Jul 6, 2012

Black Forest Cake - 100th Post(The First Milestone)!!!

Hi guys!!!

Yayyyyyyy!!! I have made 100 posts and that is indeed a great feeling!!! I wanted to post this recipe today coz I am travelling to India after 1 long year and will not be on the internet for about a month. I will be back to blogging from the first week of August!!! I was putting off the Black Forest cake's recipe for a while coz I wanted it to be my 100th post :-)

My husband's birthday was in the first week of June and I had planned on 3 surprises for him. One was a surprise birthday lunch with all our friends, which he found out a day before his birthday from the groceries I had bought!!! Second was his gift. I had hidden it for a couple of days in our wardrobe and managed to keep him looking for it everywhere else, but he found it out exactly 5 minutes before midnite and spoilt that one too!!! The last surprise was the Black Forest cake I had baked. He believed when I told him that our friends were picking up the cake just before coming to lunch. And, this was the only surprise that I actually succeeded in maintaining :-)

Now coming to the cake. I had followed the recipe from Joy Of Baking. Black Forest cake has been one of my favorite birthday cakes for a while now. I was skeptical about actually trying a birthday cake at home but for my first attempt, the cake turned pretty great. I failed to take a separate pic of the whole cake. But I managed to click one slice which I will be posting below.

The Black forest cake generally has 2 or 3 layers of chocolate genoise (A very soft sponge cake) with whipped cream and cherry fillings. The cherry filling is usually prepared with soaking cherries in Kirsch. I just used the syrup that it came in and it still turned out amazing.

Now lets see the recipe.

To prepare the Cherries:
Canned cherries with syrup - 700ml jar
Sugar - 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp sugar

For the Chocolate Genoise:
Unsalted Butter - 3 tbsp
All-purpose flour - 1/2 cup
Unsweetened Cocoa powder - 1/3 cup
Eggs - 4
Sugar - 2/3 cup
Corn flour - 2 tbsp
Vanilla extract - 1 tsp

For the Whipped Cream Frosting:
Heavy whipping cream / Double cream - 600 ml
Vanilla extract - 1 tsp
Sugar - 3 tbsp

Dark chocolate - 200 gms (70% cocoa)


Chocolate Genoise:
1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a round cake tin with parchment paper and butter the sides.
2. Beat the eggs and sugar on medium speed till soft peaks form. Add the vanilla extract and beat for another minute.
3. Mix all the dry ingredients separately. Transfer the dry ingredients to the wet mixture in 3 additions and mix thoroughly.
4. Transfer this to the prepared pan and bake for about 25-30 minutes. Transfer the cake to the cooling rack when done and cut into 2 or 3 layers.

This is the picture of the Genoise I baked.

Cherry filling:
1. Drain the syrup and place the cherries in a separate bowl along with 1 tbsp of sugar. Toss well so that the sugar coats the cherries well. You can skip this step if using glazed cherries.
2. Now take the syrup in a thick bottomed vessel along with the 1/4 cup sugar and keep stirring on low heat till the sugar dissolves.
3. Switch off heat and keep the syrup ready. Chop the cherries roughly, reserving about 10-12 whole cherries for the top layer.

Whipped cream frosting:
1. Take the double cream, sugar and vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl and beat on medium speed till stiff peaks form.

Assembling the cake:
1. Brush the cake layers with the cherry syrup that you have prepared.
2. Place the lowest layer on the serving plate. Spread the entire top area with the whipped cream frosting.
3. Now spread the chopped cherries evenly above the cream frosting and place the next layer of the cake on top.
4. Spread the whipped cream entirely to cover the sides and top. (Repeat the previous step if you have more layers)
5. Shave the dark chocolate into fine strips using a chilled knife. Make sure not to touch the chocolate shavings as they melt in the body heat.
6. Now spread the chocolate shavings thoroughly to cover the top and sides of the cake. Place the whole cherries on the top layer.

The yummy Black Forest cake is ready to serve!!! This recipe makes about 12 servings.

1. This cake tastes best when chilled. You can prepare the cake the previous day and refrigerate it.
2. The cake stays fresh in the fridge for about a week.

Chocolate Banana Bread!!!

Hi guys!!!

I have tried Banana Bread quite a few times and it is a favorite to both me and my hubby. I wanted to try a variation of this simple bread and tried the Chocolate Banana bread recipe from Joy Of Baking. I love that website and have actually baked considerable number of recipes available there. This chocolate banana bread recipe in the site called for some nuts which I excluded. I added some white chocolate chips and on the whole the bread was great!!! The only problem being my impatience :-) I did not wait for the bread to cool down to make the slices. As a result I was left with oddly shaped slices (You will see what I am talking about in the pic below)

Now lets see the recipe.


All-purpose flour - 1 3/4 cups
Sugar - 1 cup
Unsweetened Cocoa powder - 1/4 cup
Baking powder - 1 tsp
Baking soda - 1/4 tsp
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Eggs - 2
Unsalted butter - 1/2 cup
Bananas - 3
Vanilla extract - 1 tsp
Chocolate chips - 1/2 cup (optional)


1. Preheat the oven to 180C.
2. In a large bowl mash the bananas and combine the lightly beaten eggs, melted butter and vanilla extract. Gently mix these ingredients together.
3. In a separate bowl mix all the dry ingredients together. Using a rubber spatula gently fold the wet ingredients into the dry mixture and combine everything well. Do not overmix, just slightly combine to incorporate all the ingredients together.
4. Finally toss the chocolate chips in and gently mix it in. Scrape down the mixture to the loaf pan and place it in the preheated oven.
5. Bake for about 55-65 minutes or till a tooth pick inserted comes out clean. Mine took exactly 60 minutes.
6. Transfer it to a cooling rack after letting it stand in the pan for atleast 10 minutes. Let it cool completely and then slice (A lesson that I fail to learn after endless attempts!!!)

