Friday, 13 February 2015

Nutella-Pecan Chocolate Cake with Nutella Frosting

There are so many good things in life which we are skeptical to try out just because of our strong opinion about it, but then one day you try it and find yourself in a position to call yourself a fool for not trying it so far.  One of such confession I would like to make here is about Nutella. My son has always been fond of nutella and prefers having it over any other thing for breakfast and also for his school tiffin. I never ever tasted or worked with Nutella earlier and only God may know why. This day I chose to go for it and make this Nutella Pecan cake to really find out the reason for everyone loving it so much and using it so frequently in desserts.  I even chose the frosting also to be made of Nutella. To add to my regret, the chocolate cake with Nutella tasted so divine and superb that I had to call myself a real fool for being away from it so long.  My family members too relished it and kept on appreciating that it is so good and why I have not tried this till now. Now, along with my son, I too am a Nutella fan. Here is luscious nutty nutella-pecan chocolate cake with nutella frosting.....

For Cake:
1¾ cup + dusting and coating, all-purpose flour
30 gms, cocoa powder
1¼ cup, brown sugar
¾ cup, unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 nos, eggs, lightly beaten
½ cup, nutella
½ cup, milk
100 gms, dark choco chips
¾ cup, roasted pecan nuts, roughly chopped
1½ tsp, baking powder
½ tsp, baking soda
¼ tsp, salt
1 tsp, vanilla essence

For Frosting:
50 gms, unsalted butter, at room temperature
100 gms, confectioner’s sugar
100 ml, heavy whipping cream, chilled
1 cup, nutella
½ tsp, vanilla essence
Roasted and crushed pecan nuts  as required

For Cake:

Preheat the oven at 170 degrees centigrade.

Grease and dust a 9x5 inch loaf pan or 9inch diameter round cake tin.

Coat the pecan nuts with little flour. Keep them aside.

Sift together all-purpose flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Cream together butter and sugar for approximately 5 mins. Add vanilla essence and mix.

Add 1/3 of beaten eggs and mix well.  Add half of the remaining beaten eggs and combine well. Add 
the remaining beaten eggs and combine well.

Add nutella and milk, mix well.

Add 1/3 of flour mixture and gently fold it. Add half of the remaining flour mixture and fold it. Add 
the remaining flour mixture and fold it.

Lastly, fold in dark choco chips and coated pecan nuts.

Pour the batter in the greased pan/cake tin, bake it for 40 to 45 mins or till skewers come out clean.

Allow the cake to cool for 5 minutes.

Transfer on wire rack and cool completely.

For Frosting:
In a bowl, combine butter and sugar until soft and smooth.

Add  nutella, vanilla essence and mix well.

Add chilled whipping cream and beat till everything combines well, the mixture should get smooth 
and form a stiff peak.

Chill the frosting for 15-20 minutes.

Frost the cake. Sprinkle roasted pecan nuts on the top

Slice and enjoy the nutty chocolaty lusciousness.

From the above mentioned measures of ingredients, I made 9*5 inch loaf and 12 muffins. It’s totally up to you to make it a loaf, muffins or round cake out of it.

Monday, 2 February 2015

Drumstick Kadhi(Sahijan/Saragva ki Kadhi)

Hello, my dear readers! I know you might be wondering about my whereabouts for quite some time now.   Well, I must admit here that I have been having a lot of fun travelling with family and having a gala time amidst nature and beautiful places.  A break is always good and especially when you are away from cooking and daily chores. However busy and away I am from cooking, the passion or cooking ghost as you may call is always haunting me wherever I go. So, I get back to cooking as soon as I am home to calm my inner ghost.
 Let’s discuss today’s post now. There are few vegetables that lure me whenever I see them in my local vegetable shop, one of them is drumstick (sahijan/saravgi) and its leaves. As all of us know very well that drumsticks leaves are most nutritious part of the drumstick tree, they are significant source of vitamins, manganese and proteins. When I saw fresh tender leaves of drumstick in the market, without any second thought and plan, I picked it up. Although delicious dals or stir fries can be made with it, I preferred to make tantalizing Kadhi.  So simple, so tempting, so nutritious, here is how to do it….

