Friday, May 29, 2009

Eggless Black Forest Cake - Getting bolder with baking

It was my nephew , Aaditya's birthday who was visiting us from Malvan in his summer vacation . When he got to know that I had prepared Amogh's birthday cake , he was quite excited about his birthday cake which was obviously I had to prepare. I remember when we were kid , my mother used to prepare cake in pressure cooker. We used to be amazed about the same. And without caring much about the sponginess, cream on it , we used to finish it. My brother was and still is great fan of cakes. Papa used to get small cup cakes from local bakery . We used to call them "Waati cakes", may be they resemble like small stainless steel bowl which is called "waati" in marathi.
So I was thinking which cake to prepare and finally decided on Black Forest. It was quite a challenge since I had to prepare an eggless cake again. I do prepapre eggless cake but my personal favourite is cake with egg in it. Anyways , The chocolate sponge recipe is Here . I prepared the 2 sponge , one round in 9" spring form tin and one small hexagonal.(In this case i just reduced the ingredients to half).
500 ml Heavy whipping cream
1 tsp Vanilla extract
5 tsp Confectioners sugar (You can check for sweetness)
Mix all the ingredients till soft peaks are form.
Actually I had read somewhere that the cherry syrup is used in Black Forest Cake. The same was not available at my place . In such case whats better than googling your way out.I did the same and found alternative in sugar syrup @ Shilpa's aayi's recipe.
I used bottled cherries and dark grated chocolate for decorations.
  • Refrigerate the sponge at least for 2-3 hrs . It will help cutting the sponge. I have cut both the sponges in 2 layers each.
  • Put upper part of cake on plate and spread the sugar syrup on it followed by cream.Spred few chopped cherries. Place the other layer on it and repeat the procedure for all layers.
  • Press the cake slightly and spread the cream on top and frost the sides as well.
  • Decorate with cherries and chocolate shavings.
  • Refrigerate the same to mature the flaours.Keep the cake outside of the fridge an hour before cutting.

Your Eggless black forest cake is ready to be devoured . The cake was bit dense this time but tasted good. May be because we cut it right out of fridge.

One funny incident had happened , Pratham ,my other 5 yrs old nephew who is also a fan of chocolate and cream cake was fascinated by the cream and cherries on top. He was getting impatient to cut the same and since we were getting little late to cut the cake , he was bit irritated too. He was closely guarding the cake. At one point of time , he got so tempted that he actually licked the cream on top. Me and my SIL were literally aghast for a moment . Since all the cream was finished , we had none to put at the patch. The poor little champ was looking at us with fear in his eyes. But we just the scrapped a little little cream from sides and pasted it at the patch and no one was aware untill we told everyone after cake cutting. That's the innocence !!! We have to appreciate it ..

Chocolate Strawberry Cake - Amu's Birthday present & Its Eggless

After going through so many food blogs and especially, blogs dedicated to baking , I was truly inspired to dive in to the sea of baked items. To start with I had to purchase an OTG or a microwave. And my struggle to find the right option started thereon. The journey was a complete mixture of online research , literally interviewing the people who already had both musts in bakers world. The final verdict was not surprising but expected..... 50- 50..... In such cases , you just have to trust your conscience... I did the same and purchased an OTG. I am really happy that I made this choice. Results are amazing.. even though my first eggless chocholate cake was a total disaster in taste...but it rose very well and had that good crumb, moist and spongy. It had everything but the TASTE..... But it is said and proved "Failure is the first step towards success " . I literally believed in the same and dared to prepare my sons' First Birthday Cake... Risk factor was very high.. But that's my gift to my son.. He is too small to understand the same.. But one day he ll realise that... The cake was really good in taste . Eventhough it was eggless, it was spongy. I frosted it with chocolate ganache. Design and the flaovur were inspired by Deeba's Strawberry and Chocolate Cake at Passionate About Baking . We all enjoyed the cake and the dinner which was followed after cake cutting.
I wanted to try Madhuram’s Eggless Chocolate Cake Recipes recipe which had silken tofu. But i could not found the silken tofu here in pune. After a bit on googling, I zeroed in on one with condensed milk.
Here is the recipe :
Condensed Milk :- 200gm (I used half tin of Milkmaid)
2 Cups :- All purpose flour ( + 3 tsp)
1 tablespoon :- Baking Powder
1/2 tablespoon :- Soda Bi Carb
2 tablespoon :- Castor Sugar
Melted butter :- 60 gm
1/2 tablespoon Strawberry essence
Milk :- 100 ml
Soda :- 100 ml
  1. Pre - heat the oven at 200 C.
  2. Sift all dry ingredients.
  3. Pour condensed milk in mixing bowl and add melted butter and essence to it. Beat well till smooth. Add half milk and mix well.
  4. Add flour 1 spoon at a time and beat well. Add milk as required.Check for consistency. ( Beat the batter in once direction only to incorporate the more air.) Beat the batter for 5 mins.
  5. Add soda and mix gently. Plz ensure that the air shall not escape. This will make the cake lighter and spongy.
  6. Pour into a prepared 8" spring form tin. Bake for 30 mins or the skewer inserted in the center Bake at 200 C for first 10 mins and reduce the temp to 170C till done.
  7. Cool a little and invert on a wire rack.


