May 10, 2011

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Upside down cakes are real fun - to make and all the more to eat! There's something terribly satisfying in turning this cake out from the tin to see the beautiful, luscious fruit dripping juices and melted brown sugar over your favorite cake recipe.

There's a variety of fruits you can use to make an upside down cake: pineapples, apples, cherries, pears and I've even seen a recipe for a mango cake. These can be eaten as they are or served with some delicious, cool whipped cream. I think they would be great to eat with Vanilla Ice cream too, although I haven't tried out that combination yet.

So I made a very simple version of the most common Pineapple Upside Down Cake. The thing is, there are a lot of different ways to make this, but the basic stuff you need is the same: Fruit slices, Butter, Brown Sugar, and a recipe to your most favorite type of cake.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Apr 11, 2011

Chocolate Cake!!

As millions of people in this world, I'm a huge huge chocolate-lover. And so I've been looking around for a while for a good chocolate cake recipe.

So today I'm going to share with you one of the best chocolate cakes that I've had in a while. It's got the chocolatey flavor and sweetness just right, and it's nicely soft, moist and simply melts in the mouth.

I've sent some of this cake over to my husband's colleagues and a few others. The most surprising feedback I've got is from the people who are not so fond of chocolate. And even those who hate chocolate. They actually had seconds. So for me, this recipe is a keeper!

Chocolate Cake with a Glass of Chilled Milk

Mar 24, 2011

I'm Back! with "Karachi Biscuit" Loaf Cake!

Ahh, it's been more than a month since I last posted here. And what a month it's been! First off the meditation program that I had been to was totally amazing. Came back all glowy-glowy, though most of that has worn off by now :-D. Started baking again a week after I got back, and I made myself a list of recipes to perfect and work my way through.

I'm learning through the process of baking that I am a thorough perfectionist. If something does not come out the way it was intended to, I am too reluctant to post the recipe for you guys over here, even though it might be okay. So I have been baking quite a bit lately, but nothing seems good enough to be able to post here.

I have to keep reminding myself from time to time that this blog is 'Practice Baking' and not 'Perfect Baking'! Sometimes, I accidentally refer to my blog as the latter when I'm talking to someone about it. Sigh! Whatever am I to do with myself.

So I have been trying hard to get my hands on the perfect recipe for Karachi Biscuits, which are a popular type of cookie in Hyderabad. Tried a couple of times and failed. However, with all the experimenting that I've been doing, I've managed to create something that smells, tastes and even looks just like these cookies, except that they're in a cake form!

Fruit Cake ~ Karachi Biscuit Style!

Feb 8, 2011

Adieu! But not for long...

Baking and blogging have been so much fun and the past 1 month has been a wonderful experience for me! I'm so excited about all that is to come, out of my oven and on to this blog!

For now, I'm taking a break. Just thought I would put that on here, so it doesn't look like an abandoned project. :-)

I'm going away to a week-long meditation program. Well actually, I'll be going next week, but I will not be baking or blogging until I'm back, which is at the end of this month.

So, goodbye! Will get back soon with cakes, cookies and more!

If you are interested in knowing more about the program I'm going to, please read on...

Feb 2, 2011

Vanilla Buttermilk Cupcakes

I have always been kind of apprehensive about making cupcakes. They look so perfect in bakeries and in pictures, that I actually hesitate to take a bite of them and spoil their delicate beauty. :D So I worry that mine wouldn't turn out so pretty.

So, I had some buttermilk left over last weekend after I baked the Buttermilk Cake (my previous post) and I finally decided to give cupcakes a try. A quick Google search showed me a nice, easy looking recipe from Baking Bites, Vanilla Buttermilk Cupcakes. Exactly what I was looking for.

The recipe makes 12 cupcakes and I have only a 6-cupcake mold, so I had make the batter and bake in two batches. I feared the batter wouldn't work well the second time around, but it was fine, since cupcakes don't bake that long anyway.

My first batch of cupcakes ever!

Vanilla Buttermilk Cupcakes

Feb 1, 2011

Versatile Buttermilk Cake

I finally got to baking with buttermilk with pretty good results. This time I tried a recipe of Martha Stewart's that I found on YouTube. Someone was kind enough to post the video along with the full recipe in the notes.

