November 14, 2012

Tiramisu Whole Wheat Layered Cake




I got a slice of Tiramisu cake from the local French Bakery on a day out with my little girl, we shared that single slice happily one evening never realizing that we would have a whole cake all to ourselves the very next day. I couldn't resist recreating it at home. I made the 2 layers of cake with whole wheat flour, layered with one layer of lady fingers and some custard/frosting in between. It is not the traditional Tiramisu custard in the sense that I did not use Mascarpone cheese at all. Omitted that all together and instead just used home whipped cream along with the egg custard to give it some volume and lightness. But if you do have some Mascarpone cheese to spare, then by all means add that instead of the whipped cream. It would result in a richer and creamier custard.
The layers in this cake synced up harmoniously and it just complimented each other just perfectly. Just like a regular Tiramisu, it is best eaten the next day, being in the refrigerator overnight marries all the layers and flavors well.

The littlest person in the house was ready for a tasting even before I could get it all assembled. She went on "repeat" with "Can I eat it now?" for the whole time I spent making it.

And she ended loving it! Yippie!



Tiramisu Whole Wheat Layered Cake 


For the custard/frosting:
Eggs - 5
Sugar - 3/4 cup (Or a 1/4 cup more if you want it sweeter)
Pure Vanilla - 1 tsp
Whipping cream - 1 cup

For the ladyfinger's layer:
Lady fingers - 10-12 (more or less depending on the size of the pan)
Instant Coffee - 2 tsp
Warm water - 1 cup

For the cake:
Whole wheat pastry flour - 1 cup
All purpose flour - 3/4 cup
Cocoa powder - 2 tbsp
Vegetable oil - 1/3 cup
Eggs - 2 large
Sugar - 1 cup
Water - 1 cup mixed + Instant coffee - 2 tbsp (mixed together)
Baking soda -  1/2 tsp
Pure vanilla - 1 tsp


For the cake:

Preheat oven to 350F.
Mix both the flour, baking soda and cocoa powder and keep aside.
Beat the oil and the eggs till the eggs become light in color. Add the sugar and whisk well.
Add the water to the instant coffee powder till well combined. Mix into the egg mixture along with the vanilla.
Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet and whisk just until well combined. Do not overmix.
Pour into a 8" round pan and bake at 350F for about 40 min or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Remove from pan after baking and set it down on a cooking rack till the cake is completely cool. You may alternatively set it in a refrigerator after it reaches room temperature.
After chilled, removed and slice the cake into two halves. Set aside.

For the custard/frosting:

In a double boiler, in a simmer, whisk the egg yolks and sugar on the top bowl till it is pale in color. Add in vanilla essence. Cool this thoroughly.
Whip the heavy whipping cream in a large bowl separately and slowly add into the custard mixture.
Whip everything well. Set in the refrigerator to cool.

For the assembly:

Take an 8" spring form pan of your choice that will fit the cake perfectly and is about 3"-4" in height.
Lay one half of the cake on the bottom and layer on a-third of the custard/frosting evenly.
Dip the lady fingers in the coffee for the next layer and lay close to each other one by one.
Now, for another layer of frosting/custard.
Lay the other half of the cake and press down gently. Spoon in the last layer of the custard/frosting on top and make sure it is even. Tap down very gently.
Cover the pan with a plastic wrap or a plate and set it in the refrigerator overnight to chill. This is mandatory for best taste and texture.

PicMonkey Collage

The next day, sift on some cocoa powder evenly on the cake. Open the latch on the spring form pan. Cut out a slice and enjoy!


November 11, 2012

Quinoa Mint Burger/Cutlet


A blog post after a while... have really missed being around! Every time I promise myself that I will be more consistent, I try, but then fail sometimes. Life has been exciting. So can't complain!

Quinoa has ended (replaced?) our brown rice saga temporarily. I guess we just needed a change and a really good one at that. Quinoa promises, it is versatile, and I have made some good dishes with it. You probably will be seeing a lot more of this wonder grain/seed on my blog. Slap these patties on hearty whole grain bun, and some lettuce, tomato and mayo and call it a burger or just eat it plain and simple and call it a cutlet. So, burger/cutlet/patty, whatever you want to call it... this has replaced our lunch for the day and it was scrumptious! I see myself making a lot more of this for sure!


