Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Simple Black forest cake/ Black forest pastry ~~Eggless Baking

Delicious spongy chocolate cake layers filled with whipped cream and cherries, Black forest pastry is a wonderful chocolatey dessert and cake lovers delight.

When our 5th Marriage anniversary got near last month, husband genuinely requested for a fresh cream pastry cake. He said he would love to eat something similar to the Pineapple pastry I prepared before. I have tried Black forest cake only once before and the whipped cream did not come out stable since I used Amul whipping cream and was not so sure about the stability. Last time I had used the whisk attachment from my blender so I thought that was the reason for the cream being able to be whipped to only soft peaks. However, I wanted to try Amul whipping cream this time as well since I did not want to feed my 10 month old toddler with non-dairy cream.

I have known that Amul whipping cream cannot be whipped to stiff peaks and yet I was okay with how it came out this time. I am actually terrible at whipping a cream and believe me, whipping non-dairy cream is so very easy compared to whipping the dairy cream (fat should be above 35%). I never really got around to whipping a dairy cream to stiff peaks ever.

Anyway, I have reduced a little bit of calories by sprinkling and covering this black forest cake with crumbled chocolate cake and not chocolate shavings. Also, the cake is Egg-less and butter-less and you can see in the pictures how spongy the cake has come out. I was pretty impressed with this cake and how it tasted so chocolatey, creamy and juicy. I am no expert in making cakes but was overwhelmed when my DH said that he would like to eat the cakes that are homemade from now on and not want to taste the store bought ones ever again! What other gift would you want for your 5th Marriage anniversary from your DH?

I could not take any pictures of the slice of the cake once it was cut since we both were busy demolishing it and I did not even think of giving my DH to finish it off without me. I did take a clumsy picture of the side of the cake after it was half eaten and I have posted it above to show you the view. The cake is easy to make, perfect for any celebration and I am also planning to bake something similar to my daughter's first birthday. If at all you gave a try with this cake and liked how it tasted, do send me a picture so that I can enjoy it too.. I will be waiting!

Nutritional Information  (Approx) (per serving)

Energy  296.7
Fat 17.4
Carbohydrates 34.2
Dietary Fiber 0.8
Sodium 11
Vitamin A 3.1
Vitamin C 1.3
Calcium  2.7
Iron  4
Protein 2.5
Sugar 21.8


Canned Cherries 1 cup with syrup
Plain flour 2 cups
Cocoa powder 1/4 cup
Baking soda 1/2 teaspoon
Salt a pinch
Milk 1 cup
Olive oil 3/4 cup
Vanilla extract (Divided) 2 teaspoons
Lemon juice 1 teaspoon
Brown Sugar/Sugar 1 & 1/2 cup
Whipping cream 1 cup
Icing sugar 1/2 cup

Separate the cherries and the syrup. Chop the cherries and refrigerate it with the syrup.

Sieve together and mix flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Blend together Milk, oil, 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract, Sugar and lemon juice till it's creamy.

Combine together the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients till they are mixed well. Pour the batter in the greased and lined cake dish and tap it twice or thrice.

 Bake the cake in a preheated oven at 360 degrees for about 35 minutes or until the toothpick inserted comes out clean. My cake broke at the top because of the power that was on and off twice. Once cooked, let the cake cool down completely.
If your cake breaks on top, cut the top part so that it is even. Make sure the cake is cooled completely before cutting the cake into equal halves.

It is best to freeze the whipping cream for 30 minutes before you whip it. Also chill the whisk attachments and the bowl in which you are going to whip. When it is time whip, keep some ice cubes in chilled water and then keep the bowl on top of the iced water to whip the cream.
Now, pour the whipping cream on the bowl and whip in medium-high speed for about 4 minutes till the soft peaks start to form. Then add Vanilla extract and icing sugar and whip.

