pav buns and a whole lot of fresh home-made baked goodies?? You can't resist right?? Neither can I!! And to top it all, she also does a lot of cake decoration too. Do definitely visit Champa's blog for all this and more, if you haven't done so yet. You will be glad u did!!

I made Masala Bread from this recipe of Basic White Bread from Champa's blog. It was so satisfying to see the dough double in volume(not withstanding the dreary, cloudy weather and no sun) and rise so beautifully in the oven.Sigh! The bread tasted wonderfully good, what a keeper of a recipe!!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Egg-free Moist Carrot Cake

Here I come with yet another cake!! Yeah, I love baking, particularly cakes, precisely why I have named my space as "Cakes and More'.  I know that cakes come in here more often and the 'more' is rare. I do cook stuff other than bakes and think about posting them on the blog. But then I get too lazy to measure out my eye-balled ingredients or too pressed for time to do it in the morning rush-hour- which is when I finish my majority of cooking. I have to start work by 8.30 if I must have a productive day before my daughter arrives at 12.30. School assignments, playing peace-maker between my kids, preparation for the next day rush-hour and wrapping up the day pretty much sums up my evenings.( I know I must be making my life sound oh-so-boring and scaring away any wanna be moms) So u  get the picture right? I am a working foodie and harangued Mom of two:-)) That good enough an excuse I hope for long gaps between my posts and then coming up with only bakes. I really, seriously marvel at other blogger working moms who manage to blog more often. Oh, yep, tips on 'how working, harangued moms can blog more' most welcome!!!!!

Before you begin to wonder if you are reading a food blog or a parenting blog, lets get on to my experimental Egg-free Moist Carrot Cake. I had been feeling guilty that I bake so often, but haven't made anything which my Mother could eat. She does not eat eggs, neither does she like chocolate. Egg-less baking is not really something I am extremely enthusiastic about, for the number of hits as compared to the misses are quite less. This one however was quite tasty and moist, easy to make and came out quite well. Hope in my egg less baking keeps getting resurrected now and then!!.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Red Pumpkin Soup

Cool breezy evenings, the sky overcast with dark clouds, promising welcome showers. Can there be anything which can compare with the smell of the wet earth?  We scurry indoors, with the kids in tow, and yeah, the laundry on the washing lines too:-)). When it starts pouring, it is so cozy to be indoors with a bowl of piping hot soup and warm garlic bread. The chatter of the kids punctuated by the and 'Yumm..can I have some more??' is such music to the ears of the person who has made the soup. Now, in my case, the soup-maker being me, as always, I can't let Knorr or Maggi take the credit and the satisfaction. Can I;-)??  The soup making season has just about begun, though showers are few and far between in Bangalore. Sigh!! Wish the rain Gods would smile on us more frequently. Seduced by scores of soup pictures floating around the blogosphere and to make the most of the season, I tried Red Pumpkin Soup.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Devil's Food Cupcakes- My First Sweet Punch!!!!!

The power baking powder has over me is amazing!!! I almost cried when I missed making the Tiramisu for the first Sweet Punch challenge. I did not want to miss the second one, but was unable to retrieve the mail with the recipe from the S P team. Sent an SOS and got a reply from SP. Thank God there were 5 days more to go before the reveal date. The weekend followed by the All India Bandh, gave me a chance and time to make these cupcakes. Well, doing this over the weekend meant  juggling school assignments, preparing my groaning 8 year old son for upcoming assessments, feeding 2 hungry kids every now and then, completing weekend chores, catching up on reading my newly acquired baking book - and then baking and decorating with my 3-year-old daughter literally hovering over the cupcakes. Hubby working furiously over a deadline was an added challenge, cos it meant only yours truly handling the kids :-))Whew!!!! But am not complaining as it was all absolutely worth the effort.

The thing about participating in a challenge is it forces you to stretch beyond your comfort zone and learn new things. Or left to myself, I would have again tried another kind of tea cake and would not have ventured to try out the vanilla cream. I am a die-hard whipped cream fan and  found the vanilla cream surprisingly good and not-too-sweet. The cream is a keeper of a recipe, so is the idea of filling the cupcakes. Thanks Sweet Punch team!!!! Looking forward to more !!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Black Forest Gateau

Black Forest cake (American English) and Black Forest Gateau (British English) are the English names for the southern German Dessert Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte, literally "Black Forest Cherry Torte'.
Typically, Black Forest cake consists of several layers of chocolate cake, with whipped cream and cherries between each layer. Then the cake is decorated with additional whipped cream, maraschino cherries, and chocolate shavings. In some European traditions sour cherries are used both between the layers and for decorating the top.Traditionally, Kirschwasser (a clear liquor distilled from tart cherries) is added to the cake, although other liquors are also used (such as rum, which is common in Austrian recipes). In the United States, Black Forest cake is most often prepared without alcohol.' - Source, Wikipedia.

The Black Forest Gateau is a favorite of mine, among a score other cakes that is:-)  It is easy to make, in the sense, you need to make a chocolate sponge, plain whipped cream, no tricky things like folding in melted chocolate into the cream, no complicated decoration, unless you are extremely creative and artistic. If you are creatively challenged like me, you just do it the regular , boring way. And its specially convenient when the birthday boy or gal gives u the freedom to bake anything and you also happen to have an opened can of precious cherries in your freezer, waiting to be finished:-).  This one was for my brother's birthday. Made a deal with him, he babysits my kids whenever sis needs a short break and I keep passing on goodies I dish up.  Hey Srik, I hear you groaning?? Be a sport !!! More cakes and desserts coming your way!!:-))