Absolutely Simple Chocolate Sponge Cake

Posted by admin | Child friendly food,Desserts,Eggs,Recipes | Sunday 5 September 2010 9:11 pm

the absolutely simple chocolate cakeThis is the very simplest chocolate cake possible. And I say that with real authority because the very first time I’ve baked a cake all on my own and it turned out fabulous! Looks, texture, aroma, taste. Really perfect. And it continues to turn out perfect – this is the third time I’m making it.
The second time I bravely made this for 20 people! Very brave or very stupid, depending how you look at it, I guess. Some said it could be sweeter, but well, I really don’t like my desserts oooozing sugar.

The recipe is a combination of one given to me by a friend, thanks Rashmi, and other stuff I’ve read off the wonderful internet. Her recipe was already marked over and all sorts of convenient substitutions had already been made. Then the second time I made this I read someplace that yogurt was a great substitute for all the excess fat that needs to go into a cake, so I tried that, and it worked beautifully with no negative effects on the cake that I could tell. There’s probably a million recipes out there, but the ease ans speed of this one, the sight of it emerging perfect from the oven, and the sight of my four year wolfing it down… Well, here goes.

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SIMPLE CHOCOLATE SPONGE CAKE Makes a 4 x 9inch cake about 2 inches high
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Ingredients
I used a coffee mug for all measures. Bigger than a normal cup measure. about 10oz compared to the normal 8oz cup.
Whatever you use, stick to the same throughout. This simple illustration says it all.
cake ingredients
1 measure all-purpose flour (maida)
1 measure = 2/3 mug castor or plain sugar + 1/3 mug drinking chocolate powder
1 measure = 1/3(100gm) salted butter + 1/3 cooking oil + 1/3 yogurt
[ I discovered here that any combination of the 3 will do it, including eliminating the oil all together so long as it makes a measure full. The 1st time I used all butter, but I’ve never yet used all yogurt ]
3 – 4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 teaspoon baking soda
Add salt only if your butter is unsalted.

ingredients-chocolate cake
PREPARATION
Turn on the oven to 260C.

If you like whizz the sugar through a blender. I did the first time, but not after and it didn’t make a difference.

Put all the measured ingredients into a large bowl and mix lightly till they’re all blended- 4-5 minutes max. I don’t own an electic hand beater but that should do it in 2 minutes.
Don’t go overboard with the mixing, I believe it takes the air out of it.

Line the baking dish with grease or brown paper.

Pour in the mixture.

Pop it in the middle rack of the oven, and turn the heat down to the lowest, -160C on my oven.

out of the ovenStart checking after 25-30 minutes. First just shake lightly. If it wobbles, don’t touch.
As it seems firmer, put in a knife. When it really comes out clean, you’re done.

Remove from the oven, and in 5 minutes, remove onto a rack to cool.

This last time I made the cake, I crushed some walnuts and added them into the mixture.
The time before, I “iced” the cake all over with Hershey’s Chocolate Sauce and put the walnuts on the top. My expertise doesn’t yet stretch me to making an icing!

Whatever! it’s been yummm every time.
into the fridge...

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Side-Dish – Cheese Souffle for Summer Brunch

Posted by admin | Eggs,Recipes | Saturday 17 April 2010 1:29 am

I’ve read often, that nothing beats a hot cheesy souffle. I agree TOTALLY. But let me tell you something, few things beat a cheese souffle eaten lukewarm or cool either!

The first time I ate one was years ago. A colleague brought some for lunch, left-over from the day before. Well as you can imagine, it was far from hot and fresh out of the oven. But Yummmm! After that I’ve always wanted to make one, took the recipe from her mom, and soon after lost it. So I never got round to it. And I kind of wasn’t sure if I would be able to get that crucial light ‘rise’.

Well today, I did! Not only did it rise, it turned perfect and golden and for a few seconds there I thought it would overflow. And then, when it was done I rushed around with my camera because it looked like it was going to sink right away. cheese souffle
It did a bit, but for a change I got so many great pictures, you can actually smell the cheesy aromas. When finally I let everyone spoon it into their plates, not surprisingly it was far from hot, and certaily not risen very high, but I didn’t hear anyone complaining. But believe me it was still awesome; cheesy, peppery, fragrant.

I think I’ve looked up a cheese souffle about half a dozen times, but this is an adaptation from an old cutting from an ElleDecor magazine. It just fell out of something I was tidying away, and being Saturday, I had no excuses. The problem with lots of their recipe cards, that I’ve collected and never used, is that they leave too much space for guesswork – which doesn’t suit a very average cook like me, I like everything s-p-e-l-l-e-d out, and they often forget to include/use/give measures of some ingredients that they mention elsewhere in the recipe.
So here it is with a few adaptations.

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CHEESE SOUFFLE Serves 6
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This is what I read somewhere — A hot soufflé is meant to be eaten right after baking and doesn’t hold its shape and lightness for very long. It’s almost as if they can just be relied on to “hold their breath” for about 15 minutes. Their lightness and that delightful puffed up golden look depends greatly one how well the egg-white has been beaten and the speed between the beating, the baking and the serving.
The great thing about this recipe is that it can be mixed up to 3 hours ahead of time, which is really useful if you’re expecting guests.