Whip for 6 more minutes at high speed till the stiff peaks starts to form. You can see that the swirls that are formed while whipping won't go off soon. Refrigerate the whipped cream until use.
Crumble the cut cake top that was broken and this step is optional. Skip this step if you will cover the cake with chocolate shavings.
Arrange few rectangular butter sheets or aluminum foil around the plate you are going to keep the cake in, as shown in the picture.

 Now, keep the top half of the cake on the plate and sprinkle the cherry syrup all over the cake. Since this cake is egg-less, you can sprinkle about half a cup of syrup to soak it enough to make it juicy. Do press the cake after sprinkling a little to check if the cake gets soggy.
Spread about 2 tablespoons of whipped cream and top it with the cut cherries evenly.

Sprinkle the syrup on the other half of the cake till it is soaked enough. Place it on top of the first half. Brush off the crumbs if any.
Spread the whipped cream evenly as much as you can cover.

Take the cake crumbs or chocolate shavings and stick them to the sides. Then, remove the foils that were placed under the cake carefully.
Decorate the cake  using a piping bag with the left over whipped cream and top it with cherries. Refrigerate it for about 2 hours before serving.

* Keep the cake chilled when not serving if you have used Amul whipping cream since it melts pretty quickly.
*To prevent the cake from cracking on top, cover the side of baking pan with a wet towel cloth (the step that I forgot to do)
* I covered a square piece of cardboard with aluminum foil and used it to keep the cake instead of plate.
 * The cake looks even if it is placed upside down while assembling.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Appehuli/ Raw mango Rasam ~~Havyaka recipes

A tangy and spicy side which is usually paired with piping hot rice and is a tasty summer specialty of Havyaka cuisine.

This post has been in my drafts for quite some time.  Even though Appehuli is a summer dish, it is best consumed on the days of the first summer rains and cold days. Most of my native people are farmers. They work in fields from morning till noon and when they come home for lunch, appehuli is always on the menu during summer. Though it is served as a side for rice, they (we) drink it like soup and believe me, you will feel so sleepy that you will hit the bed soon after the lunch. The sleep will be so deep and you will wake up refreshed.

That is why I finally decided to post this recipe. My Black forest cake post was almost ready for today but after last night's rain, I knew I had to post this one first. Usually, Appehuli is paired with  Mango Huligojju since the recipe is pretty similar. Unlike Mango Huligojju, Appehuli is made throughout the year. In summer, Appemidi raw mangoes are boiled in Salt water, cooled completely and stored with the salt water for over a year. When it is time to make appehuli or Mango Huligojju, the mangoes are taken out of the salt water using a dry clean spoon and then peeled and used. There will be a slight difference in the taste but otherwise, the dish is  very tasty.

This is one of the authentic recipes and I don't think there are any variations. It is also called "Kudiyo tambli" since it is served in a plastic bowl beside the meal during festivities.

Nutritional Information  (Approx) (per serving)

Energy  16.5
Fat 0.5
Carbohydrates 2.8
Dietary Fiber 0.3
Sodium 0.3
Vitamin A 2.5
Vitamin C 7.6
Calcium  0.2
Iron  0.1
Protein 0.1
Sugar 2.4


Raw mango 1
Water as needed
Salt to taste
Green chillies 2 or 3
Grated jaggery 1/2 teaspoon
Coconut oil 1 teaspoon
Mustard seeds 1/2 teaspoon
Curry leaves a handful
Asafoetida a pinch

Wash the Mango well. Heat a pot of water and place the mango in it. Cook it till it is completely cooked  and soft.

Once cooked, set it aside and cool it completely. Save the water and peel the mango in a separate bowl, mash it. Add the mashed mixture to the water in which the mango was boiled.

Slit the chillies and crush a little so that the juices are released. Add them to the mango mixture and mix well. Also add grated jaggery and salt.

