Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Triple Layer Eggless Chocolate Naked Cake - Fourth wedding anniversary celebration



Since our fourth wedding anniversary was coming which was on 23rd January 2017, so after making the everyone's favorite 'eggless black forest cake' I was just wondering which cake should I prepare for celebration. Then the naked cake idea came in my mind.




The naked cake can be called as an Un-iced cake. So what exactly a naked cake is ? 
Well, the naked cake really is a cake without icing. That means, anybody can see the texture of the cake and the colors inside. The sides of cake are generally left un-iced, but usually icing is there in between the layers.




It can be decorated with flowers, fruits, pretzels, cookie crumbs, chocolate chips or even powdered sugar; but always make sure that all frostings and fillings make sense when eaten as a whole. One might assume that naked cakes are less complicated than their frosted counterparts. But in fact, it's preparation takes quite a bit of skill.





So just forgot about the traditional outer layer of icing and go for the naked designs which is the growing trend these days. On our fourth wedding anniversary, I had prepared a triple layer chocolate naked cake. The chocolate cake used here is eggless, butterless and dairy free too. If you are planning for any celebration, then just go for this triple layer chocolate naked cake.  




Preparation Time : 60 mins      |      Cooking Time : 2 & ½ hrs


Ingredients :        

Ingredients
Measurements
Chocolate cake
All purpose flour
(1 & ½ cup) 3 times
Cocoa powder
(3 tbsp) 3 times
Baking soda
(1  tsp) 3 times
Sugar
(1 cup) 3 times
Oil
(4 tbsp) 3 times
Water
(1 cup) 3 times
Vanilla essence
(1 tsp) 3 times
Apple cider vinegar
(1 tbsp) 3 times
Salt
(1 small pinch) 3 times
Chocolate ganache
Heavy cream
¼ cup
Dark chocolate (finely chopped)
2/3 cup
Frosting : Whipped cream
Heavy whipping cream
½ cup
Powdered sugar
¼ cup
Vanilla essence
1/8 tsp
Cocoa powder
½ tbsp
Frosting : Basic chocolate icing
Icing sugar
¾ cup
Cocoa powder
½ tbsp.
Butter (soft)
25 gm
Water (hot)
1 tbsp

​Method :

A- Chocolate Cake :
  1. In the ingredient table, I just mentioned three times for all ingredients under chocolate cake. Because I am preparing a three layer naked cake. So here I'll bake three chocolate cakes separately. Instead of baking three times, you can choose to bake a whole cake by using all the ingredients at a time. After baking, just cut the whole cake into three layers horizontally.
  2. First preheat oven to 180 deg C. Lightly grease a cake tin lined by butter paper with oil and keep aside.
  3. Sift all purpose flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda in a bowl. Keep aside too.
  4. Take sugar in another bowl. Add water, oil, vanilla essence and vinegar. Mix well.
  5. Next add the shifted dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Just gently fold in, don't over mix.
  6. Immediately pour the batter into the greased cake tin and bake for 35-40 mins.
  7. Take out from oven and let the cake to cool down for 10 mins in the cake tin. Then invert and allow to cool down completely.
  8. Similarly make other two chocolate cake and allow to cool down fully.

B- Chocolate ganache :
  1. First place heavy cream in a sauce pan over medium heat and bring to boil.
  2. Turn off heat and add the chopped dark chocolate into the cream. 
  3. Again turn on heat. Keep stirring the chocolate and cream mixture on low flame until the chocolate melts. After some time, the mixture'll be glossy and smooth.
  4. Turn off heat and allow the smooth chocolate and cream mixture to cool completely. Chocolate ganache is ready.

C- Frosting :
  1. Here I have used two varieties of frosting or icing. In between the cake layers, the basic chocolate icing is used and for the top, I have used the whipped cream with a bit touch of cocoa.
  2. First combine icing sugar and cocoa powder in a mixing bowl. Add butter and hot water. Mix everything with a spatula to achieve a smooth, spreadable consistency. Basic chocolate icing is ready. Keep aside.
  3. Then take heavy whipping cream in another bowl. Add powdered sugar, cocoa powder and vanilla essence. Whisk using electric whisk for about 7-8 minutes in the highest speed or until stiff peaks arise. Don’t overdo the beating as the cream might turn into butter. Keep in refrigerator till needed.

D- Assembling :
  1. Take a serving platter (must be bigger than the cake base), first place one chocolate cake in center of the platter.
  2. Then using a spatula, apply half of the chocolate icing on top of the cake and spread evenly.
  3. Next place the second chocolate cake over the first chocolate icing layer. Apply rest chocolate icing on top of the second cake and spread evenly.
  4. Next place the third chocolate cake over the second chocolate icing layer.
  5. Now pour the chocolate ganache over the third chocolate cake, spread and allow it to drizzle down the sides of the cake. Refrigerate the whole cake until the ganache is firm.
  6. Then take out the whipped cream from refrigerator. 
  7. Take a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle. Fill it with whipped cream and decorate the cake top and bottom as desire.
  8. Cover the whole cake by putting a big bowl over it without touching the cake, refrigerate for at least 3-4 hours or overnight.
  9. After 3-4 hours the frosting part has set well, then slice and serve this amazing triple layer chocolate naked cake !