I've always thought that every cake recipe is kind of versatile because you can play around with the flavoring and decorations and everything. So this one is no different really, but it actually gives you directions for three different flavors you can bake it in.

So there's Vanilla, Lemon and Chocolate and it also allows for extra egg-whites that you can use to whip up a creamy frosting for the cake. But I chose to just bake the cake for now. Will move on to frostings when I'm pretty confident about my cakes!

Also, what's special about this recipe is that I used two of the three wonderful gifts that my dear friend Meenal brought to me from the U.S. A round spring form pan and a citrus zester! The other one is a candy thermometer. I could have used it as well for the egg-white frosting, but perhaps, another time.

1. Versatile Buttermilk Cake

Jan 26, 2011

Four Disasters and a Pound Cake!

Practice really does make perfect. Even though it has been proven time and again, I never seem to believe in this one enough. And so I was heartbroken when I put in effort to produce an oh-so yummy cake, but it fell short several times.

And fifth time's a charm! It worked at last after making so many modifications. At last a cake that everyone had to reach out for another piece of. At last the velvety, moist crumb that melts in the mouth. At last the perfect combination of aroma, texture and taste. At last!

My Perfect Pound Cake

I'll show you pictures of all the cakes I ruined and almost ruined as well. And then give you the recipe for this one. But before all that, a little background about Pound Cakes is in order!

Jan 20, 2011

Healthy Bakes! Banana-Oatmeal-Honey Cookies

I'm generally a vegetarian, but I'm currently vegan for a while. I will be for roughly another month or so. I can't stop harping to people about the great results I've had so far, but I think I'll spare you all the lecture for now. :D

But ya, I do miss having some tasty treats around and I haven't been tasting anything that I baked (My husband is my taster for now, don't worry, you're not the guinea pigs!). So when I happened to chance upon this nice, harmless looking recipe, I thought why not! I decided to bake these for myself and thus started my tryst with Vegan Baking. So these are no sugar, no fat and no egg cookies!

If you're thinking about delectable, oh-so-light, melt-in-the-mouth cookies, let me stop you right there. These are anything but that! There is nothing feminine about these bakes, and when I first got them out of the oven, I couldn't help but be reminded of Ross Geller and his "Butch, Manly cookies... with Chunks!" Lol! (You can watch that bit: here.)

Nevertheless, as they say looks can be deceiving. The texture of these cookies is rather soft and cake-like.

A Healthy Treat ~ Banana-Oatmeal-Honey Cookies & Mango Flavored Soy Milk

Jan 19, 2011

Baking Ingredients: All you Need to Know About Flour!

When I started baking a couple of months ago, I happened to meet with a quite a few disasters :D, many of which will be posted here over coming weeks. As always, practice helped me get better and better at a recipe (and I'm still practising!).

But there were some things that went wrong that I just couldn't figure out. Everything would seem like it was going fine and then something would go horribly wrong. And I wouldn't know what had happened. I thought about it, and figured (with a little help from my wonderful husband) that I needed to know more about baking than simply putting the ingredients of the recipe together.

Baking is sort of a technology. I needed to know what exactly the purpose of each ingredient was, so I could be sure of what I was doing. So I started my research about individual ingredients.

Today I'll share with you all that I've learnt about flour used for baking.


Jan 13, 2011

Lemon Pound Cake

Today I'd like to introduce you all to my most favorite baking person in the world! (Apart from mom, of course.)  Her name is Betty, and she lives in Kentuky, USA. She runs a YouTube channel called Betty'sKitchen and she's absolutely delightful.

Although most of her recipes are not vegetarian (which I am), I enjoy the bakes and desserts she puts up almost every week. Betty is so sweet and her videos are wonderfully easy to follow. Very much like learning to cook from a favorite aunt!

I've watched a lot of her videos and the first one I ever tried is her Lemon Pound Cake. On her channel it's called Betty's Perfect Lemon Pound Cake. And it's nothing short of perfect!

This is my version.

Lemon Pound Cake