Saturday, November 29, 2008

My First Daring Bakers Challenge!! - Caramel Cake

When i was passing by other foodie blogs, i stumbled across the Daring Bakers. Daring Bakers is an online growing bunch of foodie bloggers who every month look forward for a challenge and present their challenges on the same day in their respective food blogs. Lis of La Mia Cucina and Ivonne of Cream Puffs in Venice were the two who first hosted Daring Bakers Challenge. Here you'll get to see the same recipe presented in thousands of innovative ways. Its so much fun..

About this months November challenge, all the credit goes to the leading lady Shuna Fish Lydon of Eggbeater with her signature recipe "Caramel cake" and the hosts Dolores of "Culinary Curiosity", Alex of "Blondie and Brownie" and Jenny of "Foray into Food".

This is my first "Daring Bakers" challenge and i'm so much excited. First time when i heard about this month's challenge, Caramel Cake, i thought ok, i've done this before but this time it'll be entirely a different recipe. But i loved caramel cake and was just waiting to find some occasion to bake the cake. My parents had come to visit us from India and i decided to bake this cake before they leave. The cake came very soft and spongy but the frosting was a little more sweet. So i had to add a little salt for the frosting to reduce the sweetness.

So here is the recipe..


10 Tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
1 1/4 Cups granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 Cup Caramel Syrup (see recipe below)
2 each eggs, at room temperature
splash vanilla extract
2 Cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup milk, at room temperature


Preheat oven to 350F

Butter one tall (2 – 2.5 inch deep) 9-inch cake pan.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter until smooth. Add sugar and salt & cream until light and fluffy.

Slowly pour room temperature caramel syrup into bowl. Scrape down bowl and increase speed. Add eggs/vanilla extract a little at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down bowl again, beat mixture until light and uniform.

Sift flour and baking powder.

Turn mixer to lowest speed, and add one third of the dry ingredients. When incorporated, add half of the milk, a little at a time. Add another third of the dry ingredients, then the other half of the milk and finish with the dry ingredients. {This is called the dry, wet, dry, wet, dry method in cake making. It is often employed when there is a high proportion of liquid in the batter.}

Take off mixer and by hand, use a spatula to do a few last folds, making sure batter is uniform. Turn batter into prepared cake pan.

Place cake pan on cookie sheet or 1/2 sheet pan. Set first timer for 30 minutes, rotate pan and set timer for another 15-20 minutes. Your own oven will set the pace. Bake until sides pull away from the pan and skewer inserted in middle comes out clean. Cool cake completely before icing it.

Cake will keep for three days outside of the refrigerator.


2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1 cup water (for "stopping" the caramelization process)

In a small stainless steel saucepan, with tall sides, mix water and sugar until mixture feels like wet sand. Brush down any stray sugar crystals with wet pastry brush. Turn on heat to highest flame. Cook until smoking slightly: dark amber.

When color is achieved, very carefully pour in one cup of water. Caramel will jump and sputter about! It is very dangerous, so have long sleeves on and be prepared to step back.

Whisk over medium heat until it has reduced slightly and feels sticky between two fingers. {Obviously wait for it to cool on a spoon before touching it.}

Note: For safety reasons, have ready a bowl of ice water to plunge your hands into if any caramel should land on your skin.


12 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound confectioner’s sugar, sifted
4-6 tablespoons heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2-4 tablespoons caramel syrup
Kosher or sea salt to taste

Cook butter until brown. Pour through a fine meshed sieve into a heatproof bowl, set aside to cool.

Pour cooled brown butter into mixer bowl.

In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, add confectioner's sugar a little at a time. When mixture looks too chunky to take any more, add a bit of cream and or caramel syrup. Repeat until mixture looks smooth and all confectioner's sugar has been incorporated. Add salt to taste.

Note: Caramelized butter frosting will keep in fridge for up to a month.
To smooth out from cold, microwave a bit, then mix with paddle attachment until smooth and light.

I used chocolate pieces to decorate the sides and caramel sauce to top on it.

Ingredients for Caramel sauce:

Sugar - 1 cup
Butter 6 Tbsp
Heavy whipping cream - 1/2 cup


1) Take a heavy ,thick bottomed saucepan. Heat sugar on high till it melts completely and starts getting brown. Dont let it burn. immediately add the butter to the pan. Whisk until the butter has melted.

2)Once the butter has melted, take the pan off the heat. Count to three, then slowly add the cream to the pan and continue to whisk to incorporate.

3)Whisk until caramel sauce is smooth. Let cool in the pan for a couple minutes, then pour into a glass jar and let sit to cool to room temperature.You can store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

OR Have a look at this video..

I enjoyed making this cake and now waiting for the next challenge..:)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Spring onion Rotti

Rotti is a kannada term used in south India for an unleavened flat bread. This bread is made by taking a handful of the dough on a flat skillet and flattening it using your fingers(Ref fig.). This bread is usually prepared as a brekfast in south India.

