Tiramisu Cake

Recipe:

TIRAMISU CAKE (Recipe credits: Tasty treats) NOTE: These measurements are for a 3-layer cake
Ingredients:

For the cake:

Cake Flour – 2 cups

Baking powder – 2 tsp

Baking soda – 1/8 tsp (a pinch)

Butter – 10 tbs or 1 and 1/4 sticks (room temp)

Sugar – 1 cup

Eggs – 3 + 1 yolk

Vanilla extract – 1 and 1/2 tsp

Buttermilk – 3/4 cup

(To make cake flour, remove 2 tbsp AP flour from each cup of AP flour and substitute with 2 tbsp of cornflour)
For the espresso extract:

Instant coffee or espresso powder – 3 tbsp

Boiling water – 2 tbsp
For the espresso syrup:

Water – 1 cup

Sugar – 1/2 cup

Coffee powder – 3 tbsp (add 1 tbsp Amaretto or Kahlua or Brandy if using alcohol)
For the filling and frosting:

Mascarpone cheese – 270 gms (or 1 8oz can)

Icing sugar – 1/2 cup sifted

Vanilla extract – 1 tsp

Espresso extract/Amaretto/Kahlua/Brandy – 2 tbsp

Heavy cream – 1 cup

Bittersweet or semisweet chocolate – 3 oz or about 85 gm

Cocoa powder or grated chocolate for decoration
Method:

Preheat the oven to 350 F/ 180C. Grease and dust two 9″ cake pans and line with parchment paper. (I baked at 170 C)
The cake:

Sift together flour, baking powder , baking soda and salt.

In a large bowl, beat the butter in medium speed until soft and creamy. 

Add the sugar and beat for another 3 minutes. 

Add the eggs one by one, followed by the yolk, beating for one minute after each addition. 

Beat in the vanilla, don’t be concerned if the mixture looks curdled.

Reduce the speed to low and add the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk, add the dry ingredients in three additions and the buttermilk in two (beginning and ending with the dry ingredients), scrape the bowl as needed and beat only until the ingredients disappear into the batter.

Divide the batter between the two pans and smooth the top with a rubber spatula.

Bake for 28-30 minutes, rotating the pans at the halfway point. (It took me 34 mins at 170 C).

When fully baked the cakes will be golden and springy to the touch and a knife inserted into the center will come out clean. 

Transfer the cakes to a wire rack and cool for 5 minutes. 

Then run a knife around the edge of the cakes and unmould them. Peel off the paper liners. Invert and cool the cakes to room temperature, right side up.
Espresso Extract:

Mix the espresso/coffee powder wiith the boiling water and stir until blended. Keep aside.
Espresso syrup:

Stir the water and sugar in a pan and bring just to a boil. 

Pour the syrup into a small heat proof bowl and stir in the coffee powder.

Keep aside.
Filling and frosting:

Put the mascarpone, sugar, vanilla and liqueur or espresso extract in a large bowl and whisk just until blended and smooth.

Whip the heavy cream until it holds firm peaks.

Using a rubber spatula stir about a quarter of the cream into the mascarpone.

Fold in the remaining cream with a light touch.
Assembling the Cake:

Level the cake. Place one layer, right side up on a cardboard round or cake plate, protected by strips of wax of parchment paper underneath to catch any syrupy drips. 

Using a pastry brush or a small spoon, soak the first layer with enough espresso syrup so that it soaks through (you’ll be using almost 1/3 of the syrup)

Gently spread about 1/3 of the mascarpone mixture, and then top with a generous layer of grated chocolate.

Now place the second layer of the cake, and repeat the process.

Finally, top with the third, the last layer, and soak the top with remaining espresso syrup.

Smooth the top and sides with the remaining mascarpone mixture, and if you wish, use a piping nozzle to draw out designs, etc. I used the back of my spatula to create small peaks.

Lastly, sprinkle some cocoa powder or grated chocolate on top.

Refrigerate until serving time.
NOTE:

It is crucial that your whipped cream and mascarpone are at the same temperature. I did not, and my frosting split slightly…

Though that didn’t alter the taste, I added 1/4 cup of room temp fresh cream (whey removed) and 3 tbsp of extra mascarpone to the frosting, and it came back to its creamy, smooth self.

