Saturday, 28 February 2015

Baked Sprouted Dal Vada

Last week, we were at local south Indian restaurant for a breakfast. We ordered masal vadai or paruppu vadai (Dal vada). There was lot of oil in it. (Of course, in a deep fried items oil can’t be avoided) 

Due to oil, I resist myself to make vada at home. Suddenly, my son asked “why you can’t bake a vada, instead deep fry” Not a bad idea. 

But, don’t want to bake the same vada batter and bake. Want to enhance bit healthier by adding Sprouted moong dal and Veggies.

It was not bad at all. The taste is pretty close to the original deep fry. But, the shape is not circle. It’s a bar shaped. As long as its taste good and healthy, who bothers the shape?

The Ingredients*** are :   1 cup of chana dal   ;    1 cup of sprouted moong dal        ;             1 onion chopped     ;     1/2 cup of carrot & capsicum chopped      ;      2 green chilies       ;       2 tsp of salt      ;      1 small piece of  ginger     ;     3/4 tsp baking soda.

***Please find below the ingredients name in English and Tamil at the end of this post)

Procedure :  Soak chana dal in water for 2-3 hours and drain the water. Grind channa, moong, ginger, green chili, coarsely.  Add the onion, chopped carrot & capsicum, salt, baking soda and mix well. Allow it to stand for about 10 – 15 minutes.

Transfer the mixture into a greased baking tray and spread evenly for about ¼” thickness.
Bake in the preheated oven at 180°C, for about 15-20 minutes or till top is golden brown. Cut into 1" squares.

Can be consumed with tomato ketchup or even sprinkled with chaat masala. I just eat without anything with chai.

*** Chana dal (Hindi)  =  Bengal gram (English)  = கடலை பருப்பு
Green Moong dal  (Hindi)  =  Green gram whole (English) = பாசிப் பருப்பு

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Black Forest Buns

I take this opportunity to thank Mrs.Apparna for introducing a wonderful Bun. Yes, this month challenge in we knead to bake group is Black Forest Buns. I was pretty much drawn in with the name itself. 

It’s basically, bun dough is rolled (stuffed) with berry jam and crumbled chocolate cake. Quite an innovative Bun recipe for a special (occasions) breakfast.

Ingredients for the Bun Dough:  1 ½ cup of all purpose flour    ;   1/4 cup of water   ;  1/4 cup of milk      ;      25 gms of butter        ;        1/8 cup of  Sugar        ;       ¾ tsp of yeast      ;    3/8 tsp salt.   
For Filling  :   3/8 Cups of Strawberry Jam        ;            1 ¼ cup of crumbled chocolate sponge cake.    (Chocolate sponge cake recipe from here)

For drizzling: ¼ cup semi sweet chocolate 

Pour the water and milk in a saucepan and heat up the pan. Once, the mixture is hot (not boiling) remove the pan from heat.

Pour this liquid into a large working bowl and add butter and stir until the butter melted. Add sugar and stir until it dissolves. Allow the mixture to cool down till it is lukewarm. At this stage, add the yeast and mix well. 

Add 1 cup of the flour and salt to the yeast mixture and mix well. Starts knead the dough; add the flour little by little as and when required. Knead until it is smooth and elastic.

Form a ball shaped dough and coat with oil and cover with damp cloth and leave it at room temperature for about 60 – 90 minutes or it rise to double in volume. 

Deflate the dough and place the dough on a flat surface and roll it out into an approximately 11” by 4” rectangle. 

Spread the strawberry jam on the rectangle shaped dough, leaving about ½’’ all around. Sprinkle the chocolate cake crumbs on top of the jam spread.

Now, bring both the ends of the (long side) dough together and pinch the dough to close. Now its looks like the roll. (Cylindrically shaped dough filled with jam and cake crumbs) you may apply little water to close the both ends of the dough.

Cut the roll into six equal pieces with a sharp knife or dough scraper. Place each piece in a prepared cake tin leaving enough space for them to expand.

Make sure, to place a parchment paper to fit well around each piece to make sure it rises only in height. Cover the cake tin with damp cloth and leave it in room temperature for about 60 minutes or till double in size.

Transfer the tin into 180°C pre-heated oven and bake for about 30 minutes. Allow to cool.  Drizzle with melted chocolate and serve.

