Wednesday, 24 May 2017

~~~~~Donauwelle Cake~~~~~


So... I was planning to bake this cake since ages, reason alone was because of its design on the top.
It is a typical German Sheet Cake made with three layers and is named after the River Donau (Danube River)  the second longest river in Europe which flows through 10 countries, starting from Germany till Ukraine.
A must cake in get-togethers or parties, it is loved by all age and groups of people
Now you may think why is it named after a river?  Many theories but No special background, many say it’s only similar to the river waves in zigzag form,or it was first baked in Donau or or or


When the cherries sink in the two layered batter it makes a design of waves
Well it may not be seen clearly here as I made this cake for an event and did not get the chance to take pictures while it was been cut L
Actually the top of this cake has a wavy design, as soon as we pour the chocolate we have to make the waves with a zigzag spatula fast, but sadly the chocolate starts to set very fast too and I could not manage the waves, so I sprinkled the flakes on it :D
But mainly the taste counts and that was really coooool :D
I am determined to make it again and this time with the waves: D


It is made with a sponge batter, divided in two, light and dark and layered with sour cherries, covered with pudding and lastly topped with the couverture chocolate.
It is a very heavy cake as we use nearly 700g butter in it, the custard the chocolate all make it a perfect rich in kals cake :D
But well, what is life….. if nothing to nibble ;P



Here’s how we make it:
For the batter;
5 eggs
380 g AP flour
250 g sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 tsp level baking powder
500 g soft butter
200 ml fresh milk
40 g dark cocoa powder
400 g Sour Cherries
(In glass jars)

For the Pudding:
I made the normal Blue Bird Custard
500 ml milk
2 heaped tbs of custard powder
3 tbs of sugar
(200g soft butter later while making its cream)

 For the Chocolate topping
400 g semisweet chocolate
20 g soft butter
Pre-prepare the following:
-make the custard and keep it in the room temperature
-drain the cherries and keep aside
-  line the baking tray with a parchment paper (the universal sheet tray)

 The Sponge:
-sift the flour with the baking powder in a bowl
-beat the butter till it turns white and fluffy
-add the sugar and beat well
-add the eggs one after the other and beat till smooth
-pour in the milk/vanilla extract and beat on a low speed so the milk does not shoot out
-now add the flour/b.powder slowly and keep beating into a smooth batter


-take out ¼ of the batter in a separate bowl and spread the rest ¾ batters on the baking sheet
-level it with the help of a spatula
-mix the cocoa powder in the ¼ batter and spread that onto the first layer of the batter
-spread it very gently with a spatula so that it is even
-now lay the sour cherries on the top covering the whole tray

-Bake in a preheated oven on 175° C aroud 35-40 minutes

-take it out and let it cool at least 30 minutes before the custard layer come on it

Layers;
-now  first beat the butter in a bowl and spoon the custard with it slowly mixing all in a smooth cream
-spread this evely on the cake
-keep it in the fridge to let it set and gets a bit firm too

In the mean while melt the semisweet chocolate in a double broiler, adding the butter to it.
 keep mixing  gently so it does not get hard,take off and let it cool down but it must  not get hard
Now take the tray out of the fridge and pour the chocolate very slowly on different corners so that you can spread that easily soon after
(Here’s where I could’nt manage it very fast and the chocolate started to get hard due to its consistency of choc and butter)

If you are fast enough then make wves with a zigzag spatula on the top like shown in this picture and let it stay, it will get firm in minutes
(This Picture is courtesy Google)

There you have your delicious “Donauwelle” (Danube River)
It is time consuming but is worth making it, as you’ll really love it  :D
Happy Baking!!

Sunday, 14 May 2017

**HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY*~~~~~ 14.05.2017


The Miracle of Life
nurtured by a woman
who gave us
love and sacrifice...
is a MOTHER!!!



A Very Very Happy Mother's Day to all my lovely Family, Friends,Readers, Viewers and all who just stop by to have a look in here :D

Though there is no time limit or hours enough to celebrate the being of a beautiful Mom, regarding this precious person for only 24 hours is just not the juctice one can ever do, but devoting a whole day in her name is really an honor for us Moms :D


Tuesday, 2 May 2017

*Hamburg* The Heart of the World :D

Good Morning, Good Evening and may be a Good Night at some Ends :)

Long time no see,  i have been away on a long vacation and then as it is , the after blues of being back from the family, just creep and crawl in a corner,doing nothing just wanting to be back in that jolly atmosphere,but the reality says, "come on" get back to work :)

I am some how not into cooking now a days, instead discovering the lovely sides of my beautiful City and enjoying it's changing moods several times in a day :)

April is to be said a very "Moody" month.
