Summer Lemon Sponge Cake

 

Hello my wonderful readers!

How have you all been? As you can see, I haven’t really had much time to blog and cook as I have been spending time at the school and after with my little one. I stay at the school along wth my baby and once we are back we continue with activities etc together. Not cause blogging is not as interesting, its just that it really feels nice to spend time with Adi. In the last few weeks, as a mother there are so many changes in my little one and its just the best. I couldn’t imagine not sharing these changes with him. The perks of staying home with your baby, I guess 🙂

For March – April the temperatures are soaring like crazy and apparently they are only going to get worse. So I decided to make a little lemon sponge cake for the evening tea. The cake is light and spongy and so so delicious. Paired with a cup of tea this makes the perfect summer evening tea.

As the days go by there is this reality that hits you that these moments, hot, cold, summer or rain, will never come back. Little precious moments with the little boy and as a mum the only thing you want is for your little one to be able to make decisions on his own with a sensible head. As a parent we are so so weak. Some times even if its for his good, it takes a lot out of me to keep a straight face when I am trying to explain why he should do some thing . Or when I ask him if he wants to go to school and he replies with “OR THE MALL? ” like its really an option .. lol…. secretly I think he enjoys the car / auto ride to and from the school more than anything. He holds the railing behind the auto driver and pretends to be driving the auto with all the expression and sound effects the auto and its driver. Once we are home, everyday he makes a fuss to enter home. Cause he knows its time for lunch and then his afternoon  sleep which is such a struggle!! But in all its the best feeling to see his little black straight hair flutter gently when he runs to jump, his little look from the corner of his eye when I ask him to keep back things or when I say “What did Amma say?” and he says ” No Skweeeeming ” … These little moments make my heart warm and every moment worth living. Oh my there I go again about how I love my little honey bee.

Ok back to the recipe. You want all the ingredient at room temperature and do not forget to butter and dust the pan WELL!

Ingredients :-

  1. Flour – 1 + 1/2 cups
  2. Butter – 1 cup
  3. Eggs – 3
  4. Butter milk – 1 Cup ( whisked well)
  5. Caster Sugar – 1 + 1/4 cup
  6. Vanilla Extract – 1 tbsp
  7. Lemon Zest – from 2 lemons / 1/4 cup
  8. Lemon Juice – from 2 Lemons
  9. Baking Powder – 2 tsp
  10. Extra butter and flour to grease and dust the pan
  11. Extra powdered Sugar for dusting

 

Instructions :-

  1. Pre Heat the oven to 180C
  2. Grese and dust a pan with butter and flour. Make sure to tap out the excess flour
  3. Now in a large bowl, add the butter and sugar . Cream till pale and fluffy
  4. Then add the eggs one at a time. Make sure to cream the mixture well and incorporate as much air as possible.
  5. In a large pan, mix the flour and baking powder. Sieve the mixture thrice to incorporate air and to distribute the Baking powder well in the flour
  6. Now into the butter and egg mixture, add the lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla extract and mix well ( if you are using a hand whisk this is easy, the same can be done with a hand held whisk)
  7. Next add the butter milk to the lemon egg mixture and mix well
  8. With a spatula divide the flour mixture into 3 and slowly fold the flour into the  buttermilk butter egg mixture ( wet mixture)
  9. Once you have added all the flour to the wet mixture, your batter is ready! ( do not over mix the batter)
  10. Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and tap to release bubbles
  11. Pop the cake tin into the pre heated oven and bake for 45 – 50 mins or till the tooth pick inserted comes out clean
  12. Cool completely on a cooling rack and then turn it out onto a plate
  13. Finally dust with powdered sugar and lemon slices !

 

Enjoy your summer Tea party ❤

Advertisements

Dal Tadka – The Famous Indian Lentil Curry

dsc_2024

dsc_1985

 

Hello my dear wonderful readers,

How are you all doing today? My little boy is down with a fever again and now I am here taking care of him and spending all my time by his side. Over the weekend we took him to a fun play pen and the next day he came down with the cold. This is the second time this is happening after taking him to the same place and the only logical reason would be that he got it from some other kid at the play pen. How do I feel about the fact that parents bring their sick kids to a public area? Well personally I make sure my son is not around other kids when is unwell and if I know he is about to fall sick or is just recovering from one, I inform the family or friends I am about to meet. Well but that’s just me right? So now he is down with terrible cold, running nose, lots of sneezes and needs constant attention. All the while I find comfort in reassuring myself that this is the way his immune system does its job and grows stronger. So lets see.

