Strawberry shortcake trifle (eggless)

There is this Valentine’s day special contest being held on a food group on facebook from beginning of Feb to 12 Feb 2017. It asks you to prepare any dish but the main ingredient should be strawberry.

Me and my hubby we both look up to celebrate Valentine’s Day. We might not celebrate our birthdays or anniversaries but Valentine’s Day is something we look forward to to celebrate or to give each other unique gifts. I guess the reason for this is that we knew each other since college days.

I was excited to see the contest announcement but when I read the details further the main ingredient made me skeptical and I was reluctant to participate. A few days passed and my desire to participate was increasing but every time I gave it a thought I would step back thinking about “strawberry – main ingredient”. The reason is I personally don’t cherish strawberries 😏. And this being valentine’s special my husband I can say hates it. 🙄.

Giving this more thought I decided that I should try out something with strawberry that my hubby would at least dare to taste even when I tell him that it’s made using strawberries. And yes let me proudly tell you the attempt and of course the efforts were successful and paid off. He said ” If you had asked me to eat strawberries just like that I would not have eaten but this dessert that you have made is really good and liked it.” He almost ate half the glass much more than I expected.

While neighbor when I offered her she was like ” The sweetness is just perfect. Neither to sweet nor less sweet. It’s just right.” On the food group too, it was appreciated by multiple members. So now no matter I win or not, it is like I have already succeeded. The post with maximum number of likes will decide the winner. You actually cannot say that the number of likes are actually given based on the recipe or looks. Here person with good networking skills will stand a greater chances and his/her recipe might not even be read. Anyways the sweet words from my loved one’s and my well wishers mean a lot of encouragement and appreciation to me. ☺️


Recipe :

You will need less than 1 kg of strawberries for this entire recipe. Where ever I have used puree, there I have roughly chopped and pureed the strawberries in a blender, after which I have passed the puree through a sieve.

1 cup = 240 ml


Strawberry cake :

Ingredients:

  •  1/4 cup butter unsalted
  • 1 cup sweetened condensed milk (around half a tin)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 baking soda
  • 1/2 cup strawberry purée
  • 1/4 cup aerated water or club soda
  • 9×13 inch pan

Method :

  1. Beat butter with sweetened condensed milk.
  2. Sift all purpose flour, baking powder and baking soda into the beaten butter mix.
  3. Add strawberry puree. Beat further.
  4. Add aerated water or club soda and mix further till all is incorporated.
  5. Pour the mixture into a greased and floured sheet pan (9×13 inch) and bake it in an oven preheated at 350F for 30 mins or till done.
  6. Then allow the cake to completely cool on a cooling rack.


Strawberry sauce :

Ingredients:

  • 250 gms puréed strawberries.
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 2-3 tbsp granulated sugar

Method:

  1. In a saucepan, melt butter.
  2. In a bowl dilute cornflour in 2 tbsp of prepared puree.
  3. Mix granulated sugar in the butter alongwith the remaining puree.
  4.  Once it boils, stir in the cornflour mix and keep stirring for another 5 mins till well incorporated.
  5. Put off the flame and allow to cool.


Strawberry cream :

Ingredients :

  • 1/2 tsp gelatin
  • 2 tbsp cold water
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3-4 tbsp confectionary sugar
  • 1/3 cup strawberry purée

Method :

  1. Prior to beginning with this cream preparation, keep the mixing bowl and whip in freezer for 15 mins to cool.
  2. Mix unflavored gelatin in cold water and allow to rest. This mix helps in stabilizing the cream.
  3. Then beat heavy whipping cream with vanilla extract until soft peaks are formed.
  4. Fold in confectionery sugar, strained gelatin mix and strawberry puree and beat again till stiff peaks are formed.


Assembly :

  1. You can use a serving dish or individual dessert cups for the assembly.
  2. Chop and slice few strawberries.
  3. I used a round cookie cutter to cut circular cake discs. I could get around 12 discs.
  4. Take a glass. Spread a layer of cream, then a layer of chopped strawberries followed by layer of sauce and then cake followed by a layer of cream.
  5. You can either stop here and garnish with strawberry slices or you can repeat another stack as shown in picture with chopped strawberries, sauce, cake and again cream. The final layer always needs to be cream just before garnish.
  6. Single stack prepares 12 serves while if double stack is set up prepares 6 serves.