You can experience all 4 Seasons in a day without any exaggeration :)

It's sunny in the morning,then suddenly you see the dark clouds which give a good shower, and while you are still closing your Umbrella the hailstorm starts and ends up with a blowing wind where you can fly back home :D

Now the Sunny May has started yet April is there with it's  moods.

I was on tour with my friend and we captured some stunning very beautiful shots of the lovely weather this week. One just wants to spend the whole day at this spot,lovely nature, lovely surroundings, happy People and we among them :)

Sharing some of those lovely Moments,for me they were really breathtaking...

It's this mind blowing lovely Lake "Alster" which makes this City so very beautiful....
To just fall and sink in love with it :)


                                               This shot is Courtesy my friend Mrs Khan :D




































Saturday, 31 December 2016

**HAPPY NEW YEAR 2017**



Wishing all my dear Family, Friends,Viewers,Readers and Followers a year that’s promising, exciting, inspiring and full of fun! Happy New Year everyone!


Wishing you a warm and heartfelt greeting
for you and your family.
May you all have a victorious and prosperous New Year full of love, hope and serenity. Have a fantastic beautiful New Year!

Sunday, 11 December 2016

~*~Angel Cake akka Sponge Cake ~*~


Angel Cake is just another name of the Sponge Cake made with the same ingredients, also very well known as the English Cake.

Angel Cake has layers in two Colors and i used them in my icing and i did not fill it with cream, instead that i used the Raspberry Jam.

The main taste is of the icing no doubt, as it’s mainly with castor sugar and a mix of butter in it.



I remember we used to eat these bars so very often in our childhood, These are normally in a rectangular shape, i happened to eat this in England two years back, to just recall that taste of childhood, it was tasty but of course it’s never the same then.
My dearest Dad used to order this for our Birthdays along with the Black Forrest Cake and I remember we used to eat the icing first of all as it was so colorful green and pink and soooo sugary 
You know this feeling when one starts thinking about the childhood and suddenly you find yourself in this huge circle of thousand and one such moments where you just want to sit quietly and think of each and every memory....okay let’s not get emo…



So well I made this tiny lovely cake for my Hubby Darlings Birthday
He is no fan of too many creamy layers, so I used the jam for the filling and the typical colors of the Angel Cake are usually pale yellow and pink, so I kept that for my icing


I have 2-3 Sponge Cakes recipes here but I always find my cakes getting better with each try, I bit of this and a bit of that :D
The ingredients here are for a cute tiny 15 cm cake

The main secret of a good sponge is always the beating time.
This cake was so spongy till day 4, till the cream started turning a bit softer but the sponge did not harden a bit.
I did not cover the base of the cake with icing so you will see some light brown cake in between the icing loops :)

So if you crave for just one piece of cake you can make this, it gives you like 6 pieces.

You'll see the icing lines are not totally round and not perfect, i always say, i love the beauti of hand made imperfection,for me THAT'S original and i share it with pride :D

So here we go;

3 eggs
100g cake flour
90 g sugar
Dash of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbs lemon juice

There is no baking agent in this cake, no baking powder nor baking soda!

I make my own cake flour, so can you as it is a work of 30 seconds :D

1cup all purpose flour
Minus 2 tbs spoons from it
Add those 2 tbs of corn flour in it….. Tada you have your cake flour!
It is Important to sieve this 5 times, yes exactly 5 times!

-Now beat the eggs,sugar,lemon juice and vanilla for 15 to 20 minutes
-Surely with a stop in between or your beater may strike :)
-You will see the and feel the forming of the airy structure of the batter
-Then add the sieved cake flour slowly and just FOLD all DO NOT BEAT.
-Keep folding very gently so all seems creamy and no lumps are to be seen
The reason why we sieve the flour is so that no lumps built in the first place


Now grease a 15 cm pan and lay a round parchment paper on the bottom and pour the batter into it.