The weekend was also a surprise cause after many many years, I made a new friend. A wonderful woman, who I can relate to in so many ways and its not often that you come across someone who you can just pour your heart out, the first time you meet them right? So all in all, the weekend was AWESOME!! It was also nice to leave the boys and have a little girl time after a looooooonnnggg time! Just to have a coffee and talk girl to girl and also hear out loud many things I have said to myself but never put to practice, was such a relief!! LOL..

Since the little one is unwell, I wasn’t able to get much cooking done. So, this recipe is my life saver. If you are Indian, then you know that there is noting simpler, comforting and wholesome like a big bowl of Dal and Rice / Chappati. This recipe can be used for a wide array of lentils. The simplest and most common combination is the one I have used in my recipe (below). The use of a pressure cooker just makes it faster and easier. But if you do not have a pressure cooker, you just need a pot with a lid and cover and cook till the lentils are mushy and soft to touch. Traditionally, Ghee / Clarified Butter is used instead of oil, but you could use any oil that you are comfortable using.

Ingredients :-

  1. Toor Dal / Pigeon Pea – 2 cup
  2. Masoor Dal / Red Lentils – 1 cup
  3. Oil / Ghee – 1 tbsp + 3 tsp
  4. Cinnamon Stick – 1  one inch stick
  5. Cloves – 4
  6. Green Cardamom – 4  ( bruise with the back of a spoon)
  7. Cumin Seeds – 2 tsp
  8. Asafoetida – 2 pinches
  9. Garlic Cloves – 5 Large
  10. Dry Red Chillies – 4
  11. Onions –     (finely chopped)
  12. Tomatoes –   (finely chopped)
  13. Ginger Garlic Paste – 1 tsp
  14. Turmeric Powder – 1 + 1/2 tsp
  15. Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
  16. Salt – as required
  17. Water – 4 cups
  18. Coriander Leaves – 3 tbsp

Instructions :-

  1.  In a large bowl, combine both the lentils and wash thoroughly in running water. Then soak in water for 15 mins
  2. Now in a pressure cooker or large bowl, add 1 tbsp of oil. One the oil is hot, add the jeera / cumin seeds (1 tsp)
  3. As soon as the cumin seeds begin to crackle, add the cinnamon stick, cloves, cardamom, red chillies (3) and asafoetida
  4. Once the chillies plump up, add the onions. Fry till the onions are pink and almost translucent
  5. Then add the ginger garlic paste and fry till the raw smell disappears
  6. Next add the chopped tomatoes, turmeric powder and chili  powder
  7. Now cook till the tomatoes are cooked through (do not wait for it to fry )
  8. Once the onion tomato paste is ready, add the soaked lentils. ( Discard the water it was soaked in)
  9. Add the water and 1 tbsp of salt
  10. Cover and cook for 3 whistles or till the lentils have cooked through
  11. Once the lentils have cooked through, in a small pan, add rest of the oil. Once the oil is hot add the rest of the cumin seeds, red chili and garlic cloves. Fry till the garlic is golden brown
  12. Pour over the cooked lentils and garnish with the chopped coriander leaves
  13. Serve right away along with hot rice or chappatis

 

 

 

Easy Gulab Jamun

dsc_0745

dsc_0755-2

 

Hello My Dear Wonderful Readers!

How are you all doing? Today, I finally got my Diwali lights out on the balcony and my son was super excited! He ran out onto the balcony saying “Wooow..so pretty! “. He was in his PJs and his little eyes twinkled in the reflection from the fairy lights. Hey do you follow me on Instagram? Cause if you do, then you can see the live photos of what I describe here. Search for A cupcake for love and you will find me. I share most of my day meals or finds on my Instagram handle and I would love to hear from you.

