Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Quick and Easy Kerala Christmas Fruit Cake/ Kerala Plum Cake

I made it… I made it… Yayyy!!!!  At last, I made it. My all time favorite cake. I never thought that one day I would be baking a traditional Kerala Christmas plum cake, which is a long process of soaking the dry fruits in alcohol for a period of 6 months to a year, but today I am here with this recipe that doesn’t require to soak the dry fruits in advance and it’s an alcohol free cake so that you can try this instantly anytime. This cake tasted exactly like the cakes which we get in bakeries.

I used to eat this a lot as a kid when we visited our native Kerala for vacations. Then whenever my D-I-L visited us, bought this cake. I loved this cake almost all the time I tasted.
This fruit cake is rich and full of soaked raisins, cranberries, dates, cashews in apple juice which are well incorporated with the cake batter and sugar syrup and the amazing combination of spices which is then baked to a simple, perfect cake and by now your house will be filled with the aroma of the spice-filled plum cake which is to die for.

In Kerala, in almost all the bakery shops, we will get this fruit cake anytime of the year. This soft, moist, filled with dry fruits, the spiced cake will be loved by all. The process looks tedious, but believe me, if you keep all the ingredients together then everything will get over within a short period of time. Just try this out and let me know.

For Soaking:
  1. Black Raisins-1/2 cup
  2. Golden Raisins- 1/2 cup
  3. Dried Cranberries- 1/2 cup
  4. Dates( chopped)- 1/4 cup
  5. Cashew- 1/2 cup
  6. Apple juice1 cup
For the cake batter:
  1. Maida- 2 cups
  2. Baking Soda- 1/4 tsp
  3. Baking Powder- 1 1/2 tsp
  4. Butter- 1/2 cup
  5. Sugar3/4 cup
  6. Eggs- 3 nos
  7. Vanilla essence- 1 tsp
  1. Cinnamon- 1 " stick
  2. Cloves- 2 nos
  3. Star Anise- small piece
  4. Nutmeg- small piece
For the Sugar Syrup:
  1. Sugar- 1/2 cup
  2. Water- 1/4 cup
For spice powder:
Grind the cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and star anise to a powder using a pinch of sugar and keep this aside.
For soaking dry fruits:
  • Take all the dry fruits in a glass bowl and pour the apple juice. Mix well and keep this refrigerated for one day.
For sugar syrup:
  • Heat a nonstick pan and melt the sugar, by whisking in between till it turns dark brown color. Don't let it burn.
  • Pour water slowly and mix well. Keep this aside to cool.
For the cake batter:

  1. Beat eggs till fluffy and creamy. Add the butter and vanilla essence.
  2. Mix till everything is well blended. Add the sugar. Beat well.
  3. Meanwhile, separate the soaked dry fruits with the apple juice using a sieve.
  4. Add 1 tbsp of flour to the separated dry fruits. Mix so that it won't sink to the bottom.
  5. In the above butter- sugar mixture add the separated apple juice, cooled sugar syrup mix well.
  6. Sieve the flour along with baking powder and baking soda.
  7. Fold this flour in the above mixture well, till everything gets finished.
  8. Add the soaked dry fruits, fold and pour this in a greased baking tray and bake in a preheated oven for 45- 50 minutes in 350 degrees F.
  9. When the skewer comes out clean, let it cool and enjoy.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Lemon Blueberry Muffins using Blueberry Compote

When I started baking, I used to try to bake almost all the cakes and among them, I loved citrusy flavor of the lemons. Whenever I go to starbucks, I used to order lemon loaf cake. Then one day I tried making the lemon loaf cake at home which came out successfully.

Blueberries are my favorite among berries. I had so many blueberries left out in refrigerator after making cupcakes, smoothies and so on. So before it gets damaged I thought of preparing blueberry compote, so that I can store them and can use whenever I needed.

By using my favorite ingredient and blueberry compote I thought of preparing something and so this delicious muffins are ready within minutes. Now these muffins have become a staple in my house. We can also make these with fresh blueberries. These muffins are soft, moist, lemony, full of blasted blueberries. These are my daughter’s favorite too. We don’t like to frost cupcakes. Plain is what we prefer the most.

Blueberry Compote:
  1. Blueberries- 2 Cups
  2. Water- ¼ Cup
  3. Sugar- ¼ Cup
  4. Lemon Juice- 2 tsp
  • Combine water, sugar and blueberries Boil for about 10 minutes on low flame, till the berries turn soft. Switch off the flame and add lemon juice. Stir and when it becomes cool, transfer in a glass jar and store in refrigerator.