2 nos, drumsticks, peeled and cut in 2½ -3inch length
1 cup, drumsticks leaves (stalks to be discarded)
1 cup,  curd(dahi)
3 tbsp, besan(gram flour)
½ tsp, turmeric  powder
3 cups, water
1 tsp, cumin seeds
1 sprig of curry leaves
1 tsp, ginger, grated/paste
1 tsp, garlic paste
1 tsp, green chili paste( you may add more for spicy palate)
1½ tsp, saunf (fennel) powder
Generous pinch of hing(asafetida)
2 tbsp, oil
1 tsp, sugar
Salt as per taste

For tempering:
1 tsp, mustard seeds
½ tsp fennel seeds(saunf)
Few curry leaves
4 whole dry red chilies( broken into 2)
2tbsp oil


Combine together curd, water, gram flour(besan) and ½ tsp turmeric powder(haldi). Whisk well or 
blend it in a blender to a pulse to make a smooth lump free mixture.  Keep it aside.

In a heavy bottom pan, heat oil. Add cumin seeds and curry leaves. Allow it to crackle.

Add hing (asafoetida).  Add drum sticks and its leaves and sauté for 2 to 3 mins.

Add ginger, green chili paste, fennel powder, garlic paste. Saute very well.

Cover and cook for 2 to 3 mins.

Reduce the heat to low.  Add the blended curd mixture stirring continuously to avoid curdling.

Add salt and 1 tsp sugar. Allow it to boil. Keep stirring.

Once it starts boiling, cover and simmer for 15 to 20 mins or till the drumsticks are well cooked.

Adjust the consistency and seasoning of the kadhi as per your requirement.

Cook for another 3 to 4 mins.

For tempering:

Heat oil in small pan. Add mustard, allow it to crackle

Add fennel seeds and curry leaves, fry for few seconds

Add broken red chilies, fry for another few seconds.

Pour this tempering immediately over the prepared kadhi and cover.

Enjoy with hot steamed rice or khichdi

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Dragon fruit-Yogurt Pannacotta with Balsamic Cranberry Jelly

In my last post, I had shared about my wedding anniversary event and my brother who visited me from Dubai just for a couple of days.  Lucky me, he managed to get fresh cranberries along with him and what better I could have used them than this beautiful, gorgeous pannacotta dessert.  

For balsamic cranberry jelly:
1½ cup, cranberries (fresh or frozen)
Juice of 1 lemon
Zest of 1 lemon
2 tsp, balsamic vinegar
½ cup, sugar (you may add more if preferred more sweet)
3½ cups + ¼ cup + 3 tbsp, water
3 tsp, gelatin

For Dragon Fruit compote:
1 nos, dragon fruit, chopped
1/3 cup, sugar
2 tsp, lemon juice
Zest of 1 lemon
¼ cup, water

For Pannacotta:
750 ml, cream
250 gms, yogurt
½ cup, milk
1 tsp, vanilla essence
1/3 cup, castor sugar (you may add more if preferred more sweet)
2½ tsp, gelatin
3 to 4 tbsp, water


For Dragon-fruit Compote:
In a pan, combine all the ingredients mentioned for the Dragon fruit compote and cook till it reaches 
thick sauce consistency.

Take it off the heat and keep it aside.  Allow it to cool

For Pannacotta layer:
Sprinkle gelatin over the water in a small bowl and keep it aside for 5 mins.  Allow it to bloom.

In a bowl, whisk together yogurt and milk until combined well.

Add dragon fruit compote to the yogurt and mix well.

In a pan, add cream, vanilla essence and sugar.  Cook until it gets one boil.  Do not overheat it.

Remove from heat and add the gelatin mixture and whisk it nicely till the gelatin dissolves

Pour it in goblets or shot glasses.

If you prefer to give it an angle effect, place the glasses tilted in a muffin pan and pour the mixture into the glasses.

Refrigerate till set.

For Balsamic Cranberry jelly:
Sprinkle gelatin over 3 tbsp of water and allow it to bloom.

In a pan, add ¼ cup water, cranberries, juice of 1 lemon, zest of 1 lemon, balsamic vinegar and sugar.  Cook till the cranberries gets jam consistency.

Add 3½ cups of water to the same pan, mix until the prepared cranberry combines well.

Place it again on heat and boil it.

Once it boils, simmer for 3 to 4 minutes.  Take it off the heat and strain it.

Add bloomed gelatin and whisk till it dissolves completely. Cool it till a lukewarm temperature.

Pour over the set dragon fruit pannacotta layer and refrigerate until set.  I refrigerated it overnight.
They are ready to serve.  Garnish as required.

NOTE:- Instead of cranberries, you can also use other berries also.