Monday, May 17, 2010

Pineapple Upside-down Cake

May 13th was Father's day in Germany!! It seemed to be a busy week for the kids with both mother's and father's day in close succession. They say that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach!! So, there I was in the kitchen, baking a Pineapple upside down cake while the kids were busy with their cards!!

Ingredients :-
  • half cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 can pineapple slices drained
  • 4 eggs separated
  • pinch of salt
  • half cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
Method :- 
  1. Preheat oven to 180 deg C.
  2. Melt butter in a pan. Add the brown sugar and stir until blended.
  3. Pour this mixture into a 10 inch diameter baking tray.
  4. Place the drained pineapple slices on top in one layer and set aside.
  5. In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, 1 tbsp butter until smooth.
  6. With an electric mixer, beat the egg whites with salt until stiff. Fold in the sugar, 2 tbsp at a time Fold in the egg yolk mixture.
  7. Sift the flour and baking powder together. Fold into the egg mixture in 3 batches.
  8. Pour the batter over the pineapple and smooth level.
  9. Bake for about 30 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
  10. While still hot, place a serving plate on top of the baking tray, bottom side up. Flip cake over. Serve hot or cold.
Final verdict : Anna was surprised to see the gooey texture on top and didn't like the look of it!! For the first time in her life, she refused to eat cake:-(  Dad was very happy and loved it!!!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Black Forest Cake!!!

As I mentioned in my post here, Wednesday was a cause for celebration at home. And I chose to bake the family's favourite!! The Black Forest cake. Though I had seen the recipe many months before, I had not understood this particular sentence....sprinkle cake with Kirsche. Now I know that Kirsche is cherry in Deutsch and since the cake is a wet cake, we are supposed to soak it in a cherry liquid. I tried the dictionary, google translator but none could help me as to what the liquid is called. Not knowing who to ask, I just let it be.

       Since the past 2 months, we have had Maria come home to tutor the kids in the German language. Maria and I love to discuss and share information about our respective countries. I happened to share with her my new found passion for baking and asked her about Kirsch. Not only did she tell me what was it, she wrote it down for me and explained in length where I would find it in the supermarket.
 It is called Schattenmorellen.
The recipe I saw was for a very large cake. I was not confident of trying in such large measure, so I proceeded on my own and will share what I baked.

Ingredients :
  • 4 eggs
  • 200 gms sugar
  • 350 gms flour
  • 100 gms cocoa powder
  • 200 gms butter
  • 1 and a half tsp baking powder
For the filling and topping :
  • 1 bottle cherry conserve(cherries soaked in sugar water)
  • 2 and a half cups whipped cream
  • 3 packs whipped cream stabilizer
  • 3 packs vanilla sugar
  • grated chocolate
  • fresh cherries for decoration

Method :
  1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees. Grease a square baking tray.
  2. Sift the flour, cocoa and baking powder together and keep.
  3. Beat eggs and sugar together till frothy.
  4. Add butter and continue beating.
  5. Add slowly the sifted flour, continue beating and mixing well.
  6. Pour batter into the greased tray and bake for 20 - 25 minutes or insert knife and check if it comes out clean.
  7. Allow the cake to cool well.
  8. When completely cooled, slowly remove out from tin and slice  the cake through in between to form 2 layers.
  9. Prick each layer slightly with a fork, then sprinkle with the cherry water. 
  10. Whip the cream along with the stabilizer and sugar in a bowl until it starts to thicken.
  11. To assemble, spread one cake layer with cream and then cherries. Then place the second layer cake, on top of it cream and then cherries.
  12. Spread the remaining cream all over the cake. Press grated chocolate on the sides and on top and decorate with cherries.

Participating in 

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Vegetable Lasagne.

What do you cook on a day you are thoroughly disappointed with the way life is going and are in absolute no mood to cook in the kitchen and yet you have a hungry family waiting for dinner!!! Cook LASAGNE!!!!!!!!!! Yup, just because I was disappointed, didn't mean that the family would compromise on dinner. I have never eaten lasagne before, so i do not know how is it supposed to taste!! Nevertheless, the family did relish what I made and for once the kids devoured their dinner in a jiffy!!! The recipe is from the GOOD HOUSEKEEPING magazine. The only change I made was to replace minced meat with broccoli ...

Ingredients :
For the bolognese sauce :

  • 1 tbsp olice oil
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 3 medium carrots finely chopped
  • 1 celery stick finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove crushed
  • 200 gms broccoli chopped
  • 500 gms button mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 and quarter vegetable stock(use stock cubes)
  • 5-6 tomatoes chopped
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley chopped
For the bechamel sauce :
  • 2 and a half cups milk
  • 1/2 small onion
  • 6 peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 and a half tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp maida
  • pinch of grated nutmeg
  • Lasagne sheets
  • Grated Parmesan cheese( as much as you want)
Method :
  1. Make the bolognese sauce : Heat the olive oil in a large pan, add chopped onion, carrot, broccoli, celery and garlic and cook for 8 minutes. Add the mushrooms and fry for 1 minute.
  2. Stir in stock, tomatoes, puree and oregano. Season with salt and fresh black pepper. Bring to boil, cover and turn the heat down low and simmer gently till veggies are tender and sauce is well reduced. Check seasoning and stir in parsley.
  3. Preheat oven to 180 deg C. Make the bechamel sauce : Pour the milk into a small pan and add the onion, pepper and bay leaf. Bring almost to boil, then remove from heat and infuse for 10 minutes. Strain, reserving the infused milk and discarding the onion, pepper and leaf.
      4. Melt butter in a pan; add maida carefully over low heat, bit by bit, stirring to avoid lumps. Cook stirringfor 2 minutes until the mix is bubbling but not coloured. Remove from heat. Gradually pour in the   reserved  milk, stirring constantly. Return to heat and cook, stirring until sauce is thickened and smooth.  Stir in the nutmeg.
     5. Spoon a third of the bolognese sauce into the base of a greased baking dish. Cover with lasagne sheets, then a layer of bechamel sauce. repeat the layers, finishing with a layer of bechamel sauce to cover the top completely. Grate the Parmesan cheese over.

       6.Bake for about 30 minutes until golden and bubbling. Keep aside for a few minutes to allow it to cool before you portion it. Serve with a salad of mixed leaves and finely sliced spring onion, if you like.