Here is the recipe..

1 bunch of spring onions, chopped
1/2 cup carrot, grated
1 1/2 cup rice flour
1 or 2 Green chilli, Chopped (as per your taste)
1 tsp Cumin seeds
1/2 cup Fresh coconut, grated
few springs of coriander
Salt to taste

Mix all the ingredients with water to form a very soft dough. The dough needs to be thick enough to flatten and not very thinny and watery.

Keep a cup of water beside to dip your fingers in while flattening the dough. This helps in spreading the dough evenly.

you can flatten it very thin if you want a crispy rotti and a little thick for a soft rotti. After you've flattened, make a small hole in the center with your index finger.

Now pour little oil all over the rotti, around the edges, in the center and every where. Now close a lid on top and let it cook on medium to high heat, till the base has turned golden brown.

Serve hot with Coconut chutney.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Panchamel Khichadi

Khichadi is basically a South Asian rice dish which is prepared with a combination of lentils and rice. This Khichadi, that is "Panchamel" is a combination of "Panch" meaning "five" lentils and rice. This dish is time saver, light and very nutritious. It's a great dish for people who are into diet and who also love food. You just need to spend 15 minutes in preparation and 15 minutes in cooking.

Here you go..


1 1/2 cups long grained rice
2 tbsp split red lentil (masoor dal)
2 tbsp split bengal gram (chana dal)
2 tbsp split yellow lentil (yellow moong dal)
2 tbsp red gram dhal (toor dal)

1/2 onion, cut into cubes
1/2 cup cabbage, cut into big pieces
3/4 cup cauliflower, cut into florets
1 potato (medium sized), peeled and cut into chunks
1/2 cup green peas
1/2 cup tomatoes, chopped

Seasoning and spices-
2 Tbsp Ghee or Oil
1 tsp Cumin seeds
1 tsp finely chopped Garlic
1 tsp grated Ginger
1 tsp chilli powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp Sugar
salt to taste


Clean wash and soak the rice and dals for approx. 15 minutes. Drain and keep aside.

Heat the ghee in a pressure cooker and add the cumin seeds.

When the seeds crackle, add the garlic and ginger and saute for 1 minutes.

Add the onions and saute till the onions turn traslucent.

Add the cabbage, cauliflower, potatoes and peas and saute for some time.

Add the chilli powder, turmeric powder and coriander powder and stir again.

Add the tomatoes and saute for some more time.

Add the rice and dals, 3 1/2 cups of hot water, salt and sugar and pressure cook for 2 whistles.

Allow the steam to escape before opening.

Serve hot.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

My First Blogger Awards!!

What makes a food blog good? Frequency of posting, pictures and videos, overall presentation, quality of writing, relevancy, usefulness and originality are all important, but mostly, it should be fun. I had created this blog just with the intention of sharing my work and recipes.. and had not expected an Award!! I thank Ramya of "Ramya's kitchen corner" for presenting me with the "Perfect Blend Of Friendship Award". Thanks a lot Ramya for considering me as your friend and reminding me of my good old days..

I would like to pass on this friendship award to
Jo of "Sugar & Everything Nice"
Vaishali of "Holy cow!"
Sweetiepie of "What Dessert for Today"


Jo of "Sugar & Everything Nice" presented me with the "Kreative Award". Thank you so much Jo and i'll definitely try to keep your expectations.

And here i'm tagged by Jo and Ramya for 7 Meme. Now i'll be passing on this award to 7 other fellow bloggers and before that i have a hard work to do.. So here i start!!

7 things I say most Often
1) Oh my God
2) I want that
3) What the hell.. (this is when i mess up things in my kitchen)
4) I wanna sleep (i love doing this.. anytime!!)
5) Pls ya... Dont do that. (i keep telling this to my 1 year old Daughter)
6) Hmm... it was awesome (after having a heavy delicious meal)
7) Give me a break!!

7 things I did
1) I sang for my school coir team.
2) I took orange belt in Karate
3) I could dive from 10 feet high
4) I had inserted a bunch of grasses to one of my classmate's belt sitting back of her who the next moment won the best guide award. (my face had turned red when she got up to recieve the award.)
5) Climb trees
6) knit
7) Went to Court (had a minor accident)

7 things I do now
1) Cook and bake
2) Blogging
3) Full time busy with my daughter
4) Browse
5) Lots of shopping
6) Watch lots of movies
7) Go for a walk

7 things I want to do
1) Sky Diving
2) Attend a baking course
3) Want to get back to my country, India.
4) Paint and sketch (not finding time..)
5) Want to own a big Kitchen with all the facilities
6) Want to loose weight
7) Want to be independent

7 things that attract me about the opposite sex
1) Style
2) Looks
3) Smile
4) Height
5) Honesty
6) Punctuality
7) Eyes

7 favorite foods
1) Vegetable Pulav
2) Chocolate brownie
3) Cakes and pastrys
4) Bread
5) Onion pakoda
6) Apple strudel
7) Butterscotch ice cream with roasted nuts and honey

7 other Bloggers to whom i want to pass on this award to..
1) Divya Vikram of "Dil se"
2) Sweetiepie of "Whats dessert for today"
3) Sia of "Monsoon spice"
4) Natalie gauci of "Snooky Doodle Cakes"
5) Irene of "Of Dreams and Sweets"
6) Amy of "Nook & Pantry"
7) Sunita of "Sunita's world"

I just love going through their blogs and recipes and its fun trying them out. I congratulate all of you. So i request all of you to come out of your usual blog work and have fun answering these questions and do pass on this award to 7 other fellow bloggers to whom you appreciate.


