The Weekend Kitchen

Some hits, some misses…..in my kitchen, over the weekends


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Multigrain Experiments – Wholewheat and Ragi

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The last ragi cake experiment was a semi success, the batter didn’t bind enough, the outcome was so sensitive that it crumbled at a mere touch. It had to change form into laddus, the taste was awesome,though. The analyst in me went into overdrive and conclude it needed more moisture.

After tge headiness of all the rum and vodka cakes, it was time for another experiment. And cracked it this time. A healthy, yummy mixture of wholewheat, ragi, carrots, Apple, walnuts, jaggery and olive oil.

Ingredients

3/4 cup wholewheat flour

3/4 cup ragi powder 

3/4 t baking soda

1/2 t salt

1/2 t nutmeg

1 t cinnamon powder

1 cup grated jaggery

1/2 cup olive oil ( you can use sunflower oil as well)

1/4 cup curd

2 eggs

1/2 t vanilla essence

1.5 cups grated carrot

1 cup Apple pieces (diced into small pieces, with skin on)

a handful of crushed walnuts

Directions

  1. Pre heat for 10 minutes at 180C

  2. Mix the oil, curd and jaggery (using a hand held whisk)

  3. Add eggs one by one , mixing thoroughly

  4. Add vanilla , mix well

  5. Sift together the flours, baking soda, salt and the spices

  6. Mix in the dry ingredients to the wet in three beaches , mixing gently after each addition

  7. Add the grated carrots and diced apples. Mix gently.

  8. Transfer the mix into a log pan, sprinkle the nuts on top

  9. Bake for 40-50 minutes

  10.  Do the tooth pick test at 40 minutes and take out of the oven when done

  11. Turn over on to a rack after 10 minutes. Immediately turn the right side up. Cool.

  12. Enjoy the goodness

 

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Ode to Fallen Cakes

The fruit cakes were turning out perfect, lemon and vodka soft and fluffy, orange and rum inviting…..in short, life was good. Well, I will not talk about work here. So, there I stood staring out of my kitchen window, a dreamy smile on my face, anticipating another batch of picture perfect beauties. And then, the inevitable thud that follows a dream run

imageNone of the rescue tricks that I knew of worked. “You have hits, then you have flops, all part of life,” I tried to console the baker in me. And I threatened the chocolate and red wine that was finding its way into the oven, “don’t you dare fall on me.” 45 minutes later, it came out, with its skin as soft as a baby’s bottom and as taut as Madonna’s midriff. The preening smile was back on my face.

Cakes are like children. They pretend to be meek, obeying you to the letter. The moment you turn your back on them, they go about their own sweet way, doing exactly what they wanted to in the first place. The day was not mine, obviously. On second thoughts, I should have known better. What else could one expect, feeding people with wine and vodka? This one had gone totally tipsy. Wrinkled and crinky in the middle like the skin of a diabetic old woman, this one too decided to sink on me. Three cakes. Sunken and gooey in the cenyer and perfectly turned out around the edges.

You cannot just shrug away the lessons you were made to learn as a child. With a grandmother who ensured that even the smallest grain of rice did not escape her clutches and a mother who turned each part of a plant into something edible, throwing it all out was not an option, even in my nightmares. Sorrow shared is sorrow halved, someone wise said, sometime ago. Vaayaadi pennu asked, “Why don’t you try a combination taste? Scoop out the center and fill it with something else.” She must have felt stifled by the huge hug I sent her, virtually 😀

With the concentrated look of a cosmetic surgeon making a perfect cut across a celebrity forehead , rectangular indents were made along the mid sections of both lemon cakes. The lemony vodkaey centers were scooped out. The chocolate cake went through liposuction next. Its tummy now looked like Baba Ramdev’s in some humanly impossible yoga position. Could never remember the names of all those contorted positions. Anyway. A few chunks of chocolate and a couple of spoons of butter were melted in unison. The chcolatey mess and some crumbled pieces of the perfect edges were added to the mix. My eyes were still searching for that final ingredient. Ah! The December bar in the kitchen! In went more than a few ml of Dark Rum. After all, what is Christmas without a little darkness, wouldn’t you agree?

Voila!

Ladies and (not so) gentle men, presenting the Lemon, Vodka, Chocolate, Red Wine and Dark Rum Cake…..

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A few weeks ago, some cup cake batter had fallen flat on my face. Yes, I know. My kitchen is a slippery place. I am felled, time and again. To get back to the story, some oats that get cooked quickly, wheat bran and chocolate chips had transformed the cup cakes into cookies. Ever since, son had been asking for ‘those’ cookies time and again.

The vodkaey mess had to be rescued now. In went some oats, bran and choco chips again. The mix felt dry, so a few drops of refined oil was invited to ruffle the feathers smooth. Shaped into a few perfect and mostly imperfect mounds and 8-10 minutes of tempering in the oven at 180C out came my invention of the day…

Lemon Vodka Oats Wheat Bran Choco Chip Cookies 😀 😀

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I am sure now. There is no such things as research for new dishes and all that nonsense. The best ones come out of your mistakes.

Happy falling, everyone!


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Choco Rum Pie

I am a creature of comfort. Get a new dress, like it, you can see me in that almost every other week. It is the same with recipes. Someone tells me a dish is good, it is repeat performance. Tried tarts last week and the crust came out better than my modest expectations. So here it comes again, in another form 🙂

Pie Crust:

Flour – 1 1/3 cup
Butter – 6 tbsp (around 85 g)
Castor sugar – 1/4 cup
2 egg yolks

Freeze butter and cut into small cubes
Mix flour and sugar
Add butter cubes to the flour & sugar mix. Rub with fingers till all the butter cubes are crumbled and coated with flour. The flour will now be slightly moist and cool and will resemble bread crumbs. Make sure no part of the flour mix is dry
Stir in the egg yolks and make a smooth dough
Wrap in cling film and chill for 30 minutes
Flour a flat surface
Knead the chilled flour gently so that it turns soft
Roll it out on the flat surface. Gently lift and place it in the pie pan.
Press it to the bottom and sides of the pan gently. Prick the bottom with a fork
Press a piece of greased foil tightly on to the shell.
Bake at 200C for 20-25 minutes till it turns slightly brown.
Remove the foil and bake for another 7-10 minutes. Take care not to brown too much

Filling 1

Sugar – 1/2 cup
Milk – 1 cup + 3 tbsp
Gelatin – 1 1/2 tbsp
2 eggs, separated
White chocolate pieces – 50 g
Rum – 1/3 cup ( avoid this and you get Choco pie instead of Choco Rum pie 🙂 )

Lightly beat the egg yolks
Sprinkle gelatin over 3 tbsp milk and keep aside
Boil 1 cup milk with sugar. Remove from fire and add to egg yolks, stirring all the time. Return back to the stove, keep stirring on low flame till the mixture thickens. Remove from fire
Add gelatin mix and the chocolate pieces immediately and stir till chocolate melts completely.
Add rum and mix well
Meanwhile, beat egg whites till stiff
Gently fold into the chocolate rum mix
Refrigerate till almost set. Stir in between so that no lumps are formed

Filling 2:

Whipped cream – 1 cup
Chocolate pieces (brown) – 50 g
Icing Sugar – 2 tbsp

Heat the cream. Remove from fire just before boiling
Add chocolate pieces. Mix well till all chocolate melts. Cool
Beat well till stiff adding sugar in two batches.

Spoon the first filling into the pie crust to form a layer. If the filling is watery, chill the filling in the crust till almost set. Now spoon in the second filling over it. Repeat layers and chill the pie for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight.