Sunday, September 21, 2014

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

It's one of those days when I'm searching for something that I haven't tried baking before and rightly my mother in law had given me organic pineapples all the way from Kerala. So to put them into use I went onto my all time favorite website Joy of Baking and followed her recipe to the tee!


4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, cut in small pieces
3/4 cup, light brown sugar
1 medium pineapple (peeled, quartered, cored, and sliced 1/4 inch thick)

For the Cake Batter:
1 1/2 cups (195 grams) All purpose flour
2 teaspoons Baking powder
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/2 cup (113 grams) Unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup (200 grams) Granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
2 large Eggs, separated
1/2 cup Milk
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Preheat oven to 180 C. Butter (or spray with a non stick vegetable spray) a 9 inch (23 cm) round cake pan with three inch (7.5 cm) sides.

Topping:Place the butter and brown sugar in a small saucepan and stir over medium heat until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved. Continue cooking, without stirring, for a few more minutes or until bubbles just start to appear around the outside edges of the mixture (the sugar starts to caramelize). Then remove from heat, and pour into your prepared cake pan. Evenly arrange the fresh pineapple
slices on top of the sugar mixture.

Cake Batter: In a large bowl, sift or whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and then beat in the vanilla extract. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the flour mixture (in three additions), alternately with the
milk (in two additions), ending with the dry ingredients. In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites with the cream of tartar just until the whites hold a firm peak. With a large spatula gently fold the beaten egg whites into the cake batter in two additions. Pour the batter into the cake pan, smoothing the top. Bake in preheated oven
for 45 -55 minutes, or until the top of the cake has browned and starts to pull away from the sides of the pan (a toothpick inserted into the cake (not the pineapple) will come out clean). Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool for about 10 minutes. Run a sharp knife around the edge of the pan and then invert the cake onto your serving plate. Serve with softly whipped cream.

Thattukada Style Beef Fry

This was really long long ago during the Kuwait Invasion and we were in Ernakulam for a short time. The weekends Appa would step out to buy parota and beef. I remember once when me and my brother hopped on the scooter with him to buy "parcel dinner". And while Appa ordered at the thattukada (street vendor - with the cart selling hot food on the go)  me and my brother would watch the thattukadakaaran throw some onions and curry leaf into a huge kadai and then once that is browned thrown in a ladle or two of cooked beef (that's his preparation) and sprinkle in some soya sauce, toss it all up and quickly wrap it all up into banana leaf with hot parotas bundled up in a newspaper. The aroma of the hot beef being cooked and steaming parotas, is something that's stuck onto my memory and would be for a long time! Those were indeed some days......down below is my version of the thattukada style beef fry that should be eaten with Kerala Parota.

Beef - 500gms
Onions - 3, sliced finely
Ginger-2tbs julienned
Garlic - 4 - 5 plum pods sliced
Cloves - 4
Cinnamon sticks - 2, 1"sticks broken
Peppercorns - 10-12 crushed
Turmeric Powder - 1/4tsp
Kashmiri Chili powder - ½ tbsp
Coriander powder - 1 tbsp
Fennel Seed Powder -1/2 tsp
Soya Sauce - 1-2tbs (depending on one's preference)
Salt to taste
Curry leaves- 2 sprigs

Cut the beef into bite size pieces. Add julienned ginger and garlic, turmeric powder, chili powder, fennel seed powder, coriander powder into a pressure cooker along with the beef and cook for about 5-6 whistles or alternatively into a non stick pan with enough water until cooked and the pan juices are well coated. Heat oil onto a non-stick pan and fry the cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and crushed peppercorns till they release their aroma and tip in the curry leaves. Add in the sliced onions and fry till golden brown. Then add in the cooked beef and saute it all on medium heat till nicely browned and then dab in the soya sauce. Coat the beef with the soya sauce and turn off the flame. You could garnish with chopped onion, lime wedges and some more fried curry leaves.

Cinnamon Crumble Apple Cake

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Monkey Bar now at Indiranagar ~A Restaurant Review

You want to monkey around with some good food,  drinks and of course some good company and get twice the excitement? Then Monkey Bar part 2 is the place to unwind. Where is it located?..... strategically located on bustling 12th Main Indiranagar - so the place cannot be missed.