Heat oil and add mustard seeds. Once they start to splutter add asafoetida and curry leaves. Fry for a while and remove from flame. Add it to the mango mixture. Serve with hot rice as a side or just enjoy as a drink with your meal!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Sprouted Fenugreek Pulao ~~South Indian recipes

A healthy and very tasty one pot meal without a bit of bitterness, this Pulao is a best rice dish for kids lunch boxes in summer and a delicious meal for all age groups.
Lately, I have developed interest in sprouting the grains and the taste from every grain is turning out to be different, tasty and interesting. There are a lot of health benefits from sprouting the grains. Sprouting grains increases many of the grains' key nutrients, including B vitamins, vitamin C, folate, fiber, and essential amino acids often lacking in grains, such as lysine. Sprouted grains may also be less allergenic to those with grain protein sensitivities. [Source:  wholegrainscouncil.org]

One of my favorite sprouts is Fenugreek seeds sprouts. Being an important ingredient in our cuisine, fenugreek has a lot of medicinal properties and hence is also used in our traditional Ayurvedic medicines. So let’s take a quick comprehensive look at how fenugreek sprouts can contribute to your health and beauty needs.

Fenugreek in any form is a treasure trove of medicinal properties. It is rich in vitamin C, proteins, fibers, niacin, potassium, iron and alkaloids. It is also rich in a compound called diosgenin which has estrogen-like properties and steroidal saponins.

The benefits from consuming fenugreek sprouts for those living with diabetes are astounding. Fenugreek boasts of properties enabling it to stimulate the production of insulin in the body to counteract elevated sugar levels in the blood. Research on patients with Type 2 diabetes have shown a much lower level of sugar in their blood streams within 24 weeks of daily consumption of fenugreek. It is a rich source of amino acids that effectively induces the production of insulin for diabetic relief.

Research shows that consumption of fenugreek sprouts can help with weight loss. Rich in a polysaccharide known as galactomannan, it gives a feeling of fullness thus discouraging over eating. Fenugreek contains about 75% soluble fiber which also simulates a feeling of fullness hence fenugreek is a double action solution for weight watchers. According to Indian traditional medicinal practices, fenugreek has long been used to aid digestion and to treat gas, flatulence and diarrhoea.

A rich source of antioxidants, fenugreek counters free radicals that damage skin cells to bring on early signs of aging hence consumption of fenugreek sprout can delay ageing signs like wrinkles, crow’s feet, fine lines and pigmentation. Consuming fenugreek sprouts is known to cool the digestive system and relieve constipation which often is the reason behind acne and pimples thus effectively helping you attain smooth blemish free skin. Consumption of fenugreek sprouts is an effective way to combat hair loss as it is rich in antioxidants which are responsible for fighting free radicals that cause cellular damage, the primary cause of hair fall. [Source:stylecraze.com]

Nutritional Information  (Approx) (per serving)

Energy  110
Fat 0.9
Carbohydrates 20.9
Dietary Fiber 2.6
Sodium 40.8
Vitamin A 6.6
Vitamin C 4.3
Calcium  8
Iron  13.6
Protein 3.2
Sugar 2.9


Sprouted and washed Fenugreek seeds 1 cup
Any long grain rice 1 cup
Mixed chopped Vegetables(Carrots, french beans, Capsicum) 1 cup
Onion sliced 2
Bay leaf 1
Oil 1 tablespoon
Start Anise 1
Salt to taste
Sambar/Rasam powder 1 teaspoon
Amchoor powder(optional) 1/2 teaspoon
Curd 1/2 cup
Water  as needed

To Grind:

Ginger  A small piece
Garlic  5-6 cloves
Coriander leaves a handful
Cumin  1 teaspoon
Cinnamon a small stick
Cloves 3 or 4
Cardamom 2
Star anise 1
Green chillies 4 or more

Soak the rice in some water for about 10 minutes.

Grind everything under "To grind" table coarsely.

Heat oil and add Star anise and bay leaf. Fry for a minute and add onions.

Add vegetables and sprouts. Fry for some time.