My cake had three layers, so I made extra espresso syrup to soak the layers in.

Also, I bake in a convection MW, so even though I baked the cake twice, my layers weren’t the same size. So I cut them into three 🙂 

I didn’t frost the cake thickly, because it was already quite rich…you may choose to if you wish. 

Bake and frost the cake at least a day in advance. This will allow the flavours to deepen and give you a richer tasting cake.

Amla candy

​”Gooseberry” popularly known as Amla is a very well known citrus fruit that works brilliantly for most parts of the body. Amla, the staple of Indian cuisine is gaining ground owing to its great health benefits. As this fruit is sour, it can be best consumed in form of murabba.

So folks! the dish of day is “Amla Murabba”.
Ingredients:

20-25 amlas

3 cups sugar

4 cups water
Wash the amlas well. Soak the amlas in water for around 2-3 hours. Prick the amlas with fork and keep aside. Boil water in a pan. When water comes to boil, add amlas and let them boil on high for around 10 minutes. Drain amlas after 10 minutes.

Take pan. Put 4 cups water to boil. Add 3 cups sugar. When it starts boiling, add amlas and cook on low for 40 minutes. Switch off the gas and let it rest in the same pan for 2 days. After 2 days, take out the amlas from sugar syrup and let the sugar syrup cook on high for 5 minutes. Add amlas and again cook on low for 5 minutes. Let it cool . Store in a container.

No Baked lemon cheesecake

​No Bake Lemon Cheesecake with homemade cream cheese!
Egg less No Bake Lemon Cheese Cake (With Homemade Cream Cheese)

Cheesecake is always my favorite. A light, refreshing cheesecake with no baking required – how cool is that – an essential for the sweltry summer!
#TasteOfIndiaWithRena

#renagermany

#CelebratingHBGAt100000
Ingredients:
Cream Cheese:
You need thick yogurt & paneer for preparing cream cheese at home. Yes, you heard me right! Though it’s an alternative to the actual cream cheese, trust me, this has the similar taste of the store bought ones. I could not make any difference in the taste.

• Paneer – Boil 500 ml of milk and while it comes to boil, add fresh lemon juice. Stir for a minute until the whey separates out. Strain the mixture and presto – paneer is ready

• For the thick yogurt – Pour 250 ml yogurt on a muslin cloth & place it on a strainer. Hang it for about 2 hours & here you go thick yogurt is ready.
Blend the thick yogurt and the paneer until smooth & your homemade cream cheese is ready.
For the Base:
Cookies – 250 Gms ((I used the peanut butter cookies that I baked recently. You can use any digestive biscuits or graham crackers)

Softened unsalted butter – 80 grams
For the Filling:
Cream Cheese (Recipe Above)

Heavy cream – 120 Gms

Salt – A pinch

Sugar – 250 Gms

China Grass – 2.5 Gms

Lemon Zest – 1 tablespoon

Lemon Juice – 3 tablespoons (I love the overpowering taste of lemons, please adjust to your taste)
For the Jelly Topping:
Sugar – 120 Gms

Water – 120 Gms

China grass – 2 Gms

Lemon Juice – 3 Tablespoons (I love the overpowering taste of lemons, please adjust to your taste)

Lemon Zest – 1 Tablespoon

Yellow Food Color – A Pinch
Procedure:
• Crush the cookies in the blender & pulse it to fine crumbs, then add the soft butter. Place the mixture into the spring form pan & level it to even layer. Refrigerate it until set.

• Break the china grass & soak it in water for 20 minutes until it’s soft. 

• Beat the heavy cream until it holds shape. Just soft peaks would do.

• Mix the prepared cream cheese mixture & beat until it’s mixed thoroughly.

• Add the powdered sugar, lemon juice & the lemon zest and yellow food color (optional) to the cream mixture & beat it until combined.

• In the meanwhile, take the soaked china grass & melt it over stove until it’s completely combined with the water. There should not be any lumps which will disturb the final texture.

• Fuse the china grass solution to the cream mixture and fold it.

• Pour the cream cheese mixture onto the base and put the tin back into the fridge until the cream base has set. I refrigerated overnight.

