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Sunday, 11 January 2015

I actually baked this cake for last year's Christmas. Yeah it is supposed to be a Non Alcoholic Christmas cake with ground spices but its not quite our favorite. Hence I made a FRUIT & NUT CAKE, a special request from Big A (who particularity insisted there be no cinnamon...poor guy hates it and I usually add it to everything muhahaha)!!! Its just a basic vanilla cake with dried fruit and nuts of our choice. Moist and perfect for non Christmas cake lovers like us. 






Makes One 9 Inch Round Cake
Recipe very Slightly Adapted from HERE

You Will Need:
100 gms Unsalted Butter, Room Temperature
1/2 Cup Tightly Packed Dark Brown Sugar (White Sugar also works fine)
2 Large Eggs
1 tsp of Vanilla Extract
1 Cup of Plain Flour (Scoop out a tbsp of flour to toss with the fruit and nuts)
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Baking Soda
A Pinch of Salt

1/4 Cup of Whole Milk
1/4 Cup of Tutti Fruti
2 tbsp of Dried Cranberries
2 tbsp of Chopped Glazed Cherries
2 tbsp of Raisins
10 Cashew Nuts, Broken
10 Almonds, Roughly Chopped
10 Walnuts, Broken

***You can add any dry fruits and nuts in addition to the above mentioned. And add more or less depending on how much you like. I prefer a little less.

The Cooking:

Preheat oven to 160 degree Celsius and grease a 9 inch round cake pan.

Sift together flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda into a bowl.

In another bowl cream the butter till pale. Now add the sugar and beat for another 5 mins till the butter and sugar is light and fluffy. Now beat in one egg at a time making sure you incorporate well after each addition. Pour in the vanilla extract and beat again for few seconds. Make sure you scrape the sides of bowl so that the batter is evenly combined. Now gently fold half of the flour mixture. Pour in the milk and mix. Add the remaining flour and fold again making sure there is no lumps.  

Combine the dry fruits & nuts in a bowl and add the tbsp of flour. Toss till the flour has coated the nuts and fruits. Now fold this into the cake batter. DO NOT BEAT OR OVER MIX. This process of tossing the fruits & nuts in the flour will help them from sinking to the bottom while baking.

Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and bake in the preheated oven for 40 - 45 mins or until when a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean, Be sure to check the cake after 35 mins since the temperature and time will vary for different ovens.

Happy Baking!






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Saturday, 10 January 2015

When I was a child I remember my mom churning butter at home. She used to buy fresh cow's milk for me and collects the malai to churn butter. I remember sitting next to her while she churns the butter and I used to stick my finger in, scrape off the butter and lick it. It was so delicious. And with that freshly churned butter she made ghee. Ah the entire house would smell divine. This is my first HOMEMADE GHEE. I never bothered making it home. Store boughts were too convenient. Since Little A is on solids now I wanted to make ghee at home for him. 

                  



But, Its super easy making at home. You let the butter melt and turn off the gas after the crackling stops. That's it no stirring or no techniques really.  When you heat butter, it melts and begins to boil which makes the crackling sound. Then the milk solids separates forming a white split layer on top and then it sinks to the bottom and gets toasted. That's the sediment. Final product is this beautifully amber colored Ghee / clarified butter. I loved picturing this actually. The color was so beautiful nothing like I have seen before and I just wanted to capture it. That's you will find lot of pictures in this post. Its just too beautiful not to share. 






You Will Need:
500gm Unsalted Butter, Room Temperature or chilled it does not matter
A Heavy Bottom Pan
A Fine Strainer, Metal / Cloth (metal works better)
Clean & Dry Air Tight Container
Some Curry Leaves or Drumstick Leaves (Optional, But recommended)

The Cooking:
Place a heavy bottom pan on low heat and place the butter. Let the butter melt fully and you will begin to hear some crackling noise while the butter is melting. Once the butter is fully melted it will begin to gently bubble and soon you will notice the butter splitting. They are milk solids separating from the butter. After 10 - 15 mins the crackling noise will subside (add curry leaves / drumstick leaves at this stage) and the melted butter will begin to foam up slowly raising from the pan. Turn off the heat and let the ghee rest for few mins.

Then simply strain them into an air tight container.

NOTE:

  • You don't have to keep stirring the melted butter at any point. It wont stick or get burnt in the bottom. Just let it be on a low heat.
  • Once the crackling noise stops, your ghee is done. That's the key indication.
  • Do not discard the sediments. They are just fried milk solids and they taste yum. I just had them with a spoon.
  • Also add some rice to the pan and mix it with whatever is sticking to your pan. It tastes divine. You really don't want to waste anything.
Have you checked out this Month's Event + Giveaway on the blog! Do take a peek HERE!

Happy Cooking!
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