Sunday, 30 November 2014

Swimming Pool Theme Cake

Two weeks ago, there was a swimming meet at American British Academy. Where, my son clocked 56 sec in 100 m free style for the first time !. 56 in 100 was his (also mine) long time dream and I would say it’s a significant break thru.

To celebrate this and to surprise him, I thought of baking a theme cake. Usually, theme cakes are of a lengthy procedure also needs lot of patience and artistic mind. Though, I don’t have both, still made an attempt. 

I know, it’s not 100% perfect. But, good enough to impress my Son. (As usual not my husband!)

I split the procedure into five parts and here we go…… 

Basic Sponge Cake :
Ingredients :  1 cup of all purpose flour (take out 2tbsp of flour and add 2 tbsp corn flour)   ;  3 no’s of  Egg   ;     2/3 cup of Sugar    ;   10 gms of melted Butter    ;   10 gms of Oil     ;   20 ml of milk  (if needed you can add by 1tbsp)

In a double boiler, add eggs and sugar and whisk until the sugar dissolved (do not over heat). Remove the bowl from the double boiler.

Using the electric mixer, beat at high speed unit the stiff peaks formed may take about 5 – 7 minutes. 

Set the mixer speed to medium and beat further 5 minutes until the batter becomes foamy. Reduce speed to low, and whisk further 2-3 minutes more until shiny and smooth.

Now add the flour little by little and quick fold with and spatula so that it fully blended well. But, continue the folding even after the flour is no longer visible.

Now add all the rest of the ingredients (butter, oil and milk) in the double boiler so that the butter melts and all combine well. Add the mixture into the flour mixture and mix well with spatula.

Transfer the mixture into pre greased and floured rectangle pan for swimming pool cake. Bake for 20 minutes in an oven preheated to 180°C. Reduce the temperature to 160℃ and bake for another 8-10 minutes.

Transfer the cake to the wired rack and allow it to cool.

Butter Icing
Ingredients :  200gms of butter    ;      2 ½  cups of icing sugar       ;       1 tsp vanilla powder        ;     3 tbsp of heavy cream

Procedure : Beat the butter and add ½ cup of icing sugar and continue beating till it become pale. Again add ½ cup sugar and beat further till it blend well. Finally add all the remaining part of icing sugar, vanilla powder and cream and blend until fully cooperate.

Modeling chocolate ( for pool tiles)
Ingredients :  1/2 cup of white chocolate ;    1 ½ tbsp of corn syrup     ;   blue (food) color

Procedure : melt the chocolate in the microwave and add the corn syrup and mix well quickly otherwise chocolate may stiffen.

Transfer the chocolate to a sturdy plastic bag and keep it at room temperature for about 24 hrs. add add blue (food) color and knead it until it is soft enough to work with. (If, sticky add corn flour. If, dry add corn syrup)

Roll it and cut it small square (for pool tiles) 

Piping gel (for pool water)
Ingredients :   1cup of corn syrup    ;      1 tbsp of gelatin      ;            1tbsp of water ;        blue (food) color

Dissolve gelatin in the water for 2 minutes and microwave for 30 seconds and mix with hot corn syrup and Stir well, to combine. Add blue (food) color and allow it to cool.

Cake Assembly  : 1 cup of strawberry jam; some skittles used as a lane dividers.

Cut the cake into two halves and spread the jam on the one half and top of it spread the butter cream and place the other half and firmly press.

Cut the 0.5 cm depth (top layer) of the cake in order to fill the prepared piping gel as water.  
Cover the cake with butter icing cream and fix the modeling chocolate on the sides as pool tiles. Pour the piping gel to give water effect and then place the skittles as a divider / rope.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Sheermal or Shirmal


Sheermal is a mildly sweet naan made out of maida, leavened with yeast, baked in a tandoor or oven. Though it’s from Persian origin, it is quite popular in Lucknow and Hyderabad. 

My regular readers know that, I try my level best to avoid maida and ghee in my preparations. But, this bread I am baking with 100% maida. Because, sheermal was baked for We Knead To Bake #22

Ingredients:      2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (maida)    ;    ¾ tsp of  instant yeast    ;    2 tsp of  sugar     ;     1/4 cup of lukewarm water      ;        3/4 tsp of salt      ;        1 egg lightly beaten      ;         1/4 cup of  ghee     ;     1/2 cup of  milk (or more, as required for kneading)         ;    1/4 tsp of cardamom powder       ;    2tbsp  of milk      ;     melted butter for brushing

Procedure : Mix the yeast into the warm water with sugar and set aside for 5 min.

Add flour and salt in a bowl and add the yeast mixture, beaten egg and mix well. Now add the ghee in two lots and mix further till it looks like fine crumbs.