The recipe is same as for strawberry sponge. Only u have to replace the 3 tsp Flour with Cocoa powder and use Coke/ Pepsi/ Thums up instead of Soda.

I made the sponge one day prior , wrapped in plastic zip lock bag and refrigerated for one day.This helps in cutting the sponge in 2 layers. Divided both the sponge in 2 layers each.

Dark Chocolate :- 150 gm

Cream :- 100 - 150 ml. (It has to be of spreading consistency)

Melt the chocolate and cream in double boiler to avoid burning of chocolate. Take it off heat and mix it vigorously . Mixing will add shine to the ganache.


Cream :- 250 ml

Fresh Strawberries :- 250 gm (Chopped finely. Keep aside 5-6 strawberries for decoration)

Whipp the cream till it become stiff. Reserve the little cream for web decoration on top.Mix the finley chopped strawberries in cream


I followed the directions of Deeba while frosting it. Detailed picrures on her blog helped me to design the web on cake which was actually a centre of attention for everyone present.

I had read at Joy of Baking that once the cake are cut in 2 layers , while creaming it had to be put upside down. But this tip I read only after decorating my son's birthday cake. Hence u can see the dome shape in picture. That actually gave me tough time in spreading the ganache on top. My ganache was little watery that was also a one of the reason , it was running down the edges. But it was my first attempt and I was satisfied with the result. Now I feel a bit confident about baking cakes.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Lord Ganesha's Favourite - MODAK

Lord Ganesh is my favourite god. Whenever I look at HIM , I feel that all my tensions are relieved. I can never imagine that HE can ever be angry on anyone. HE is so cute, adorable and still has that command over you . My bonding with HIM goes back to my growing up days. Since I belong to Konkan region , we are grown up worshipping him during the Ganesh Chaturthi . As a kid , we used to gear up for Festival like anything. At my place , we keep Ganesh idol at home for 11 days. During all these days , the fun quotient used to be very high & still it is . The preparation would start 1 month prior to the festival. The house is used to be cleaned and painted every year before festival. We, kids used to enjoy every bit of it . It may be a ordeal for our elders to clean such big houses.

I still remember and miss those days. We used to get up early in the morning and get ready to go along with papa to bring the idol at home. In konkan , the idols are made of clay and not of plastar of paris and are very heavy , require at least 6-7 people to lift them. Ours is a joint family . My granny, mother and all aunties used to start their food preparations since morning . There is used to be a great spread of at least 5 vegetables, gravies , dal , snacks and the highlight of the menu…. MODAK!!! The favourites of Lord Ganesha....

We prepare Modaks of rice flour and they are steamed. I prepare Modak every month on the day of "Sankashti Chaturthi".
Ingredients :-
Rice Flour :- 1 Cup
Coconut :- 1 Cup
Jaggery :- 1/2 Cup ( add as required)
Ghee :- 2 tsp
Cardamom powder to flavour
Cashews,raisin :- Optional
Recipe :-

  1. Boil 1 and 1/2 cup of water in a heavy bottomed pan. Add salt and ghee to it.

  2. Add rice flour to it and cook it covered on low flame for 4-5 mins. (UKAD is ready)

  3. Add jaggery to wok and cook till it melts. Add scraped coconut and cardamom to it. Mix it thourughly.

  4. Add cashews and raisins (Optional. I like the cruch while eating it). Your SARAN is ready

  5. Take the cooked rice flour in dish and knead it properly. Divide the dough into small balls.(Generally I make 21 modaks for naivedya)

  6. Roll each ball to size of small puri.Place it on your Palm(apply oil generoulsy to your palm to avoid sticking of the dough) Fill it with saran.

  7. Bring together the ends in form of plates and form a tip and seal the same. Repeat the procedure for rest of dough balls.(Cover all the modaks with wet cloth to avoid drying resulting in cracking)

  8. Oil a colander and arrange all the modaks in it. Boil water in a big pot and keep the colander covered with dish on it and steam it 10- 15 mins. ( Those who have a steamer can steam the modaks in it.)

The NAIVEDYA is ready to be offered to Lord Ganesh.

During rainy season , the HALDI leaves are available. The modaks are to covered with these leaves and steamed. It gives them such exotic aroma. Mind blowing.......... Generally we stored the dried leaves also and put them in while steaming.. it also helps

Monday, May 11, 2009

Fish Fry- Its Rawa fry !!!!

