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April 30, 2012


There's Cake and there's Cake with a whole lotta focus!!...a project...albeit a challenge but nonetheless exciting and soooo inspiring!!
April is birthday month in the family which automatically gives way to cake baking, and since its peak Summer here what could be better than light, fruity sponge cakes esp. with beautiful fresh strawberries in season. I baked this cake for sister's birthday and everybody loved it.
Now let me warn you first that this Cake is not for a new baker as it is a bit complicated and requires some expertise, no wonder it was a Daring baker project but it's sooooo pretty and so worth it!!!..and I have had my eyes on this pretty piece of Cake poetry ever since!!!
recipe from Culinary Concotions by Peabody.

Strawberry Mirror Cake
for the fatless sponge-
3 eggs
3 egg yolks
¾ cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 egg whites
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
2 tbsp powdered sugar
2/3 cup sifted cake flour
½ cup water
1/3 cup sugar
2 tbsp kirsch or strawberry liqueur
Strawberry Bavarian Cream
2 ½ tbsp unflavored gelatin
1 ½ cups strained strawberry puree(1 ½ baskets)
5 egg yolks
2/3 cup sugar
1 ½ cups milk
1 tbsp lemon juice
several drops of red food coloring
1 ¾ cups whipping cream
Strawberry Mirror
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp kirsch
1 tbsp water
1 tbsp unflavored gelatin
Few drops of red food coloring
Strawberry Juice
1 ½ pints of strawberries(18 oz)
¾ cup sugar
¾ cup water
1.Preheat oven to 450F. Butter and flour the sides of an 11-by-17 inch jelly roll pan(rimmed baking sheet). Line bottom of pan with a sheet of parchment paper cut to fit bottom pan exactly.
2.Beat eggs, egg yolks and ¾ cup sugar together in a medium bowl until thick and light. Beat in the vanilla.
3.In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until foamy, ad cream of tartar and beat until whites begin to form peaks. Add the 2 TBSP sugar and beat until the whites hold stiff, glossy peaks(do not over beat).
4.Sift flour over the egg yolk mixture and fold in . Stir in one fourth of the whites. Then carefully fold in the remaining whites.
5.Spread batter evenly in pan. Bake until light brown and springy to touch(7 to 10 minutes). Cool in pan 5 minutes. Run a knife along edge to loosen. Invert cake tin to cut out 8 ¼ inch circles of cake. Wrap the cake layers, separated with waxed paper, and set aside. Cake may be frozen at this point.
6.To make soaking syrup: Combine water and the 1/3 cup sugar in saucepan; bring to a boil to dissolve sugar. Cool to room temperature; flavor with liqueur. Set aside or refrigerate in glass jar until ready to use.
7.To assemble cake: Brush sides of 10-inch springform pan lightly with flavorless salad oil or almond oil. Cut out a cardboard circle that is exactly the same size as the bottom inside of the pan; cover cardboard with aluminum foil and fit into bottom of pan. Center one layer of the cake bottom of pan. Brush the cake with some of the soaking syrup to just moisten(not drench) the cake; set aside.
8.Prepare Strawberry Bavarian Cream. Immediately pour about half of the Bavarian Cream over the first layer of cake in the pan. Set the next layer of cake on top of the cream. Pour remaining Bavarian Cream over cake and smooth top of the cream with spatula. Refrigerate until the cream sets(1 to 2 hours).
9.Prepare the Strawberry Mirror.
10.To serve: Wrap a hot towel around the outside of springform pan for a few minutes. Run a small sharp knife tip around the edge of the Strawberry Mirror to separate it form the sides of pan. Mirror will tear when sides are unlatched if it is stuck at ANY point. Slowly unlatch the pan and slide it off the cake. Slice cake in wedges and serve in upright slices.
Prep Work
Strawberry Bavarian Cream
1.Sprinkle the gelatin over the strawberry puree in a small bowl and set aside until spongy.
2.Combine egg yolks and sugar in a bowl’ beat until light. Bring milk to a boil in sauce pan. Pour hot milk into yolk mixture ans stir with a wooden spoon(it doesn’t say so but I would temper the egg mixture first to be safe). Return this mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until your finger leaves a clear trail in sauce when drawn across the back of the spoon.(Do not boil or mixture will curdle.) Immediately remove from heat and stir in softened gelatin mixture. Pour into a stainless steel bowl places over a bowl of ice water. Stir in lemon juice and a few drops of red food coloring. Cool over ice water, stirring occasionally, until mixture thickens to the consistency of softly whipped cream.
3.White gelatin mixture is cooling, whip the whipping cream until it holds soft peaks. When the gelatin mixture resembles softly whipped cream, fold the whipped cream into the gelatin mixture.
Strawberry Mirror
1.Prepare strawberry juice.
2.Place lemon juice, kirsch, and water in a small bowl. Sprinkle gelatin over this mixture; set aside until spongy and soft.
3.Measure 1 ½ cups Strawberry juice into a small saucepan and bring to a simmer; pour over gelatin mixture and stir to dissolve gelatin. Tint to desired color with red food coloring. Place bowl over bowl of ice water and stir occasionally until the mixture is syrupy and just beings to thicken(do not let jell);this is really the tricky part, remove from ice water.
4.When mixture is syrupy, pour a 1/16-inch layer over the top of cake. Refrigerate until set.
Strawberry Juice
Wash and hull strawberries; coarsely chop. Place strawberries in saucepan; crush to start juices flowing. Place over low heat; add sugar and water; simmer slowly 10 minutes. Pour juice and pulp through damp jelly bag or cheesecloth-lined colander and drain into a bowl for 15 minutes(Do not press down on fruit).
Adapted from Cakes and Pastries At The Academy by the California Culinary Academy 1993