Advertisements

Classic rum cake 

We were at a get together at our relative’s place. While talking about cuisines and various dishes, suddenly all were nostalgic about a rum cake which our aunt Usha Naik (family friend)  had baked and relished by all for some party in the past. As we had recently moved here, we were not obliged to relish it ☹️.

However, I was very eager to get hold of the recipe and try it out. Christmas was around the corner and I was planning to try it out then. So I grabbed the recipe from aunt Usha and was all ready with the ingredients in my pantry. But to my dismay my hubby was in no mood for any more cakes that month as be already had consumed our wedding anniversary cake by mid December.

I was just waiting for an occasion to seek an opportunity to bake it. Recently was my paternal grand dad’s 100th birthday remembrance. So I didn’t wait at all and just decided to try it out no matter what. My grand dad too was a foodie even at his old age. Though he was a doctor himself and health conscious, he did not give up on relishing delicious food.

Thanks Usha aunty for the recipe. We and many of our friends enjoyed the yummy cake. Let’s begin with the recipe. I have done very minor changes to the original.


Recipe :

Ingredients:

For the cake –

  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 box yellow cake mix (The recipe asked to use 18 1/2 oz box however I used the gluten free pack by Pillsbury 17 oz. You can use the regular packs of traditional yellow cake mix of 15.25 oz which would work well)
  • 1 box instant pudding and pie filling (3.4 oz)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup rum

For the rum glaze –

  • 1/2 cup butter ( 1 stick or 1/4 pound)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup rum

Method :

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 F.
  2. Grease and flour a 10 inch tube pan or 12 cup bundt pan.
  3. Sprinkle about 1/4 cup or less walnuts at the bottom of the pan.
  4. Mix all the rest ingredients and then fold in the remaining walnuts.
  5. Pour the mix into the greased pan and bake in the preheated oven for an hour or till cake doneness.
  6. Remove the cake and allow it to cool completely on a cooling rack.
  7. For the glaze, melt the butter in a saucepan.
  8. Stir in the sugar and water and continue stirring till sugar dissolves.
  9. Allow to boil for 5 mins and then remove from heat.
  10. Stir in the rum.
  11. Drizzle and smooth the glaze over the top and sides of the cake.
  12. Allow the cake to absorb the glaze completely and then repeat till the entire glaze is used up.

Banana Loaf

This recipe is passed on to me by my mum. It’s nothing but sooji halwa or semolina dessert in cake or loaf form. I have always relished this since my childhood. So would like to share it with you.


Recipe :

Ingredients :

  • 2 – 3 medium-sized bananas
  • 1 tbsp ghee/ clarified butter
  • 1 cup semolina (sooji)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • salt as per taste

Method :

  1. Heat ghee in a pan. Once hot, roast the semolina till slightly roasted but take care it doesn’t turn brown.
  2. In a mixie, mash banana with sugar.
  3. Once the semolina is cooled, add the mashed banana sugar mix into the roasted semolina.
  4. Try to remove the left over banana mix from blender blending the milk. Then add this milk into the semolina.
  5. Now add the cardamom powder, baking powder and salt and mix well.
  6. Grease a loaf pan and pour the contents into it.
  7. Bake this in an oven preheated at 350 F for around 25-30 mins or till a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
  8. Enjoy the cake for dessert or snack time.

Ribbon Cake

Cakes have always been one of my favorite desserts or snack and being passionate about baking I always like to experiment with a variety of baked goodies.

As a child I always waited for the Christmas season to arrive or looked forward towards an invite at a Christian family’s home for a birthday party,etc. I know it sounds insane. But kids are kids, innocent at heart.

As a child I always had this fascination towards the ribbon cake. At that time, the exact type or name of the cake was so immaterial to me. Rather I would always describe the cake to my parents or the shopkeeper to get what I desired. I would just say a “cake whose slice has pink or green or both color bands on it.”As a college girl too, I remember I used to buy the ribbon cake, quarter kg from the Apollo bakery in Ponda.

A few days back Ms.Xanti Pinto posted ribbon cake pictures on a food group (Base Recipe by Xanti). I was so damn delighted to see those. It was also my mum’s birthday that day. So I thought I should be seeking the recipe from her as soon as possible and baking one at once so that though seven seas away from mum can celebrate her birthday as well re-live my childhood. However I could not get the recipe in time.