So Diwali is a few days from now and I did make a few sweets but I have been procrastinating and not putting up the recipes on the blog. To make amends I am starting with my ‘easy peasy’ Gulab Jamun. Now as we go move along you will notice that most of my Diwali sweet recipes include Milk Powder. This is the lazy mum’s easy way to make home made sweets, satisfy sweet tooth’s, not spend too much time in the kitchen and also enjoy the holiday. So I am not saying these are authentic in anyway, but you know what, they taste just as good and they guarantee satisfaction 🙂

So here is the recipe for my Milk Powder Gulab Jamun

Ingredients for the sugar syrup –

  1. Sugar – 1 cup
  2. Water – 1 + 1/2 cup
  3. Cardamom Powder – 1/2 tsp
  4. Saffron – 8 – 10 strands

Instructions :-

  1. In a heavy bottom pan, combine water and sugar
  2. With the heat on medium, slowly mix the water and sugar till it dissolves
  3. Then add the cardamom and saffron
  4. Now bring the mixture to a boil then reduce the flame and let it simmer till the mixture begins to thicken (around 10 mins)
  5. Continue stirring till the sugar and water mixture thickens ( dip a ladle into the mixture and see it it coats the back in a nice thick layer )
  6. Set aside

Ingredients :-

  1. Milk Powder – 1 cup
  2. All purpose Flour/ Maida – 2 tbsp
  3. Baking Soda – 1/4 tsp
  4. Oil – for frying (depends on the vessel)
  5. Milk – 1/3 cup
  6. Butter – 1 tbsp (melted and cooled)

Instructions :-

  1. In a large bowl, combine milk powder, maida, baking soda and mix well
  2. Then add the melted butter and combine well with the flour
  3. Finally add little milk at a time and slowly knead the flour to form a nice ball ( may be a little sticky but that’s ok)
  4. Leave it to rest for 10 mins
  5. During that time heat a heavy bottom pan with oil on medium ( use enough to deep fry)
  6. Finally make tiny lemon size balls with the milk powder mixture and set aside
  7. Slowly fry these balls on medium till golden brown
  8. After you have fried them, drop it into the prepared sugar syrup ( its best if the sugar syrup is warm)
  9. Let it soak for an hour and they are ready!

Peach Clafouti – Sweet and Tart Peaches in a soft cakey dessert

DSC_0480

DSC_0544

DSC_0536

DSC_0541

DSC_0524

Hello my Dear Wonderful Readers!!

How are you all doing today? Its been raining here all week and its been so cold, I am always in my socks and either I am eating some thing warm or drinking the same. While it is quite easy to make cold desserts, warm desserts are a little “different”. Now I know I could make a batch of warm cookies or brownies and eat them right out of the oven. But here is the thing, I wanted to incorporate fresh fruits in there as well. Now, synonymous to these cozy days, is the world Lazy! So the last thing on my mind is to bring everything to room temperature and adding raising agents etc! So this is my” no stress, just vegetate and eat warm gooey deserts” recipe.

Also this is a great option when you have surprise visitors over for dinner and you do want to make some thing sweet at the end of your meal. You could use any kind of fruit, the base remains the same and let me tell you, in my opinion, tart fruits work the best cause they cut through the sugar in the base and leave you with this wonderful warm happy feeling!

Ice cream or fresh cream, how ever you fashion to pair this dessert, it is a total win  – win. Oh and did I forget to mention, its a ONE POT dessert!

My mum makes another version of the same thing and adds roasted cashew nuts and bananas too. Oh that one is out of this world and to compare the two wouldn’t be fair. So if you are looking for a warm, sweet, fruit and cakey dessert that doesn’t involve too much work but you would like to enjoy on a cold night, then I strongly recommend this recipe!

Ingredients :-

  1. Flour – 2 cups
  2. Powdered Sugar – 1 cup
  3. Butter – 100 gms
  4. Vanilla – seeds from one pod or 2 tsp
  5. Salt – just a pinch
  6. Fresh Peaches – 6 (sliced thin)
  7. Eggs – 3
  8. Butter ( just to grease the bowl)
  9. Milk – 1 cup

Instructions :-

  1. Pop the butter into a microwaveable dish and melt. Set it aside to cool
  2. While that is happening, place a kitchen towel on your counter and place your large bowl
  3. Slice peaches to desired thickness and set aside
  4. Add flour and sugar and whisk together
  5. Then add the milk, eggs, vanilla and salt
  6. Whisk well to for a lump free batter ( little thicker than a pancake batter)
  7. Grease your pie tray or enamel wear or even your cake tin with butter ( using a shallow tray makes the fruit pop out better through the cakey base)
  8. Pour the batter into the pan
  9. Then arrange the peaches over the batter. The batter is very runny so some of the fruit may sink but that’s ok, just add more 🙂
  10. Pop the tray into a pre-heated over at 180 C for around 30 – 45 mins
  11. Once done, pull it out of the oven and serve right away with a dusting of powdered sugar and fresh cream or ice cream!!