Serve with evening tea or as breakfast with milk and juice!!! This bread stays fresh for upto 3 days in room temperature.

Jul 4, 2012

Chicken Cutlets!!!

Hi guys!!!

Cutlets have been a major part of my school days snack. Our school canteen always had hot cutlets that would vanish in a few minutes after the canteen is opened for the break time. I have always loved cutlets and have tried making them at home too. For a while, my husband was asking me to prepare chicken cutlets but I was unable to do it. Mainly coz I use up the chicken for some kind of curry and preparing cutlets never occurs as a first option in my mind. But coz of his constant request I made them finally. The work is simple and it can be a great snack for tea time.

Now lets see the recipe.

Makes about 8 medium cutlets

To Marinate:
Boneless chicken - 200 gms
Salt - as per taste
Ground pepper - 1 tsp
Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp

Potatoes - 3 medium
Ginger & garlic paste - 1 tsp
Garam masala - 1 - 1 1/2 tsp
Ground pepper - 1 tsp
Salt - as per taste
Breadcrumbs - 1 tbsp + for coating before deep-frying
Egg - 1 (for coating before deep-frying)
Maida - 1/4 cup (for coating before deep-frying)
Oil - 2 tbsp + for frying


1. Boil and mash the potatoes. Do not run the potatoes under cold water immediately after boiling coz this makes them too soggy.
2. Marinate the chicken with the ingredients listed for marination and set it aside for about 30 minutes.
3. Heat the 2 tbsp of oil and cook the chicken pieces on medium flame. Remove from heat when they are fully cooked and shred them into tiny pieces.
4. Combine the cooked chicken with mashed potatoes. Add the ginger garlic paste, garam masala, ground pepper and salt. Knead well.
5. Finally add 1 tbsp of the breadcrumbs and separate the mixture into small balls. Flatten them as patties and keep it ready.
6. Heat the oil on medium flame. Dip each cutlet in beaten egg, followed by maida and breadcrumbs and slowly transfer them into the hot oil. Cook until golden brown on both sides.
7. Repeat for all the cutlets.

Serve hot with ketchup!!!

Jul 2, 2012

Palak Rice!!!!

Hi guys!!!

Palak rice is a dish I used to have everytime I visited a restaurant in Mumbai. I tried to replicate the same at home and it did turn out well. This is a great way to make people eat their share of green leafy vegetables when they don't eat spinach or other greens in any other form. It is easy to prepare as well. I generally add chopped potatoes and green peas to the rice. But it can be prepared without veggies as well.

Now lets see the recipe.


Basmati rice - 2 cups
Potatoes - 2
Green peas - 1/2 cup
Onion - 1
Palak / Spinach - 1 big bunch
Green chillies - 2 or 3
Garlic - 3 cloves
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Salt - as per taste
Oil - 2 tbsp


1. Cook the rice under pressure for 10 mins and spread it on a wide plate to cool.
2. Wash and blanch the palak. Grind this with the green chillies and keep it aside.
3. Heat the oil in a wide vessel and add the cumin seeds. When they splutter add the chopped onion and garlic and cook till they turn soft.
4. Now add the diced potatoes and green peas and saute till they are almost cooked. When these veggies are nearly cooked add the ground palak mixture and add about 1/4 cup of water and salt. Cook this for about 10 mins till the raw smell of palak leaves.
5. This is when you add the cooked rice. Mix well till the mixture is completely absorbed by the rice and then turn off heat.

Serve hot with papad and raita!!!

Venetian Carrot Cake!!!

Hi guys!!!

The other day I was watching Nigella Lawson's episode on Food Network and could not help but wonder how glowing she is even past 50. I know there would be a bunch of people who might criticize on her shape. But everybody has got to admit that she does look energetic and young for her age. I love her recipes mainly coz they are easy to prepare and she goes with all shortcuts when preparing the food. Who doesn't love that?!!

Anyways, she prepared this amazing Venetian carrot cake in that episode. Until I watched that episode even I thought Carrot cake was American too!!! This Venetian cake is prepared with ground almonds as the base and has no butter at all. The end result is an amazingly soft and moist cake. This is different from dessert cakes in a way that it is not too sweet but is a great accompaniment for tea or coffee.

Now lets see the recipe.


Ground almonds / Almond meal - 2 1/2 cups
Olive oil - 1/2 cup
Grated carrots - 2 cups
Golden sultanas - 1/2 cup
Sugar - 3/4 cup
Eggs - 3
Vanilla extract - 1 tsp
Ground nutmeg - 1/2 tsp
Pine nuts - 3 tbsp
Lemon - 1/2 (the zest and juice)


1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a round cake pan with parchment paper and keep it ready.
2. Toast the pine nuts on low heat on a pan to get it golden coloured.
3. Beat the sugar and olive oil till it turns creamy and airy. Add the eggs one at a time and keep beating. Next add the vanilla extract and beat well.
4. Fold in the ground almonds, grated carrots, sultanas, lemon zest, ground nutmeg and finally the lemon juice.
5. Scrape the mixture to the prepared pan and smooth out the surface. Sprinkle the toasted pine nuts on the surface and place it in the oven.
6. Bake for 30-40 minutes or till the toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Serve warm with tea or coffee!!! This cake when wrapped in plastic wrap can be stored for 3-4 days at room temperature.
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