Quinoa Mint Burger/Cutlet


Organic Quinoa - 2 cups washed, rinsed and cooked (just like you would white rice)
Potatoes - 2 small boiled and mashed
Scallions - A cup chopped finely
Onions- 1/4 cup chopped
Mint - 1/2 cup chopped
Cilantro - 2 tbsp chopped
Carrots - 1/2 cup finely diced
Ginger - 1 tbsp chopped
Garlic - 1 tbsp chopped
Green chillies - 1 small chopped (more if you want more heat)
Pepper - 1/4 tsp
Bread crumbs - 1/2 cup
Salt - To taste
Oil - To roast patties on a griddle


Mash the potatoes thoroughly and add all the ingredients except the quinoa and bread crumbs. Reserve the oil for the griddle. Add the quinoa to the mashed vegetables and mix in the bread crumbs lastly.


Try not to mash up the quinoa too much. The texture is nicer if you don't. Form into patties, depending on what you are aiming to make. Bigger for the burger patties and smaller if you are making cutlets.


Pour a little oil and roast the quinoa cakes on the griddle in batches. Make sure it is browned evenly on both sides. It gets nice and crispy on both sides. Remove from heat and serve warm. The beautiful mint flavor is something to look out for! Enjoy.


April 10, 2012

Paneer Tikki


Beautiful, gorgeous weather in Seattle for the last few days. We had a glorious weekend and a even better Monday! When there aren't very many days of sunshine in a place like ours, we learn to appreciate the sunny days a little more than what you blessed folks do. All we talk about is the "weather" when we meet with friends or anyone on the street!
This was so not the time to stay indoors and cook but there was one dish that I enjoyed making for a quick snack - Panner tikkis/cutlets. My daughter seemed to love it, so that means it should have been good!

Paneer Tikki



Paneer - 2 cups shredded
Potatoes - 2 medium boiled and mashed
Onion - 1 medium chopped finely
Cilantro - 1 cup chopped
Bread slices - 2
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Chilly powder - 1 tsp (You may use green chillies)
Salt - To taste
Olive Oil - About 1 tbsp for every 4 tikkis
Bread crumbs - To coat
A.P flour - 2 tbsp mixed in 4-6 tbsp of water. It should be pretty runny.


Soak the bread slices in water. Squeeze out the excess water, tear it apart with your hands into small pieces and add to the mashed potato and paneer.
Add the rest of the ingredients to this (except the oil) and mix well.
Pinch out even balls and flatten into a disc shape.
Dip in the flour and water paste and then coat evenly with breadcrumbs.
Heat a non-stick pan (works better because of the less oil) and roast the tikki in batches, and on both sides.
I used about a tablespoon or two for every 4-5 tikkis/cutlets.

Serve with onions, mint chutney or ketchup.


*Clean pan in between batches of frying the tikkis. It prevents the loose breadcrumbs from burning further.

* Dust off extra breadcrumbs before frying and ensure a good even coating

* Freeze the paneer for 30 min before shredding. This will make the grating a little easier.

* Use the cookie cutter to cut out the tikkis into fun shapes for the kids.


March 11, 2012

Quinoa Idly (Gluten-free)


A huge bag of Quinoa in my pantry prompted me to try out this Idly. I have used it in place of white rice in other recipes, but this one is by far the best. If you are used to regular idlies, then this may take some time getting used to since it has a distinct and strong earthy taste with a hint of sweetness. Some kind of chutney or Idly chilly powder to go along with it is highly recommended.
Quinoa is gluten-free, has a low glycemic index and is a good source of protein for vegetarians, thus making this a perfect healthy food.


Quinoa Idly


Quinoa - 3 cups
Urad Dal - 1 cup
Fenugreek seeds - 1/2 tsp
Salt - To taste
Water - To grind


Wash the quinoa well, say 4 to 5 times. Soak in water for about 6 hours or overnight.
Wash Urad Dal and soak in water for 6 hours or overnight along with the fenugreek seeds. Do not close either of them.

Grind both separately using a blender or a wet grinder. I used a blender since I was experimenting and had only a small quantity to work with. Then mix both together and add salt.
Let it sit covered in a warm place and allow to ferment. It would take anywhere from 8 hours to 12 hours depending on the climate. Warmer climate ferments the batter very quickly. But in a place like mine it took 12-14 hours.

Then grease idly plates and steam in a pressure cooker for about 10 min.
Scoop out the idlies and enjoy with some chutney, sambar or some "Idly molagai podi."