Kitchen Flavours of yummy food has honored me with the 360 deg Foodie Award. Thanks a ton.

Once again i congratulate you all who have recieved the awards :)
Have fun

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


These Torteletts have a great combination of the crispy crust and ineffable light filling. Tastes great when warm. Its a lovely dessert to be opted during parties.

Gives 18 Torteletts

You'll need the following ingredients
175 gm All purpose flour
80 gm Butter
20 gm Sugar
1 tbsp Water

For the Filling
100gm Cream cheese
25 gm Sugar
1 small egg, lightly beaten
50 gm Dark bitter chocolate , melted

For Decorating
100 gm Whipped cream
Chocalte Shavings
Coco powder, to sprinkle

Sieve the flour. Cut the butter into small pieces and rub it into the flour till you get a crumble texture. Add the sugar and water to form a soft dough. Wrap the dough ina plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

Place the dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll it.

Cut the rolled dough into 18 small circles and place them onto a mini muffin tray. you can also make big Torteletts that can fit into your regular muffin tray.

Mix together the cream cheese and sugar. Add in the egg and the melted chocolate. Mix well till no lumps are formed.

Fill in the cream cheese and chocolate mixture into the muffin tray onto the dough.

Bake them in a preheated oven of 190 deg C for 15 minutes, till the base is crisp and the filling is firm. Cool on a wire rack.

Place the Torteletts in a cool place. Whip the cream till it holds stiff peaks. Place a spoon full of whipped cream onto the Torteletts. Decorate the Torteletts with few chocolate shavings and sprinkle some coco powder on top.

Enjoy the lovely dessert :)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Finnish pulla

Like broiche and challah, Finnish pulla is a butter and egg rich bread. Although it can be served at any time, it is often a celebration loaf. The traditional flavouring for a pulla is cardamom, which is invariably lackluster.

Adapted from Baking with Julia

You'll need the following ingredients..
1 cup Milk
1 tbsp Active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water(about 110 deg F)
1/2 cup Sugar
1 tsp Crushed cardamom seeds(from about 7 pods)
1 tsp Salt
2 large eggs, lightly beaten, at room temperature
4 1/2 to 5 cups All purpose flour (unbleached)
1 stick Unsalted butter, melted

For Glaze
1 large egg beaten with 1 tbsp milk

For topping
Sliced almonds
Pearl sugar

Put the milk in a small saucepan and scald it(heat it until a ring of small bubbles is visible around the sides of the pan). Remove the pan from the heat and cool the milk to a room temperature of between 105 deg F and 115 deg F.

In a large bowl, whisk the yeast into the warm water. Set aside for 5 minutes, or until the yeast has dissolved and is creamy. Whisk in the milk, sugar, cardamom, salt and eggs. Switch to a wooden spoon, add 2 cups of flour, and beat the mixture until smooth. Beat in the butter and add as much additional flour, 1/2 cup at a time, as you can until the dough is stiff but not dry.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rest for 15 minutes.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until it is smooth and satiny, about 10 minutes.

Shape the dough into a ball. Place it in a lightly greased bowl, turn it around in the bowl to grease the top, and cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise at room temperature until it doubles in bulk, 45 minutes to 1 hour. You can use the method for raising the dough in winter which is given in my layered rolls recipe.

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside

Turn the dough out onto the oiled surface and knead it lightly and briefly, just to deflate it and release the air. Divide the dough into thirds and roll each third into a rope of about 36 inches long. Braid the three strands(refer my challah recipe), braiding as far down to the bottom of the strands as you can. lift the long braid onto the parchment-lined pan, shaping it into a circle as you place it on the pan. Snip about 1 inch of dough off each end of the braid and fuse the ends together, pressing ans pinching them (if necessary) to fit.

Cover the wreath with a kitchen towel and allow it to rise at room temperature until it is puffy but not doubled, about 45 minutes.

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375 deg F(190 deg C).

Brush the egg glaze over the bread. Sprinkle the wreath with sliced almonds and pearl sugar.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden, taking care not to over bake the wreath. Transfer the loaf to a rack to cool at room temperature before cutting.

The bread will keep for a day at room temperature, lightly covered with plastic. If you want to keep the bread longer, wrap it air tight ans freeze it for upto 1 month. Thaw, still wrapped, at room temperature.

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