Add chilli powder, Amchur powder and salt. Add curd and bring to boil.
Add soaked rice and water just enough to cover the rice. Cook until the rice is done or pressure cook for 2 whistles. Serve hot!

Monday, May 9, 2016

Gooseberry pickle/ Nellikaayi Uppinakaayi/ Amla Achaar ~~South Indian recipes

A tasty, spicy and tangy side for our scrumptious meals, Indian Gooseberry pickle is one of the easiest pickles to make this summer.

Summer is meant for Sundried food prepared and stored for the rest of the year; Papads, Pickles, Fryums, salted and dried mangoes and others. We usually make rice papads, Mango and gooseberry pickles, Sago papads, Jackfruit papads and loads and loads of foods that are stored and eaten in chilly and rainy days. My MIL makes all of these and I get to eat all these when I visit for Ganesh Chaturthi every year. She also packs most of these for us so I have never ever prepared any pickles or papads. This time, I wanted to try my hands on at least few of papads and pickles and the theme for our Blog hop was just perfect.

Mango pickle is the most and very commonly prepared pickle in summer and every region has it's own variant. For example, Mango pickle from Udupi tastes very much different from the Mango pickle from Andhra Pradesh. We have many variants from different places inside our state and this is the recipe from my MIL's sister Sharada atte. I am using her recipe for this pickle instead of the mango pickle. Indian Gooseberries are usually found growing in tiny trees around our houses in my native. They are tiny compared to the ones we buy in market yet they taste almost the same.

Indian gooseberry is one of the healthiest foods that is very rich in Vitamin c. We consume Amla juice with our green tea every day since it contains numerous health benefits. As soon as my little princess turned 8 months, I also prepared Amla chyavanprash to give to her as per the advise from my grandma. Since we are already talking about health benefits, I will just mention few of those benefits to make this post complete.

Hair care: Amla is used in many hair tonics because it enriches hair growth and hair pigmentation. It strengthens the roots of hair, maintains color, and improves luster.
Eye Care: Drinking Gooseberry juice with honey is good for improving eyesight, and studies have shown it to improve nearsightedness and cataracts, while reducing intra-ocular tension.
Calcium Absorption: Calcium is an essential component of our bones, teeth, and nails, and also ensures that we have beautiful lustrous hair.
Diabetes: Gooseberry contains chromium, which has a therapeutic value for diabetic patients. Indian Gooseberry stimulates the isolated group of cells that secrete the hormone insulin, thereby reducing blood sugar in diabetic patients and keeping their body balanced and healthy.
Digestion: Alma is very high in fiber, like most fruits. Fiber adds bulk to the stool and helps food move through the bowels and keeps your bowel movements regular.
Heart Disease: As mentioned above, gooseberry strengthens the heart muscles, so the heart pumps blood smoothly throughout the body.
Infection: Due to its antibacterial and astringent attributes, Indian Gooseberries protect the body against infection and improves the body’s immune response.
Anti-Aging: Amla prevents health-related hyperlipidaemia by reducing the amount of free radicals in the body through its antioxidant qualities.  [Source: organicfacts.net]


Indian Gooseberry/ Amla 500 grams
Salt 1 cup
Mustard seeds divided 3 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon
Fenugreek seeds 1/4 teaspoon
Cumin seeds 2 tablespoons
Asafoetida divided 1 teaspoon + 1/2 teaspoon
Turmeric powder 1 teaspoon
Cloves 10
Red chillies (Byadagi) 25
Mustard oil 1 cup

Wash the Gooseberries well and spread them on a clean muslin cloth till they are completely dry.

Choose a clean and dry glass jar. Put all the DRY gooseberries in the jar and add the salt. Mix well. Cover it airtight and keep it. Mix once or twice everyday by shaking the jar a little or with a completely dry ladle.

This is the picture of the jar on the third day. The salt is completely dissolved and the gooseberries look dull and pale, soaking up the salt.