But as Children’s Day (14 November is celebrated as Children’s day in India – my home country) was round the corner, what better day than this one to re-live my childhood. So taking Xanti’s recipe as base and making a few modifications to it, here we go ahead to bake the Ribbon cake.

img-20161113-wa0003

Recipe :

Ingredients :

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into cubes
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar (you can adjust the sugar based on the sweetness you prefer)
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 9 inch loaf pan
  • gel or tube colors (pink, green and orange)

Note : Incase you are using salted butter, please omit using the salt

Method :

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 320 F.
  2. Grease a 9 inch loaf pan and line it with parchment paper.
  3. In a bowl, sift the all-purpose flour, salt and baking powder.
  4. In a mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar  till light and fluffy using a hand mixer.
  5. Add one egg at a time and beat the batter further.
  6. Add the vanilla extract and mix well.
  7. Now fold in the flour mixture into the wet ingredients until well incorporated and a smooth lump-free batter is achieved.
  8. Take 3 bowls and spoon a tbsp of the batter in each of these bowls and retain the rest.
  9. In each bowl mix each of the gel colors. so now you have vanilla batter, a little of orange, pink and green batter
  10. Spread a smooth layer of vanilla batter at the base of the loaf pan.
  11. On top of this, pour one of the colored batter. Smooth this out like a color band, however you need not spread it as a layer.(It also wont be sufficient to spread as a layer).
  12. Repeat till rest of the colored and vanilla batters are consumed, alternating each. Remember that you have to spread only the vanilla batter as a layer.
  13. Finally smooth out the surface and tap the pan against the counter top to get rid of any air bubbles.
  14. Bake the loaf for 45-60mins or till a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
  15. Remove the cake on a cooling rack and allow to cool down for 10 mins.
  16. Cut the cake into slices. Happy Children’s Day. Enjoy!

20161113_001048-COLLAGE.jpg

Eggless Blueberry Vanilla Loaf

I understand that most of my posts these days are connected to Johnson’s farm. Being a fading crop this month, blueberry picking was only for recreation purpose.We could pick very few around a cup or half a pound I guess.

So many choices were going on in my mind blueberry sauce or jam or cake or just eat them like a fruit. Finally I decided to bake an eggless blueberry cake. I apologize that I could not take any photos during the batter making process as I baked this cake in a hurry.

Recipe :

Ingredients :

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar ( you can add 2-4 tbsp more depending on how sweet you need it to be)
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup thoroughly washed and paper towel dried blueberries

Method :

  1. Pre-heat oven at 350 F.
  2. Grease and line a 9 inch loaf pan with parchment paper.
  3. Sift all-purpose flour, salt and baking powder in a bowl.
  4. In another bowl, beat sugar and oil together till it becomes fluffy.
  5. Add the vanilla extract, milk and yoghurt and beat further till you achieve a smooth consistency.
  6. In the flour mix, add the blueberries  and mix.
  7. Fold in th dry ingredient blueberry mix into the wet ingredients.
  8. Put this batter into the greased lined loaf pan and bake for around 55-60 mins or till a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out smooth.
  9. Allow it to cool for half an hour on a cooling rack.
  10. Dust some icing sugar over it and slice and serve with tea.

Zebra cake (eggless)

My parents are here and so we were planning a long weekend getaway trip. My mum is 95% vegetarian and prefers eggless even with regards to cakes. So I decided to try something different still maintaining my family liking. So decided to explore the zebra cake.

IMG-20160630-WA0017

Recipe :

Ingredients :

  • 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/3 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vinegar or lime/lemon juice

Method :

  1. Sift all purpose flour and baking soda in a bowl.
  2. In another bowl, mix milk, vinegar, sugar, oil. You can increase the amount of powdered sugar based on the sweetness you prefer.
  3. Add the dry ingredients to wet ingredients in two parts and mix well.
  4. Divide the batter into two equal halves.
  5. Sift cocoa powder in one of the batter bowls and mix well.
  6. Grease a cake tin and dust it with flour.(Remove the excess flour).
  7. Preheat oven to 350 F or 175 C.
  8. Spoon two tsbp full of plain batter in the center of the tin. Do not try to spread the batter in the tin. Straight away spoon two tbsp full of chocolate mixture on top of it. Continue doing this till all the mixture has been used. You end with lots of alternate rings in the tin.IMG_20160630_202506
  9. Bake the cake for 35 mins or till a toothpick comes out clean when pierced in the center of the cake.IMG_20160630_202506-COLLAGE