Archive for the ‘DESSERT ROSE’ Category

Eggless Black Forest Cake:

Yesterday was my Husband’s Birthday and this time I wanted to surprise him with something that I had never tried my hand at before.

I always felt that baking a Gateau was such an ordeal and that’s one of the reason why I had never tried baking any of the cream pasteries etc, to add to it my husband is very health conscious and often stays away from cakes and cream cakes..This was also one of the reasons for my demotivation in trying out cream cakes:)  I had some whipping cream lying in my fridge, I decided on a black forest gateau.  My challenge was to get my husband to eat and not just taste the cake. As I was googling for a healthy chocolate cake recipe, I came across Madhuram’s cake which is made up of wheat flour. I finally decided on making this cake as a base for my Black forest cake.

The basic chocolate cake is an inspiration from egglesscooking.com. Thanks Madhuram for posting such a wonderful healthy recipe.

For the Basic Chocolate cake you’ll need:

Maida (all purpose flour): 1/4 cup

Whole Wheat Flour: 3/4 cup

Baking powder: 1/2 teaspn

Baking Soda: 1 teaspn

Cocoa Powder: 6 tbspn

Powdered Sugar: 3/4 cup

Unsweetened Applesauce: 1/2 cup

oil: 2 tbspns

Hot coffee:1/4 cup(mixed 1 teaspn instant coffee Bru in 1/4 cup milk)

Milk: 1/4 cup

Yogurt: 1/4 cup

Vanilla essence: 1 teaspn


The original recipe had asked for a 8″ pan, but I’ve used a 6″ one as I needed a little height to make the layers in the cake. Grease a 6″ round pan and dust it with cocoa powder and keep aside. Preheat the oven to 160 deg C for 10 mins.

In a large bowl, sift maida, whole wheat flour, sugar, baking soda and baking powder. Make a well in the centre and pour in all the wet ingredients viz. yogurt, milk, oil, applesauce, vanilla essence,hot coffee and gently fold to form a batter consistency.

Pour the batter into the 6″ pan and bake it at 160 deg C for 30 mins or till the skewer inserted comes clean. Once the cake is done, transfer it onto a wire rack for cooling. Let it cool completely before doing any icing.

For the Black Forest assembling you’ll need: for this portion I’ve referred to Madhuri’s cookcurrynook. Thanks Mads for giving some wonderful tips.

Sugar syrup: 1/2 cup(mix sugar and water to the proportion of 1:1)

Cherries: 1 cup pitted (some I’ve halved and some I’ve chopped fine for the filling)

Whipping Cream: 1.5 cup (mine already had sugar in it, or else add icing sugar accordingly)

Grated Chocolate shredding: 1 cup or more if you like to.


Chill the whipping cream, bowl for whipping and the hand mixer blade in the refrigerator before whipping. The whipping cream could be chilled overnight if you have planned ahead.

Meanwhile, chop few cherries into halves and few into small pieces. Make the sugar syrup with 1:1 consistency and keep it aside.

In the chilled steel bowl add the whipping cream and use a hand mixer to whip it till it forms soft peaks. Keep stopping and checking the mixer from time to time as you do not want to over beat it.

Once the cake is completely cooled. Level out the cake by cutting off all the uneven portions. Cut the cake into transverse or horizontal layers, I made 2 layers. I just had to cut the cake at its middle, but if you need to make more layers you may need to mark first and then proceed to get even layers. Separate the slices and place one of the slices on the plate you need to present. Drizzle the sugar syrup gently on the slice and with the help of a palette knife or a spatula spread the whipping cream evenly. Sprinkle some chopped cherries on top. Put the second layer of cake on top of it and add some sugar syrup and cover it with a layer of whipped cream. Cover the sides too and let it refrigerate for 2 hours.