Lemon Blueberry Muffins
  1. All purpose flour- 2 cups
  2. Baking Soda- 1 tsp
  3. Salt- a pinch
  4. Butter- ½ Cup
  5. Whole Milk- ½ Cup
  6. Sugar- ¾ Cup
  7. Vanilla Essence- 1 tsp
  8. Eggs- 2 nos
  9. Lemon Juice- 2 tbsp
  10. Lemon Zest- 1 no
  11. Blueberry Compote- ½ cup

  1. Beat the butter, sugar along with lemon juice and lemon zest to light and creamy. Beat the eggs along with vanilla essence till fluffy in another bowl.
  2. Mix the egg mixture to the butter- sugar mixture and beat well.
  3. Sieve the flour with baking soda and salt. Fold this flour into the above butter- egg mixture little by little alternating with milk.
  4. Fold well without any lumps Pour this in a greased muffin pans and bake for about 20- 25 minutes or till a skewer inserted comes out clean. Enjoy warm or cool muffins.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Honey sesame biscotti

I am really excited to post today’s recipe. It is a part of a monthly challenge, which a group of bloggers will be posting the different variety of dishes from a selected blog. This is the first challenge and the recipe which we are posting here is an amazing food blogger, a doctor by profession. In her blog, every small detail of an ingredient is very well explained. The food pics are like a feast for the eyes. Perfect, crisp pics and mostly middle eastern dishes. She is Sawsan blogger at “Chef in Disguise”. Check her blog, you will instantly fall in love with her food pics.

It was very hard to select one dish from her blog, for the challenge, as there were many delightful and mouthwatering dishes and was very confusing to choose which one to try. After lots of searching, I got one which I was longing to try.
Biscotti is one of my favorite baked snacks. I have tasted almond biscotti and thought of giving it a try. But for this challenge, I found this honey sesame biscotti, which looked very different and thought of giving it a try.
Biscotti means twice baked, which will become dry while baking the second time and so it can be stored for long periods of time.

Ready to get baked second time

A perfect refreshment during tea time. A crunchy, caramelized topping of honey, with sprinkled sesame, is a classical cookie liked by all. In this, neither butter or not much sugar is added, which I loved the most. A healthier version which can be had without any guilt. Just try this out and you all will love this. My 2-year-old is a big liker of this biscotti. What else I want… :)

  1. All purpose flour- 2 cups
  2. Baking powder- 1tsp
  3. Olive oil- 1/3 cup
  4. Vanilla essence- 1tsp
  5. Sugar- 3/4 cup
  6. Eggs- 2 nos
  7. Anise seeds powder- 1 tsp
  8. Fennel powder- 1 tsp
  9. Sesame seeds- 3tbsp
  1. Honey1/2 cup
  2. Sesame seeds-1/4 cup

  1. Preheat
    the oven to 359 degrees C.
  2. In a bowl, beat eggs, vanilla essence and sugar well using a hand blender.
  3. Add the anise seeds powder, fennel powder, and sesame seeds. Blend well.
  4. Sieve the flour and baking powder and add this to the above-made mixture and mix well.
  5. Place the parchment paper in a baking pan and pour this mixture into the baking pan.
  6. With wet hands spread this mixture evenly. Over this pour honey and spread with a spoon. Sprinkle with sesame seeds by covering the top.
  7. Bake for about 30 min or a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  8. When it cools, using a serrated knife cut into pieces.
  9. Keep the cut side up and bake for 8 min n bake the other side for another 8 min n enjoy when cool.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Baked Apple Roses

Baked apple roses are just like apple pies but which looks like beautiful red roses. These apple roses are surprisingly easy to make , gorgeous  presentation, best in taste.These make beautiful desserts for parties and kids will love them.

I have seen these apple roses many times , but never tried it. My SIL who is an incredible cook and who likes to try out a new variety of dishes sent me the pics of these baked roses which she made. You can see her work in one of my previous posts, which is chocolate roll cake. I was so excited to see the pics as I would never try these because my daughter is not a big lover of apples and moreover if we buy apples, it would either end up in  a cake or we like to eat just like that.

This is a very easy dessert, in which the sliced apples, sprinkled with cinnamon powder are rolled in puff pastry sheets and baked. If you feel while baking the apples are getting browned, keep them on the lower rack. This will help the puff pastry sheets to cook well and the apple slices will be soft. Make sure that the apples are sliced using a sharp knife and very thin. For the preserve, you can also use apricot/ raspberry preserves of your choice. Hope you all like this.
  1. Apple- 1 big
  2. Lemon Juice- 2 tbsp
  3. Puff Pastry Sheet- 1 Sheet
  4. Cinnamon Powder- 2 tsp
  5. Strawberry Jam/ Preserve- 2 tbsp

  1. Cut the apple in half and remove the core. Cut the apples into paper thin slices and place this in a bowl filled with water. Add lemon juice and stir.
  2. Microwave this for about 3- 4 minutes. Remove the apple slices on a kitchen towel.
  3. Unroll the thawed puff pastry sheet. Using a rolling pin stretch the sheet into a rectangular sheet and using a sharp knife cut the sheet into 4-5 strips.
  4. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees C. Spread a thin layer of the strawberry jam / preserve on the sheets. Arrange the apple slices on the dough, overlapping one another, make sure the top of the apple is outside.
  5. Sprinkle some cinnamon powder on top and fold the bottom part of the dough, now starting from one end carefully roll from one end to the other and pressing with your fingers, keeping the apple slices as it is.
  6. Place this in a muffin pan. Repeat with the remaining apple slices and the dough and bake for about 35- 40 min. Sprinkle with some powdered sugar on top and enjoy.

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