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April 26, 2012


 These have been playing in my mind ever since I came across them at Deb's and I mulled over all that carb overload the whole of Sunday evening and Monday morning before finally giving in to them!
These have to be the ultimate in comfort food and are really quite delicious warm or cold, the only change I made from the original recipe was to add a hint of garlic... since garlic makes everything taste better, doesn't it???.
Here's how u make 'em in Deb's own words and if you are really going to make them don't forget to read all about them here-
Yield: 6 3-inch hearty knish, though you can make them any size you please
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 large egg
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1/4 to 1/2 cup water
3 medium potatoes, boiled
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small onion, peeled and diced small
1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon table salt
Freshly ground black pepper
To finish
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon water
Make dough: Stir together your dry ingredients in the bottom of a medium/large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, oil, vinegar and water. Pour it over the dry ingredients and stir them to combine. Once the mixture is a craggy, uneven mass, knead it until smooth, about a minute. Place the dough back in the bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Set it aside for an hour (or in the fridge, up to 3 days) until needed.
Meanwhile, prepare filling: Pressure cook potatoes. Drain, then transfer to a large bowl to cool.
Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add butter and oil and once they’re fully melted and a bit sizzly, add onions and garlic and reduce to medium-low. Cook, stirring frequently, until deeply caramelized, which will take about 45 minutes. Can you do this in less time? Of course. But the flavor won’t be as intense. Transfer to bowl with potatoes and mash together until almost smooth. Stir in salt and many grinds of black pepper and set the filling aside.
Assemble knish: Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
If your dough has sweated some beads of oil while it rested, fear not, you can just knead it back into an even mass. Divide the dough in half. On a well-floured surface, roll the first half of the dough into a very thin sheet, roughly in the shape of a 1-foot square, but really, no need to be rigid about it. For moderate size knish (smaller than the traditional “doorstops” but still hefty, about 3 inches across), create a 2-inch thick log from half your potato filling across the bottom of your dough. Roll the filling up in the dough like you were rolling a cigarette (which, of course, we would never), but not too tight. A tiny amount of slack will keep the dough from opening in the oven. Keep rolling until the log has been wrapped twice in dough. Trim any unrolled length and add it to the second half of the dough; it can be used again. Repeat the process with the second half of your dough and second half of filling; you might have a small amount of dough leftover.
Trim the ends of the dough so that they’re even with the potato filling. Then, make indentations on the log every 3 to 3 1/2 inches (you’ll have about 3, if your log was 1 foot long) and twist the dough at these points, as if you were making sausage links. Snip the dough at each twist, then pinch one of the ends of each segment together to form a sealed knish base. Use the palm of your hand to flatten the knish a bit into a squat shape and from here, you can take one of two approaches to the top: You can pinch together the tops as you did the bottom to seal them; indenting them with a small dimple will help keep them from opening in the oven.
Bake knish: Arrange knish on prepared baking sheet so that they don’t touch. Whisk egg yolk and water together to form a glaze and brush it over the knish dough. Bake knish for about 45 minutes, rotating your tray if needed for them to bake into an even golden brown color.