• For the jelly topping – Prepare the china grass mixture as above. Heat the sugar & water to prepare simple syrup. Now add the lemon juice, lemon zest, yellow food color & the china grass mixture to form the gel. Put it on stove for a few more minutes until it thickens up. 

• Pour the jelly topping over the set cream base & refrigerate for about an hour.
Savor the chilled egg less, gelatin free, no bake, lemon cheesecake!!

Gulkand Truffles

​#TasteOfIndiaWithRena

Rena Germany
GULKAND TRUFFLES !
Gulkand and rosewater are essential ingredients added to many Indian sweets for their inviting aroma and subtle flavour. 

Try these easy rose truffles with gulkand to create a fusion which is both impressive and delectable!
Ingredients:
25 gms salted butter

250 gms white chocolate chopped roughly

2-3 drops Pink food coloring or few drops of beet juice

1/4 cup fresh cream (I used Amul)

2 tbsp gulkand

1/2 tsp rosewater (optional)

Some icing sugar to roll truffles
Procedure:
Microwave the cream and butter in a bowl until just boiling for about 1 minute. Remove and add the chopped chocolate, food coloring and gulkand. Taste this mixture and if you want a more pronounced rose flavour, add the rosewater.  Stir the mixture until the chocolate has melted. Microwave for 30 seconds more if having trouble melting the chocolate. Place this in the fridge for 1-2 hours.

Using a scoop, roll even amounts of mixture into balls of about 1/2 inch.  Put back into the fridge for 10-15 minutes.

Roll these balls in icing sugar or dessicated coconut or even ground nuts of your choice.

New York style cheese cake

Ingredients:

butter cracker crust:

  • 34 butter crackers (such as Ritz), finely crushed
  • 1 tablespoon superfine sugar (granulated is fine)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

filling:

  • 16 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup superfine sugar (granulated is fine)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest

garnish:

  • Cajeta

New York Style Cheesecake Recipe

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line a 6 inch cake pan with parchment and lightly grease.
  2. For crust: Place all ingredients into a medium mixing bowl and fold together until all the crumbs are saturated in butter. Pour mixture into the prepared cake pan and firmly press down on mixture to form an even crust. Set aside.
  3. For filling: Place cream cheese and sugar in a large mixing bowl and beat together with a wooden spoon (you can also use an electric hand mixer or stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment). Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating after each addition.
  4. Add sour cream, flour and milk and stir together until no lumps remain. Fold in vanilla extract and lemon zest until fully incorporated.
  5. Pour filling into the prepared cake pan and smooth off the top. Place the cheesecake in a large baking dish and place in oven. Fill baking dish 1/2 way with hot water and bake cheesecake for 40 to 45 minutes or until center is still wobbly.
  6. Remove from oven and water bath and allow cheesecake to cool for 10 to 15 minutes. Run a knife along the edge of the pan to ensure cheesecake doesn’t stick to sides when removing from pan.
  7. Allow cheesecake to cool for an hour. Place cheesecake in the refrigerator and allow it to chill for at least 6 hours.
  8. Once cheesecake has completely chilled, run a knife along the edge again.
  9. With a platter ready, place a clean cake board over the top of the cheesecake and pan and quickly invert it onto the cake board. Tap the bottom of the pan to ensure nothing is sticking. Remove pan and replace with a platter before quickly, but carefully turning the cheesecake onto the platter and removing the cake board from the surface. (removal process should take no more than 30 seconds)
  10. Drizzle with Cajeta, slice, and serve.

New York Style Cheesecake Recipe

Mocha cake with milk chocolate frosting 

Yields 7

The perfect cake for a coffee and chocolate lover with dark layers of delicious cake , filled and frosted with a light milk chocolate frosting

For the cake

  1. 310 grams or 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  2. 300 grams or 1 1/2 cups sugar
  3. 45 grams or 1/2 cup cocoa powder (unsweetened)
  4. 1 tsp baking soda
  5. 3/4 tsp baking powder
  6. 1/2 tsp salt
  7. 4 eggs , at room temperature
  8. 225 grams or 1 cup butter , melted and cooled
  9. 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  10. 3/4 cup curd or yoghurt , at room temperature
  11. 240 ml or 1 cup very hot coffee ( one tsp instant coffee powder dissolved in it)