The interiors are exposed brick wall strung with the quirky wall posters and to add to the unconventional look there is a scooter and a model plane making a presence from the roof – yup just look up while you drink and eat.  The monkey bar has a nice mezzanine floor and basement to count in space enough for some drunken monkeys to prance around. The emphasis is definitely on fresh, innovative and affordable, in a cool yet laid back, vibe atmosphere.

Well let's get to the serious part which is the eats: We started off with some Pirogies, the Polish version of the pan-fried momos filled with chicken, celery and jalapeno and the spicy Italian pork sausage mince - this time chicken trumped pork for me. You can’t get  enough of the chicken pirogies that had everything you needed - meat, crunch from the celery, heat from the jalapeno and tangy from sour cream which came along as a dip.
Chicken and Pork Pirogies
Next up was the Tempura Calamari, well nothing wrong with that one,  one can bite into the crunch from the crispy batter which is glazed in green curry and then drizzled with some wasabi mayo and fresh scallions for the added freshness.
Tempura Calamari
Crab Rangoon

The Crab Rangoon written on the little black board was something that caught my attention apart from the "Death sauce" placed in a rather convincing way its hard to resist it - the sauce is a deadly thing in the cutlery holder of every table and I dare anyone to try this.... the spice level definitely takes you to levels you wouldn't have EVER sensed AND I mean that.
The Crab Rangoon is a fried wonton stuffed with crab and cream cheese. You wouldn't have a count of how many have popped into the mouth once the dish comes onto the table - 'Mind You'.

Then came these cute little cuddles of Goan Chorizo Pao,  for those who love the vinegary taste of the sausage meat against some freshly baked paos which are hardly the size of the palms mmm mmm mmm!!! You may consider ordering one more plate of it so as to avoid a scramble on the table..(that’s how finger licking good these paos are)

Goan Chorizo Pao

Pandi Curry and Pita Bread

The most ordered and well sought after dish is the Pandi Curry with the Pita Bread, this is one pork dish that will definitely delighted by one and all ordering this Porky dish – delish is the word.

Burgers  are meant to be messy, juicy with all the right condiments all neatly piled up. But this burger is called the BBQ Burger  - a sloppy joe filled with juicy pork and bbq sauce enough to make your tummy sing.

If you can't do away from the table without the little of a rice in your repertoire then there is a very hearty 'Parsee Orderlies’... mutton curry served with savory rice and finished with a sprinkling of Amul Cheese. The Berry Pulao  is a simple style pulav with morsels of  chicken and a generous measure of nicely caramelized onions.

BBQ Pork Burger

I did not have desserts due to an SOS call from home so just had to rush out, never the less my bloggers meet at Monkey Bar was more than satisfying!! But a recommendation is the Chocolate Pot De Creme which is a chocolate lover's haven in every bite. Also let me mention I did not try any of their alcoholic drinks as I’m 'preggers' and stayed safe at a simple Mojito Mocktail. For those wanting to give it their shot with some good drinks I recommend the Ginger Rogers a refreshing concoction of ginger ale, ginger and peach syrup that’s comes in a coconut shaped ceramic pot. Red Riding Wood  made from Vodka, Fresh Plum, Passion fruit  and Apple juice.  Wild Leaf is another one to try which is a refreshing drink made from lime leaves and passion fruit.

Well Monkey Bar has raised his itself in terms of the space and lives upto his expectations in terms of food drinks and ambiance. So they are serious at Monkeying this Bar Up.

Open from 12 Noon to 11 PM (Mon-Thu), 12 Noon to 1 AM (Fri-Sat), 12 Noon to 11:30 PM (Sunday)

12th Main, (Near Apple of My I or Diagonally Opp State Bank Of India), 

Ph:  080- 44114455 

Parking: Valet available

Cost: Rs.1800/- (exclusive of taxes) for a meal for two

Also located at 
14/1, Krishna Manere, 
Wood Street, Richmond Road, 

Ph: 080 - 41116878, 080 - 41116879

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Date and Walnut Teabread

This loaf was something I baked for my bible study fellowship on Wednesdays as well as for my prayer group members on Friday that's how much they all loved it.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

How to Swirl the Cupcakes with Buttercream Icing using the 2D Tip!