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April 12, 2012


The craving hits you every once in a while alright...for the real deal..proper yeasty donuts!!!, this recipe was all over the blogosphere earlier as a part of the Daring bakers challenge, I followed what Deeba made as she too blogs from India too and that makes it sooo much easier for me!!, anddd just in case you are looking for instant gratification you can head over to my recipe for Instant Donuts, ready in a jiffy!!!

I halved the recipe as the original recipe makes about 30-35 medium sized ones which were way too much for me, so this recipe makes about 15
you need-
  • Milk-3/4 cup
  • Unsalted butter, melted- 35gms
  • Fresh yeast- 15gms (1 and 1/2 tsp)
  • Warm water-1/4 cup
  • Egg-1
  • Powdered sugar-2 tbsp
  • Flour- 2 and 1/3 rd cup 
  • Salt-3/4 tsp
  • Grated nutmeg-1/2 tsp
  • Refined vegetable oil- for deep frying
  • Mix the warm milk and butter. Set aside.
  • In a small bowl, pour the warm water over the fresh yeast and let dissolve for 5 minutes. 
  • After 5 minutes, pour the yeast mixture into the large bowl of a stand mixer and add the milk and shortening mixture, first making sure the milk and shortening mixture has cooled to lukewarm.
  • Add the eggs, sugar, salt, nutmeg, and half of the flour. Start kneading by hand, putting it all together
  • Add the rest of the flour and knead well till smooth and non sticky
  • Transfer to a well-oiled bowl, cover, and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size
  • Cut out or shape the dough by hand like I did dusting liberally with flour. 
  • Set on floured baking sheet, cover lightly with a tea towel, and let rise for 30 minutes.

  • Heat the oil till ready for deep frying, gently lower donut into the oil, it should come up immediately and then let it cook for a minute till golden on either side, dust/sift liberally with some powdered sugar and cinnamon immediately. Delicious!!!

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April 7, 2012


A must-have speciality in the traditional Punjabi household, keema-kaleji has all red meat lovers salivating!!I love it with phulkas, paranthas or fluffy boiled rice...absolutely delicious!!
The preparation consists of mutton mince combined with Goat liver cooked in a spicy bhuna masala, the end result...a strong, robust and flavoursome hearty dish!
To make this you require-
  • Fresh mutton mince- 500gms
  • Fresh goat liver- 300 gms
  • Onions (minced)- 4 medium sized
  • ThickTomato puree-1/2 cup
  • Ginger (finely chopped)-1 tsp
  • Garlic (finely chopped)- 1tsp
  • Green chillies (finely sliced)-2
  • freshly prepared Garam masala- 2tbsp
  • Desi ghee- 4-5 tbsp
  • Whole red chillies dried- 2
  • Cumin seeds (zeera)- 1/2 tsp
  • Turmeric (haldi)-1/2 tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Freshly chopped fresh coriander/ sprigs of mint
  1. Heat ghee in a heavy bottom pan/ kadhai.
  2. Add cumin seeds and whole red chillies.
  3. Tip in the minced onions and cook on a slow flame till a deep reddish brown.
  4. Next add the ginger, turmeric, green chillies and garlic and cook further.
  5. Now add the mince and goat livers and roast well for 10-15 mins.
  6. Pour in the tomato puree, keep stirring well..cook till dry..
  7. Now add about 3/4 cup of hot water, salt and garam masala (do not skimp on preparing this fresh) and transfer to a pressure cooker, give 3-4 whistles and turn off flame.
  8. Garnish with coriander and mint leaves serve hot.

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