Notes :
  • Always put the whole cake in refrigerator before decorating with whipped cream, so that the ganache poured on top is firm and it'll be easier to decorate using whipped cream on top.
  • At the time of need, take out the whipped cream from refrigerator and after using, immediately put again in refrigerator and keep there till next need.



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Monday, 30 January 2017

Pita Saga (Glinus Oppositifolius) Bati Basa

Pita saga (glinus oppositifolius) bati basa - Pita saga (glinus oppositifolius) is cooked in a coarsely pounded mustard-garlic-green chili paste along with chopped eggplant, tomato and potato.





The botanical name of the pita saga is Glinus oppositifolius. Glinus oppositifolius is an erect or almost prostrate, much-branched annual herb. This annual herb is bitter in taste and reputed to exhibit anti-diabetes and anti-microbial properties. 





In Odisha state of Indian subcontinent, the bitter tasting leafy greens are known as 'pita saga' or 'pita gahama' locally. The odia word 'pita' means bitter. Since the taste is bitter, so these are assigned with a name as pita saga. Bati basa is an odia cooking technique where all the ingredients are mixed together and then cooked in very slow flame. So below is the step by step method of preparation of the pita saga bati basa.




Preparation Time : 10 mins      |      Cooking Time : 15 mins


Ingredients :        

Ingredients
Measurements
Pita saga (glinus oppositifolius) (roughly chopped)
2 cup
Potato (small)
1 no.
Tomato (small)
1 no.
Onion (medium)
1 no.
Eggplant (small)
1 no.
Garlic clove
4 no.
Green chili
2 no.
Badi (sun dried lentil dumpling)
3-4 no.
Mustard seed
1 tsp
Cumin seed
1 tsp
Turmeric powder
1 tsp
Salt
As needed
Mustard oil
2 tbsp

​Method :
  1. Take a deep frying pan or wok. Roast the badis (sun-dried lentil dumpling) and crush roughly into small pieces.
  2. Now chop onion finely and keep aside.
  3. Next cut eggplant, potato and tomato into smaller cubes and keep aside.
  4. Put mustard seeds, cumin seeds, garlic cloves and green chilies in a blender jar and make a smooth paste. But authentically, all the things are put in a mortar-pestle made of stone and then crush and grind to the smooth paste.
  5. Take the same deep frying pan or wok. Add in chopped pita saga (glinus oppositifolius), paste, chopped onion, cubed eggplant, cubed potato and tomato, salt, turmeric and mustard oil.
  6. Mix everything very well preferably by hand.
  7. Cover with a lid and cook for 10-12 minutes on low flame stirring in between.
  8. After some time, all the veggies'll become a bit mushy. Add roughly crushed badis and give a quick mix.
  9. Cover the lid and switch of the flame. Let it be covered for 2-3 minutes, so that the favors infused with badis.
  10. Serve this pita saga bati basa as an side dish with rice !




Notes :
  • The actual texture and flavor comes in paste if prefer to be pounded in mortar-pestle as of authentic way.
  • Oil used should be mustard oil.

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Badi Chura | Coarse Mixture of Sun-dried Lentil (Black Gram) Dumpling

The badi chura is an authentic recipe of Odisha state in Indian subcontinent. Both 'badi' and 'chura' are odia words. Badi is sun-dried lentil dumpling and chura means a coarse mixture. Now-a-days there are varieties of badi available. But traditionally soaked black gram or urad dal is pounded to a paste along with some water. Then these are sun dried in the shape of 1-1.5 inch dumpling. Usually these are made in fall and stored away for entire year. Badi chura is the standalone dish of badi. Other than badi chura, badi also used in some selected traditional dishes.





In an authentic odia meal, badi chura is one of the crispy side dish. These can be prepared instantly and taste great if served with pakhala (water rice or rice soaked in water). Badi chura is the coarse mixture of badi, onion, garlic, green chili along with mustard oil. The crunch of the badi with the smell of garlic and onions is therapeutic. So lets go in details.




Preparation Time : 10 mins      |      Cooking Time : 5 mins


Ingredients :        

Ingredients
Measurements
Badi (sun-dried lentil dumpling)
12-14 no.
Onion (medium)
1 no.
Garlic cloves
3-4 no.
Green chili
2-3 no.
Mustard oil
1 tbsp
Salt
As needed

​Method :
  1. First chop onion, garlic cloves and green chilies finely and keep aside.
  2. Next heat mustard oil in a pan. Shallow fry the badis till golden brown in color. Turn off the heat and allow to cool. Instead of shallow frying in oil, these badis can be roasted without oil too. 
  3. Put chopped onion, garlic cloves, green chilies and fried badis in a blender jar and pulse for 1-2 minutes to make a coarse mixture. But in ancient times, all the things are put in a mortar-pestle made of stone and then a coarse mixture is made out.
  4. If the badis are just roasted without oil, then put mustard oil along with other things in the blender jar before blending.
  5. Serve this authentic odia badi chura as a side dish with plain rice or pakhala (water rice or rice soaked in water) !




