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Monday, August 25, 2014

Vegan banana cake

During independence day celebrations ,there were sales galore.There were too many tempting offers.One such offer was regarding microwave convection oven.I own a microwave oven.I have made cakes.My cakes are quite nice.They are fluffy & healthy as whole grain flour is used.Yet ,my cakes never have the brown crusts that cakes baked in convection ovens have.So I fell for the offer.I went ahead & brought one.Initially,I felt ,I had erred as I will have yo learn the operations afresh & that is such a chore.Still,when the cakes rise,I forget all & smile.So temptation was worth it.I tried this  vegetarian banana cake.Well,I couldn't believe that the recipe was just what I wanted.It had explained how to bake cake in microwave convection oven ! I tweaked the recipe a bit & got a superb cake !

Ingredients : 3-4 bananas pureed ( these were small sized bananas & the more over ripe ,the better for cake ),1 cup multigrain atta ,1/3 cup brown sugar,1tbsp oil,1/2 tsp baking powder,1/2 tsp baking soda,1/2 tsp vanilla essence,salt to taste,5-10 halved walnuts ( any other nuts like almonds,cashews,can be used instead ) ,salt to taste.

Method : Preheat the oven at 180 degrees centigrade.

Mix all dry ingredients namely multigrain atta,sugar,baking powder , baking soda & salt.I mix nicely with whisk so that all get evenly spread throughout the mix.Keep aside.

Mix all wet ingredients that is banana puree,oil,vanilla essence.Keep aside.

Make a well in the dry mix & pour the wet mix into it.Mix nicely till a batter is formed.If the batter is too thick,add water & make it thinner.Batter must have just drop down consistency.So it must be thicker than idli batter & thinner than chapatti dough.Now add the halved walnuts into it.Alternatively ,walnuts can be added on top of the batter in the cake vessel.

Line a glass or silicone vessel with butter paper.Pour the cake batter into it.Add walnuts on top of cake batter if they have not been mixed in batter in earlier step.

Bake in preheated microwave convection oven for 35-40 minutes or till a knife or spoon inserted in cake comes out clean.

Let it cool.This will take another half an hour or more.Then take it upside down on plate.Cut into desired shapes & serve.Cake was just sweet.So,if need be,more sugar can be added.Please note that I used broun  sugar.Brown sugar is less sweet compared to white sugar. My mom said that I need to have put more oil.Maybe one more tablespoon of oil will make cake more soft.My dad said  it was soft enough.

I was thrilled as my cake had that brown crust which I had eyed on cakes baked in convection ovens.I felt that I should have added walnuts after I had poured batter into the vessel for baking.So next cake ,I am going to try that !

Tip : This cake comes out well with wholewheat flour as well.If 1 cup atta is taken , 1/4 cup maida can be added to get a lovely texture & all will think cake is made from maida.

In place of vanilla essence, use  1 tsp of cardamom powder to give this cake that Indian spice touch ! 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Rasgullas : Spoilt milk.

My mother had gone out of town.She had kept 1/2 litre milk packet in the refrigerator.And not in the freezer.The day she was to arrive home,I started warming the milk.After some time ,I heard some noise from the milk which was getting heated up.It was jumping.It was curdling.I kept the gas on.It curdled & seperated into whey & the water.I thought ,why not make rasgullas with the paneer type part which is gathering in the transparent watery solution.

Ingredients : 1/2 litre spoiled milk,1/2 cup sugar ,1 cup water, 3-4 cardamoms ...de peeled & grounded , kesar ( optional ).

I got a thin muslin cloth & filtered it out.The water I collected in a vessel.This water can be used for making rice and for kneading dough for rotis,etal.I washed the paneer in the muslin cloth twice or thrice with water .Pl read step by step instructions at Sangeeta Khanna's blog 

Then I kept the paneer all covered up tightly in the muslin cloth for about 1/2 - 1 hour so that remaining water gets drained away.Knead this mass nicely for about ten minutes till no lumps remain.Add 1-2 strands of kesar to this white mass.It will become very soft after kneading for 10 minutes.Apply a little ghee( if needed )  to the palms & make small balls out of the chenna. Repeat the process to make more balls till all chenna gets over.Keep aside.

In a vessel take 1/2 cup sugar.Add 1 cup water .Boil till, all sugar dissolves. Cardammom powder can be added while it is boiling.Put off the gas.

Drop the chenna balls into the sugar syrup.Take a pressure cooker & put the vessel containing chenna balls in sugar syrup in the cooker.Pressure cook till 1 whistle.Then lower the gas & cook for 5 minutes on slow .Put off the gas.I released the pressure after this step by slowly lifting the whistle .Then after the cooker's whistle became silent , remove the whistle.

Then remove the lid of pressure cooker.Take out the vessel containing rasgullas .

The rasgullas were spongy & yet they were  flattened...perhaps the syrup was less...so next time ,I will add more water.And still ,the rasgullas were intact not broken or torn. This is better explained at banaras ka khana ...so use more water for syrup.....maybe 1/3 cup sugar & 1 cup water for rasgullas made from 1/2 cup milk.Then the rasgullas will be round.

The black dots or specks that are seen are coarsely grounded cardamoms...because I was unable to grind them finely.

All who ate them were full of praise for my make over of spoiled milk ...they were very soft unlike market brought ones which are rubbery .So I was thrilled !