Mango, Peach and Orange Smoothie

DSC_0325

DSC_0330

DSC_0350

 

DSC_0370

 

Hello my Dear Wonderful Readers!

How are you all doing today? I found peaches at the nearby market and I decided why not use them in a fresh morning smoothie. As I took a walk down the market aisle,  I realized that the number of mangoes are dwindling, therefore I decided to make the most of it while its still available. That brings me to the topic of canned food. Now for one, unless its an order to make a cake without a seasonal fruit or when I need to add a cheer to a cocktail, I stay clear of canned food. Simple cause I worry about the preservatives in the can. Food was never meant to last as long as it does when it is canned. So why add more preservatives and chemicals to your diet right? That’s why I prefer using fresh fruits in my smoothies. Also if I want an element of cold or frozen, I cut up the required fruit and freeze it over night so my smoothies are thick and creamy. That being said some times when I need to make a tuna salad in a hurry (once in 6 months!) I do grab a can of canned tuna. Nothing substitutes fresh, seasonal fruits. So if you are planing on making a smoothie tomorrow, I suggest you pick up the least expensive fruit in the market, that means they are in season and they will only make you healthier!

So this smoothie is a mixture of fresh peaches, mangoes and oranges. Now if you want you could add water or yogurt but I do not like the combination of milk or yogurt with citrus fruits. It just does not work! ( for me). And this smoothie is a really thick smoothie, almost like ice cream. I did not add any liquid cause I wanted more fruit this time.

Ingredients :-

  1. Fresh Peaches – 4
  2. Mangoes – 3 cups ( cubes and frozen)
  3. Oranges – 2 large
  4. Ice Cubes – 5 – 6

 

Instructions :-

  1. Cut and core the peaches.
  2. Cube the mangoes and freeze over night for a creamy thick consistency ( its ok if you do not have frozen mangoes, fresh mango works too)
  3. Juice 2 large oranges ( use the pulp too)
  4. Add all the ingredients into a blender along with the ice cubes. Blend according to the blender instructions and serve with a slice of fresh cut orange.

 

White Chocolate Cinnamon Mango Cake with fresh Mango and Cream – Happy Mothers Day!!

 

DSC_0557

DSC_0543

DSC_0526

DSC_0561

Hello my wonderful readers!!

Today is Mothers Day!! Happy Mums days to all the wonderful mums out there!

This time I wanted to make it extra special so I baked a cake for my mum. In all honesty I am always looking for a reason to bake a cake and when something this wonderful comes my way, why wouldn’t I bake!! My mum loves simple subtle flavours. She like soft textures and warm colours. Everything I am today is because she taught me the right way. Often I stop in my tracks just to rethink and I ask my self, what would “Amma” / mum do right now? This usually happens when I am dealing with my son 🙂 You know many people say they won’t wanna have kids and for the longest time even I dint think I would ever be ready, but then today I look back and I ask myself, how could I have been so stupid to see the obvious. Yes I would have been able to travel more and meet more people and learn more languages and read more, but you know what? some day my little one will also fly away from my nest and then I will have all the time in the world for that. This journey that I am on is the most fulfilling journey ever! No it cannot be compared to anything and I will not undermine it by saying that it can 🙂 The reason I say all this is cause, today as a mother I realise how and why my parents said what they said. Today I realise how wrong I was and how miserable I would have been if I decided otherwise. There are exceptions to the rule, but the bottom line is, the only reason “Home” is “home” is cause home is where nothing can go wrong. My son will turn two in a few months and today we were learning how to eat mangoes with our hands. It was so funny! I had to give him a bath after the whole episode, but these baby steps are so precious. So heart warming!! These are the moment I thank my mum for having helped me decide what was right. When I see my child do well that is when I see how my mum made the right choices for me! Its funny how mums have it all under control no matter how things are on the outside!!

Ok this recipe is actually a very simple white chocolate cake with fresh mangoes, mango cream and a hint of cinnamon. Super simple to make and it is both decadent and yet so simple and fresh!! You should totally try it. Its the best Mothers Day cake ever!!