Notes :

  • Prefer to have this badi chura soon after blending, otherwise the crunchiness of the badi'll decrease.


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Sun-dried Raw Mango Raita | Ambula Rai

As we know tantalizing pickles are a tasty condiment to serve with any meal. Some people without any curry also finished their meal just with pickle. Winter is that time of the year, when most of Indian terrace is lined up with freshly filled pickle jars. 




We, odias make a variety of pickles too. Among them, ambula or dried mango pieces are the queen of our kitchen pantry.

Ambula is the dried version of raw green mango. Mainly during summer, since green mangoes are available plentifully, so in those times, raw green mangoes are cut into half and are mixed with salt and red chili flakes. Then they are sun dried till completely dry. Finally they are stored in an airtight container and used in various dishes as a souring agent. A lot of dishes including fish require a simple addition of ambula to give the whole dish a tangy flavor. 




Basically rai is synonymous with the dish prepared using mustard paste in odia culinary dictionary. The ambula rai or sun-dried raw mango raita also named as madhuruchi in some odia literature. This can be a good accompaniment with rice and has a mixed taste of sweet as well as savory. The difference between this ambula rai and other rai dishes is, here the mustard paste (rai) is used as raw without cooking. So below is the step by step method of preparation of this tounge tickling simple ambula rai.





Soaking Time : 1 hrs  |  Preparation Time : 10 mins  |  Cooking Time : 1 mins


Ingredients :        

Ingredients
Measurements
Dry mango piece (ambula)
5-6 no.
Coconut (grated)
½ cup
Yogurt
1 cup
Mustard seed
2 tbsp + 1 tsp
Green chili
2 no.
Sugar
2 tbsp
Mustard oil
1 tbsp
Red chili
2-3 no.
Curry leaf
2 sprig
Salt
As needed

​Method :
  1. Soak the dry mango pieces (ambula) in water for minimum 1-2 hours in a bowl and keep aside.
  2. Put 2 tbsp of mustard seeds with green chilies in a blender jar and make a smooth paste.
  3. Then put curd in a mixing bowl. Add mustard-green chili paste, sugar, salt, grated coconut and mix everything well.
  4. Next add the soaked dry mango pieces (ambula). Mix well again.
  5. Now heat mustard oil in a pan. Add in mustard seeds, curry leaves and red chilies and allow to splutter.
  6. Turn of heat and pour this tempering on the dry mango mixture.
  7. Cover and leave for 1-2 hours so that everything infused very well. 
  8. Serve this sumptuous ambula rai as a delicious accompaniment with rice !




Notes :
  • This dish will stay for a week in refrigerator.
  • Add salt accordingly as the dry mango pieces are salty by itself.
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Saturday, 28 January 2017

Carrot Payasam | Gajar Kheer

Kheer plays a significant role in Indian sweets preparations due to its irresistible taste, health benefits and easy preparation. One such healthy kheer is this gajar kheer or carrot payasam. This kheer is an easy sweet dessert which can be made for any occasion. Normally kheer is made during any festive occasion; however this carrot payasam is concerned,  anytime you can pamper yourself by making this one.





Since winter season is going on, so anyone can get those tender and juicy red carrots easily. The carrots are rich in antioxidants, B carotene. Carrots also play the potential roles in vision and eye health. So this is the best way to feed kids as well as adults who refuse to eat carrots except carrot halwa. This kheer is a healthy snacks for kids.





There are a lot of variation in the method of preparation. I have used custard powder to give a thickness in the payasam. Milkmaid can be used too while preparing. This recipe is quite similar to the most famous Indian dessert 'gajar halwa' but with a bit difference. So lets go in details as mentioned below.




Preparation Time : 10 mins      |      Cooking Time : 15 mins


Ingredients :        

Ingredients
Measurements
Carrot (medium)
4 no.
Milk
1 lt
Sugar
4 tbsp
Custard powder (vanilla)
1.5 tbsp
Ghee
4 tbsp
Cashew and raisin
For garnishing

​Method :
  1. Wash carrots, trim the edges and peel of the skins. Grate and keep aside.
  2. Heat ghee in a heavy bottomed pan over medium flame.
  3. Shallow fry cashew nuts and raisins separately, transfer them to a plate.
  4. In the same, add the grated carrots. Stir them continuously and cook for 4-5 minutes.
  5. Now add milk and cook on medium flame, stirring continuously for 5-10 mins or till the milk reduces slightly.
  6. Next add sugar and mix well. Stir for 1-2 minutes.
  7. In a small bowl, dissolve custard powder with 3 tbsp milk completely. Add it to carrot-milk mixture, stir well and cook for 1 minute more or till the mixture thickens.
  8. Turn off the flame.
  9. Transfer to serving bowl and garnish with cashew nuts and raisins. Serve this delicious carrot payasam or gajar kheer warm or chilled !





Notes :
  • Prefer to use carrots which are sweeter in taste.
  • Add more custard powder if thicker consistency is needed.
  • Custard powder helps thickening the kheer.
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