Bake in the preheated oven on 170°C for 40 to 45 minutes

It really gets very fluffy while being baked
Take it out after it’s done and let it cool really 2-3 hours before you try to cut it
If you cut it while it is still warm, it may break diagonally and ruin the whole cake, so a bit of patience is always good :)

I made it a day ahead and did the icing the next day, it’s better that way



For the filling:

200 g of Raspberry Jelly not the one with fruit seeds in it





For the icing I took;
150 g soft butter
Beat it till it really turns white in color
Sieve 200 g castor sugar
Mix in slowly and keep beat on a lower speed
Divide in two bowl and then mix in the liquid food color and mix well with a small whisker

Decorate according to your ideas and wish :)


We all loved it as you feel the real cake taste and not just the heavy cream.

Enjoy baking.

Saturday, 10 December 2016

**It’s Cookie Time**


(click on the pic for a larger Image)

My last post was some time 2 months ago,though i have been cooking but you know that moment where you hardly have the time even to eat properly let aside taking pics :D
But here i am with the Seasonal Goodies

Winter brings cravings of all what is sweet fluffy buttery and heartwarming and not to forget the cals but; honestly are we even thinking about it  :)D

Chocolates are always there to be gobbled when it’s cold and freezy, but the delish taste and aroma of fresh baked cookies is simply out of this world, heavenly unbeatable.

I  spent the last three days playing around with different doughs :)
Don't get irritated with the different Colors of the Pictures as i have used two different cameras
My actuall Cam is on a journey now a days :)





I mostly make the ones which are requested from my family and friends sort of “Block Buster” lol .
So the most favorite are always the Date Rings and the Cranberry/White Choc and these are always in my hit list.


 
I made a new batch of cookies this time with Coconut and lemon zest and lemon oil, and some chewy Orange peel/Walnuts they are really very tasty, the combination of lemon with coconut and the orangy touch feels really yummy good.  I think I will change my sides and stand with the Orange Cookies :)

I will just jot down the recipes under each Cookie precisely and short, so try it out and enjoy your winter eves like me :)


 
Oh yes I’d like to  mention here  that I have  used all organic ingredients here, specially for the cookies as the flour is really the main ingredient and it makes a difference visibly, but of course the plain all-purpose flour is also very good, nothing against it as I have been using that for ages and ages but with the passing time I have skipped to many organic things, especially after attending the seminars and knowing what all comes under the name “Refined” I try to avoid  chemically refined stuff as far as possible :)

As I always write in my notes, Always the Best for our “Machinery” it has to carry us a long long way :)





Okay back to the recipe:

Cranberry/White Choc Cookies
An all time runner and loved for its chewy structure
The important thing is not to bake it too long, when the recipe says 8-10 minutes then it actually is 8-10 and not 10-12 minutes as we usually tend to exceed the given time
But yes exactly these two minutes do make a great difference!
My experience speaks here :)

As you take them out from the oven they may seem a bit raw but no worries they are cooked and  are just too soft and crusty  and be careful  they are not to be shifted immediately so give them a  2-3 minutes  cooling time and then shift it with the help of a spatula over to the cooling wire.



Here’s how to make them:
180 g soft butter
100g sugar
1 large egg
2 tbs brown sugar
2tsp Vanila extract
250g Ap Flour (plain flour)
1 ½ tsp cornstarch
1tsp level baking soda
2-3 pinches salt
150g of mixed cranberry/white choc together
70 g nuts of your choice, I chopped walnuts and almonds  to add in

-beat the butter till fluffy white
-add the sugar and beat again
-add the egg, beat well, it will seem crumbly, it’s normal don’t panic or throw it away :D
-sieve the flour, corn starch baking soda and mix in slowly and keep beating till all forms a  very sticky dough
-Drop in the vanilla extract and mix in the dried ingreidients: White Choc and Cranberries
-Wrap it in a cling and keep in the fridge for at least an hour


This dough has to be chilled before you work on it as it is too soft and needs to set.
Take out of the fridge and let it come to the room temperature but not too warm or else it will be difficult to handle.

You can either roll it out or cut out cookies with the cutter or just roll is into a thick roller pin and cut squares with a sharp knife or you can also make tiny balls and place them on the tray, they will spread and form a nice round cookie while being baked
Best is to use a parchment paper to have a smooth flat structure, besides it’s easy to slip them out of the tray.