Me and my friend Sunehra, brainstormed over our friend Sowmya's baby shower mnonths back and Sunehra was in charge of the invites and the baby shower decor while I took charge of the food! So the list were chocolate cupcakes with pink butter cream frosting with little baby cupcake toppers to go with our blue and pink theme.Piping frosting on cupcakes is actually quicker than spreading it on, and the results are much fancier!

Ready to make some beautiful cupcakes?

You’ll need…
A large pastry bag, A Wilton 2D or 1M tip (the 2D is a closed star, the 1M is an open star, the end results are similar, with the 2D being slightly more ruffly)
A batch of delicious Buttercream Frosting - 3 cups
Baked and cooled cupcakes - 20

1.  Hold the piping bag straight up, start frosting from the outside edge (about 12 o’clock position), and begin swirling around the outside edge.
2.-3.  Continue squeezing with constant pressure as you work around the edge of the cupcake (I go clockwise).
4.-5.  Continue in a spiral motion, creating another layer of icing, working in toward the center.
6.  Finish the spiral in the center, release pressure on the bag, and pull straight up.
Voila!  A beautifully frosted  cupcake.
And these are my creations for the baby shower we hosted for Sowmya Gupta!

These are my results in the pictures below ~

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Aloo Tikki ~ Potato Patties

An easy appetizer for the after school snack, have it with different chutneys or just plain tomato ketchup and the lil ones will devour it all of course we would too without any guilt!

Potatoes - 300 gms boiled and mashed or grated
Cheddar Cheese - 60 gms, finely grated
Flour - 1 tbs
1/2 an egg, slightly beaten
Salt to taste
White Pepper - 1/2 tsp

Combine all the ingredients into a large bowl. Make 12 patties. Meanwhile get a shallow frying pan on heat and pour in about a tablespoon of oil and fry the patties for about 2 mins or either side until golden brown.

The Simple Fried Rice

This is one versatile rice dish, you can have it with a tomato ketchup it still tastes good, top with a nice crispy sunny side egg and it gets better, how about chilly chicken or anything Chinese to match it??well goes without say... sluurrrrp!!! This will rumble any tummy. I make this often for my son's tiffin so that its packed with the vegetables, I do thrown in an egg or some shredded chicken but I go easy on soy, am not much of a fan where my rice gets too colored with it plus I leave out the ajinomoto...give this a go and see how it turns out for you!

Basmati Rice - 200 gms
Red Capsicum - 1
Green Beans - 30 gms (less than a handful)
Carrot - 1
Garlic - 5 cloves, minced
Spring Onions - 4
Soy Sauce - 2 tbs
Boneless Chicken or Prawns - 1 cup or alternatively 3 bacon strips
Pepper and Salt to taste

Cook the rice in salted water until slightly under done. Drain water. Cut the carrots, beans, capsicum into thin strips. Chop the spirng onions and keep aside. Heat oil into a large wok, add in the minced garlic and along with it tip in the bacon if thats what your using. Fry till its all crispy then add in all the cut vegetables and fry on high heat till done! Add in the chopped spring onion, pepper and salt. Pour in soy sauce and add in the rice and mix in while over the fire till all is combined. Serve warm.

Chinese Stir Fried Chicken ~ Nan's Chicken

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Devil's Food Cake with Salted Caramel and Snicker Bits

This one was made ages ago but your there these times when your really stuck and words don't flow, the thoughts are just bumping around....basically feeling stuck! Well I have passed that phase I guess...
The Devils Food Cake is a Nigella Lawson Recipe, in her words "this cake is heavenly and the crumb is tender". I paired this up with a salted caramel slightly runny but then left it in the refrigerator to stiffen up and it did!!! The cake was made for my brother and we irony was we ended up going to this restaurant called "The Phobidden Fruit" - for those wanting where that is its located on 12th Main Indiranagar (Umm Bangalore). Overall a sinful affair with us family!!!