It’s altogether a different feel while eating. I recommend Black Forest Buns for a special breakfast.

Saturday, 14 February 2015


Couple of year ago, my husband brought a Sacher Torte from Vienna as a Valentine’s day gift for me.  This year, I want to treat my Hubby with the same. (Of course made by me)

Sacher Torte is a very special chocolate torte, invented in Vienna by the chef Franz Sacher in 1832. The layered cakes are generally known as torte. So, with the Inventor name is known as Sacher Torte.  I try to post few more interesting Torte’s this year.

Though the Sacher Hotel in Vienna claims they only have the original recipe, I think it’s an open secret now. It’s basically a chocolate cake, coated with apricot jam and chocolate icing on top of it. However, I adopted the recipe from here

Making the Sacher Torte is not an easy task. Its time consuming but, at the end it’s worth it. – Trust me.

Here the ingredients list: 

For Chocolate sponge cake:   60gms of bittersweet chocolate     ;             60gms of soft butter          ;        1/2 cup of confectioner sugar         ;        3 eggs  (yolks & whites separated)      ;         1/2 cup of all purpose flour   ;  1 tsp of Vanilla

For Apricot Glaze :   5/8 cup of apricot jam or preserves      ;         2 tbsp of rum or water

For Chocolate Glaze   :    ½ cup of granulated sugar         ;          1/4 cup water         ;             60 gms bittersweet chocolate

For Piping :  50gms of semi sweet chocolate     ;      1 tsp of Olive oil

Procedure to make Cake:  Melt the chocolate using double boiler and allow it to cool.

Using the kitchen aid or standing mixer beat the butter at medium speed with paddle blade attachment for about a minute and add ¼ cup of confectioners’ sugar and continue to beat at high speed until light in color and texture, may take about 2 minutes.

While running the mixer, add the egg yolks one by one. Also add melted chocolate and Vanilla.

Beat (at high speed) the egg whites and ¼ cup of confectioners’ sugar in a separate bowl using the hand mixer until to form soft, shiny peaks.

Stir about one fourth of the beaten whites into the chocolate mixture and fold gently.  then fold in the remaining whites in to the choco-mixture.

Sift half of the flour over the chocolate mixture, and fold in with a large rubber spatula. Repeat with the remaining flour.

Transfer the cake batter into a pre-greased pan and spread evenly. Transfer the pan into a 200°C pre-heated oven for about 45 minutes or until it’s done.

Allow the cake to cool completely.  Meanwhile, in bowl mix the apricot jam with 2 tbsp of rum and combine well.

Once, the cake cooled, using serrated knife, trim the top of the cake to make it level. (While baking the center of cake must have bulged slightly) and cut the cake horizontally into two equal layers.

On the bottom layer, spread little apricot jam and glaze (very thin layer) thoroughly.  Place the second cake layer on top of the glaze and again glaze the top and sides with apricot jam. Allow the glaze to set.

Meanwhile, let’s prepare the chocolate glaze. This step is important and needs to be prepared freshly and need to be glazed on the cake, when it’s warm.

In heavy bottom pan, add ¼ cup of water and ½ cup of granulated sugar, bring to boil. Stir to dissolve the sugar completely. Once the mixture reaches 112°C (using the candy thermometer***) remove the pan from heat.

*** If you do not have one, don’t worry. Check the other procedure below in a video link.

Add the 60 gms bittersweet chocolate (chopped) in hot sugar mixture and whisk the pan. If it thickens up quite a bit, return it to low heat and add a few drops of water to thin it out to a runny, pourable consistency. 

Pour the entire warm chocolate glaze on top of the cake. Using a metal offset spatula, gently glaze the cake all over. Allow it to cool to room temperature and then transfer the cake to Refrigerator for about an hour. Remove the cake from the refrigerator about 1 hour before serving.

You may leave it at this point. But, to give credits to the Inventor Mr. Franz Sacher, it’s a tradition to put his name on the cake.

To do this, Add the 50gms of semi sweet chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and melt the same. Add 1

tsp of Olive oil to the melted chocolate and stir well to get the piping consistency. Transfer to the piping bag and go on. (I know, I am not good at piping)

The Sacher-Torte is served with Cream (unsweetened) traditionally. But, I treated my Valentine with hot Black coffee.  Imm……’s Divine.