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Monday, August 29, 2016

Vegan Banana cake with peanut butter topping .

It was my birthday & I wanted to bake a cake. I had some ripe bananas ( 4 medium or maybe small ) & some leftover gulab jamun syrup. I decided to make a banana cake. I thought about using only baking powder & no baking soda .This was the way to keep colour of the cake non brown. I wanted to do some frosting & googled & got this peanut butter frosting idea.I used just peanut butter without any cream or sugar. I like the peanut butter taste .Moreover, I recycled leftover gulab jamun syrup into the cake recipe. Skipped using sugar other than the left over syrup.

Ingredients  : 1 cup whole wheat flour, 1/4 cup maida, 4-5 small bananas ( not elaichi bananas ) , 1/2 cup gulab jamun syrup, 1 tbsp of assorted  sun dried  fruits like cranberries & blueberries ( optional )   1 tbsp oil,1-2 tbsp peanut butter, 1 tbsp sugar strand sprinkles( optional ) , 1.5 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp cardamom powder,a pinch of salt.

Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius.

Method : Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius.

Mix the atta, maida, baking powder, cardamom powder , salt  with a fork or a whisk many times over till all get mixed nicely with one another. This is the dry mix .Keep aside.

Peel & mash the bananas into a pulp.Add oil & the leftover gulab jamun syrup.Mix all nicely. thsi is the wet mix.Keep   aside.

Make a well in the dry mix .Pour the wet mix into the well & start mixing with a whisk.Mix till no lumps remain.Add water drop by drop if the dough is too dry or has lumps in it. The dough must have no lumps. Add in the assorted sun dried berries. Alternatively , chopped walnuts or almonds or raisins can be added as well.

Line the inside of baking vessel with butter paper. Pour the cake dough into the lined baking vessel. Bake at 180 degrees centigrade for 40-45 minutes or till a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. I always bake it in microwave mode for five minutes after this 45 minutes baking just to make sure that no part of cake remains uncooked.

Initially, bake the cake by covering the cake with aluminium foil.Towards the end that is after 29-30 minutes of baking are over, put off oven.Remove the aluminum foil & bake the remaining 15 minutes. This is to prevent burning of cake top .Caketop may get burnt if left uncovered.The last 15 minutes of baking are done by uncovering top to ensure browning of cake .This browning gives a nice crust to the cake.After 45 minutes baking, bake in microwave mode for five minutes to prevent any part of cake from remaining cooked.

Let the cake remain in the oven. After fifteen minutes or more, take out cake & cool it outside for 35 -45 minutes. It must be at room temperature to add the peanut butter topping. Put the cake vessel upside down on to a plate. Remove the butter paper from the bottom. Now put the cake with the bottom side up on the plate.

Start smearing the cake top with peanut butter by a spoon or a butter knife.I spread a thin layer. Then tried to sprinkle some coloured sugar strands in a pattern on the cake. As I tried to sprinkle, the sugar strands , the sugar strands got powdered unevenly.This can be noticed in the snaps of the cake. Satisfied, I cut the cake into desired shapes. This is my first attempt at any topping on cake & I am proud of it !

The cake felt somewhat dry.My neighbour remarked that my cakes were getting better & better at each attempt. That's the best compliment I have received !

To improve, the moistness of cake, it would be advisable to add some more oil maybe half -1 tbsp more.Alternatively, add one more ripe peeled & mashed banana.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Kiwi flavoured rasgullas.

Kiwis are in season. I had got them in my refrigerator too. So , just had an idea. Why not try rasgullas flavored with a kiwi ? And my mom's b'day was approaching too ! I googled for the recipe & drew a blank. I went ahead & made them .Method is similar to strawberry or mango rasgullas which I have posted earlier.

Ingredients : 1/2 litre low fat milk , 1/2 lemon , 1/2 cup sugar, 1 kiwi fruit washed & depeeled.

Method : Puree the kiwi in the mixer .Stain the pulp & keep aside. Please collect the watery liquid as well. Add more water to the pulp & stain it again after mixing pulp & water. Do this two three times.
Keep aside the pulp & the strained liquid separately in two vessels.