Once the cake has set properly finish the top and the sides with some more whipped cream. This is the first time I was using a piping bag with a star nozzle. I was a little apprehensive at the beginning but once I started there was no looking back..I was hoping I had more cakes to decorate:).Let your creativity flow and decorate the way you like it. I’ve then decorated with grated chocolate and cherry topping. You can smear chocolate shredding on the sides too, I haven’t as my husband is not much of a chocolate fan and the cake was for him. Ravi loved the cake and I was quite surprised as he ate quite a big piece of chocolate cake:)..It felt so good and it’s a great feeling when somebody loves the food you make..On that note, I would like to wish him all the Luck and Happiness..Happy Birthday!


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Eggless Strawberry Icecream:

Here’s wishing everybody a very ‘Happy Valentine’s Day’.

I know it’s a little too late to wish but nevertheless. We had taken off on a mini vacation for Valentine’s day and we made a trip to Channapatna, a tiny village about 40-50 kms from Bangalore. Channapatna is famous for wooden, hand painted toys. They are very colourful and attractive. It was a lovely change and we happened to attend a workshop on toy making and Boy! it was fun. I will be dedicating an entire post on this a little later.

Given a choice, besides going out for dinner with Mr.  I would like to spend the entire Valentine’s day at home, all by myself and watch all those awesome mushy-mushy movies that come on TV and order a nice pizza. My all time favourite movies on this day would be P.S. I love You and Notting hill… Love all the songs from notting hill..I have watched these movies a zillion times and can still watch them.  This year since we were on a vacation, I missed all the good movies and missed the pizza too. Maybe next year!!

I had planned on making something special for this years Valentine’s day. I decided on making some strawberry icecream. This idea struck me when I saw a supermarket next door fully stuffed with fresh yummy looking strawberries. I also made some cherry flavoured jelly to go with it. This is yet another Tarla Dalal’s recipe.

You’ll need:

Strawberry puree: 2/3rd cup

Milk: 1 cup

Cornflour: 2 teaspn

Cream: 2/3rd cup

Powdered sugar: 1/4 cup

strawberry essence: 1 teaspn


Mix cornflour with some cold water and keep aside.

In a heavy bottomed pan, heat some milk and bring it to boil. Add cornflour mix and 2 tablespoons of sugar and keep stirring on a sim flame for 3-4 mins.

Remove and strain the mix and keep aside to cool.

Whip cream with powdered sugar till soft peaks are formed. I used the mixie to whip the cream. Mix the cooled mix, strawberry puree and cream and blend it once more.

Pour this mix in a container and freeze it. If you still find minute crystals in the ice cream, beat the ice cream once more in the mixie and freeze it again. Repeat this procedure till the ice cream is nice and soft. You can serve with some jelly or some strawberry sauce.

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Mysore Pak:

This is a very sinful delight as it is loaded with ghee. I’m not particularly fond of mysore pak, but my husband loves it and that explains why I keep trying this recipe. My mother is an expert at making mysore pak and I got this recipe from her. I tried to go a little healthy by reducing the quantity of ghee in it and that explains why my mysore pak didn’t turn out so yummy. They turned out a little dry. The parting shot is” Listen to your mum, she knows whats best”….. For authentic and rich mysore pak, add the required amount of ghee (clarified butter)!!!

You’ll need:

Gram Flour: 1 cup

sugar: 2 cups

Ghee (clarified butter): 1.5 cups

cardamom powder: 1/4 teaspn(optional)

water for sugar syrup: 1/2 cup


Grease a thali or a plate with ghee and keep aside. In a thick bottomed pan, add sugar and pour some water just to wet the sugar and keep stirring. Keep the flame low while stirring. The sugar will start melting and frothing. Once this syrup reaches one string consistency add the besan or gram flour. I never get this one string consistency thing, so I just waited till the sugar syrup was frothy and then added the besan and stirred with a whisk, this ensures that no lumps are formed. Keep stirring vigorously and simultaneously add ghee little by little in the centre. Once the mix starts leaving the edges, you know it’s done. Transfer this mix on to a greased plate to the required thickness and cut them into squares.  I actually added 1 cup ghee and that’s when the mysore pak though tasty were a little dry. I guess it’s okay to let go off the restrictions once in a while incase of food…what say!!!