Bake these in a preheated oven on 180°C for ONLY 8-10 minutes!



After taking them out of the oven, allow them to cool down and then sprinkle some castor sugar on them , it’s optional, your own choice
They stay soft and delish in a good tight Tin Container



 

Coconut /Lemon Cookies



120g soft butter              
150g sugar
1 large egg
1 ½ cups plain flour ( Approxi  200 grams)
1tsp level baking powder
½ tsp vanilla extract
2 pinches of salt
Zest of one lemon
1 tbs lemon oil
100g desiccated coconut powder
3-4 tbs castor sugar for coating


-combine butter and sugar and beat fluffy
-add the egg vaniia extract baking powder salt and the lemon oil and beat all together
-add the flour and beat once again
-now add the coconut and mix all with a wooden spoon
-place castor sugar in a bowl
-make small balls and toss them in the sugar and then place them on the baking tray lined with a parchment paper.
-I just pulled some apart to form macaroons
-Bake them in a preheated oven on 190°for 9-10 minutes
Take them out and allow cooling on a wire rack
Keep in a air-tight Tin Container.

Ps: When i say Cup it's always meant a measuring cup. It's the best to use that as there are different types of cups and mugs and if you use that, the recipe might fail due to the incorrect measurements
This is what i use





Date/Fig drops in bitter orange marmalade with nuts




I have no exact recipe or measurements for these as I have really just created something with my fantasy :)

I had bought the bitter orange marmalade from the weekly market and just used it twice on my toast. So as I was making the date rings last year, I had plenty left over dates so I simply chopped them, added Figs, threw in some  chopped  Walnuts and Almonds and mixed all.

Poured some organic honey on it and 2-3 tbs of the bitter marmalade and to bind all these I just took 1-2  tbs of flour and mixed all. Just pinched the dough in small uneven sticks and baked in a preheated oven on 170°Ctil they were a bit darker in color, it took around 10-14 minutes

Sprinkled  castor sugar on them after they had rested a while. Voila!





In the Christmas time we have these very delicious fruit cakes with all dry fruits in it, like cherry, raisins, dry plum, dry apricot, orange and lemon peel, I love that fruit cake but due to some liquid ingredients in it I don’t eat it, so as I made these ,here I could feel THAT taste as I also soused it in the marmalade for an hour. I think it’s worth a try


Orange Peel/Walnuts Cookies



The ingredients are more or less similar to the Coconut Cookies with the exception of some little tid bits.


One important hint, don’t get confused with the Zest and Peel

Zest is in simple words: The Grated skin of the Orange

Peel is the skin itself, like when we peel off any fruit, in this case i peel the skin and cut it in very fine stripes and lay it to get dried up. It’s the best aroma you can get. It seems like a lot of work but it is’nt

Just peel, cut and let them dry. My friend had ordered Lemons and Oranges from  Mallorca (They are the best Sun-Riped fruit ever)  and gifted me some so I used them till the last drop with skin and seeds :D


I also use the tiny sachet we get with the lemon and orange peel, it’s available everywhere



So here we go;
   120g soft butter
150g sugar
1 large egg
1 ½ cups plain flour (Approxi 200grams)
¼ tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 pinches of salt
Zest of 1 big orange
Peel of 1 Orange

(Later you can press the fresh juice of both and enjoy the pure vitamin C :D )
2 cups of Walnuts and I added cranberries to it too


I always add more things to just see the new outcome, that’s how we create new dishes  na :D



-beat butter,sugar,vanilla extract,orange zest and peel baking powder with salt
-beat in the egg, will make all look crumbly but that’s the way it is
-add theflour slowly and keep mixing
-add the nuts and cranberry and just fold
-place  walnut sized dough balls on the baking tray with a distance of ½ inch allowing it to spread

Bake in the preheated oven on  180°C for just 6-8 minutes!!

Same process, take out,allow to cool,sprinkle castor sugar,let totally cool down before you preserve

In the Tin Box



Coconut Macaroons



I used the same dough of the Coconut/Lemon Cookies just added a bit of fresh milk to make it a bit soft


 
Date Rings







Some beautiful impressions i gifted our friends

These pictures are Courtesy a dear friend who shared these with me with great delight and joy as a thankyou...It's me who has to Thank you :)





Some for more friends :)