A fish fry is must on plate . A fish taste best when it is fried. I personally prefer a curried fish. But my hubby likes a fried fish most. It is just like a side dish. Once I had called my office colleagues at my place for lunch.. a fishy lunch. I had prepared curry in the morning but decided to fry the fish just few mins before serving the meal. The GARAMAGARAM fried fish is always at its best when just out of TAVA ( griddle ). When i started frying the fish , the aroma just filled in my entire house.. giving quite a good competition to my colleagues patience. Biding adieu to all the so called tabel manners , they had to tell me to serve the food. Moral of the story is that a fish can be so much commanding to you. So beware !!! once you are trapped in this fishy affair , you will have to bear the consequences life long.. but it is worth it..
Ingredient :-
Fish :- 4-5 pieces (King fish/Pompfret/Backerel)
Flour( Rice/Wheat) :- 5 tsp
Rava ( Semolina) :- 2 tsp
Red chilli powder :- 1 tsp ( depending on the spicy tastebud)
Salt :- for marination
Kokum extract :- 1 tsp
Recipe :-
  1. Clean the fish and marinate with salt for half an hour.
  2. Mix the flour , red chilli powder and rava.
  3. Clean the fish again and pour the kokum extract and mix.
  4. Heat the oil in Pan for shallow frying.
  5. Covered the fish with the mixture from all sides and put in pan. Fry the fish on low flame from all sides.

And Indulged yourself with it ......

Kokum extract is called "Aagul". I get a bottle of it from Malvan every now and then. Otherwise you can make a extract by mixing 7-8 kokums in half cup of water. The same is also used for preparing SOLKADHI.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Malvani Fish Curry

If you ask any of your Malvani friends - What is your staple food. The pat reply will be "mashyachi amati , bhaat ani Bhajlelo maso" . It means Fish curry, Rice and any fried fish. My hubby dear was almost a strict vegetarian before marriage ( Fish had no entry in his pantry ) . His romance with non-vegetarian food was restricted to Chicken. Poor thing me!! Before thinking about the same , I was already badly and madly in love with him, even thought of sacrificing my love for FISH. (All the fish in the sea might have rejoiced that particular day . ) But a little birdie whispered in my ear… “Just try your luck.. it might just work..” . A bit of culinary expertise in fish dishes to my credit , I just thought to give it a try. I just convinced him to have a bite at fish. He was quite skeptical . After a little bit of tu tu main main and emotional blackmailing…(We are just blessed with skill) , he was at it. First he tried only curry portion … and he liked it..( My first step towards the success). For days , he was trying only curry and somehow one fine day I got him into tasting Fish piece and he totally approved it. And that was the birth of a fishetarian !!!!!!
Today More than me , my hubby dear enjoys the fish. He knows them by their name. There are Fish , crabs, Shrimps, Prawns , Clams and what not…. Whole lot of sea varities to explore. My mother is a exceptional cook specifically sea food. My husband just relish her cooking . I just wish I ever could prepare fish like her… Her Fish curry is just the prefect… A perfect taste , A perfect Color …It just a Perfect fishy affair….
Ingredients :-
½ Kg Fish ( Pomfret, King Fish )
12-15 Whole Red Chilllies
1 Tsp Coriander Seeds
1 Cup Grated Coconut
1 Onion
½ Tsp Turmeric Powder
6-7 Kokum
Salt to taste

Recipe :-
First Clean and cut the fish into desired shape.

Marinate the pieces with salt for ½ an hour.
Soak the red chillies and coriander seeds for ½ an hour in water.
Grind the same with little water at the beginning. Add water as required .Grind to smooth paste. Add coconut ,turmeric powder and half onion into and grind further . Add water as required and grind to smooth paste.
Heat oil in a wok and add finely chopped half oinon. Saute till translucent. Add the grind masala . Add water as required . Add kokum and salt . Let it simmer in low flame.
Then add the fish pieces. Check for salt. If you want more tangy taste , add 3-4 more kokum. Let it simmer on low flame. Check for fish . Once the Fish is cooked properly , your Malvani Fish Curry is ready to devoured .

Fish Curry taste best when it is spicy and tangy . But those who are with not so spicey tastebuds can reduce the amount of chillies in gravy.I use Byadgi Mirchi. It gives the perfect colour and spicy kick....



After so much of thinking and re-thinking, I am on the bloggerworld. No one would believe, but even I was planning to find a good muhurat before stepping into this wonderful world of explorations. Today, just sitting quite in my living room , thought just crossed my mind and here I am already registered as blogger and typing my Opening Speech . Friends , I don’t know , how far I would go ! I just don’t want to think about about it . What I know is that at this moment, there are butterflies in my stomach…. (literally eating my intestines) . Just need a good support from my fellow bloggers and the guidance from time to time.

I am a true Malvani ( read as Fishetarian), presently residing in Pune. I am foodie by heart and love to experiment with food when has ample time in hand . Being a full time HR professional , has a very little time in hand to experiment. But the food creations on internet has just bowled me over and inspired me to jump into this sea . I may not be writing daily but definitely , will be trying to update every now and then. I have always enjoyed preparing non – vegetarian dishes but recently, I am bugged by new bug called BAKING after visiting few truly baker blogs. In fact once settled in this new found passion, I think I would definitely like to join Daring Kitchens. Presently, I am bustling with the enthusiasm to
blog, blog and blog…..

One more secret is trying to get out of pocket is that no one is aware till now is that I have my own space on internet… shhhhhhhhhhhh… not even my darling hubby….