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Eggless Fruit Cake:

‘Deck the hall with boughs of holly, Fa la la la la la la la la

Tis the season to be jolly, Fa la la la la la la la la’…one of my favorite carols from school days.

Here’s wishing everybody : Feliz Navidad, Prospero ano y felicidad, Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year.

Christmas is a season of gifts, of cakes, of kulkuls, of marzipans, of dodols, of bebincas and not to forget some awesome red wine ( I would always skip the wine and have some irish cream for dinner:). When I was a kid, I would wait for Christmas as this was the only day in school that we would be allowed to wear coloured dresses. We would start Christmas vacations by the 24th of dec and right up till New year we would be having holidays and boy, it was so much fun. We used to have carol singing competitions  and Christmas tree decorating competitions. Each class in our school would come up with a carol and present it on the Christmas party day.

All the kids in our colony would get a small Christmas tree and decorate it and we would have a nice surprise game called Christ-Child..We  would write our names on a  small piece of paper and put it in a box. We would then each pick out a name and keep it a secret and on Christmas day gift the person with something nice. We would be dropping all kinds of hints about the gifts as we wouldn’t know who would gift us. The gifts would generally be some stickers, story books, clips, ribbons etc.  We would generally meet up in one of the friends house and dance away to glory to some George Micheal or Madonna’s songs till late in the night. Oh, how I miss those days!!

Like every year, this year too I decorated my Christmas tree and the excitement of decorating is the same every year..This year I managed to pass on some enthusiasm to my Hubby dear, who also helped me in doing up the tree. I have one age old Christmas carol cassette which I ardently listen to every year:)..

Voila, my Christmas tree

My Christmas Tree

The one thing I ventured this year was to bake a fruit cake and guess what, it was a grand success. I was a little demotivated after a series of cake baking failures and was really skeptical about this one…Being a strong believer in ‘all bad things must come to an end:)’…This was the result of my ordeal and good hope:)..

For the cake,

You’ll need:

All Purpose flour: 1 cup

Brown Sugar: 3/4 cup

Unsalted Butter: 1/4 cup

Orange juice: 45 ml

Lemon zest: 1 teaspn

Ground Cinnamon: 1 teaspn

Cashew nut, pistachio, raisins, cherries and walnuts: all cut into pieces: 1 cup

Soda Bicarb: 2 pinch

Baking powder: 1.5 teaspn (flat)

milk: 1/4 to 1/2 cup


Preheat the oven and line a baking dish and keep aside.

In a bowl, sift flour, baking powder, soda bicarb. Beat butter and brown sugar till soft. Mix flour, dry fruits, orange juice, lemon zest, cinnamon with the butter and brown sugar. Add milk gently and mix it to pouring consistency. If the cake batter is a little to tight, add more milk. Pour this mix into a greased baking dish and bake at 160 deg C for 30 mins or till the tooth pick comes out clean through a tooth pick test. I have sprinkled some icing sugar on top and the cake tasted heavenly.

Like every year , this year too, Bangalore witnessed the cake festival which was held at St. Joseph’s grounds. It’s generally organised by Nilgiris, but this year somebody else organised it.I managed to grab some time to visit this exhibition. The highlight was  the Taj Hotel, Mumbai..There was good amount of crowd attending this exhibition,wish there was a counter selling all the ingredients and stuff required for baking of cakes;)..nevertheless,here are few images of the cake exhibition.

The countdown for the New Year has begun and may this year bring in loads of love, happiness and peace..Wishing Everybody  a Prosperous New Year.