Heat  1/2 litre of milk in a vessel on the gas. When the malai starts forming on the milk being heated, add the kiwi pulp.Mix. Put off gas. The milk solids will separate & yet not much. Start squeezing the lemon into the milk .Keep mixing the milk & lemon juice. After a few minutes, all milk solids would have separated giving a clear slightly greenish grey water.Strain the liquid along with the milk solids on to a thin cloth. The water which gets collected can be used for making roti dough. Water can be added to rice while cooking as well.Wash the milk solids which have collected in the cloth 3-4 times to completely remove the smell of lemon .These milk solids form a lump called chenna or soft paneer.Tie the ends of the cloth into tight knot to remove excess water from the chenna. To facilitate this, put some heavy vessel on the cloth knot containing chenna & leave it for half an hour.

Meanwhile, put the pressure pan or any  wide vessel on the gas .Add one cup water to it. Add sugar .Put on the gas on slow mode. Very soon ,all sugar will have dissolved. Put off gas.Add the kiwi pulp strained water to this  syrup in the vessel or pressure pan.

After half an hour, untie the knots of the cloth & remove the chenna lump. It will be slightly green with black dots ( because kiwi pulp has been added ) .Knead this lump for fifteen to twenty minutes with your hands . This is to make the chenna softer & softer. Grease palms with a little ghee & start making small balls of the chenna.I got 12 small chenna balls. Drop these chenna balls into the kiwi water sugar syrup .Pressure cook these chenna balls in sugar syrup till 1 whistle. After the  whistle blows, lower the gas flame to slow. Keep it on slow flame for 8-10 minutes Then put off gas. After the cooker has cooled off ( generally 15-20 minutes ) , remove the whistle. Take off the lid. The kiwi rasgullas are ready !

The black dots seen in the kiwi rasgullas are the black seasame type seeds found in kiwis. They have a crunch too !

My rasgullas were a little hard. Perhaps, in a hurry, I had kneaded chenna just for ten minutes. Nrext time on , I will knead it for more than fifteen minutes so that the rasgullas turn out softer.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Kiwi top cake

I had a kiwi in the refrigerator.It was ripe & firm as well.So decided to google a recipe for kiwi cake.

I saw this recipe for an eggless kiwi cake.I tweaked it a little & made a vegan kiwi top cake.

Ingredients, 1 cup whole wheat flour, 1/4 cup maida, 1 tbsp flaxseed meal , 1/2 cup applesauce, 1/2 cup jaggery  sugar, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp baking powder, a kiwi , 3-4 tsps white sugar for sprinkling on kiwi slices .

Method : Pre  heat oven to 180 degrees centigrade.

.Mix whole wheat flour, maida, baking soda & baking powder nicely many times over .Keep aside.

Make apple sauce by pressure cooking an apple.Peel the apple. Remove the seeds.The apple can be cut into 4 slices or more.  Pressure cook it upto one whistle. Mash the apple pieces by hand or pav bhaji masher or mixer . Keep aside.

Alternatively, simply cut the apple into pieces. Pressure cook to 1 whistle. After it cools, de peel the apple pieces & de seed them.Mash the apples by hand or mixer or pav bhaji masher.

Soak flaxseed meal in 1/ 4 cup warm water for 15 minutes Keep aside.

Mix apple sauce, flaxseed meal soaked in water together. Add brown sugar.Mix all nicely.

Make a well in the dry ingredients mix & pour the wet mix into it. Blend all, such that,
no lumps remain in the cake batter.I had to add 1/4 cup water as the liquid content was less. Even 1 tbsp oil ( optional ) can be added & then some water drop by drop.Batter consistency must be liked idli batter.

Line a baking vessel with butter paper. Pour the cake batter into the baking vessel.Smoothen top of the cake batter with backside of spoon. Arrange kiwi slices on the top of the cake batter.Sprinkle white sugar generously  on the kiwi slices. Bake at 180 degrees centigrade for 45 minutes or till a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.

I bake in microwave mode for 5-10 minutes after the aforesaid convection baking of 45 minutes.

Cools the cake for 45 minutes-( 15 minutes in the oven ) & later outside the oven.Turn the baking vessel upside down on to a plate. Remove the butter paper sticking to the bottom & sides of the cake gently.Then turn the cake up. Cut into desired shapes & serve.

My cake turned out good.The texture was good. Sugar was just apt. Kiwi pieces taste tangy & it gives a nice flavour to the sweetness of the cake.