Ingredients for the White Chocolate Cake :-

  1. White Chocolate – 400 gms
  2. Butter – 400 gms
  3. Cake flour – 4 cups
  4. Cinnamon Powder – 1/4th tsp
  5. Powdered Sugar – 2 cups
  6. Vanilla Extract – 1 tbsp
  7. Whole Milk – 1 + 1/2 cup
  8. Vinegar – 1 tsp
  9. Baking Powder -3 tsp
  10. Eggs – 5

Instructions :-

  1. Pre heat your oven to 180 C and grease and dust two cake tins with butter and flour. Set aside
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, powdered sugar and cinnamon powder
  3. Sieve the mixture into another bowl and set aside
  4. Now heat a large pot of water. In another bowl, add the butter and white chocolate. Now place the butter and chocolate bowl over the mouth of the boiling hot water (without touching the  water) Let the chocolate and butter melt completely. Once the mixture has melted set it aside to cool down
  5. In another bowl add the milk and the vinegar. Stir with a fork and set aside. It will curdle ( thats what you want)
  6. In the bowl of your stand mixer with the paddle attachment, add the eggs. Beat till well combined
  7. Then add the butter and white chocolate mixture and mix for one minute on medium
  8. Next add the milk and vinegar mixture and finally the vanilla extract
  9. Mix well on low speed till it combines well
  10. Next add the flour and cinnamon mixture into the wet mixture, in 3 batches. Give the mixture a good mix (make sure to stop in the middle to scrape down the sides of the bowl)
  11. Weigh the enter wet mixture and then pour equally into the two tins
  12. Bake at 180C for 45 – 50 min or until a tooth pick inserted comes out clean without any batter stuck to it
  13. Once the cake is ready, take it out of the oven and set to cool down to room temperature for 15 mins
  14. Then run a knife around the sides of the cake and demold the cake and let it rest till completely cool.

Ingredients for the Filling and the cream :-

  1. Mangoes – 3 cups of finely cubed
  2. Whipping Cream – 3 – 4 cups
  3. Vanilla Extract – 1 tsp
  4. Fine Powdered Sugar – 1 cup
  5. Sprinkles – as much as you like ( optional)

Instructions :-

  1. Take one cup of the chopped mangoes and blend to a fine paste. Set aside
  2. In the bowl of your stand mixer add the whipping cream and whip on medium speed. Once the cream reaches a soft peak consistency, add the vanilla extract and mango puree. Now with the speed on medium, slowly add the sugar and whip to stiff peaks. Set aside ( you could make some without the mango puree just for colour contrast)
  3. To assemble the cake, cut the cake into two equal halves, pipe the mango whipped cream, add chopped mangoes and top with the next level of cake
  4. Once you reach the top, pipe a little mango cream anyway you like and top it off with sprinkles!!

Rose water Chia & Mango Banana Smoothie

DSC_0198-2

DSC_0179

DSC_0203

Hello my Dear Wonderful Readers!!

How have you all been??? I have missed cooking, photography and mostly posting and talking to you all! I feel like its been months since I blogged! 🙂

So last week was a full of ups and downs. The flight to Kerala was pleasant apart from the time my son started crying (coz his ears hurt) when the plane was descending. Then there was the ride home from Airport that was uneventful. But once we got there, we had to run a few tests in the hospital and when all was well, I was admitted the same day!

One the bright side, the surgery was a grand success and we were out the next day. But when I got back home, I was told that my son was down with high fever and till today, he is nursing a horrible cold and chest congestion. Anyway, now that I am back home, it gives us more time with each other and hopefully all will get back to normal soon. Now this recipe is something I put together last night and hoped it would turn out well and trust me it did!!!

Mangoes are in season now and I plan to make the most of this delicious fruit. So please bear with me if your see mango posts back to back 🙂

Ingredients :-

For the Chia layer –

  1. Chia Seeds – 4 tbsp
  2. Milk – 1 cup
  3. Rose Essence – 2 drops

For the Golden Layer –

  1. Mango – 1 ( ripe and cubed)
  2. Banana – 1 ( ripe)
  3. Turmeric – 1/4 tsp
  4. Oats – 4 tbsp
  5. Milk – just a splash

Instructions :- 

  1. In a glass jar with a high lid, add chia seeds, milk and rose essence
  2. Close the jar tightly and give it a good shake
  3. Put it in the fridge to set over night
  4. For the next layer, you should make it just before you assemble the smoothie
  5. In the bowl of your blender, add the mango, banana, turmeric and oats
  6. The turn on the blender and add just enough milk to get the mixture to combine ( You want the smoothie to be nice and thick in order to get these distinct layers
  7. Finally equally divide the mango smoothie into two glasses
  8. Then with a spoon, top-up the mango layer with the over night chia layer
  9. Finally garnish with some dry rose petals and any fruit of your choice ( I used kiwi)
  10. Serve right away when cold!!