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Kaju-Rava Laddoos (Cashew-Semolina ladoos)

The original recipe is Sanjeev Kapoor’s kaju burfy, but I just changed it by making bite sized ladoos instead of burfies. I generally do not eat much of sweets, but anything made out of kaju or cashew is my favourite, that includes kaju katlis. Since making kaju katlis can get a little tedious, I thought of this idea which is easy to make.With Semolina added you can also reduce the amount of cashew nuts. Last weekend I had some guests over for tea. I served these ladoos and they all loved the taste and was a big hit.

You’ll need:

Cashew nuts: 1 cup

Sugar: 1/2 cup

Semolina, fine variety: 1/4 cup

water: 2 tbspns


Grind the cashew nuts into powder. Do not over grind as it could form lumps. Dry roast the rava or semolina for 2-3 mins.

In a thick bottom pan, add sugar and water to make the sugar syrup. Keep stirring till it attains 3 string consistency. Add the cashew nut powder to it and keep stirring till it forms a sticky dough. Switch off the gas and mix the rava along with it. If the dough is still sticky, you can add  some more rava. Once this is done, you can make small balls out of it and kaju-rava laddoos are ready..

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Karanjikai or neoreos as they are called back home in Goa..Very light and satisfies your sweet tooth.

You’ll need:

Maida: 1 cup

Rice flour: 2 tablespns

Salt: a pinch

Water: to knead the dough

milk: 2 tablespns to seal the edges.

Oil: for deep frying

For the Filling:

Sugar: (fine variety): 1/4 cup

Dry Coconut(grated): 1/4 cup

Cardamom powder: 1/4 teaspn

Sesame seeds: roasted 1 teaspn

Poppy seeds: roasted 1 teaspn

Dry fruits: finely chopped -optional

Mix all the ingredients for the filling and keep aside.


Mix maida, rice flour and salt and add some water to make a nice dough. Take balls of dough and roll them into thin small puris. Keep the filling in the centre and fold the puri half onto the filling making the shape of a ‘D’ alphabet or semicircular. Line the edge of the puri with milk to seal the edges so the inner filling doesn’t spill out. Deep fry till the karanjikais swell up or turn brownish in color. Store them in an airtight container. These karanjikais will remain fresh and crisp for about 10 days..enjoy.

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Low Cal Barley Kheer (Barley Pudding):

” Necessity is the mother of Invention”, how very true.. I’ve been unwell for quite some time now and am advised to have barley and barley water regularly..I wouldn’t say I invented this recipe, rather I had to make something edible out of the bland barley so that I could stomach it:)..This was the first time I ever tried barley and didn’t like it a bit..it did taste like rice when boiled thoroughly, so thought can make pudding out of it.. Being a sweet dish,  I didn’t want to put on those extra calories..I tried this option with low fat milk and sugar free..We loved the pudding and ate it without feeling guilty:)..

Barley is famous for its medicinal properties and is always good if it is included in your diet either in salads, porridge, drink etc. It’s very soothing and the drink is ideal to beat the summer heat. The seeds are high in fiber and regular intakes helps in reducing stomach and bowel problems and yes it is a great cholesterol controller..So what are you waiting for go ahead and add barley to your diet regime.

Barley generally is soaked in water for 2-3 hrs till   they turn soft and then boiled in water for sometime. Do not throw away the boiled water, this water has all the health benefits.. Will post a recipe on the drink soon..So keep watching:)..

You’ll need:

Pearl Barley: 2 tablespns (pre-soaked and boiled and drained)

Milk: 2-3 cups ( I have used low fat milk)

Sugar free: 2 teaspns( depends on your taste, usually 0.5 gms of sugar free= 1teaspn of sugar)

Almonds: 4-5 nos( blanched and sliced fine)

Cardamom: 2-3 powdered

Saffron Strands: soaked in milk (optional)


In a thick bottomed pan, add the milk and let it boil for sometime till it thickens. To this add the boiled barley and blanched almond slices. Bring it to a boil, then add sugar and cardamom powder and switch off the gas.. Add saffron strands and serve it either hot or chilled. Yummy Barley pudding is ready and you can eat it feeling guilt free.

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