For the Cake
50 grams best-quality cocoa powder (sifted)
100 grams dark brown muscovado sugar
250 ml boiling water
125 grams soft unsalted butter (plus some for greasing)
150 grams caster sugar
225 grams plain flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line the bottoms of two 20cm / 8inch round sandwich tins with baking parchment and butter the sides.Put the cocoa and 100g / half cup dark muscovado sugar into a bowl with a bit of space to spare, and pour in the boiling water. Whisk to mix, then set aside. Cream the butter and caster sugar together, beating well until pale and fluffy; I find this easiest with a freestanding mixer, but by hand wouldn’t kill you. While this is going on – or as soon as you stop if you’re mixing by hand – stir the flour, baking powder and bicarb together in another bowl, and set aside for a moment. Dribble the vanilla extract into the creamed butter and sugar – mixing
all the while – then drop in 1 egg, quickly followed by a scoopful of flour mixture, then the second egg. Keep mixing and incorporate the rest of the dried ingredients for the cake, then finally mix and fold in the cocoa mixture, scraping its bowl well with a spatula. Divide this fabulously chocolatey batter between the 2 prepared tins and put in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Take the tins out and leave them on a wire rack for 5–10 minutes, before turning the cakes out to cool.

Salted Caramel Frosting

1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 tsp salt
2-3 cups powdered sugar, sifted

Start with the frosting: Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Once melted, add brown sugar and heavy cream. Stir constantly over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Add salt. Allow to bubble for exactly 2 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Beat in powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, until you reach desired consistency.

I then cut some snicker bars to add to the overall look because the birthday boy loves Snickers!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Truffle Cupcakes

These were made for my lovelies at my Friday Prayer Group to celebrate the day of love. Not only did we have the serious sharing of the Word and fantastic Worship. We ended it all with a Sweetheart Bible Quiz and a game called Sword in Hand. My group is is enthusiastic and a bunch that is earnest and ever friendly. So after all the bible discussion we tucked into these little sweet things for a sweet ending to our meeting!!!!

For the Cake:
Plain Flour - 85 gms
Caster Sugar - 100 gms
Unsalted Butter - 50 gms
Cocoa Powder - 25 gms
Egg - 1
Baking Soda - 1/2 tsp
Baking Powder - 1/4 tsp

For the Ganache:
Dark Chocolate - 100 gms
Cream - 100 ml

Into a small bowl pour 100ml of boiling water to the cocoa powder and whisk into a smooth paste and cool to room temperature. Cream the butter and sugar together until using an electric whisk or food processor. Add in the egg and then the flour, baking powder and soda together and then add in the cooled cocoa mixture. Put spoonfuls into 14 paper cases and bake for about 18-20 mins in a preheated oven of 180 C. Remove once baked and allow to cool.
In the meantime prepare the ganache by bringing the cream into a boil in a saucepan and pour over the chopped up chocolate and stir to dissolve. You should end up with a thick glossy creamy mixture. Drop a teaspoonful of the mixture onto each cupcake and sprinkle on chocolate sprinkles or shavings, dust icing sugar (optional) and serve.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Football Cake for the Football Lover and Player ~ It's a Chocolate Cake

I'm not sure where to start because the last three to four months has been more than just a roller coaster ride for me. Well a midst the excitements I have had I know I have left my readers a bit in the lurch with my disappearance. Let me get back to were we stopped and do I have some interesting recipes to post. So stay tuned and I will try my best not to let you guys down again. This cake was done for my our dear friend Binny, I should have mentioned him in the past because he is a father of three adorable boys - they are triplets. It's simple gesture from all us friends appreciating him and his lovely family for the support, the encouragements, the counsel, more than ever the spiritual one-ness we share. So let me know continue babbling and lets get on with the simple recipe. 

Chocolate Cake

[Recipe Source: Tana Ramsay's Family Kitchen - Pg. 245] 

Self Rising Flour - 125 gms
Caster Sugar - 150 gms
Unsalted Butter - 150 gms
Baking Powder - 1 tsp
Cold Water - 2 tbs
Vanilla Extract - 1 tsp
Eggs - 3
Cocoa Powder - 25 gms

Sieve together the flour, baking powder, cocoa powder into a large mixing bowl. Into it add the unsalted butter, vanilla extract, sugar followed by the eggs. Add in the cold water and mix until you get a dark, smooth, brown mixture. Divide the batter between two 18cm round, greased and lined cake tins. Knock the tins against a hard surface to get a smooth top on each. Bake the cakes for approximately 25-30 mins until the center of the cakes springs back on touch or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Place them on a wire rack to cool and then proceed to make the icing.

I used regular  vanilla butter cream icing for the cake to pipe out the football if not for butter cream then you can use chocolate ganache to cover the middle and top of the cake  and it doesn't matter if it runs down the sides of the cake  - looks more indulgent! 

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