Now add as much milk, cardamom powder and knead until you have very soft and slightly sticky dough. Transfer this to an oiled bowl cover with a damp cloth for 2 hours or till doubled in volume.

Deflate the dough and knead again and shape into a ball. Lightly coat all over with a little ghee, cover with a damp cloth and allow it rest for about 15 to 20 minutes.

Divide the dough into 4 equal portions and using your fingers, press out each portion into a round of approximately 4” diameter and about 1/8” thick. You may use rolling pin also)

Place the rounds on a parchment lined or lightly greased baking tray and using a fork prick holes on the whole surface.

Brush the bread all over, lavishly with milk. Bake in a per-heated oven at 180°C for about 10 to 15 minutes till they turn a lovely golden brown.

Take them out of the oven, and immediately brush them lightly with butter. Serve warm along with mutton curry. 

Friday, 21 November 2014

No Knead Artisan Rolls

Due to the recent rain fall, the weather became cold and the winter begins earlier than last year.

In winter, I always try my level best to serve hot bread (direct from oven) for a weekend breakfast with fresh tropical juice. 

With the week end laziness, it’s quite difficult to start the dough preparation in the morning. Moreover, in winter fermentation process may take up to 3- 4 hrs.  Hence, the perfect choice is No – Knead Artisan Rolls.

Because, the dough prepared in the previous night. Without any much of kneading. In the morning all you have to do is just have a coffee and Bake.

Just, imagine……In a winter, the flavor of Coffee and the bread smell from the oven. Oh, it’s divine. 

Ingredient :  2 cups of Bread flour   ;     1 cup of whole wheat flour    ;       1 ½ tsp of Salt      ;      ½ tsp of Instant yeast      ;       1 ½ cups of Cool water    ;       1 Egg for egg wash. (Option)

In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, salt and yeast.  Gradually add water and mix with wooden spoon until a shaggy mixture forms till water is fully cooperated.

Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for 10 hours. After 10 hours the dough should doubled in volume. Dust the work surface and hands with flour; shape the dough in to ball shape. If required, add little bit of flour.

Divide the dough into eight equal parts and shape them in to ball and place them on baking tray. Cover with damp cloth for about an hour. 

Give an egg wash to the rolls and score the dough with scissors.
Transfer the baking tray into a pre-heated oven and bake at 210°C for about 20 min. Serve it hot with half boil, butter and honey.

Recipe Source  Video

Monday, 17 November 2014

B/White Cup Cake with B/W Frosting

A cake baked for a single serving is known as cup cake. In general, cup cakes are not decorated (without any frosting). But, I want to make with frosting because; it’s for a special occasion. Yes, my Son’s B’day ! (He is big enough and not interested in cake cutting, like me ! :-) )

As usual, for my vegan friends, can find the Egg substitutes form Tips & Tricks Page.

Ingredients required for cake :  1 cup of All purpose flour       ;   2 Eggs    ;      ¾ cup of Sugar (Powdered)      ;    1 tsp of baking powder    ;     1 tsp of Vanilla essence   ;     100 gms of Butter   ;    2 tsp of Coco Powder     ;    ¼ Cup of  Skimmed milk

Ingredients required for Frosting: 1 cup of Whipped Cream    ;     1 tsp of Icing sugar   ;  ¼ cup of semi sweet chocolate (melted & cooled)

Cake Making Procedure:  Mix the flour and baking powder and keep aside. 

Blend well the powdered sugar and butter in a bowl using kitchen aid at medium speed.
Add vanilla and egg to the butter mixture and again blend about 2 minutes. Then add milk and blend further about 2 minutes and add flour little by little till the batter formed well. 

Divide the batter into two equal parts and add coco powder to one portion, mix until it fully cooperated. Now, we have two batters, one in while color (without coco) another in brown (with coco).

In muffin tray (prepared by paper or aluminum cups) pour the 2 tbsp of white batter and 1 tbsp coco batter, on top of white batter. Bake at 180°c for 20 min on a pre-heated Oven. Allow the Cup cakes to cool.

For frosting, Beat chilled Whipped cream gently till soft peaks. Add icing sugar, vanilla essence to the cream and beat again until stiff peaks are just about to form. Over beat may lead the cream become lumpy, like butter. 

Divide the cream into two equal parts and add melted chocolate to one portion and fold gently (do not mix) 

Now, we have two portions of cream. One in while color (without chocolate) another in brown (with chocolate).

Spread about 1 tbsp of white frosting on the cup cake and add 1 tbsp of chocolate frosting cream on top (of white) and swirl with tooth pick and transfer to the fridge for about 20 min.