For the Milk Chocolate frosting

  1. 250 grams milk chocolate
  2. 200 ml or 1 cup cream
  3. 112 grams or 1/2 cup unsalted butter , at room temperature
  4. 200 grams or 2 cups icing sugar , sifted
  5. 1 tsp vanilla extract

For the soaking syrup

  1. 100 grams or 1/2 cup sugar
  2. 120 ml or 1/2 cup water
  3. 1 tsp instant coffee powder

For the cake

  1. Preheat your oven to 180 C / 350 F. Butter and flour two 7 inch round pans well . Line the bottoms with parchment (optional).
  2. Whisk together the dry ingredients – the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt , cocoa powder and sugar very well in a large bowl.
  3. Mix in the eggs , melted butter , yoghurt , hot coffee and vanilla extract. Whisk until smooth.
  4. Divide batter among two pans an bake for 32-38 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  5. Cool in pans for 5 minutes , remove and cool completely on wire rack.


For the milk chocolate frosting

  1. In a double boiler / microwave , heat the cream and chopped milk chocolate together until melted and smooth. Cool to room temperature.
  2. In another bowl, beat the butter until light and smooth.
  3. Add one cup sifted icing sugar , a few tablespoons at a time , beating well after each addition. Scrape the bowl as needed.
  4. Add the remaining sifted icing sugar , the vanilla and the cooled chocolate-cream mixture .
  5. Beat until desired consistency is achieved.


For the soaking syrup

  1. Heat together the water, sugar and coffee in a saucepan until sugar and coffee dissolves.
  2. Simmer for couple of minutes .Take off heat and cool.


For the assembly

  1. Slice each cooled cake into two horizontally.
  2. Place one cake slice on a cake board/ serving plate , brush generously with soaking syrup on top and sides . Spread about quarter cup of the frosting on top.
  3. Place the next cake slice on top and repeat.
  4. Place the last layer on top , spread the icing on top and sides and frost as desired.


Notes

  1. The cake can be stored for 2-3 days in an airtight container, the syrup and frosting will last for a week in the refrigerator .
  2. The cake can be baked in 2 nine inch pans for 30-34 minutes or 2 eight inch pans for 32-36 minutes.
  3. The frosting recipe makes 3 1/2 cups – just enough to fill and frost this cake. If you make lesser layers, you will have enough for piping.
  4. The frosting might seem soft but it is perfect for frosting a cake , but you can increase the icing sugar for a stiffer pipe- able frosting.
  5. For the frosting , I used Amul fresh cream here ( heavy cream works better) and couverture chocolate (compound works too).
  6. Refrigerate the cake but bring it to room temperature before serving





Home made chilly garlic dip

INGREDIENTS 

Dried red chilies (Bedgi variety) 24

 Garlic 20 cloves

 Small onion 1 

Vegetable oil 3 tbsps

 White vinegar 2 tbsps

 Brown sugar 2 tbsps 

Dark soya sauce 2 tsps 

Salt (adjust as per heat of chili) 1.5 tsps 


STEPS Remove the stems of the chilies. Wash them well and then immerse them in a bowl of hot water for 2 hours. Peel and finely chop the garlic cloves and onion. Once the chilies are rehydrated, place them in a mixer jar or food processor, and process to get a smooth puree, adding some of the soaking water if required. In a deep, heavy bottomed pan, heat the oil. When the oil is slightly hot, add the finely chopped garlic and onion. Keep stirring it for 2-3 minutes. Don’t let the garlic and onion get brown. At this point, add the pureed red chilies and stir on medium heat. The mixture will splutter a bit, which is why preparing this in a pan with high sides will work better. After stirring this for 2-3 minutes, add the vinegar, sugar, soya sauce and salt. Add upto 1/2 cup water (you can use this water to clean up any chili residue in the mixer / food processor). Stir well and allow to simmer for another 8-10 minutes until oil starts oozing out. Check for salt, and add a pinch more if required. This may be needed if the chillies you use are spicier. Remove into an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use. This will stay for 10 days or so in the refrigerator.