Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Fruit Cake recipe

It is Christmas season and how could I not bake a cake? I just had to. I had already tried out the fruit cake recipe from http://www.joyofbaking.com/FruitCake.html 3 weeks ago and it was delicious. So I just had to make it again. I had some palm sugar this time - bought it from the Lumiere organic store near Marathahalli, so I decided to use it. I was a bit hesitant as I've never used palm sugar before. Jaggery in cakes and tea - yes.. but Palm Sugar - NO.. Anyways, I decided to go ahead. Those of you who know me, do know by now that always the recipe will have some twist.

This makes a very large cake.

Ingredients :
1. 3/4 cup of whole wheat flour - for a healthy twist
2. 1/4 cup of maida
3. 1 cup of rum
4. 1.5 cups of chopped apricots, dates(not the dried ones), figs and raisins
5. 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts
6. 1/2 cup of palm sugar - you could also use jaggery, see note below
7. 1/2 cup of almonds - ground to a flour - I powdered these with the palm sugar
8. 2 eggs
9. 1/4 cup of milk
10. 110 g of unsalted Butter (softened)
11. 12 almonds for decorating
12. 1 tsp baking powder
13. A pinch of salt
14. Zest of one lemon
15. Juice of one orange

How I made it :
1.  Soak the chopped dried fruits in the rum overnight for best results. 30 minutes will also do.
2. Preheat the oven to 160 degree C
3. Prepare the cake tin by oiling and dusting it with maida
4. Beat/cream together the powdered sugar, powdered almonds and butter.
5. Add the eggs, beating well after each addition.
6. To this add the rum along with the soaked dried fruit and walnuts.
7. Also add the orange juice and lemon zest.
8. In another bowl, mix together the maida, whole wheat flour, salt and baking powder. Pass this through a sieve to incorporate some air.
9. Mix the dry and wet ingredients in both the bowls.
10. Add milk to make the batter smooth.
11. Pour the batter into the cake tin. Decorate with almonds on the top and put into the hot oven.
12. Bake for about 40 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 140 degree C and bake for another 30-40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

Note : If using jaggery, dissolve the jaggery in as little water as possible and pass through a sieve to get rid of impurities.

Strawberry Smoothie

Strawberries all around... I can't get enough of strawberries, they remind me of my childhood in Ooty where these yummy, red, juicy berries grew in our garden. Unfortunately, with the rapid urbanization of the area around my house, the drains do not hold up :( This totally affected the area where our strawberries used to grow. Hmm, well they are history now.

Anyways, the street vendor tempted me into buying the last box of strawberries and immediately I was thinking "SMOOTHIE".

Ingredients for 2 glasses of smoothie :
1. 12 strawberries
2. 1/4 cup fresh cream
3. 3 tbsp honey - adjust as per sweetness desired
4. 1 tsp flax seeds - for the Omega 3 - can be omitted
5. 1.5 cups of milk
6. 1/4 cup of water

Method :
Blitz the ingredients together in a juicer and serve :)

I could not get any really WOW pictures but the smoothie was truly WOW

Eggless Strawberry Pancakes

Well, it is holidays now and I get really lazy, more so that it is quite cold this year in Bangalore. I woke up and Pras was like "I want some breakfast!!" I had hardly any ingredients on hand to make a healthy breakfast, not even eggs!! I went to open up the fridge and I saw "STRAWBERRIES". Out they came and pancakes were on my mind. Quickly, as almost always, I went to one of my favorite blogs and adapted the recipe from Eggless Blueberry Pancakes by Nags.I also had some condensed milk handy. So I served the pancakes with the condensed milk.

Ingredients  to make 3 pancakes :
1/3 cup maida
1/2 tsp baking powder
Sugar - 1 tbsp as the original recipe. Use more if not serving with maple syrup or sweetened condensed milk
A pinch of salt
2 tsp olive oil
A little under 1/2 cup of milk
A handful or more of strawberries
2 tbsp nutella ( optional)
2 tbsp butter/oil

Method :
Mix together the maida, baking powder, sugar, salt, olive oil, nutella and milk to form a smooth batter. Chop the strawberries.
Heat up a tawa. Smear the butter. Pour on some of the batter on the hot tawa. Once the bubbles start appearing, sprinkle some of the chopped strawberries over the batter. Cover it for about 30 seconds. Make sure the heat is on low. Take off the cover and flip the pancake. Cook until golden brown on the other side. Take off pan and serve with sweetened condensed milk.

This is ready in minutes and is eggless. Do give it a try. It was truly yummy with the condensed milk ;)