Monday, 31 March 2014

Strawberry Streusel Cake

Spring is nature’s way of saying, “Let’s party!” -Robin Williams

There is something very enjoyable about baking a cake on a Sunday afternoon.Especially when your folks are too eager to try out your new bakes and they are able to coax you into baking one!The aroma of a freshly baked cake that fills up the house just adds up to their excitement!  



Everyone must have one such recipe in their repertoire which is versatile yet simple,quick n easy. Strawberry streusel cake fits the bill perfectly.Its versatile in the sense any combination of fruits and nuts can be used and and the butter content is so low!!!



The recipe has been taken from here without any adaptations since I love the combination of strawberries and almonds .

Strawberry Streusel Cake

Ingredients

120 gms         flour
115 gms         sugar
2 tsp.             baking powder
1/2 tsp.          salt
120 ml            milk
1 tsp.             vanilla extract
1                   egg
30 gms           melted butter
200 gms.        sliced strawberries

Streusel Topping 


30 gms          flour
55 gms          sugar
30 gms          butter
40-50 gms     chopped almonds

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.

Line a 8" round baking pan with parchment and grease it.

In a medium bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. 

Add the vanilla, the egg and the melted butter. Beat this together so it's well mixed. 

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Arrange the sliced strawberries on the top, gently laying them evenly around the pan.

In a small bowl, combine the flour and sugar for the topping. Using a pastry blender ,cut in the butter to create a crumbly topping. Add the chopped nuts and mix it all together. Then, sprinkle the topping over the strawberries.

Bake the cake for about 45-50 minutes till its done.Let it cool a bit before slicing. 


Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Tree Cake-Baumkuchen - Daring Bakers

The January 2014 Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Francijn of "Koken in de Brouwerij". She challenged us all to bake layered cakes in the tradition of Baumkuchen (tree cake) and Schichttorte (layered cake).





Baumkuchen,(pronounced as BOWM-koo-khehn] German word for 'tree cake' is also known as king of cakes.It comprises of many thin cake layers that resemble a tree's growth rings.It takes a master baker to make this labor-intensive cake in the traditional way, which is to spoon a sponge cake batter over a revolving oven spit, one layer at a time, browning each layer before adding the next. 


The modern method of making these cakes is by using baking pans by brushing a thin layer of batter onto the bottom of the pan,bake it for 2 to 3 minutes, then brush on another layer of batter and bake, and so on thus producing a multi layered cake. Baumkuchen is traditionally enrobed in a thin chocolate glaze. 




I  want to thank Francijn immensely for this exciting challenge as very recently I saw this cake being made by a master baker in a Tv show and I was very curious to know how this could be done without the revolving oven spit.

Baumkuchen tastes divine as its mildly sweet with almond flavor and the chocolate glaze with orange liqueur make a perfect accompaniment with a cup of coffee!


Ingredients

Batter:
3                    large eggs
pinch of salt
60 gms             sugar
75 gms             marzipan
100 gms            butter
50 gms             icing sugar
5 gms              vanilla sugar
50 gms             flour (sifted)

Glaze:
50 gms             marmalade 
15 ml               orange liqueur (optional)
100 gms           dark chocolate couverture chunks
0.5 Tbsp           coconut oil

oil to grease your pan
parchment paper
7 inch square pan


Method



Preheat oven to hot 230°C.

Line the cake tin with parchment paper,grease both paper and tin.

Divide the eggs.Beat the egg whites with the salt until nearly stiff, add the sugar and beat until really stiff.

Crumble finely the marzipan. Beat it with the softened butter,icing sugar and vanilla sugar until soft and creamy. Add the egg yolks one by one and beat well between each addition. Add the stiff egg whites and flour and gently fold it into the batter.Trying not to lose too much air.


Smear 1/12th to 1/10th of the batter on the bottom of the pan, keep the sides of the pan clean, and bake for 3-4 minutes in the oven, until it is baked and it turns brown. Take the pan out of the oven, smear the next portion of batter carefully over the first, and bake for another 3-4 minutes or until cooked and brown. Repeat until all batter is used.


 Let the cake cool down for a few minutes,take it out of the pan, remove the parchment paper and let the cake cool completely on a wired rack. Trim the edges.

Heat the jam a little, pass it through a sieve,and add the orange liqueur.Cover the cake with the jam and let it cool.

Melt the chocolate with the coconut oil in a bowl above warm water. Pour it over the cake to cover completely, move the cake to a cool place and wait until the glaze is dry.













Monday, 13 January 2014

Til or sesame laddus

Happy Lohri !






Today is the harvest festival of Lohri which is celebrated primarily in the state of Punjab.It's the celebration of the end of the Winter season.

A distinct feature of this festival is lighting of the bonfire at sunset around which people dance to the beats of the dhol with traditional sweets comprising of sesame, jaggery, sugar, peanuts and corn.It signifies that  the farmers are praying  to god of fire(Lord Agni) to shower blessings on their crops .




It was very exciting as kids as our father would ask us to sing the traditional song in return he would give a small token of money.








Til laddu or sesame balls  are  easy to make .These are soft in texture with a delicate flavor of cardamom.


Till Laddus


300 gms                         sesame seeds or til plus extra for rolling
500 gms                         jaggery, grated
1/4 tsp                            cardamom powder
7-8                                almonds roughly chopped -optional


Dry roast the sesame seeds on low heat,till they impart a nutty aroma and start changing their color. Cool the seeds.

Pulse the seeds in a mixer into coarse powder. Add the grated jaggery and cardamom powder and blend till well combined.

Remove the mixture in a plate and add chopped almonds. Mix and make small balls or laddus and roll them in sesame seeds.

Note: you don't need to add any water or liquid as sesame seeds will release oil and moisture from jaggery will be enough to bind the mixture together.