Friday, November 11, 2011

Cakes n Bakes etc..

Cakes are the set of food which are rich in sugar, all purpose flour, egg and sometime rice in chocolate too. In this section I will share some sweet baked recipes of around the world. I always try to make this recipe with less sugar and less fat yet simple delicious. Baking though looks simple but needs proper measurement, proper timing in oven and of-course mixing too.

Carrot Cupcake...easter special :::
Kids are always excited for Easter weekend. Egg-hunting, hot cookies, cakes and the start of spring break, all give a feeling of celebration for kids. Carrot cake never goes old-fashioned and with small bite of this cake with goodness of carrot, spiciness and nice aroma of cinnamon tells you about its popularity. I followed this recipe for the wonderful website of joyofbaking and added two ingredients as per my choice.
for 18 cupcakes..
3 cups finely grated carrots,
3 eggs, 
1 cup oil,  
1 1/2 cups sugar, 
2 cups of all purpose flour,
2 tsp cinnamon powder,
2 tsp baking powder,
1 cup warm milk,
half cup coarsely chopped almonds and hazelnuts,
one can store brought vanilla flavored icing.

1. Take a big mixing bowl, add sugar,oil and eggs and beat slowly with hand or electric mixer for one minute or until the mixture becomes fluffy without any lumps.
2. Add all-purpose flour, baking powder, cinnamon powder, vanilla essence and salt to the egg mixture now and beat for 2 minutes slowly. Now add chopped nuts and grated carrots to the mixture. Mix thoroughly without any lumps.
3. Pre-heat oven for 350F and place the cupcape liners to the cupcake pan and then pour 2/3th part of the cupcake liners.  
4. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the toothpick inserted into cupcakes comes out clean. Let it cool for 10 minutes and then take out the cupcakes with liners from the pan.
5. Now mix the frosting with a knife or spoon to make fluffy and then apply on the top of the cupcakes and serve.
I dint use any home-made frosting as this is my first time cupcake baking and it was little tight batter so I mixed a little more milk too. You can adjust sugar with honey also. 

Pumpkin Cheesecake :::
I had a plan to make this cheesecake on Thanksgiving weekend and as this is my first time to prepare I wanted a easy recipe and I have got this recipe from food network. Paula Dean is one of my favorite cook in recent times. I don't like store-brought ones for artificial flavor and texture. I never had pumpkin cheesecake also. But when I tried this recipe it came out extremely delicious with beautiful aroma of nutmeg and cinnamon that fills your house with festive mood. I followed the same recipe from food-network channel but didn't use cloves and very less sugar.

Ingredients :::
For Crust :::
1 3/4 graham cracker biscuit crumbs,
3 tbsp light brown sugar,
1/5 tsp ground cinnamon,
1 stick / 1" cube salted butter, melted
For fillings :::
3 medium size cream cheese, 
1 small can pumpkin puree,
3 eggs and one egg yolk,
2 tbsp sour cream,
4 tbsp sugar,
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon,
a pinch of ground nutmeg powder,
2 tbsp all purpose flour / moida,
1 tsp vanilla extract.

Method :::
1. Bring cream cheese at room temperature. In a deep bowl, mix graham cracker biscuit crumbs, sugar and cinnamon and add melted butter nicely.
Take a flat spatula to press down flat into a deep bottomed baking pan. Here she used spring-form pan. Keep aside.
2. Now take another big bowl, blend cream cheese until smooth and then add pumpkin puree,eggs,egg yolk , sour cream, sugar and dry spices one by one while blending until smooth. Add vanilla extract and all purpose flour and mix until well combined. 
3. Preheat oven to 350F .Pour slowly into the crust spreading the cake mixture evenly and place in oven for one hour. Once done, let it set for 15 minutes and then refrigerate for 4-5 hours covering with a plastic wrap. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
You can buy pie crust and use it for crust and do filling. You can add more sugar up to one and half cup but I used as less as possible and I didn't use clove powder too. Keep exact measurement for this preparation except sugar otherwise you wont get soft and creamy touch.

Plain Apple Cake :::

This is my first cake preparation and with little care with measurement and baking instructions this cake is so delicious and everybody loves to have hot fresh cake with evening tea or coffee. I have learned from my sweet Assamese friend Manashi when I was in st.Louis. She used to prepare for our potluck party as dessert and one time she made it for my birthday. You can use other fruits instead of apple too.

Ingredients :::
two cup self raising flour,
2 eggs, beaten
6 tsp of oil,
one and half cup of milk,
half cup sugar,
one juicy fresh apple, finely chopped or paste
a handful of finely grated apple.

1. Take a deep bowl, add all the ingredients except grated apple pieces and mix with a blender or whisk everything until lumps disappear and froth starts coming out of the mixture. You will need minimum 10-12 minutes for this process.
2. Let the mixture stand for sometime. Now sprinkle over all purpose flour / moida at the bottom of the pan and then pour slowly all the mixture in the pan. Now sprinkle grated apple all over the mixture nicely.Only half of the pan should be filled. Otherwise cake mixture will come out of the pan while baking.
3. Preheat oven at 300F and place the pan inside oven for 1 hour. Take one toothpick or fork and poke the middle of the cake and if it is coming out clean that means your cake is done. Otherwise keep it for another 30mins. When done, let it cool for sometime on the plate putting the cake upside done or on a rack and then have it with coffee or tea.
Every oven has its own settings and temperature control so I will suggest you to keep an eye while baking your cake for the first time and don't open the oven door a lot that will not help your cake to rise properly and you can add more sugar if you want too. If you want to use normal maida or all purpose flour then add 1/4 tsp of baking powder while mixing. I sometimes add raisins in this case and that gives extra aroma and taste. You can substitute with other fruit too.

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