This is the sixth day picture. They have released the juices and it is perfectly balanced with the tang and salty taste.
Once the juices are released, you can make the masala to add. Dry roast all the ingredients listed one by one in the given order and let them cool completely. [Except for oil + 1 tsp Mustard seeds + 1/2 tsp asafoetida]. Let them cool completely.
Heat the oil, heat it till it starts fuming and add mustard seeds. Once the mustard seeds starts to splutter, add asafoetida and remove from flame. Set it aside and let it cool completely.

Meanwhile, powdered the dry roasted ingredients to a coarse powder.

Add the powder to the gooseberry mixture and mix well. Once the oil has cooled down, add it on the pickle mixture and mix. Cover airtight and serve when needed.

* Make sure the utensils are all completely dry while using to make this pickle.
* The pickle tastes best 4-5 days after the masala is added.
* Do cut back on salt and chillies as per your taste preference.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Raw mango huligojju/ Green mango chutney ~~Havyaka recipes

Tangy, spicy and a delicious Havyaka side dish that is prepared in all havyaka homes every summer without fail. It is garlicky, tart and very tasty that goes well with piping hot rice or as an accompaniment for a whole meal.

Being a havyaka, such dishes should have been a huge part of my recipe list but I am guilty of not posting a lot of havyaka dishes. So, I decided that to post havyaka dishes in my blog from now on. You may be wondering about the word "Havyaka" and I want to explain about that first before I start off with the recipes.

Havyaka Brahmins are the Hindu Pancha Dravida Brahmin subsect primarily from the Indian state of Karnataka and North Malabar, Kerala. The Havyakas are united by their unique language. They speak a dialect of Kannada known as Havigannada (Havyaka+Kannada). It is 60-70% similar to mainstream Kannada but draws more words from ancient Kannada.

Havyakas have a unique food system which contains medicinal values as well as delicious taste. Some of the food items includes wild leaves, roots/herbs, barks of the trees which are directly obtained from the nature and processed fresh and consumed. By the end of the each meal, one is assured of protection from the nature itself. This was possible because most Havyakas lived in the villages where abundant sources were available around them. [Source: Wiki]

Anyway,  Maavinakaai huligojjju or Raw mango huligojju is one of the most favorite havyaka summer dishes often accompanied by Maavinakaai appehuli or neergojju and cooked raw rice. The tangy and spicy rice accompaniments fill your tummy and give you a feeling of cosyness and warmth no matter how hot the weather is. If you like the taste and go overboard with the meal, you will get an amazing sleep for hours and will wake up so fresh and relaxed.

The recipe is very easy, simple and amazingly tasty. There are not many versions or variants to this dish but you can adjust the quantity of the ingredients as per your taste preferences.

Nutritional Information  (Approx) (per serving)

Energy  27.1
Fat 0.8
Carbohydrates 5.2
Dietary Fiber 0.3
Sodium 387.8
Vitamin A 0
Vitamin C 0
Calcium  0
Iron  0
Protein 0.2
Sugar 4.6


Raw green mangoes 2
Salt as per taste
jaggery grated 1 teaspoon
Garlic pods 8
Coconut oil 1 teaspoon
Mustard seeds 1/2 teaspoon
Curry leaves a handful
Green chillies 2

Wash the mangoes well and pressure cook for 3-4 whistles. If not using pressure cooker, cook the mangoes till they are completely soft and very well cooked. Once cooked, drain the water and let the mangoes cool completely.

Peel and mash the mango pulp. Grind together green chillies and garlic pods.

Mix together mashed mangoes, grated jaggery and salt. Check the taste and adjust the salt and jaggery accordingly. Heat coconut oil and add mustard seeds.

Once the mustard seeds start to splutter, add curry leaves and fry till they turn crisp. Add the tadka to the mango mixture. Mix well and serve with hot rice.

*Add more jaggery if you don't like the chutney sour.
* You can store this in refrigerator for a week.
* Adjust the chillies according to your taste. 

You might also like:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...