INGREDIENTS
2 heaped tablespoons flour, sifted
2 heaped tablespoons dry potato flakes (the recipe gives the option of an equivalent amount of cornmeal)
2 cups milk
4 eggs
1 cup full of grated cheddar cheese
1/2 teaspoon crushed basil
1/2 teaspoon crushed oregano
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon butter
Salt to taste. I used salted butter and the cheese is salty enough for me so I used less than 1/2 a tsp more (more…)

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Office Lunch

Posted by admin | Eggs,Recipes | Monday 8 March 2010 2:19 am

We had Chef Venky offering to make us a lunch treat at work again last week. When he suggested the ubiquitous Anda Bhurji I can’t say I was very thrilled – I’m not a huge egg fan anyway, but everyone seemed to be quite pleased so Anda Bhurji it was. And then it was served up with hot buttered pav, and I must point out absolutely sizzling in oil, and very spicy because that’s they way most of us in this office like our food, but mmmmmmmmmm! it was awesome. And of course sinful. But then naturally.
Look out for the step-by-step photos.
This is incidentally a great last minute dish to rustle up when you run out of food in the fridge (give or take some oil, butter and chilies). Venky took about 25 minutes from chopping to serving, cooking for 10 of us.
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ANDA BHURJI ( MASALA SCRAMBLED EGGS ) Serves 6
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INGREDIENTS
6 eggs
4 onions chopped fine
2 tomatoes chopped fine
2 green chillies sliced into 4-5 pieces
1 teaspoon red chili powder
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 cup fresh coriander leaves, chopped
1/2 cup oil (that was Venky’s amount. If I did it it would be 1/3 of that at most!)
1 tablespoon butter (!)
Salt to taste

PREPARATION
Fry the onions in all the oil till golden brown.

Add the chilies, fry some more.

Add the tomatoes and cook till tender.

Meanwhile beat up the eggs thoroughly. Add when the rest is fried through, along with the turmeric and chili powder, and salt to taste. Stir constantly.

Add the garam masala and coriander leaves.

When the egg sets to the consistency you like, – shouldn’t be more than 3-4 minutes, add the butter and coriander leaves just before you take off the stove, stir and take off the heat.

Serve steaming with hot. We had it with pav that was also roasted on a skillet with dabs of butter!
Chef Venky at work and ste-by-step anda bhurji

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Chocolate Banana Crepes

Posted by admin | Desserts,Eggs,Just Food Articles - writers invited | Saturday 2 January 2010 4:00 am

The house has been looking so beautiful all decorated for Christmas; the small tree, the fairy lights and the wreath. It was my 3 year olds idea, but yes, we just had to have a Christmas party, and we had the extended family over.
Here’s the menu, we had a rather un-Christmas meal – Potato Mayo salad, Chicken Farchas, White rice and Spicy Prawn Curry with Kachumber and easy Chocolate Banana Crepes for dessert.
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Chocolate Banana Crepes Serves 6
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INGREDIENTS
5 bananas at least 6 inches long
2 tablespoons drinking chocolate powder
1 tablespoon coffee
3 tablespoons cinnamon powder
Hershey’s Chocolate Sauce

For the crepes
4 eggs
2 cups milk
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons sugar
1 banana

PREPARATION
– Beat together all the ingredients for the crepes except the bananas. Mash one banana smoothly and mix in only just before making the crepes.

– Slice the 5 bananas down the center and then chop into 1/2 inch pieces. (more…)

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Savoury Crepes

Posted by admin | Eggs,Just Food Articles - writers invited,Recipes,Vegetarian | Thursday 31 December 2009 2:18 am

I don’t think there’s any doubt about how much I love crepes and pancakes. But I usually eat them sweet and on their own.
Last Saturday, I looked into the fridge and didn’t see any very interesting stuff, I decided to jazz up our lunch. The lucky vegetable of the day turned out to be the lone cauliflower. Here how it went. For a change I thought to take step by step photographs. Enjoy!
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Savoury Cauliflower Crepes Serves 4
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For the crepes this recipes is perfect but leave out the sugar.

For the mixture
1 Caulifower – broken into small florets to fill 2 cups.
1 small onion, chopped fine
3 cloves garlic
1 small tomato, chopped small
1/2 tsp chilli powder

For the sauce
1 cup milk
1 tsp butter
2 table spoons all purpose flour (maida)
1 cup grated cheese
1/2 tsp pepper
salt to taste

Also mix together in a cup
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon soya sauce
1 teaspoon chilli sauce if you want to add some bite!

PREPARATION
Set the cauliflower to boil in adequate water and a teaspoon of salt.

In 2 teaspoons of oil start sauteing the chopped onions. As they brown, add the garlic after crushing.
Now add the tomato, salt and chilli power and half a cup of water. Let it cook well on low heat.

Meanwhile start making the crepes. Don’t forget to leave out the sugar. Keep them thin, no bigger than about 6 inches in diameter. Set them aside on paper the drain the grease. (more…)

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